Michael Chong Day has overtaken Parliament Hill. The MP who wants to empower his colleagues by way of some serious parliamentary reform has generated quite a bit of commotion around his private member’s bill, which he tabled this morning in the House of Commons. The legislation would give local riding associations, not party leaders, the power to approve candidates’ nomination papers. The Reform Act would also provide for leadership reviews of sitting party leaders at the behest of their own caucuses.
Don’t expect to hear much about parliamentary reform during Question Period, though. The Wright-Duffy affair endures. The opposition’s questions about the sudden reappearance of a former PMO legal adviser’s emails went sufficiently unanswered yesterday, so expect more on that today. The hook, at least on the Liberal side, may be that Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault has launched a preliminary investigation into the curious case of the Perrin correspondence. That comes as a result of a complaint filed earlier this session by Liberal MP Ralph Goodale. The stink of the broader Senate expenses scandal lingers, too, with last week’s resignation of Sen. David Braley three years shy of his mandatory retirement. In September, Braley had mused with the Hamilton Spectator about quitting the upper chamber, and mentioned that the indiscretions of a few senators “tarred and feathered” the whole institution. Today, Braley told the Toronto Star his resignation “follows a natural path.”
Few good days greet the government, but its defenders soldier on. Today, they continue their fight.
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Who will feel the heat? Either the Prime Minister or his designate chosen to give voice to the government’s insistence that Stephen Harper is innocent in the Wright-Duffy affair.