Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014
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INSIDE POLITICS I
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Federal Liberal playbook on Quebec out of date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.


  
Ignatieff absolutely must breathe new life into his moribund party in Quebec

It is virtually impossible for an opposition leader to dispose of caucus deadwood. Given that, finding attractive ridings for star candidates amounts to looking for a needle in a Quebec haystack.


  
Ignatieff's yet to articulate his own compelling leadership narrative

But since the Liberal leader has gone on the election warpath, he and his strategists have largely recreated the dynamics that led to their party's demise last year.


  
A devastating setback for Liberal brand if Ignatieff loses

On the plus side, though, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien and Stephen Harper all came from behind to win. And the Liberals are hardly the only ones for whom a potential fall campaign amounts to a big leap in the dark.


  
Ignatieff makes non-negotiable, irreversible decision

The Liberals are also convinced the longer they keep the government going, the more they are enabling Harper to mature in power.


  
NDP emerge from convention with few fresh policy ideas

'In the wake of a convention where talk of moving the NDP into power dominated the proceedings, less substance than ever stands in the way of a post-election flirt between the Liberals and the New Democrats.'


  
Anger over BQ's public funding shows federalist parties' frustration they can't win a majority

To this day, the Bloc Québécois has regularly thrived on the miscalculations of its opponents.


  

Parliamentary Calendar
Sunday, September 21, 2014
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
Lobbyists, MPs get in on the ice bucket challenge for ALS Sept. 3, 2014

Photo courtesy Summa Strategies
The team at Summa Strategies took the ice bucket challenge last week at the Parliament Pub. Summa challenged board members from the Government Relations Institute of Canada (GRIC) to take it next. From left: intern John McHughan, vice-chairman Tim Powers, senior adviser Louis-Alexandre Lanthier, consultant Kate Harrison, vice-president Jim Armour, vice-president Robin MacLachlan, president Tracey Hubley, senior adviser Michele Austin, and consultant Angela Christiano.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
The Government Relations Institute of Canada board members take the ice bucket challenge.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
GRIC directors feel the chill.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
From left: GRIC president Andre Albinati, secretary Joanne Dobson, board members Kevin Desjardins and Alayne Crawford, treasurer Phil Cartwright, and board members Alex Maheu and Jason Kerr.
Photograph provided Hill and Knowlton Strategies
Health Minister Rona Ambrose gets in on the ice bucket challenge.
Photograph courtesy Hill and Knowlton Strategies
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.
Photograph courtesy Hill and Knowlton Strategies
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE