Here are the three things you should not have missed:
- Pulling out of the UN convention on desertification
- The report on robocall rules
- The Liberal leadership numbers
Power Play spoke with former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy, who was also a former UN Special Envoy for Ethiopia-Eritrea, about the decision to pull out of the UN convention on drought. Axworthy called it a “quirky move” that didn’t make a lot of sense, especially considering that it is a treaty about getting countries and NGOs engaged on the issue and not a humanitarian aid project. Axworthy said that the “talk” that the Conservatives are criticizing is part of international diplomacy, and that the move to make Canada more of a hermit country is not plausible or reasonable. On Power & Politics, an MP panel of Chris Alexander, Paul Dewar and John McCallum looked at the issue, where Alexander rather petulantly said the move was about cost savings and achieving better results with other programs. Dewar noted that recently the Prime Minister said good things about the very same convention, and McCallum felt that the Conservatives were using this as a test case to gauge the reaction before they started pulling out of other things.
Power & Politics spoke with an MP panel of Pierre Poilievre, Craig Scott and John McCallum to discuss the reaction to the Chief Electoral Officer’s call for legislative changes to combat improper robocalls. Poilievre was not yet sure what would be included in the government’s bill, but said he would be shocked if it didn’t pass before the next election. Scott said that codes of conduct are a good idea, but legislation is needed and he gets the sense that the government is wavering in their commitment to a bill. McCallum said he feared that the legislation would be toothless when it needs to include the substance of the report such as added investigative powers. Poilievre refusing to answer questions when Hannah Thibedeau changed topics (9:30 on the clip) was also quite a sight, as was Scott’s equivocating on why Mark Warawa’s motion was deemed non-voteable.
Don Martin spoke with Liberal Party president Mike Crawley, who said the news final tally of 130,740 eligible voters for the leadership vote was great, because it showed a huge influx of new interest in the party, and that it was the most inclusive and participatory process in the party’s history. (It’s also the least accountable, but that’s another story). Regarding the number of “supporters” who didn’t register to vote, Crawley said that they knew people would sign up as supporters for reasons besides just the leadership, but simply to get involved. When asked about Bob Rae’s time as interim leader, Crawley praised him for keeping the party relevant in the House, for bringing in supporters, and for being involved in reforming and restructuring the party’s organization.
- Jason Kenney (4:35 on the clip), noted for his anti-abortion position, declared his support for the subcommittee process that rendered Mark Warawa’s motion non-voteable.
- Senator Catherine Callbeck spoke about being the first woman elected premier in Canada, 20 years ago, and how when she first got into politics, people told her she shouldn’t be there because she is a woman.