Roundup: Loyalty and tight lids on issues

On the continuing Mark Warawa “muzzling” drama, the appeal to the Procedure and House Affairs subcommittee on private members’ business met in camera yesterday, and we should find out their decision this morning. Warawa himself does his best to appear loyal to the PM, and doesn’t want to place the blame for this all on him. Aaron Wherry takes note of the circular logic that the NDP seem to employ when it comes to this debate – how it’s bad that the government muzzles, and yet they should absolutely keep the abortion debate under a tight lid. Bruce Cheadle looks back at caucus divisions over the abortion issue among the past governments of the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives. Chantal Hébert sees the possible seeds of a leadership challenge being sown in this Warawa drama. Andrew Coyne (quite rightly) points to the bigger questions of our parliamentary democracy that are at stake by the heavy hand of the leaders’ offices.

Elections Canada tabled their report on legislative changes they’d like to see to help combat future instances of misleading robocalls during elections. Some of those include the power to compel witnesses to testify, and much stiffer penalties for those found in violation of the rules.

During a photo op to announce the passage of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, Idle No More protesters interrupted Bernard Valcourt during his presentation – and then a scrap broke out between Pam Palmeter and the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation representative.

The Speaker has rejected a claim of privilege by NDP MP Pat Martin about the fact that the previous two governments haven’t reported to the House the results of the Justice Department vetting new laws for Charter compliance. Speaker Scheer’s reasons are in large part because the matter is currently before the Courts, and he doesn’t want to interfere with that.

The CBC has a look at drug seizures at Canadian borders since 2007, which are on the rise, and budget cuts to CBSA threaten the work that they’re doing.

While the NDP keeps talking about upgrading bitumen in Canada rather than shipping it south via the Keystone XL pipeline, here is a post that reappeared on my feed last night that crunches the numbers for what that would actually cost – and it doesn’t actually make a whole lot of economic sense.

It was Bob Rae’s last day in the House as interim leader yesterday, though he’s still staying on as an MP – at least until the next election, and we’ll see what happens then. He promises not to be “crazy Uncle Bob” that will come down out of the attic to make speeches to the kids – which is too bad, because sometimes the parties need that, and it’s part of what makes him a great MP. Jonathan Kay writes about Rae’s second act in life, and how he saved the Liberals after Ignatieff’s flameout.

Meanwhile, in the leadership campaign, Justin Trudeau was at the Empire Club in Toronto touting how the Liberals were the “pragmatic” alternative between the other two parties on the ideological fringes (although one wonders who much ideology is left as they abandon more and more of it in favour of crass populism). Joyce Murray says that “progressives” will cooperate because that’s what Canadians want. Canadians also want ponies, but that’s not going to happen either.

Glen McGregor crunches the numbers on the favoured topics during Members’ Statements. It seems the Conservatives’ favourite topic is the NDP – go figure.

Here are the three things you need to see from last night’s political shows, including a good breakdown of that Elections Canada report.

And Steve Murray wonders what other backbench opinions are being muzzled by political party leaders  – complete with handy pie charts.