Ides of March drama happened in the NDP
leadership campaign yesterday as Ed Broadbent pretty much came out and knifed Thomas
Mulcair in the gut, warning about his centrism and ability to keep
the party together and claiming that Mulcair is falsely claiming too much
credit for the victory in Quebec (though his own version is still pretty
fantastical). Paul Dewar joined in the knifing a little later in the afternoon.
Alexa McDonough, who supports Peggy Nash, said she doesn’t share Broadbent’s
concerns but otherwise stayed pretty clear. Meanwhile, Martin Singh has been fined $1,100 for calling Brian Topp a liar, and he’s appealing to his supporters
to pay it because those rules didn’t exist before he broke them. (Maclean’s has a Q&A with him here.)
In Robocon news, the chief electoral officer says it looks like they have 700 actual complaints of improper calls,
which is still a pretty significant number. The CBC talks to a number of people
reporting the misdirecting calls from around the country, and there is a
startling pattern that emerges wherein people who told Conservative callers
that they were not supporting the party got follow-up misdirection calls. That
likely means access to the party’s voter identification database – a database
that one former MP was uneasy about because of the level of control it allowed
the central party to have at the local riding level.
Ooh, apparently our new auditor general’s upcoming
report is going to accuse the Department of National Defence of misleading
Parliament with regard to the F-35 fighter jet program. Could this be why the government talking points have suddenly changed?
Three former clerks of the Privy Council
are warning against a hiring freeze in the public service, which will still
need to renew itself in a time of cutbacks. Hiring freezes have backfired in
the past, and they don’t want to repeat this bit of history.
The committee for procedure and house affairs
met about the whole Vic Toews/Anonymous issue, and the clerk of the House of
Commons dismissed the notion of trying to chase down Anonymous as a giant waste
of time. Will the MPs take heed? Stay tuned.
Here’s a follow-up to the story on the
cancellation of the RCMP program to help officers suffering from PTSD.
And Bob Rae has taken to YouTube to point
out the changing Conservative talking points on the F-35 fighters.