Roundup: Wallin’s celebrity senatorial status

Senator Pamela Wallin takes the Toronto Star on a tour of her Saskatchewan hometown, and talks about her travel expenses, including the fact that it’s not easy to get to Wadena from Ottawa, and that because she’s an honorary captain in the Air Force, she has to travel to events at airbases around the country. Meanwhile, Senator Segal writes about his proposition to hold a referendum on Senate abolition as a means of getting people talking about the institution, but given the state of civic illiteracy in this country, my sense is that it’s a very dangerous proposition, and is akin to asking people if they want to remove their pancreas if they don’t know what it does. Senator McInnis thinks an elected Upper Chamber would have more “credibility,” but he doesn’t discuss any of the other consequences of such an action, including gridlock or battles over who has more “democratic legitimacy” and therefore clout. Jesse Klein writes about electoral and Senate reform while relying on meaningless emotional and romantic terms like “fairness” without paying enough attention to either current electoral realities or the actual consequences of the changes.

What’s that? Provincial NDP leaders are distancing themselves from Mulcair’s “Unity Bill”? You don’t say!

Doctors across the country accuse Leona Aglukkaq of “deliberate inaction,” some of them calling her the worse health minister ever. Obviously, her press secretary disagrees.

What’s that? Military procurement delays are at the record levels under the Conservatives’ watch? You don’t say!

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel is taking a stand against sexist Twitter trolls, which goes along with the “Madame Premier” Tumblr, aimed at naming and shaming the practice.

From the Liberal leadership debate on Saturday, Justin Trudeau and Martha Hall Findlay got a bit scrappy around the issue of class. No, really. Trudeau also fended off Garneau’s attacks about his experience and lack of concrete policy, to which Trudeau responded that one can’t win over Canadians in a press conference with a five-point plan. Hall Findlay apologised for her the perceived personal attack the following day. Michael Den Tandt writes that Trudeau keeps mysteriously dodging these punches, while crediting Trudeau’s campaign team and insisting on costed platform documents from all leadership candidates (despite the fact that platform construction is the role of the membership).

Here are the three things you need to see (and hear) from the weekend political shows – including Brad Wall’s absurd notion that the provinces have taken over the role of the Senate (which is so very wrong and civically illiterate to a worrying degree), and Charlie Angus spinning out a series of untruths about the Senate.

And hey, companies are trying to develop airships for travel in the North – because the ice roads are going to be a thing of the past with climate change, and all of that.