3 min

Ground-rule turnabout

What a difference a couple of days makes.
On Monday, Nycole Turmel was all “long leashes” and she wasn’t going to make
leadership hopefuls resign their critic portfolios. That all changed yesterday
when, at the party’s Quebec City retreat, Turmel issued an edict that said the
exact opposite. Now she’s saying that leadership hopefuls have to resign their
critic roles – but deputy leaders Thomas Mulcair and Libby Davies can keep their titles because they’re just honorifics anyway. And cue the
complaints that even an honorific title might give Mulcair or Davies a
perceived advantage. But hey, this isn’t going to be an acrimonious leadership
contest at all!

Turmel, incidentally, then went on
television to say that not only is 50 percent plus one enough of a vote to
break up the country (in contravention of the Clarity Act), but she would “support”
that decision. But she’s a committed federalist, everyone!

More NDP MPs and leadership hopefuls weigh in on the math versus magical thinking of representation by population,
many continuing to insist that giving Quebec more seats won’t leave
other provinces chronically under-represented (as logic and math would suggest).

Our international trade minister was blindsided by protectionist “Buy America” provisions in Barack Obama’s jobs
bill. It’s like he hasn’t paid attention to the fairly elementary populist
politics of our largest trading partner. Remind me why he’s minister again?

In this age of austerity, even the Governor General is performing a spending review of his operations. What gets
me is that the story mentions how much the security costs of governors general
went up under Adrienne Clarkson’s tenure – you know, the era after 9/11
happened and our de facto head of state and commander in chief might just be a
target? Funny that.

Good news, everyone! Statistics Canada
says there's no problem with this year’s short
form
census! As for the “national household survey,” well, we have yet to
see how big of a cock-up and mess of unusable data that will be.

Samara’s exit-interview series of reports
continues with a call to help “professionalize” new MPs with better training
and awareness of just what their jobs are (hint: holding the
government to account by means of controlling supply, otherwise known as the
purse strings). Carleton University here in town is offering a two-day course for new MPs this weekend, but we’ll see what the uptake actually is, seeing as the Rookie Support Line doesn
t seem to exist. Meanwhile,
Andrew Potter takes a look at the “cult of the outsider,”
which Samara’s study has revealed, that has developed
among MPs and what the implications of that
mentality are for our democracy.

And Environment Canada was subject to a prank website by the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition. Again.

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