Roundup: Succession and Senate consequences

University of Ottawa professor Philippe Lagassé writes the definitive look at the Crown succession bill the government introduced last week, and proves how the government and its arguments are entirely wrong about it. Australian constitutional scholar, and the authority on succession issues, Anne Twomey, writes about the bill and how it de-patriates our constitution back to Britain, as well as is a telltale sign about the lengths the government will go to avoid dealing with the provinces.

Speaking of the lengths that Harper will go to in order to avoid the provinces, regarding last week’s other big news – the Senate reference – Paul Wells notes that Harper’s plan seems to have been to try to destabilise the legislative equilibrium by pushing what small changes he could and take advantage of the resulting free-for-all – which sounds about right. Over in the Globe and Mail, there is a look at what an elected Senate under the current proposal means regarding provincial parties running candidates in a body dominated by federal parties. The result is almost certainly chaos that would be largely unworkable, reduced to issue-by-issue coalitions, grinding the legislative process to a halt. Free-for-all that a PM could try to work some additional executive powers out of in order to “break the logjam”? Don’t discount the possibility.

Ruh-roh! It seems that Senator Mike Duffy tried to get PEI to expedite a provincial healthcare card for him after he heard that the Senate wanted proof of his primary residence. Worse, he tried to call the minister directly. Yeah, that doesn’t look problematic. Not at all. Meanwhile, one of the other more…problematic Senators, Patrick Brazeau, is being accused of using his Aboriginal heritage as a free pass to criticize other First Nations.

Three of our four submarines will be operational by the end of this year. The problem now, of course, is whether or not we have enough qualified personnel to operate all of them.

Looking at the website statistics on the government’s War of 1812 page, it seems that most people didn’t get past the home page. I’d give a sad trombone if it weren’t such an indictment about how we have such a poor appreciation for history (and how the government hasn’t done a great job of selling it either).

Here is a look at the context and the legal grey zone around the “live-birth abortions” that those three rogue Conservative MPs have called in the RCMP about, and what it actually means.

There is a court case going on in BC to determine whether or not voter identification rules are too onerous and deprive people of the right to vote – concerns about voter fraud be damned.

Jennifer Ditchburn looks at some of the women in the Prime Minister’s inner circle.

Maclean’s has an extended profile of Jason Kenney, and his work to bring the ethnic vote into the Conservative fold.

Here’s an interview with recently retired Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps, who talks about a much more collegial and open Court than when she was first appointed, about the need for more women on the bench, proof that Justices can learn a second language while on the job, and life after the Court.

Laura Stone talks politics and platforms with Rick Mercer.

While Nathan Cullen and the NDP want Speaker Scheer to police the behaviour of MPs, over in the UK, Speaker Bercow wants the party leaders to enforce better discipline of their MPs.

Saturday was the Liberal leadership non-debate in Winnipeg. Aaron Wherry offers a quasi-liveblog, John Geddes gives his thoughts on the laid-back format and performances, Susan Delacourt notes the protester was the biggest excitement of the event, and Michael Den Tandt likened the whole affair to a genteel coffee klatch where criticising Trudeau is now forbidden.

Here are the three things you need to see (and hear) from the weekend’s political shows, both television and radio.

And Scott Feschuk finds ten more odd things about the new $20 banknotes.