Friday, Oct. 24, 2014
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INSIDE POLITICS I
House Speaker's decision on Afghan documents to test Parliament's wil

PM Stephen Harper would not be Prime Minister if he was not adept at playing all the angles to his advantage and the latest Parliamentary test of wills has the potential makings of a Conservative electoral opportunity.


  
Environment major area where voters part ways with Conservative government

Indeed, a case can be made that a persistent Conservative blind spot to the environment has done more to lead the party to a minority dead end in Quebec and elsewhere than clumsy marketing


  
You call that recalibration?

A week after the return of Parliament, the Conservatives and the Liberals remain more or less deadlocked in voting intentions, with the NDP and the Bloc Québécois in a holding pattern.


  
Harper's running on a public opinion treadmill

Like a plant whose buds fail to open, his government is consistently failing to thrive in the polls. It could be that the Conservative party was uprooted from opposition too quickly for its own good.


  
Duceppe scrambles to avoid head-on collision with Bouchard

It is too early to tell whether Lucien Bouchard's public tiff with the PQ is just a one-off from a bored political retiree or the embryo of a game-changer for Quebec politics.


  
Conservative elected Senate promise a poison pill for Parliamentary democracy

With a Senate opposition majority bolstered by electoral victories, the risks of legislative gridlock between the two Houses of Parliament would be increased rather than the opposite.


  
Politicians have been making promises on child care for more than a quarter century

Watching Michael Ignatieff these days is like watching a movie rerun, in the dubious expectation of a different ending.


  
Cabinet shuffle did not justify closing

With the main players at Finance, Environment, Foreign Affairs and Defence, all staying put, the ripple effect of the makeover will be localized rather than widespread


  
Life's gone out of federal politics in Quebec

The result is an environment that is almost completely devoid of passion about and faith in the conventional political process.


  
For the first time, serious ministerial damage extends deep inside first tier of Harper's Cabinet

At the same time, the bills the government ran up to deal with the recession are about to come in.


  
Government losing credibility battle on Afghan detainees

While the current Prime Minister has a well-deserved reputation for pushing back aggressively when under attack, Stephen Harper has—in this—been empowered by a weak-kneed Liberal opposition.


  
Afghan torture probe about to run on empty

To all intents and purposes, an opposition-controlled Parliamentary investigation has been successfully hijacked by the government's spin doctors.


  
Hard to believe Harper, ministers left out of loop on Afghan file

Richard Colvin, among others, was supposed to be their eyes and ears in Afghanistan.


  
Federal Conservative party is no longer radioactive in Quebec

That's the main message from last week's byelection foursome. As a result, it is no longer a given that Quebecers will again stand in the way of a Conservative majority in the next general election.


  
Unanimous House motion on Quebec immigrants does not change substance of debate

But in the future, the competing aspirations of Quebec francophones are more likely to erode the consensus that underlies Bill 101 than the House of Commons or even the Supreme Court.


  
Federal Liberal playbook on Quebec out of date

Michael Ignatieff has so far demonstrated no capacity to rewrite it on his own. Filling the Quebec intellectual vacuum at the top of the Liberal pyramid should be an absolute priority.


  
PM seeks Supreme Court's advice on constitutionality of plan to create national securities regulator

This reference comes at a time when sovereignty has been steadily running out of steam; it will be a test of the recent resilience of federalism in Quebec.


  
Ignatieff may not have dodged election bullet

It does not mean Conservative strategists will be burning the midnight oil to engineer their own defeat, but it does mean Stephen Harper has no cause to bend over backward to avoid an election


  
Liberals need a solid narrative to draw Quebecers back to party

Unless the Grits' intellectual vacuum is addressed, the Liberal machine in Quebec will continue to rattle on empty.


  

Parliamentary Calendar
Friday, October 24, 2014
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
Lockdown on the Hill, Oct. 22 Oct. 22, 2014

Anne Marie Creskey

NDP MPs on Wednesday morning at the corner of Metcalfe and Wellington streets outside the Langevin Block, where the prime minister has an office, across the street from Parliament Hill. They include Rosane Doré Lefebvre, far left, Hélène Laverdière, second from right, and Charlie Angus, far right. 

Anne Marie Creskey

NDP MP Charlie Angus and other MPs wait in front of the prime minister's office at Langevin Block, after leaving the Hill on Wednesday morning. 

Anne Marie Creskey

Ottawa Police Service officers on Parliament Hill at around 10:45 a.m.

Anne Marie Creskey

Ottawa Police cars on Wellington Street in front of the Hill on the morning of the attack.

Anne Marie Creskey

An armoured police vehicle on Metcalfe Street headed toward the Hill.

Anne Marie Creskey

More police arrive on Wellington Street.

Anne Marie Creskey

RCMP officers on Sparks Street between Elgin and Metcalfe streets on Wednesday morning. Surroundings buildings were locked down and later evacuated. 

Anne Marie Creskey

Reporters and camera crews are pushed back to the corner of Sparks and Metcalfe streets.

Anne Marie Creskey

The prime minister's office in the Langevin Block is evacuated.

Anne Marie Creskey

Police with a stretcher on Sparks Street.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE