Here are the three things you should not have missed:
- The NDP’s Senate abolition motion
- Scott Clark on budget secrecy
- Responding to the death of Hugo Chavez
Power Play spoke with NDP leader Thomas Mulcair about his party’s opposition day motion on Senate abolition. Mulcair said he wanted to start the conversation around abolition with the provinces and territories before 2015, but skirted around the question of how he would deal with regional representation issues post-abolition. He also hinted that he wouldn’t appoint Senators if he became Prime Minister (but didn’t say so outright), and said he wouldn’t agree to reform proposals as his goal is abolition. In response, Minister of State for Democratic Reform Tim Uppal responded saying that his was the only party with a plan for reform, which was being clarified by the Supreme Court, and that the NDP were dodging the issue, hoping to make their own appointments. On Power & Politics, Liberal Senator George Baker schooled Evan Solomon on the utility of the Senate, and the one third of bills that they wind up amending.
Don Martin spoke with former Deputy Minister of Finance Scott Clark about his report on budget secrecy, and the accusations hurled at him in QP today that he was a Liberal partisan – which Clark denied. Clark went through the suggestions he had made to the to Minister of Finance, with things like fixed budget dates, in order to make budget process more transparent in the wake of government’s pledge for more transparency in 2006. During Martin’s MP panel, Megan Leslie pointed out that MPs have less budget information available to them, while Rodger Cuzner pointed out that even former non-partisan civil servants are attacked and dismissed if they express dissenting opinions.
After the news of the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez broke, Power & Politics reached former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien (at 0:07:40) by phone, who described Chavez as a colourful politician with whom he had cordial relations. On Power Play, Marco Vincenzino from Global Strategy Group noted the upcoming 30-day election process which would be an indication as to the path the country now takes, depending on if they are free and fair, or manipulated by the instruments of state power. NDP MP Paul Dewar noted the importance of remaining engaged with the country, and with being a strong partner in the region.
- Liberal leadership candidate Joyce Murray said she had a surge of supporters after being endorsed by David Suzuki, and likened her electoral cooperation plan to an American-style primary in certain ridings.
- Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall talked about his trip to Washington to talk up the Keystone XL pipeline.