Monday, Nov. 24, 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
Monday, November 24, 2014
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
Shootings at the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill, Oct. 22, 2014: in photographs Oct. 27, 2014

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

At 9:52 a.m., the first calls came in of shots fired at the National War Memorial. Five people tried to save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's life who was standing guard at the National War Memorial. He later died of gunshot wounds.

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

The people who tried save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's life were later identified as Margaret Lerhe, a nurse on her way to work at the Elizabeth Bruyere Hospital; another corporal, a soldier, National Defence employee and former Naval officer Martin Magnan; and lawyer Barbara Winters who told Cpl. Cirillo that his family loved him while he lay dying.

The Hill Times photograph by Kate Malloy

People running from Parliament Hill shortly after the gunfight in Centre Block where gunman Michael Zihaf-Bibeau was shot dead by House Sgt.-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, House security officers, and the RCMP.

The Hill Times photograph by Chris Plecash

The Parliament Buildings from Metcalfe Street.

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

Police pictured at the corner of Metcalfe and Slater streets in Ottawa later in the day on Oct. 22.

The Hill Times photograph by Denis Drever

Liberal Sen. Jim Munson in a lockdown in Room 257 East Block doing a media interview.

The Hill Times photograph by Denis Drever

NDP MPs, staffers, and others locked down in Room 257 East Block, watching the events unfold on one small laptop.

The Hill Times photograph by Kate Malloy

NDP MP Wayne Marston, pictured shortly after running from Parliament Hill.

The Hill Times photograph by Chris Plecash

More police officers on Metcalfe Street, just down the street from Parliament Hill.

The Hill Times photograph by Kate Malloy

Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott does a media interview on Metcalfe Street.

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

A tourist who witnessed the shooting talks to police shortly after Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot.

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

More police officers on Metcalfe Street.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

Police on Sparks Street outside The Hill Times' office.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

Police on the Hill shortly after the shooting.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

NDP MPs Rosane Doré Lefebvre, far left, Hélène Laverdiere, and NDP MP Charlie Angus, pictured shortly after the shooting on the Hill and the National War Memorial.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

Journalists and others leaving Parliament Hill, shortly after the shooting.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

Reporters on Sparks and Metcalfe streets.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

The media on Sparks at Metcalfe streets.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

CTV Hill reporter Richard Madan and CBC Radio reporter Susan Lunn.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

NDP MP Charlie Angus does an interview on Metcalfe Street later in the afternoon.

The Hill Times photograph by Kate Malloy

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, pictured that evening, addressing the nation about the shocking killing of a soldier killed at the National War Memorial and later the killing of the man in a gunfight in Centre Block.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

The next day in the Hot Room, the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Gallery clerks Collin Lafrance and Normand Gagnon.

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

Flowers the next morning, Oct. 23, at the National War Memorial.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

People bring flowers to the War Memorial the day after, Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

A woman bringing flowers is escorted by police to the National War Memorial on Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

People pay their respects at the National War Memorial on Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Conservative MPs Mark Warawa and Scott Reid return to the Hill the day after the shootings.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Conservative MP James Bezan, parliamentary secretary to the minister of national defence, is interviewed the following day, Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

An RCMP officer stands guard on Parliament Hill on Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Police pictured outside the Chateau Laurier Hotel the following day, Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Justice Minister Peter MacKay, pictured in the Commons foyer on Oct. 23, taking questions from reporters.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Minister of State for Small Business Maxime Bernier, being scrummed on Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Parliamentary Press Gallery clerk Normand Gagnon, pictured on Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

House Sgt.-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, pictured on Oct. 23 in the Speaker's Parade. Mr. Vickers is being credited as the one whose bullets killed gunman Michael Zihaf-Bibeau who stormed the Centre Block with a hunting rifle.

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

NDP MP Paul Dewar, pictured, and many other MPs, visited the National War Memorial the following day, Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Just outside the Library of Parliament, where Michael Zihaf-Bibeau was finally shot and killed after a gunfight in Centre Block.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Broken glass inside the Centre Block after the gunfight.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

More broken glass in the Centre Block after the gunfight.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Former Reform Party leader Preston Manning was on Parliament Hill on Oct. 23, the day after the shooting.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

The Wire Report reporter Peter Henderson, pictured on Oct. 23, doing an interview with CNN. He had been locking up his bike on Sparks Street on the morning of the shooting at the National War Memorial and was one of the first reporters on the scene.

The Hill Times photograph by Chris Plecash

An Ottawa Police officer gives the thumb's up standing near the National War Memorial, the day after the shootings on Oct. 23.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE