In politics, few developments have more potential to reawaken the independent streak of a government MP than being repeatedly left out of a Cabinet shuffle.
John Manley and Mark Carney both have the kind of credentials that would put fear in Conservative hearts. It’s the Conservative Party’s worst-case scenario, says Chantal Hébert.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper needs a trio on the energy/environment/aboriginal front that is more into bridge building than bridge burning.
With only a few exceptions, the areas hardest hit by the proposed Conservative changes to the treatment of frequent employment insurance users sit squarely in opposition territory.
Quebec’s national conversation had already been in the process of shifting from a dialogue of the deaf over its constitutional status to a debate between progressives and conservatives.
The seeds of discontent that have sprung up in Quebec this spring could still find fertile soil to root themselves in elsewhere in Canada.
The two battles are being fought on different fields over different issues. But they are flip sides of the same bad coin: that of a debased democracy.
And a rare one that Stephen Harper can’t afford to ignore. They share the same home base and Alberta is central to his government.
Quebec is the one landscape where Mulcair’s popularity is likely to endure longer than the average post-leadership honeymoon.
But beyond Baird, Flaherty, Kenney and Moore, this Cabinet often can’t seem to steer clear of trouble.
In short, he is getting out of the way and paving the way for the private sector to deliver for years to come, with an estimated $500-billion in resource projects coming down the road over the next decade.
If Tom Mulcair becomes the first Quebec leader of the NDP, it will be because a sizeable contingent of New Democrats from B.C. will have brought him over the top.
Christy Clark can dance and Alison Redford can bull ahead. Danielle Smith will shortly know if her eastward gaze captures the imagination of Alberta voters.
The bottom line is that the Conservative core vote is more solid than that of either of the other two main parties.
Canadians may never know all that they should about what took place in the muddy trenches of the last federal campaign. But if they ever get the beginning of a definitive answer, it will come from Elections Canada or the RCMP or even the media, and not from the warring parties in the Commons.
The crack in the F-35 fairy tale finally came on Feb. 14 when Defence Minister Peter MacKay was pushed on the number of fighter jets to be purchased by the government.
The deteriorating Ottawa-Quebec climate could be the gift of life to both the Parti Québécois and the federal Liberals.