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Maclean’s on the Hill: Fighter jets, electoral reform, fundraising

Two cabinet ministers, Harjit Sajjan and Maryam Monsef, join the podcast to defend their plans for military procurement and a new voting system


 

podcast

Each week, the Maclean’s Ottawa bureau sits down with Cormac Mac Sweeney to discuss the headlines of the week. This week, fighter jets took the spotlight as the Trudeau government announced plans to buy 18 Super Hornet jets on an interim basis. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joins the podcast to discuss his strategy—and reveals the government may be buying more jets than we originally thought.

Next, we hear from the author of a new book, which argues military procurement in Canada is a mess which needs to be cleaned up. Kim Richard Nossal is a professor of political studies at Queen’s University, and the author of a new and timely book. It’s called Charlie Foxtrot: Fixing Defence Procurement in Canada.

Just days before a committee is set to release a key report on the Trudeau government’s promise to change Canada’s federal voting system, Democratic institutions Minister Maryam Monsef appears to leave a sliver of hope for those pushing for a referendum. Monsef is on the podcast to talk about what’s on the table.

And finally, Maclean’s Ottawa bureau chief John Geddes joins Cormac to break down the cash-for-access fundraising fiasco that has flooded the Prime Minister and his inner circle with criticism.

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The full episode



Part 1. Harjit Sajjan defends his fighter jet plan

A Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornet breaks away from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, after competing refueling, March 4, 2015, over Iraq. The Hornets are on a mission to strike Da'esh targets in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Perry Aston/RELEASED)

A Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornet breaks away from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, after competing refueling, March 4, 2015, over Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Perry Aston/RELEASED)

This week, fighter jets took the spotlight as the Trudeau government announced plans to buy 18 Super Hornet jets on an interim basis. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joins the podcast to discuss his strategy—and reveals the government may be buying more jets than we originally thought.



Part 2. Military procurement is a long-term mess

Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.  (Matthew Otero/AP)

Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. (Matthew Otero/AP)

We hear from the author of a new book, which argues military procurement in Canada is a mess which needs to be cleaned up. Kim Richard Nossal is a professor of political studies at Queen’s University, and the author of a new and timely book. It’s called Charlie Foxtrot: Fixing Defence Procurement in Canada.



Part 3. Will Canadians vote on a new voting system?

Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef answers a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. (Adrian Wyld/AP)

Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef answers a question in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. (Adrian Wyld/AP)

Just days before a committee is set to release a key report on the Trudeau government’s promise to change Canada’s federal voting system, Democratic institutions Minister Maryam Monsef appears to leave a sliver of hope for those pushing for a referendum. Monsef is on the podcast to talk about what’s on the table.



Part 4. Fundraising in Ottawa is the wild west

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves the stage following a discussion on women's leadership, Thursday, November 24, 2016 in Monrovia, Liberia. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves the stage following a discussion on women’s leadership in Monrovia, Liberia. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Maclean’s Ottawa bureau chief John Geddes joins Cormac to break down the cash-for-access fundraising fiasco that has flooded the Prime Minister and his inner circle with criticism.


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Maclean’s on the Hill: Fighter jets, electoral reform, fundraising

  1. Having listened to the broadcast interview with democracy Minister Maryam Monsef, the most important issue was not discussed, namely ensuring effective democratic electoral reform, to engage people, and reduce the cynical turn-off from politics. She even said, at one point, words to the effect, that the best method was not a concern.
    But in election method, you either get the right method, or any number of wrong, feeble and ineffective methods open to mischief (as HG Wells said in The Elements of Reconstruction, 1916).
    In the UK, Roy Jenkins thought he could make do with a (botched) ersatz version of STV, called AV Top-Up, a form of MMP, because PM Blair privately would not give his commission the Single Transferable Vote. The Canadian Special Committee is a similar body of poachers adjudicating on game-keeping.
    As to a referendum, Wells said election method is not a matter of opinion but of demonstration. All you will get from a referendum is a measure of public (lack of) awareness on this specialist subject, of which very few people have a clue, just as relatively few people have a clue about knitting, rocket science or any other skill. It follows that this exercise in democratic improvement is likely to be a Babes in the wood tragi-comedy.
    Also, the government seemed more concerned about meeting a time-table for 2019 elections, rather than getting the reform right. Act in haste and repent at leisure.
    In the BC Citizens Assembly, you already have the considered blueprint for reform.
    Google: ERRE>Work>Electoral Reform>Briefs) namely, BC Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform (September 23).
    Richard Lung.
    Website: Democracy Science; with links to 3 free e-books on election method: Peace-making Power-sharing; Scientific Method of Elections; Science is Ethics as Electics.

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