Roundup: Chagger doubles down – again

Oh, Bardish Chagger. So very earnest in her desire to try and change the Standing Orders to try and prevent the excesses and abuses of the Conservative era that she’s ready to be her most ham-fisted in order to get it done. In an interview with The West Block this weekend, she said that she wasn’t going to hand over a veto to the Conservatives about these reforms, which means she’s doubling down about ensuring that any rule changes happen by consensus, and so I guess we’ll see the filibuster carry on in committee, and yet more egregious privilege debates and various other procedural shenanigans by the other opposition parties in the hopes that she backs down. So far, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

If I had my druthers, I would tell Chagger to stick to two simple points – omnibus bills, and prorogation. And specifically, the proposal to restore prorogation ceremonies, and take those two suggestions to the opposition parties, and just get them to agree to those. Those are the only two suggestions that are workable and doable (and prorogation ceremonies are in fact something that I recommend restoring in The Unbroken Machine), because that’s rolling back a change that happened in order to “streamline” things a couple of decades ago, and it’s a necessary tool for transparency and accountability. And omnibus bill restrictions are an obvious change that anyone can see as being necessary after the abuses of the 41st parliament.

But as I’ve stated before, on numerous occasions, any other suggestion that Chagger makes in her discussion paper is unnecessary and will cause more harm than good, because the underlying changes that need to happen are cultural, not structural. The problem is that it’s hard to sell MPs on this, especially when they keep using the phrases “modernize” and “21st century workplace” as though the terms meant something. And she keeps using them. Over. And over. And over. And it’s driven me to the point of complete distraction. But because Chagger is doubling down, I have the sinking feeling that it’s going to be yet another week of apocalyptic language and procedural gamesmanship and nothing will get done. Because that’s the state of things right now, and no amount of rule changes will actually fix that.

Good reads:

  • Here’s a look at the 100th Anniversary commemoration at Vimy Ridge with the Prime Minister, and Princes Charles, William and Harry. (Photos here).
  • Here is a look back at the shifting political meaning of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
  • Here’s a good look at the particularities of Trump’s plans to renegotiate NAFTA, and strategies Canada and Mexico can employ; Trump is grousing it’s going too slowly.
  • The government has changed the rules so that Indigenous women needing to travel away from their communities to give birth no longer have to do so alone.
  • In advance of the tabling of the bill on marijuana legalization, the government has changed it so the effective date can be before July 1st, 2018, to avoid problems.
  • Bombardier can’t shake the wrath of the public after their tone-deaf compensation issues. Gosh, you think?
  • The public application form of an Ontario judge elevated the province’s Court of Appeal gives an insight into him that the public rarely sees.
  • Here is a look back at the first words uttered in the Commons by Conservative leadership candidates (well, those who were elected at some point).
  • Trevor Tombe makes the case for the new interprovincial trade agreement.
  • James Bowden gives an interesting look back at Tony Blair’s Canadian-style of governance that didn’t quite grasp what “Cabinet government” meant.
  • Kevin Carmichael gives an excellent takedown of Kevin O’Leary’s three percent GDP growth promise, and gives the government some side-eye in the process.
  • Paul Wells pens a roaring good read about how Donald Trump is a hermit trapped in the eighties.

Odds and ends:

Here’s an explanation of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.