Accidental Deliberations: You may not have noticed, but…

…the first vote on budgetary policy in Canada’s new Parliament took place on Wednesday, with the parties taking their positions on the Libs’ budget subamendment. And it may make for an interesting signal as to who’s willing to work together in providing an alternative to the Cons that the NDP (along with Elizabeth May) voted ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Gerald Caplan has a modest suggestion to ensure the Senate doesn’t do any more avoidable harm to Canada’s democracy: That we have no need for a second house of Parliament of any kind is the first proposition here; in today’s world, no persuasive case for such a chamber, elected ...

Accidental Deliberations: Worth discussing

One of the few times when the NDP has always been able to count on pundit attention in the past has been its policy conventions, when commentators often churn out an easy column or post by gleefully mocking some of the resolutions put forward for debate. So now that the resolutions for the Cons’ convention ...

Accidental Deliberations: On incomplete reporting

Yes, it’s a problem if the Cons are giving different answers about climate-change policy to different audiences. But I’m not sure how the difference between federal action making next to no difference and its making even less than that makes for a more significant story than the prospect that each set of numbers from the ...

Accidental Deliberations: On destructive suggestions

Lest there be any doubt, one of the most important ways an opposition party can have influence in a majority Parliament is by choosing issues to highlight, thereby creating a perceived safe space for the governing party to act if it so chooses. Which is to say that now might be a great time for ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Chantal Hebert points out that the biggest difference resulting from the NDP’s emergence as Canada’s official opposition may have to do with gender rather than age: A lot has been written and said about the youthfulness of the new Parliament but at first glance, it is the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Just wondering…

…but can anybody else remember a case of proportional representation being used as a boogeyman outside of an actual electoral reform referendum? I ask only because Peter MacKay’s plea to keep the Cons’ party constitution as is seems to go way over the top in assuming that party supporters will consider it a disastrous possibility ...

Accidental Deliberations: On accountability

Aaron Wherry picks up on a new theme in the Cons’ rhetoric on health care. But since it seems to be drastically out of step with their actions since taking office, let’s ask the question: how can any province be seen as “accountable” for its actions when it faces no enforcement of the rules linked ...

Accidental Deliberations: On recruitment tactics

So that’s the Cons’ long-term economic action plan… A Conservative MP recently nominated by the federal government to sit on a secretive Canada-U.S. committee on continental defence told U.S. officials he was hoping a downturn in the economy would lead to increased recruitment for the Canadian army, according to a “confidential” U.S. diplomatic cable released ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – With health care once again receiving plenty of attention on the U.S. political scene thanks to the Republicans’ plan to dismantle publicly-funded Medicare, the differences between Canada and the U.S. are once again serving as a major point of discussion. And Aaron Carroll has posted a neat ...

Accidental Deliberations: One of these things is not like the others

One of these things just doesn’t belong. See if you can spot the difference in the following single-election results – and consider what it might mean for each party’s future strategy… Vote Share Seats Provinces w Seats Provinces under 20% High Prov% Low Prov% Rebates 30.6% 103 8 2 42.9% 15.4% 306 25.5% 66 5 ...

Accidental Deliberations: On flattering comparisons

Yes, it’ll take time to break the habits that have formed over the past few years – and it may well be that the Harper Cons will continue to stonewall and distort no matter what they face from the Official Opposition. But if this turns into a consistent theme to Question Period coverage in the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Brian Topp’s initial observations on the new sitting of Parliament include this note on the Libs’ interim leader: (A)s a footnote, Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae was also interesting in these exchanges. He too noted the small sum being invested in alleviating seniors’ poverty, and asked: “Why would ...

Accidental Deliberations: On responsibility

Shorter Con instructions to ministers: If your underlings break the law based on your instructions, it’s their own damn fault for taking orders. So go nuts!

Accidental Deliberations: Burning questions

Since when does a faction of the Cons get to declare that Denise Savoie should stand down as a candidate for speaker for their own benefit? And if Lee Richardson and his supporters were genuinely concerned about Andrew Scheer’s inexperience (rather than merely wanting to make a power grab at the NDP’s expense), wouldn’t they ...

Accidental Deliberations: On dominance

Meanwhile, the obvious potential for growth in NDP support figures to have some rather important effects on the Cons’ strategy as well. After all, their current coalition of support left them little room for error even with a split opposition – and if the NDP can win over the Lib votes that figure to be ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Blogging may be on hold for the week, but columnizing isn’t. Here’s my latest, on the Cons’ disaster response and the broader question of what we expect from our elected leaders in a time of crisis.

Accidental Deliberations: Light blogging ahead

Off to a couple of undisclosed locations for the next week, with little to no blogging in the meantime. But let’s note one point worth watching as Parliament reconvenes. While I don’t think there’s much room for dispute that the Cons have tried to move Canada as far right as possible, they’ve seldom been brave ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading. – John Allemang’s profile of Jack Layton is well worth a read in full. But after a campaign where any show of support can easily be written off as a matter of party scripting, it’s well worth noting the spontaneous reaction Layton continues to generate even now that the ...

Accidental Deliberations: On consensus-building

Kady’s post on the composition and chairing of committees notes that there’s some risk the Cons could try to use their majority to rewrite the rules. But it’s worth pointing out that there doesn’t look to be much precedent for that step in recent decades. One of the first orders of business for any Parliament ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – thwap is among a few bloggers to rightly slam the Cons’ obscene message to flooded Quebeckers that the only way they can hope for help is if somebody stands to profit from it: Toews (is) justifying removing Canadian Forces from helping with the clean-up after a Quebec flood, ...