QP Live: Stephen Harper might be distracted

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Adrian Wyld/CP

Adrian Wyld/CP

Stephen Harper leaves the country for a paltry few days, and everything unravels. The PM took care of business in Europe, where he emerged as perhaps Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic, bar none, and returned to petty party fighting in a Toronto suburb. Harper dismissed Dimitri Soudas, his personal pick as executive director of the Conservative Party, after Soudas and MP Eve Adams allegedly acted inappropriately as the latter sought the party nomination in Oakville North-Burlington. Harper’s now called for an internal investigation of Adams’ role in the whole affair.

Problems persist down the hall from the House of Commons, in what’s known as Parliament’s Red Chamber. Yesterday, Tory Sen. Nicole Eaton said she opposes an elected Senate, the very condition on which Harper claims to have appointed all of his appointees—that includes Eaton, a vaunted philanthropist and party fundraiser. She says that was never part of the deal.

Today, Harper might relish the opportunity to face down his opposition across the floor. Probably, that’s less taxing than anything else on his to-do list. Which, given the consistent tenacity of the NDP and Liberals, is saying something.

Who to watch

Stephen Harper, if he shows up to the Commons. Keep an eye on his mood, as he deals with internal party squabbling.

In the news

Canada’s deputy finance minister, Michael Horgan, will retire. A Harper ally, Guy Giorno, investigated Soudas.

Maclean’s is your home for the daily political theatre that is Question Period. If you’ve never watched, check out our primer. Today, QP runs from 2:15 p.m. until just past 3. We livestream and liveblog all the action.

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