Friday, Dec. 19, 2014
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INSIDE POLITICS I
Harper can only pray Wright continues to play dead

Only a saint or alternatively someone with a guilty conscience would continue to play dead as his former boss wreaks irreparable damage on his or her reputation.


  
NDP to test more aggressive, take-no-prisoners style

It remains to be seen what Canadians will make of the NDP’s transition to a more cutthroat style especially as the party will first road test it on Liberals and not on Conservatives


  
PQ may have accelerated erosion of a crumbling coalition

  
PQ’s proposed Quebec values charter repels vocal section of civil society, opposition stretching over federalist/sovereigntist divide

From the timing of the charter’s presentation, at the earliest practical moment after the summer, to the heavy government advertising artillery that is being deployed to sell it at public cost, all signs point to a no-holds-barred effort to decisively move the needle of public opinion toward the PQ.


  
RCMP inquiry still leaves unexplored, large grey zone

  
Life at the top becoming dangerously lonely for Harper

The elevation of an insider such as Ray Novak to the top rank of executor of the Prime Minister’s wishes will only compound Harper’s self-enforced isolation.


  
Not so fast, don’t count out Mulcair

Most of Canada’s current government leaders rose from a grave to which they were summarily consigned by the chattering media class over their time in opposition.


  
Liberal revival at play in Quebec, more than a passing bout of Trudeaumania

The more important story of the latest CROP poll is not a still fragile Liberal revival but rather a potentially irreversible slump in PQ fortunes.


  
What’s up with Flaherty?

For a federal finance minister to drop off the Parliamentary radar for a full month is rare. When that month happens to immediately follow the presentation of the budget, it is unheard of.


  
If Liberals can’t win Labrador back, they, and polling industry in for serious introspection

But that does not mean the other parties can or will give up without a fight. The Liberals absolutely need a win in Labrador on May 13, but Stephen Harper could use a victory and Thomas Mulcair—whose party has never run better than a distant third in the riding—needs to fight the perception that the NDP is spinning its wheels under his leadership.


  
Quebec to become ground zero of national battle between NDP and Liberals

Expect that fight to get underway just as soon as the new federal Liberal leader is in place later this month, and don’t expect either party to take prisoners.


  
Harper Conservatives dismantle environmental oversight infrastructure

Since he has gained control of both Houses of Parliament, Prime Minister Stephen Harper no longer bothers to pretend that the environment in general and climate change in particular is a major preoccupation, let alone a priority of his government.


  
Liberal Party luring tentative converts to a defining Grit cult

The fact is that the pro-Trudeau trend is at least as solid among the Liberal base as it is with the fans who have flocked to the party as part of the leadership campaign.


  
NDP entitled to stake out distinct referendum approach

Indeed, as NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair casts himself as a contender for the job of prime minister, he has a duty to give voters fair warning of his position on such fundamental issues.


  
Quebec could obtain right to assisted suicide

But in the real world of 2013 Canadian politics, implementing the expert panel’s prescriptions will almost certainly lead to a collision between Quebec and Stephen Harper’s government.


  
Electoral reform could improve health of Canada’s federal politics

  
Federal Liberals looking for sacrificial lamb to run against rock star Trudeau

Liberal MP Denis Coderre is not volunteering for the task.


  
McGuinty’s no political spring chicken, but he’d be a star Grit leadership candidate

Upon his resignation as premier, he could have bolted the door shut to a federal leadership run instead of courting inevitable speculation as to a future on Parliament Hill.


  
Trudeau can do no wrong in starry eyes of Liberal old guard

But if Justin Trudeau is to convince Canadians that he is the agent of a belated Liberal rebranding, it might help if he did.


  

Parliamentary Calendar
Sunday, December 21, 2014
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
Maher, Den Tandt's Barrack Hill Balladeers perform at Tunes for Ottawa Food Bank shindig at D'Arcy's, Dec. 17 Dec. 18, 2014

Photograph courtesy of Dylan Robertson
D'Arcy McGees was packed on Wednesday night as Hill journalists, staffers. GR and PR folks came out to raise money for the Ottawa Food Bank.
Photograph courtesy of Mark Bourrie
Stephen Maher and Michael Den Tant performing alongside fellow Barrack Hill Balladeers at D'Arcy's Wednesday night.
Photograph courtesy of Stephen Maher
Mark Fraser and Bobby Watt start off the evening with Irish folk song Carrickfergus.
Embassy News Photograph courtesy of Laura Beaulne-Stuebing
Mark Fraser, Stephen Maher, Michael Den Tant and Celeste Côté.
The Hill Times photograph by Rachel Aiello
The Barrack Hill Balladeers had been practising for a while before their performance, said Stephen Maher. The crowd enjoyed them.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE