Dec 10 2013 — Don Lenihan — National Newswatch — There is an old debate in politics over the “Great Man” theory of history. In this view, history is made by individuals who amass power and then have the foresight to use it to change the course of events for the better. Thus Abraham Lincoln ended slavery and John A Macdonald founded a country. Both can fairly be counted as Great Men.
Dec 7 2013 — Don Lenihan — National Newswatch — Michael Chong says the main goal of his Reform Act is to restore MPs' ability to represent their constituents in the House of Commons. While there's been lots of debate over whether the bill can reverse thirty years of centralization, everyone seems to take for granted that, if it did, MPs' could just reclaim this traditional role. I disagree. Over the last 30 years policymaking has changed in ways that have all but eclipsed this role for good-and not just because of centralization.
Dec 4 2013 — Don Lenihan — National Newswatch — Give the corporal back his tunic. New Brunswick RCMP Cpl. Ronald Francis should be allowed to smoke marijuana during working hours. Francis has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and has been granted medical permission to use marijuana to treat his condition. Because this is legal, he believes the RCMP should let him light up while on duty.
Dec 4 2013 — Lorne Gunter — National Newswatch — Two more senators — one Tory, the other Liberal — appear to have been drawn into the Senate expenses scandal. Noel Kinsella, a Tory senator appointed by Brian Mulroney and now the upper chamber’s speaker, and Pierrette Ringuette, a Liberal appointed by Jean Chretien, both represent New Brunswick. Both have lived in Ottawa for more […]
Dec 3 2013 — Alice Funke — National Newswatch — Whoa. At this rate, the Michael Chong #ReformAct bill could be adopted unanimously before it’s even tabled in the House! A commentariat gravely worried about party group-think has shown itself all-too-ironically-susceptible to the very same affliction, as one columnist after another trips over himself or herself to jump in front of the parade. Things have […]
Dec 3 2013 — Frances Russell — National Newswatch — Blame it on the Liberals. In August 1919, the Liberals, out of office and mourning the death of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, impulsively imported an American political form into Canada. They opted for a delegated, party-wide leadership convention that blended the party’s grassroots with MPs, creating a hybrid American-Presidential/Congressional/Parliamentary government and caucus. That convention chose the […]
Nov 30 2013 — Don Lenihan — National Newswatch — There’s an old saying that information is power. If I have it and you don’t, I’ve got a leg up on you, right? Well, actually, no. As politicians and bureaucrats are learning—often the hard way—the reverse is at least as likely to be true: real power calls for openness and transparency, not secrecy. The Senate scandal leaps to mind. Everyone now agrees that if the PMO had just let the Senate enquiry take its course, it would all be behind them.