Sunday, April 20, 2014
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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.

Atlantic Canada could be a leading political indicator

As the welfare state has embedded itself ever more firmly in Atlantic Canadians’ lives, the NDP has implanted itself in Atlantic Canada’s traditional conservative political culture. The NDP can no longer be easily dismissed as outsiders ‘from away’ who preach alien doctrines and pursue utopian sorties.

Left, right, and centre in Canadian politics

Few politicians call themselves leftist or rightist, although NDP leader Thomas Mulcair has come close by denying he is a centrist: ‘We want to move the centre to us, not move to centre.’

Connecting the dots among Canada’s Conservative parties

The shifting winds of Canada’s multicultural story

Today, Harper’s Conservatives seek to boost immigration levels to unprecedented levels and Jason Kenney, as minister of Immigration, has become a grandmaster at wooing ethnic fraternal organizations and the ethnic media.

Canadian policy, Canadian attitudes, and the Middle East

For decades, Canada’s politicians, diplomats, and the media have considered the Israel-Palestine conflict as the core issue in the Middle East; solving that conflict, it has been assumed, would bring regional peace, security, and stability. The so-called Arab Spring has exploded this assumption.

Why increase the number of MPs?

Canada’s Parliament would benefit from having a fixed number of seats, as does the United States House of Representatives.


Parliamentary Calendar
Monday, April 21, 2014
ITK's 'A Taste of the Arctic' shindig on April 7, Ottawa, photographs by Cynthia Münster April 14, 2014

The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
A happy crowd at ITK's 'Taste of Arctic' at the NAC gathers for a picture. The annual event, held in Ottawa by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, is meant showcase Inuit culture. Some 350 attend the party, including a number of MPs, Senators, Cabinet minister, lobbyists and journalists.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
National Inuit Leader and ITK President Terry Audla shows off his seal vest to Employment Minister Jason Kenney.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Environics' Meredith Taylor and Greg MacEachern with ITK's Stephen Hendrie.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Justice Minister Peter MacKay, his son Kian, and ITK president Terry Audla.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
ITK president Terry Audla and Abbas Rana, assistant deputy editor at The Hill Times and Party Central columnist.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Labour Minister Kellie Leitch, ITK President Terry Audla, Laureen Harper, and local Ottawa photographer Michelle Valberg.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
ITK President Terry Audla and Labour Minister Kellie Leitch.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
A platter of smoked fish.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Conservative MP Colin Carrie.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Seal hash martinis.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
NDP MP Dennis Bevington, who represents the Western Arctic, N.W.T., and Chris Farris.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
ITK President and National Inuit Leader Terry Audla.
The Hill Times photograph by Cynthia Münster
Beatrice Dear entertains the crowd.