2 min

Topp and the inner circle

As you may have heard by now, Brian Topp
has declared that he will run for NDP leader. Now that this fact has been
established, I have a few questions about what will happen next. What will
become of Brad Lavigne and Anne McGrath – fellows in the cabal that was Layton’s
inner circle, who, along with Topp, recruited Layton and orchestrated his
leadership bid and his rise in the past four elections. Will they rally around
Topp? Will they stay ostensibly neutral, given that they now have Office of the
Leader of the Opposition jobs? I’m very curious to see.

Nycole Turmel says she’s going to give
leadership candidates in the caucus a long leash and won’t make them resign
their critic portfolios during the race. So we won’t see any grandstanding at
all, right?

The Canadian Press looks further into the
whole Bob Dechert affair and finds that Dechert recently passed a security
screening. Mind you, as I discovered here, cabinet security screenings tend to
involve self-disclosure by way of open-ended questions. Meanwhile, it’s not
like the Chinese have never used “honey trap” agents before, right? And it’s
not like Xinhua has ties to Chinese intelligence services either, right? Oh.

The results are in, and the majority of
 want the Canadian Wheat Board to stay just the way it is. Not that it
matters to the agriculture minister, who calls the plebiscite a “very expensive
survey” and plans to do away with it anyway, while perpetuating the fiction
that the CWB can still exist outside of its mandate as a single-desk seller
(which it cannot). But hey, democracy is good only if it gives you the answer
you want, right?

It doesn’t look like Jim Flaherty is
going to make his Sept 15 deadline for negotiating tax
harmonization “compensation” for Quebec.

Paul Wells looks at the four single white
men of Harper’s inner circle (including John Baird and Jason Kenney), and has a
few surprising things to show – like how Baird has no ambition for autonomy, or
how Kenney and Nigel Wright are unreconstructed Vatican II-reform-rejecting
Catholics. Interesting stuff.

And Kady O’Malley had an exchange over
the Twitter Machine with Tony Clement about the report that said how much Shared
Services Canada will actually end up costing. And let the record show that Clement
never actually answered any of her questions. Shared Services Canada officially
sounds like its “business plan” remains little more than a stated goal.

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