Campaigns are a thick gruel of policies, people, communications, media, manipulation, money, luck, skill, events, and timing. How that political alchemy plays, and interplays, will be what determines the outcome.
Over the next few months, the parties will test and refine their communications strategies, all the while adjusting to what the other parties are, or are not, doing. Calm and reasoned discourse will be in short supply and any correlation between impact and anger has already left town.
In an era of 'politics is war,' Gord Brown and I were supposed to be enemies. We were supposed to lay awake at night and plot each other’s demise and we were supposed to see each other as an obstacle to all that was righteous. Suffice to say that never happened.
The upcoming fall session will be the start of the high stakes, high risk, gloves off combination of policy and politics that we junkies love.
While I wouldn’t expect the eventual winner of the NDP leadership race to shift the policy suite too radically in either ideological direction, the Conservative one has all the makings of a public-policy groin pull.
As year two approaches, last year’s new MPs are becoming the ‘pitcher of record’ and your re-election chances will be directly impacted by how well you do your job, and spending the past three months in your riding should have certainly reinforced the notion that there is a lot to do.
The physician-assisted suicide bill served notice to the government that a true independent Senate is rising from the ashes of the traditional party-controlled Upper Chamber, and if the Senate continues to use these newfound freedoms responsibly, it will become an extremely useful component in the legislative process. It's a whole new world.
The parliamentary secretary can and should be a valuable member of the government apparatus. However, to simply assume that everyone understands how these things are supposed to work is asking for trouble, and to compound the felony, it will be trouble that is self-inflicted. The good news is that these things can be sorted out with a combination of information and understanding.