Roundup: The Quebec decision

There’s an election in Quebec today, and the pundit class are calling for a PQ victory, despite all of those usual caveats that we don’t trust polls, especially after what happened in the Alberta election. Curiously, the Quebec Liberals are calling for police investigations into what they call illegal robo-calls being made yesterday. Thomas Mulcair is downplaying the potential strife between his “federalist” Quebec caucus and a PQ government.

A plane hired by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) that was carrying a banner that read “Steven Harper Hates Us” in French, was grounded after the RCMP may have been a bit overzealous about it entering restricted airspace. PSAC and the pilot say that the RCMP were concerned the banner was “hate speech,” which the RCMP deny. Note that there weren’t any charges laid, and this “Stephen Harper hates me/us” campaign has been going on from PSAC for weeks now without any particular issue (other than it’s kind of infantile). Incidentally, PSAC has gone on to endorse the PQ in the Quebec election, which is kind of odd, considering that they represent federal public servants, but “they don’t take a position on sovereignty.” Note that back in 2006, then PSAC president and now “federalist” NDP MP Nycole Turmel also endorsed the Bloc.

The Liberals and NDP are holding caucus meetings over the next three days, the Liberals in Montebello and the NDP in St. John’s. This time around the NDP have settled their leadership, while the Liberals are just now ramping up their contest.

Nathan Cullen warns that the Conservatives will pay a political price if they introduce another omnibus budget bill in the fall. I’m sure that Jim Flaherty is duly chastened and quaking in his boots right now.

Jack Layton’s former chief of staff, Anne McGrath, is now a registered lobbyist – a move that exposes a huge loophole in the whole Conflict of Interest laws that her party was very insistent upon, as she doesn’t need to wait out the five-year cooling-off period. So long as one isn’t violating the letter of the law and just the spirit, apparently it’s justifiable.

The Northern Gateway pipeline Joint Review Panel is trying to have some of Enbridge’s proposed voluntary safety measures be made mandatory, hopefully by Cabinet directive.

With heightened speculation as to whether or not Justin Trudeau is entering the Liberal leadership race, the party’s national membership secretary is talking about how important the new “supporter” class of membership will be to the contest. You know, the mechanism by which anyone can vote for the leadership by simply declaring that they’re totally not a member of another party? The system which devalues actual party membership and erodes leadership accountability pretty much entirely for the sake of “shock and awe” numbers for those who voted for the new leader? Good luck with that.

And Liberals, New Democrats and Greens in Calgary Centre feel that Joan Crockatt can be beaten in a by-election, the NDP even boasting that they’re best positioned to take the riding. You know, despite not really having a well-developed grassroots organisation, or a history of provincial support in that riding like Linda Duncan has in Edmonton Strathcona.