This morning, the federal minister for democratic reform said some nasty things about the man who oversees federal elections. The minister, Pierre Poilievre, accused the elections watchdog, Marc Mayrand, of opposing proposed government reforms because Mayrand “wants more power for himself, a bigger budget and less accountability.” The attack by a minister on an officer of parliament may have been unprecedented. It may have precedent, but is nevertheless “deeply dismaying.” Poilievre’s bill may be unconstitutional.
But if the democratic reform minister were prepared to step down his rhetoric, presumably we would have done so weeks go. This morning, his testimony at a Senate committee all but guaranteed he’d put on a one-man show during today’s Question Period. He’s inviting the best the opposition’s got. The spectacle precedes former auditor general Sheila Fraser’s appearance this evening at a parliamentary committee, where she will likely elaborate on last week’s claim that the Fair Elections Act is an “attack on our democracy.” Poilievre must want all this attention.
If that’s the case, and if the democratic reform minister so welcomes bombardment under a parliamentary spotlight, a single question remains. Why?
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