Ottawa Scene

Back to whatever passes for work among the parliamentary democrats in Ottawa

Jan 26th, 2014 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: Ottawa Scene

On one theory at least, what goes on in Canada’s federal parliament is crucial to the vitality of our parliamentary democracy. Whatever else, it forms a convenient framework for professional media coverage of Canadian federal politics. And on an old (and now almost certainly obsolete) Anglo Central Canadian theory, hockey and federal (or as some [...]



Will the real Prime Minister Stephen Harper ever stand up?

Aug 27th, 2013 | By Randall White | Category: Ottawa Scene

Just over a week ago we heard that “Proroguing Parliament till October buys Harper and Tories time … The restart effectively gives Mr. Harper two high-profile opportunities … to sell Canadian voters on the notion he is still the person to lead the country.” The first opportunity is “a Speech from the Throne that will [...]



Is doing anything sensible with the Senate of Canada just a vain fantasy?

Jun 2nd, 2013 | By Randall White | Category: Ottawa Scene

I have now collected 32 recent press articles on Senate reform in Canada, and the current senator expenses scandal in Ottawa. They start with “Canada PM calls for Senate reform amid expenses scandal” on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. They end on Friday, May 31 with : “Move to elected senate, says former Liberal leader … [...]



Will Harper “step down this summer”?

Mar 10th, 2013 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: Ottawa Scene

This past Thursday Steve Paikin wrote a short “Inside Agenda Blog” on the TV Ontario website called “Why Stephen Harper May Step Down This Summer.”  The Huffington Post repeated the item in its Politics Canada section. On Friday Andy Radia on the Yahoo Canada site wrote that “Steve Paiken — a journalist for TV Ontario [...]



Joyce Murray not next Liberal Party of Canada leader .. but she may be most interesting candidate?

Jan 24th, 2013 | By Randall White | Category: Ottawa Scene

Without actually wanting to add to my colleague Frank Bunting’s recent over-effusive references to the work of Thomas Walkom at the Toronto Star, I have been drawn in spite of myself to yesterday’s further ruminations by the same authority,”Do Canada’s, or Ontario’s, Liberals matter any more: Thomas Walkom.” At least on the surface of things, [...]



Now that Alberta wants one, will Canada get a national energy policy at last?

Nov 18th, 2011 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: Ottawa Scene

It is more than 30 years since the ill-fated National Energy Program (NEP) in Canada began — and more than 25 years since it ended. So even the few in the most populous province who have bumped into the recent Vancouver Sun article headlined “Alberta premier tries to build bridges with Ontario on energy policy [...]



Happy birthday Harold Innis, on the day after the night of the Canadian constitutional long knives, 1981

Nov 7th, 2011 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: Ottawa Scene

The 30th anniversary of the day after the Canadian Night of the Long Knives — when “on November 5th, 1981, a radiant Trudeau announced the deal that had been reached with the nine provinces” and a “fuming Lévesque looked on” — has already been commemorated, at various places on and off the world wide web. [...]



Can Brian Topp do it .. just how much of a transformation in Canadian federal politics is underway anyway?

Sep 13th, 2011 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: Ottawa Scene

“Can Lloyd George Do It?” is the title of a 1929 tract by John Maynard Keynes and Hubert Douglas Henderson on the economic policy of the fading British Liberal Party of the day. (As the Duke University economist E. Roy Weintraub put it a few years ago, in commenting on a New York Times column [...]



What if Canadian Senate reform also became a way of recognizing Québécois nation in a united Canada?

Jun 27th, 2011 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: Ottawa Scene

Last Tuesday, June 21, 2011, the new Harper majority government’s Bill C7, the Senate Reform Act, had its first reading — not all that long, as it turned out, before the new 41st Parliament of Canada (following “the longest filibuster in Canadian history over back-to-work legislation”) — ran for the exits and the annual summer [...]



Harper majority government’s new Senate reform adventures starting to look just too absurd?

Jun 16th, 2011 | By Randall White | Category: Ottawa Scene

[UPDATED JUNE 20]. More than two weeks ago, the lovely Althia Raj warned that trouble for the latest Stephen Harper step by step Senate reform adventures was brewing among the new Tory majority in the unreformed Senate of Canada itself (“Conservative senators balking at Senate reform agenda: sources”). Now a fresh wave of similar reports [...]