Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014
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THE FULL NELSON
Time to reinvigorate Parliament, right now

  
Is Canada a failed democracy?

To be sure, not everyone is equal neither in wealth nor in opportunity, but Canada offers all abundant opportunities.


  
Policing as an anomaly in federal-provincial relations

  
Canada’s got phony fixed election date laws and that may be a good thing: Nelson Wiseman

A virtue of the Canadian system is its fixed electoral cycle.


  
Elections overhaul bill will barely affect conduct of elections, results

When the wind of electoral change blows, the bill’s changes to the Elections Act and to what Elections Canada does will prove to be of little significance to the outcome.


  
To vouch or not to vouch: that is the question

To mollify both the critics and supporters of vouching there is a solution: maintain the practice but place the vouched ballots in a sealed envelope at each polling station.


  
NDP fortunes shrinking

Charisma only goes so far. Trudeau senior had it and triumphed very soon after becoming the Liberal leader in 1968. The Tories are unpopular and the Trudeau effect could wear off as it did for his father, whose popularity really only revived after his death. Meanwhile, Mulcair is biding his time.


  
Nelson Wiseman: the low voter turnout a problem?

  
The road to Senate reform is a cul-de-sac

The Supreme Court, like the Quebec Court of Appeal, will almost certainly tell the government that its Senate reform proposals do not pass constitutional muster and, since an accord with the provinces is a non-starter, the Senate status quo will prevail. Get used to it.


  
Politics shouldn’t always be a team sport

In Canada, MPs, and MLAs are compelled to be team players under their coach’s thumb.


  
Designating Canada’s monarch

Parliament’s new act opens a potential assortment of problems. A better tack might have been for the Prime Minister to tell the British that their BNA Act of 1867 offers a sufficient basis for Canada’s compliance with whatever new act the British adopt with respect to the office of the Queen.


  
Comparing Harper and Diefenbaker

Both John Diefenbaker and Stephen Harper were born in Ontario. Both moved to the Prairies and became prime ministers.


  
The PM and the challenge of Senate reform

  
The mystique and the promise of Trudeau

The danger to the Liberals is that if they fail to break through in the next election and at least form the official opposition, the consequences may be fatal. It could be game over.


  
Ontario: Region-state? Dependant-State? Kingmaker

Ontario will gain 15 seats in the next federal election; together, Alberta and British Columbia will gain 12. The key to 24 Sussex Drive in 2011 was in Ontario. It will continue to be so for a while.


  
How prorogation may be leading to coalition governments

The new practice of political prorogation, therefore, may lead to increased receptivity to coalition governments. Much of the democratic world has them, but Canada has been a laggard on this score. Catch-up may be coming.


  
To my Godfather Preston

What has happened to our promised free votes in Parliament, the loosening of party discipline, the plans for citizen-initiated referenda, and the ability to recall MPs?


  
Undoing the Prime Minister

The greatest danger to the PM is therefore from within, not without. Paradoxically, it is from those MPs who have the least enviable jobs in Parliament: muzzled government backbenchers, those who must shut up and cannot publicly rail or criticize as opposition MPs are free to do.


  
Democratizing Senate not in Harper’s interest

The federal government’s Senate reform bill will likely be buried because the Conservatives are behaving like their Liberal predecessors—touting reform but doing very little.


  
Canada’s bilingual regime

The two solitudes have grown further apart as more French Canadians outside of Quebec have intermarried, assimilated, and lost their facility in French.


  

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