This is the week that was -

This is the week that was


The NDP candidates debated in Vancouver. Amid questions about his intentions, Thomas Mulcair ruled out a coalition and promised a “strong opposition.” Gabriela Perdomo talked to Martin Singh, who endorsed Mr. Mulcair as his second choice. The candidates took to YouTube. Paul Dewar wrote to his fellow MPs, who continued to pick sides. And Ed Broadbent spoke out against Mr. Mulcair, who was endorsed by the Star.

It seemed we might learn the identity of Pierre Poutine, but the hunt continued. The innocent robocall needed defending. The House voted unanimously to give the chief electoral officer greater powers. Statistical rigour was applied. The Liberals aimed for full disclosure. The CBC detected a pattern. And suspicious calls went around the province.

Stephane Dion scorned the NDP. Lisa Raitt tabled another back-to-work bill. The parameters of Question Period were questioned. The Harper government was “forthright” about the F-35 and thus contradicted itself. And the Agenda considered the race in Toronto-Danforth.

And this week had one sketch.


This is the week that was

  1. This week also marked the ending of another ginned up “scandal”.  We learned that the robocall matter was not some “democracy destroying” episode where tens of thousands of voters were led astray by a nefarious conservative plot to “steal” an election, as the hyper-partisan leftist media suggested at the behest of their compatriots in the opposition parties.
    No.  It increasingly appears to be the work of a single wayward misfit, and the net effect appeared to be a few hundred calls that ranged from annoying to mildly confusing with not a single proven case where a voter did not vote as a result.
    An episode that has become all too familiar.

    • Two weeks, and they’ve finally settled on a strategy. 

      • Takes awhile to gather talking points when you have to sweep them up off the floor.

        • More like shovelling…:-)

    • Studiously avoided hearing any news this week, did ya Chesterson?

  2. What bothers me about all these weekly summations is the constant squabbling as an end in itself.

    Some arguments are about serious matters, some are about trivial ones….but at no point does our Parliament debate what we are doing, and where we are going as a nation.

    • That’s what the government is for.

      • The govt is for housekeeping, not defining a nation.

        • Under the historical British model you are quite right.

          But its the 20th century and we have have evolved into a quasi-American system with power centralized in the cabinet and especially the PM.

          That is what the opposition doesn’t understand.

          While they squabble and the back bench MPs squabble back at them Mr. Harper is out there doing bold things and re-defining the nation through his actions.

          The population seems him doing things. Things get done. Things get discussed. It just happens at Ops and not on the floor of the house of commons.

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  3. But make no mistake.  There was a scandal that involved tens of thousands of individuals.  It was a scandal in which the media participated in both in its creation and in studiously avoiding reporting when it came to fruition. 

    For the first time in our history, there was an organized effort, created not by some lowly misfit mind you, but by the leadership of the opposition, to inundate government bureaucrats attempting to investigate a matter with politically motivated frivolous complaints, which ranged from mere nuisance talking points about robocalls generally, to outright false allegations.  (The latter constituting the criminal offence of public nuisance under the criminal code.)  Publicly encouraging complaints by the opposition leadership was more than a grotesquely irresponsible act;  it was truly scandalous.

    The irony abounds at the notion of political parties, in complaining about widespread election abuse (that existed only their synical political minds) actually perpetrating an even greater abuse than their conjured up, fictional one.

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    •  2004 Stephen Harper is very angry with the callous disregard in which you hold a fair elections process.

    • Con talking points suffer from ADD it seems.  

    • This is not about a scandal.  This is about crimes.  The phone calls were received by citizens;were reported to EC when they occured and were known and reported on elections day to the general public via media.   The CPC has acknowledged that it is cooperating with EC in its investigation. No matter how much you choose to ignore this, the fact is that voter suppression and identity theft are crimes. Obviously these crimes are not scandalous to you but they remain punishable under the law.  . Can you provide me with a reason why you would suggest that the law may not apply here? 

  4. Disqus gone glitchy again.

    • Nope, I’m just removing pointless bickering. Make your point and move on. 

      • I said it went glitchy because it posted a comment in the wrong place.

        But while you’re at it, kindly remove the stalkers.

        • I don’t know if it’s a case of stalking. You seem to rub a lot of people the wrong way. I would recommend against simply disagreeing with everyone without presenting some facts to back up your disagreement. It’s okay you don’t have to be right about everything. And if someone bothers you just ignore them, they’ll get bored and move on. You’re only feeding the fire by responding in kind.

          • When people follow you from thread to thread to call you names, and question your sanity, it’s stalking .I generally ignore them, but eventually they become a nuisance and interfere with genuine conversation.

            I was unaware we were all supposed to agree on here. That seems unlikely on a political thread. If you want Kumbaya, you should say so.

            There is a difference between opinion and fact, and I always include a source for fact. I am guaranteed an opinion by the charter.

            You are letting Macleans be intimidated by whiners and paid attackers..

            If you wish to carry this on, you know my email addy.

          • By your definition I’ve seen you ‘stalk’ other people as well, so the blame isn’t exactly one way. I’ve deleted way to many of your “mouse” posts to make me believe that you’re completely free of guilt.

            People can disagree but it grows tiresome to see people argue the same point over and over. Nobody is going to convince the other that they are right, it’s not going to happen. You are ALL stuck in your own particular brand of partisanship, and one more reply or having the last word is not going to change that.

            This is my last response to this. Keep it civil folks.

          • @jmckinnell:disqus 

            Yes, I often take a shot back when people don’t leave me alone, even after being ignored.

            It’s the ‘shot back’  part you seem to object to.

            Perhaps it’s the beginning you should be looking at.

            I’m quite happy to be civil….as long as the same courtesy is extended to me.

  5. Rural areas of the country are over-represented.  This isn’t great for a nation over the long-run as less University educated.  IDK the magic value but 60% UE is better than 40% or whatever.  But towns do become cities.  Maybe some proportionality of the increased avg transportation costs of rural ridings vs urban, would optimally overvalue rural?  Use existing uneducation bronwie pts, and if the costs of transportation to MB interlake increase between elections vs Wpg, increase odds of favourable rural riding redraw.  The North’s transportation costs might go down too, via more hydro or more mature solar, small scale wind, battery banking…
    For the F-35, why not just have a multi-jet system like USA?  The F-35 sacrifices some maneuverability (I assume is why a CF-18 equal dogfighter), for the partial stealth (Raptor has best stealth).  The 1/2 stealth is useful for bombing AA/SAMs.  Maybe we should sacrifice this capability and try to make our own air-to-air missiles?  I assume GD and Boeing do this now.  A truly indepenpendant foreign policy would see us on the other side of the stealth equation.  It would be a nice segway to space lift of microscience satellites (that could measure peat water tables) and defense apps.
    I’d rather have the ability to amphibious assault a military unit onto that 1/2 island we have, than stealth.  Be nice to have a few Raptors.  Our jets have different permanent niches.  Arctic.  Cities post 9-11.  NATO/coalition with an airbase.  ** ** without an airbase. There out to be government employees paid to make a spreadsheet of what technologies we want. Paying to store more grain is the clumsy expensive way of mitigating a good chunk of AGW.  An infrastructure JTF2 would be nice to have.  I guess the ability to airlift heavy construction equipment, civil defense and telecom?

    • …but Toronto might be too big if doubled.  Was fine mid last decade on green belts alone.  Now without toll roads….
      There is probably an economic reason to penalize cities that get into 8-digits or whatever pollution threshhold.  Redrawing ridings would be one such penalty.