None of the opposition’s attacks of the week has made much headway, nor have they run their course. They don’t like the government’s approach to electoral reform. They don’t like the government’s deference to spy agencies that stand accused of snooping around the lives of innocent Canadians. They don’t like that Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed senators who face charges. They don’t like the government’s approach to cost cutting at Veterans Affairs Canada. And they probably don’t much trust the government when its ministers launch a new approach to military procurement.
Part of the reason the opposition hasn’t made much headway? The Tories are sticking to their talking points rather effectively. Pierre Poilievre, the Democratic Reform Minister who’s selling the government’s electoral reform bill, confidently defended his legislation during yesterday’s QP, deflecting opposition queries with poise—and with responses tailored to each of the bill’s details. The governing party is weakest on vets’ affairs, but as other issues come to the fore, the government’s shuttering of several veterans’ service centres fades into black. The issue could come roaring back, were a strong enough hook provided. But the opposition’s scattered attention ensures a little less daily pressure on Vets’Affairs Minister Julian Fantino.
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No minister has the opposition’s singular attention, though Poilievre, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, and Fantino are all sharing the spotlight.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014