Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014
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INSIDE POLITICS I
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.


  
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.


  

Parliamentary Calendar
Wednesday, December 31, 1969
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
Chantal Hébert's Morning After book launch at Métropolitain Brasserie in Ottawa: Sept. 24 Sept. 30, 2014

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser, a former Toronto Star Hill journalist, and Jim Armour, vice-president at Summa Strategies, a former Conservative and Reform Party staffer.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Chantal Hébert, national affairs columnist for The Toronto Star and author of The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and The Day That Almost Was. Ms. Hébert launched her book on Sept. 24 in Ottawa at the Métropolitain Brasserie where plenty of political players turned up from the Hill.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Jean-Pierre Kingsley, Canada's former chief electoral officer, and Quebec Liberal Senator Dennis Dawson.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Bruce Anderson, a partner at i2 Ideas & Issues Advertising, who hosted the book launch. Mr. Anderson is a panellist on CBC's At Issue along with Ms. Hébert and Andrew Coyne.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Kate Purchase, communications director for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Quebec Liberal Sen. Dennis Dawson, Jim Patrick of Shaw Communications, and Global TV's Tom Clark.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser and Bruce Anderson of i2 Ideas & Issues Advertising.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Patrick Kennedy, director of government relations for CF Industries, flips through a copy of Chantal Hébert's book, The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and The Day That Almost Was.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Jim Armour, vice-president at Summa Strategies, is the happy new owner of The Morning After.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Chantal Hébert and former Conservative MP Ted Menzies.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Journalist Daniel L'Heureux, Mylène Dupere, communications director for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, and Jean Lapierre, who helped Ms. Hébert write the book. Mr. Lapierre is also a former Bloc Québécois MP who later joined Paul Martin's Liberals and was a federal Cabinet minister. Today, he's a pundit.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Leslie Swartman, director of public affairs at MDA Information Systems, and former Liberal Cabinet minister Jean Lapierre. Ms. Swartman used to work for Mr. Lapierre when he was in the Paul Martin Cabinet.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Anne Marie Creskey, publisher of The Hill Times, and Hill Times reporter Rachel Aiello.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Former Conservative MP Ted Menzies and Global TV's Tom Clark.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Bruce Anderson and Chantal Hébert.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Michel Liboiron, director of government relations at CIBC, and Postmedia News reporter and columnist Stephen Maher.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE