Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014
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INSIDE POLITICS I
Votes that don’t promise change don’t create excitement

This year has been remarkable for the number of federal, provincial and territorial elections, but it will also be recorded as the year of the status quo.


  
Harper majority tightens iron grip on opposition parties too

It’s the opposition parties’ turn to see their already shortened Parliamentary wings clipped by Harper’s majority.


  
Mulcair now underdog in early NDP leadership sweepstakes, no accident

Among the prospective candidates, none worked more closely with Layton than Topp. He was at the late leader’s side until the very end.


  
Maybe it’s time we got to know Megan Leslie

So it is hard to imagine the federal NDP heading into its second consecutive leadership race without a serious female leadership candidate; not one freighted with symbolism, but one who carries a realistic chance to win.


  
Clement's earned a reputation for defending the indefensible

It won't serve him well as Treasury Board president. In that pivotal capacity, he will be in charge of tightening the belt of the federal government, and doing so under the wary surveillance of a suspicious chattering class.


  
Post-referendum tinderbox has turned into a pile of damp hay

Quebec is re-engaging on the national scene on terms that closely mirror the constitutional accord whose failure sparked its two-decade estrangement.


  
If Ontario was serious, it would draft constitutional amendment to abolish Senate

Under the Constitution, the power to initiate a discussion to reform Canada's parliamentary institutions does not rest exclusively with the federal government.


  
Conservatives put national media in their crosshairs

There's an emerging narrative designed to place the Parliamentary media squarely in the Conservative crosshairs recently vacated by Michael Ignatieff's Liberals.


  
This Parliamenet has a sunnier disposition than previous one

It's a mood enhanced by the fact that for the first time in two decades, the priority of the vast majority of Quebec's MPs is not to demonstrate that Canada is a failed federation.


  
Prime Minister has unique opportunity to alleviate Quebec's estrangement from federal institutions

As counterintuitive as it may seem, that starts with preserving part of the Bloc Québécois' legacy in federal politics.


  
Could be a long, long time before Liberals make it out of woods

Relegated to the wilderness on May 2, the Liberals don't even seem to be able to agree they need a compass.


  
Populist right and populist left to be going head to head for first time

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be returning to the Commons later this spring in control of the two Houses of Parliament for the first time. Depending on the scope of his ambitions, such free rein with the levers of power could prove more risky for his


  
Liberal election campaign like watching a plane crash, in slow motion

'The end of the world' was how one shaken lifelong Liberal insider described his party's slide to third place behind the NDP last week. Throughout its distinguished history, the Liberal Party of Canada has never been further from power than official oppos


  
This generation of politicians has reversed a fundamental tenet of democratic life

It used to be that Parliament was meant to tend to the issues that mattered most to voters. But now voters are being called upon to tend—through their votes—to the issues that matter most to Parliamentarians.


  
Unknowns driving both opposition parties toward a spring election

If the March 22 budget does trigger an election, the Liberals and the NDP will go into a spring campaign facing a headwind. They would then have five short weeks to turn the tide—a feat they have consistently failed to begin to accomplish so far.


  
On Harper's watch, francophone Quebecers more disengaged than ever

As things stand today a PQ government would drag Quebecers into another referendum at the peril of its sovereigntist option.


  
Libs join NDP on habitual treadmill to nowhere, antithesis of a moral victory

If NDP and Liberal leaders Jack Layton and Michael Ignatieff had taken the advice of their elder statesmen and looked for a way to pool forces earlier this year, the result of their joint efforts would likely be doing better in the polls than their separa


  
The 24/7 news offers less rather than more in extensive Parliamentary reporting today

The demands of feeding a round-the-clock information beast usually favour bite-size news to the detriment of meaty debates that need more time-consuming media ministrations to be properly digested.


  
If PM wants to go to polls in first half of 2011, he may have to take matters into own hands

There is precious little in last Monday's results to give the NDP and the Liberals much incentive to defeat the next Conservative budget.


  
Conservative-friendly island in a sea of Quebec hostility self-defeating exercise for government

It is a major distraction from the bigger game the Prime Minister is after.


  

Parliamentary Calendar
Sunday, December 21, 2014
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
2014 in photos Dec. 19, 2014

Mark Burgess
Justice Minister Peter MacKay, NDP MP Mathieu Ravignat, and Patrick Brown at the Canadian Tire Canal Classic, a charity shinny game between parliamentarians and the press on the Rideau Canal in January. The MPs prevailed.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Labour Minister Kellie Leitch, Chris Frogatt of National Public Relations and Blue Sky’s Sandra Buckler at the Manning Centre party in February.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
NDP MP Peter Stoffer in his Parliament Hill office in February.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre prepares to testify before the Procedure and House Affairs Committee in February.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks at the party’s policy convention in Montreal in February.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner and Conservative MP James Rajotte at the Fuelling the dream Canadian Olympic team luncheon on the Hill in February.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Speaker of the House of Commons Andrew Scheer showing off his stickhandling skills at the February Fuelling the dream Canadian Olympic team luncheon on the Hill.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Liberal MP Wayne Easter and Conservative MP John Duncan at the Fuelling the dream Canadian Olympic team luncheon on the Hill in February.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Minister of Sport Bal Gosal at a Nature Canada event on the Hill on Feb. 3 alongside an owl.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
The late Jim Flaherty pictured on Feb. 11 2014, the day he delivered his last federal budget.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
The post-budget day party at Hy’s Steakhouse.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Prime Minister Stephen Harper heading out to greet Shi Ismaili Muslim spiritual leader Aga Khan on Feb. 27.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Laureen Harper, the Governor General’s wife Sharon Johnston, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper pictured Canadian as soldiers came home from Afghanistan on March 18, 2014. Also pictured, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, and Chief of Defence Staff General Tom Lawson.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
NDP MP Andrew Cash and Canadian songstress Serena Ryder at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards in March, in Toronto.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
NDP MPs Pierre Nantel, Rathika Sitsabaiesan, Peggy Nash and Laurin Liu on the red carpet at the Canadian Screen Awards in March.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Heritage Minister Shelly Glover and Gabrielle star Alexandre Landry at the Canadian Screen Awards in March.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Actor Viggo Mortensen shows his true colours with Heritage Minister Shelly Glover at the Canadian Screen Awards in March.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Conservative MP Michael Chong, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Green Party Leader Elizabeth attend the launch of the iVote-jeVote campaign at the University of Ottawa in March to encourage young voters to engage in the political process.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Conservative MP Michael Chong and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair talk democratic engagement at the University of Ottawa in March.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and NDP MP Megan Leslie, pictured on April 2, 2014, at the Politics & the Pen gala, which raised $350,000 for the Writers Trust. The two hosted the evening, cracked a lot of jokes and sang Gloria Gaynor's song, I Will Survive.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivering remarks to his caucus upon hearing of Jim Flaherty’s passing on April 10, while an emotion Laureen Harper looks on.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Conservative MP Susan Truppe comforts Labour Minister Kellie Leitch upon hearing of Jim Flaherty’s passing on April 10.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Conservative MP John Weston comes up for air while swimming laps at the Chateau Laurier’s pool in May. Mr. Weston is one of “The Chief Fun and Fitness Officers,” a group of MPs that take part in physical activities together.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
A pro-choice protestor holds a sign reading “my body, my choice” during the annual National March for Life demonstration on the Hill, on May 8.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Conservative MPs John Williamson and Rob Moore.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
NDP MP Megan Leslie.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Another lawn summer night at the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club.
The Hill Times photo by Steve Gerecke
First Nations protesters on Parliament Hill as part of the Peoples’ Social Forum gathering in Ottawa in August.
The Hill Times photo by Steve Gerecke
Peoples’ social forum in August.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
The Government Relations Institute of Canada’s board members took on the Ice Bucket Challenge outside of the Chambers building on Aug. 29.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
CBC TV's This Hour Has 22 Minutes comedian Mark Critch interviewing NDP MP Pierre Nantel, his party's culture critic at the September edition of Movie Night on the Hill, the Canadian premier of Elephant Song.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Postmedia’s Stephen Maher dressed in his cowboy best, with Camille Labchuk, for the Jaimie Anderson Fundraiser at the Black Sheep Inn, in Wakefield on Sept. 26.
The Hill Times photo by Mark Burgess
At 9:52 a.m. Oct. 22, the first calls come in of shots fired at the National War Memorial. People try to save Cpl. Nathan Cirilo’s life.
The Hill Times photo by Mark Burgess
Mid-afternoon on Oct. 22, police head down Metcalfe Street to secure buildings that had been on lockdown for fear of a gunman on the loose. Reports later confirmed the lone gunman had been killed inside Centre Block.
The Hill Times photo by Steve Gerecke
Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe, NDP MP, had come to the Hill on Oct. 22 with her baby and was breastfeeding in the lobby when the gunman entered. She hid in a phone booth until Hill security brought them to a safer place
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers carries the mace during the first Speakers Parade into the House of Commons following the shooting, on Oct. 23.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Flowers at the National War Memorial to honour Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
A soldier stands guard at the National War Memorial on Nov. 11.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
The Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Canadian rock icon Burton Cummings backstage with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire at the Hope Live gala at the Great Canadian Theatre Company on Oct. 27.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Competing culinary team from the Lowertown Brewery at the 10th annual Gold Medal Plates on Nov. 17 at the Shaw Centre.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE