Roundup: Gross partisanship over a tragic incident

It was another day of gross partisanship yesterday as Stephen Harper decided to begin the day by, apropos of nothing while attending the funeral of Baroness Thatcher, calling out Justin Trudeau for not being equivocal enough in his condemnation of terrorism and saying that trying to understand the root causes – so as to prevent it – was somehow “rationalizing” or “excusing” it. And then, just before Question Period, one of his faithful backbenchers repeated the same point for the benefit of the House. Well, that went over well, and after Trudeau called him out over the politicisation, the NDP decided to pile on during the evening political shows and moaned that Trudeau didn’t focus enough on the victims and the first responders. No, seriously. Because apparently a tragic incident can’t escape the narrow partisanship on either side of the aisle. The various statements that were made are collected here. Susan Delacourt, meanwhile, has a fantastic blog post about where narrow partisanship and sarcasm meet over Twitter, and all reason is lost.

The Conservatives also decided to paint Trudeau as a hypocrite with regards to the fracas over temporary foreign workers by citing an application made from his own riding for a temporary foreign worker “in the restaurant industry.” Err, except it was to bring over a Chinese cook with specific experience for a Chinese restaurant, and the Liberals never said they wanted the Temporary Foreign Workers Programme shut down – simply better managed, so the cries of “hypocrisy” are a bit of a stretch.

And the Liberals? They played the partisanship game too yesterday by accusing the NDP of being “lukewarm” on the Charter – seeing as it was its 31st anniversary – as a result of their trying to pander to soft nationalists in Quebec. The NDP tried to insist that wasn’t the case, and that they helped to draft it.

NDP MP Pat Martin wants to drop references to the Queen from the citizenship oath – because he apparently doesn’t understand what the role of the sovereign is, that she embodies the state. It’s also more proof of the “respect” that the NDP claims they have for the institutions of Parliament, never mind that the Senate and the Crown are two of those three institutions, which they can’t wait to be rid of. Sounds totally respectful to me.

The government is delaying its legislation on reforming elections rules after they apparently found out there were some additional technical snags that they had to work out. Where this gets interesting are the fact that it was reported that this happened during their caucus meeting yesterday – where the text should not have been known, as untabled bills are supposed to be secret, and showing the caucus would violate that secrecy – as well as the privilege of the House.

The Mountie who used to head Harper’s security detail is being named the new ambassador to Jordan. Yes, you heard that right. Why would we need a career diplomat for that kind of position?

Here’s a look at the vetting process for official Canadian government departmental tweets. No, seriously.

Paul Wells puts the demise of the Canadian Health Council into some historical perspective, and into the context of the other federal institutions that this government has also killed, and finds the NDP’s objections to the demise curious considering that its leader voted to condemn it back when it was first established. Oops.

As Kady O’Malley suspected yesterday, Mark Warawa did indeed withdraw his motion on condemning sex-selective abortions in favour of a Private Members’ Bill on preventing convicts from serving house arrest near their victims.

Senator Mike Duffy refuses to answer questions about whether or not he’s repaid those improper housing expenses yet.

RCMP data shows that bomb squads across Canada dealt with some 982 incidents involving explosives between 2008 and 2012.

Here are the three things you need to see from last night’s political shows, and details the full progression from the Mansbridge interview with Trudeau, right through to the full Bergen/Garrison partisan meltdown.

And Paul Wells has a couple of interesting posts on the topic of attack ads – that the Conservatives consider them money well spent in a “hostile” media environment, and he recalls the Liberal response to the “Just Visiting” ads four years ago. Andrew Coyne writes that attack ads have become like Death Stars to democratic debate in this country.