When you’ve concocted a scheme to publicly dump half your caucus, it’s bad form to high five each other in the media. Particularly if the account you’re giving isn’t entirely accurate. I have it on good authority that young Trudeau, immediately after reading a prepared statement, walked out, leaving one of his advisors behind to handle the (justifiably) enraged senators.
Which raises another point, one of loyalty and family. Many of those 32 senators – and their dedicated staff – have spent decades supporting and working on behalf of our party, and on behalf of Canadians. There are many senators that I respect and admire and many of their staff I consider friends. They deserve better than this collective cold shoulder and gleeful anti-Liberal senator bandwagoning that’s now happening over on the elected side.
Having worked in the Senate for a number of years, I have huge respect for the institution. There are many senators who play by the rules and are there to make a positive contribution to the lives of Canadians, like this one, my favourite. But there are others – and not just Conservatives – who have, at best, behaved badly. And, at worst, well, I’ll let the RCMP decide.
Today’s bold move by Justin Trudeau – kicking all his senators out of caucus and forcing them to sit as independents – is indeed bold. But also a bit short-sighted. Yes, it reduces partisanship, which is a large contributing factor to the messes that we’ve been reading about for the past year, but it also reduces efficacy. For the Liberals, while they are third party in the House and a minority in the Senate, it doesn’t matter much. But when (when, not if) Trudeau is Prime Minister, he will have a problem. Every single piece of legislation must pass the Upper House, the unelected side. To do that with a chamber of independents will be hard, if not impossible. When push comes to shove, independents will flex their political muscle. They will pass nothing that they don’t approve of, Senate traditions not withstanding.
In the short-term, the Liberal leader now has 32 formerly Liberal Senators who didn’t see this coming, and who will be majorly pissed off.
But perhaps Trudeau doesn’t care. Perhaps that Senate audit is really that damaging, and this is all a pre-emptive strike.
I spent several years living in this part of Ontario, and proudly served as a board member of a local women’s shelter. So, when I heard about what’s happening to the good folks at the Northumberland Child Development Centre, I was stunned. In the course of the last year, the provincial ministry responsible for these services changed, the funding model changed, their funding got cut by a quarter million, programs were cut, they were threatened, they were muzzled… I could go on but you get the picture.
And Premier Kathleen Wynne was MIA throughout all of this.
Tomorrow, Northumberland County Council will be voting to strip NCDC’s funding and give it to someone else. After more than thirty years of helping local families, it is shameful what the County is doing to these people. Children and fragile families will be placed needlessly placed at risk. All for the sake of politics.
We didn’t have time to talk about this on Sun TV today, sadly. Here’s my free advice to Cheri DiNovo: Stop demanding that Kathleen Wynne meet with Rob Ford. It’s not strategic in any sense. And it hurts your NDP friends at City Hall.
Here’s why Wynne is right to not meet with Ford:
– He’s admitted to smoking crack.
– He’s appears to have a significant alcohol problem.
– He’s a liar.
– He’s an international joke.
There’s more, but you get the picture. Even Tim Hudak is smart enough to stay away from Ford. A good NDP friend of mine told me it’s “stupid” for DiNovo to be doing this.
It is stupid. And it hurts the credibility of her leader and her party.
Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau. Rob Anders. Then Patrick Brown runs a marathon and tries to bill taxpayers. Last week on Sun I talked about Harper’s once iron grip on his caucus was loosening. And now Cheryl Gallant has made the news again, actively campaigning against government policy.
As we get closer to the next federal general election (just over a year and a half away!), and as rumours suggest Harper may take the proverbial walk in the snow, this is going to happen more and more. Particularly on the party’s right flank, which has never been comfortable with Harper’s moderate conservatism. Will Harper leave? Who knows. My two cents: if he fears losing – or being reduced to a minority – the next general, he just might.