As the next federal election approaches, the operations of Parliament will become an even greater extension of party politics and, essentially, we will be able to witness the speeding up of a broken machine.
What we also can’t have is the status quo; the overwhelming response to Justin Trudeau’s action should be a clear signal that Canadians want change.
Governments call elections when they think they can win them. Everything else is communications.
When your reaction to Question Period is identical to the feeling you get when someone scrapes chalk on a chalkboard, it is well and truly time to pull the old plug.
In this particular case, the earned media generated around the issue will more than make up for the eventual procedural beat down.
Parliament doesn’t need advice, it needs an intervention.
Expect the unexpected, zigging will be the new zagging, outrage will become contagious, perspective will be jettisoned form the lexicon and doing the right thing will become entirely situational. But that’s politics.
The key to staying in power is to keep the ones who hate you away from the ones who don’t know, and that is largely an exercise in communications.
We are facing uncertain economic times, increasing global instability, and a federal/provincial Health Accord negotiation that could fundamentally alter the role of government and the relationships between governments in this country.
If we work backwards from that absolute truth, we can begin to sort out what happened, perhaps why it happened and, most importantly, what it might mean going forward.
The good news is that we seem to be actually having a semi-serious discussion about the issue. In the end, I hope that the current crop of Parliamentarians see the opportunity that these types of discussions may afford them.
Joe Jordan's list of how to make Parliament work better.
It permeates everything they do, it shortens strategic planning time frames to about three minutes and it sidelines a competent and professional civil service by the ongoing reinforcement of the principle that 'politics' trumps 'policy.'
Of course, it will never last. I am giving this Parliament about another 10 months.
Politics is like a hallucinogenic drug, it tends to intensify what already exists. Keep in mind that there is little correlation between winning an argument and being right.
Prime Minister Harper has been convinced by his strategists that a majority win is possible. It's simply the way the guy's wired.
Of the 33 government bills currently in the pipe, the most logical choice for an election culprit would be Bill C-10.
On Sunday, Aug. 23 Ottawa celebrated its 30th annual pride march through downtown. All four main political parties had a contingent in the parade, with the Liberals first in the line of marchers. Here Orleans candidate Andrew Leslie and a slightly hidden Ottawa South MP David McGuinty walk together, alongside dozens of supporters.
More Liberal supporters march in the parade. Liberal MPP for Ottawa Centre Yasir Naqvi, Ottawa-West Nepean candidate Anita Vandenbeld, Kanata-Carleton candidate Karen McCrimmon, and Hull-Alymer candidate Greg Fergus were marching too.
The local Green party contingent in the parade threw their support around Kanata-Carleton candidate Andrew West.
The New Democrats making their way onto the parade route, flanked by local unions UFCW Locals 175 & 633, and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC).
NDP candidate for Orleans Nancy Tremblay was all smiles next to Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar.
Paul Dewar and the NDP supporters were yelling "Happy Pride" as they marched. Carleton candidate kc Larocque, Kanata-Carleton candidate John Hansen, Ottawa South candidate George Brown, and Nepean candidate Sean Devine were there, too.
Despite a petition looking to ban the LGBTory contingent from marching in the parade, about two-dozen supporters took part, holding signs that included "I kissed a Tory and I liked it," and "I am Conservative, I support trans rights." The latter was inspired by backlash over Bill C-279, the trans bill of rights that was killed by Conservative Senators during the last session of Parliament.
Nepean Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod, and Ottawa Centre federal candidate Damian Konstantinakos (far right) were the only politicians The Hill Times spotted among the LGBTory contingent.
Ontario Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod. She also marched earlier this summer in the Toronto Pride Parade alongside Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown.
The LGBTorys were joined by Melissa Hudson, the chair of Trans-Action Group, a non-profit focused on Transgender health and employment. As well, some marchers carried signs, seen above, that list the 18 federal MPs past and present who "stand with" the LGBTorys.
The LGBTory contingent calls themselves the 'Rainbow Conservatives of Canada" according to a handout they had at their tent set up as part of the street fair alongside the parade. All parties had sign-up lists at their booths, looking to gain supporters and volunteers. On the handout, it says they want to "break the left wing monopoly on the LGBT community," and includes quotes from former Foreign Affairs minister John Baird, and former VP of the Ottawa Centre Conservative Association Fred Litwin.