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.
In Canada, MPs, and MLAs are compelled to be team players under their coach’s thumb.
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.
Both John Diefenbaker and Stephen Harper were born in Ontario. Both moved to the Prairies and became prime ministers.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The two solitudes have grown further apart as more French Canadians outside of Quebec have intermarried, assimilated, and lost their facility in French.
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.
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.’
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.
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.
Canada’s Parliament would benefit from having a fixed number of seats, as does the United States House of Representatives.
On identifying with Quebecers, Tom Mulcair is better positioned to prevail than Brian Topp or Peggy Nash.
Five transformational changes have reverberated on Parliament Hill since the 1960s: globalization, the heightened status of women, bilingualism and Quebec’s assertiveness, the growth of provincial capacities, and technological innovations.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela visited Ottawa in May 1992. The honorary Canadian who helped end apartheid in his country died on Dec. 5 at 95 years old. Governor General David Johnston said, "When history speaks of the very best examples of humanity, we will speak of Nelson Mandela." He's pictured here with former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney.