Roundup: Fictional carbon taxes

The first day back in the Commons, and all anyone can talk about is whether or not the NDP was proposing a carbon tax. Which they weren’t. But hey, why not use this hysteria as a distraction from actual debate? Van Loan laid out what the plans were for the fall – new budget implementation bill, which will likely include changes to MP pensions, RCMP bill, more tough on crime measures – but the Lawful Access bill was notably absent. Amidst the whole Conservative/NDP carbon tax vs. cap-and-trade punch and counter-punch, economist Stephen Gordon lays out the economic differences between the two.

Oh noes! Government backbenchers are showing a bit of backbone and having independent thought. We The Media must immediately crush this by writing “IS STEPHEN HAPRER LOSING CONTROL OF HIS CAUCUS?” stories.

It looks like the Conservatives have finally come to their senses and are going to send their Senate “reform” bill to the Supreme Court for a reference – where it will no doubt be smacked down for being unconstitutional and trying to impose unilateral change without the input of the provinces. And yes, the Liberals are pointing out that they wanted this to happen five years ago. Apparently this is way of trying to be “incremental” to avoid opening the constitution, but sorry – radically reshaping one of the three branches of Parliament with no actual end goal in mind is not something that can be done without the amending formula.

The House has voted to waive privilege on the Auditor General’s correspondence with the Commons committee clerks – but Scheer warns that it’s not a precedent.

Poor Pat Martin – has to start using the word “allegedly” when he makes wild accusations. To top it off, Charlie Angus is afraid people will be afraid to speak up – but if he’s any example, they won’t be afraid of calling people names.

Thomas Mulcair is equivocating around the Sherbrooke Declaration a bit more these days.

Italy is now handling our interests in Iran.

Martha Hall Findlay wants to run for the Liberal leadership again – once she’s paid off her debt from her last run. Hall Findlay and putative candidate David Bertschi say the rules favour sitting MPs (err, which they should, considering that the leadership should actually be determined by the caucus in the first place as opposed to this frankly boneheaded “supporter” idea).

Stephen Woodsworth is trying to gain last-minute support for his doomed motion on redefining when life begins. And remember – it’s not a bill, it’s a motion to have a committee debate it, and Harper has already declared this is going nowhere.

Candice Hoeppner is now Candice Bergen – her maiden name. And, she’s not this Candice Bergen, and she knows all the Murphy Brown jokes.

And over in Quebec, the new PQ government took down the Maple Leaf from the National Assembly – but they still had to swear their oath to the Queen. Aww, bless.