Roundup: Media as government whip

The fact that a couple of Liberal backbenchers are expressing reservations about the government’s proposed tax changes to private corporations has journalists salivating about caucus divisions – again.

Never mind that we’ve seen several examples of MPs going against the government in this current parliament – sometimes en masse (like with the genetic privacy bill), and time after time, Justin Trudeau doesn’t rise to the bait, and yet We The Media continue to try to make an issue out of it. Never mind that backbenchers holding their own government to account is how things are supposed to work in a Westminster system, because that’s their job as MPs, the media tends to remain focused on this narrative that all MPs should be in lockstep with their leadership, especially when they form government. No. That’s not true at all. And yet, Power & Politics spent several blocks on this very notion, especially with the interview with MP Wayne Long (not that there was sufficient pushback against Long’s positions, especially because lower tax rates for self-incorporation are not supposed to be a reward for risk, nor did his assertions about these tax rates being responsible for the current economic growth make any logical sense). What was notable in the eyes of the producers was that a government MP was going against the grain, and that needs to be An Issue.

As for Bill Morneau, he seems to have finally clued in that his communications plan for these changes has been nothing short of an omnishambles and is promising better information out this fall as consultations wrap up, but it’s almost too late at this point, considering the loads of utter nonsense coming out from the business community and how much traction it’s getting.

Good reads:

  • Justin Trudeau had a call with Aung San Suu Kyi about the situation with Rohingya Muslims in her country.
  • Trudeau will also head to the UN General Assembly next week, and brushed off yet more questions about his Christmas vacation spending.
  • It looks like we’ll have to keep waiting for a decision on a peacekeeping mission, and may not qualify to attend a peacekeeping conference we’re hosting in November.
  • Testimony in the health committee studying the marijuana legislation is calling for more public health campaigns to warn of the dangers to teenaged brains.
  • The government may be considering new amendments to Bill S-3 that will satisfy both the Senate and the courts.
  • Senator Beyak spouted more nonsense about First Nations in Canada, and we probably should stop giving her too much more attention.
  • Here’s some parsing of that census data on median incomes that was released yesterday, and why it’s rosier in some parts of the country than others.
  • Dean Del Mastro lost his appeal on elections spending charges, and is headed back to jail. Stephen Maher has more about the whole saga here.
  • Here is an intriguing look at just what obligations the government owes Canadians stranded in disaster zones, especially when they were warned beforehand.
  • Hundreds of NDP members got extra leadership ballots. Oops.
  • Chantal Hébert looks at some Quebec NDP MPs threatening to leave if anyone other than Guy Caron is chosen, and how that might breathe life into the Bloc.
  • Terry Glavin cribs the NDP leadership contest with an eye to the problems of left-wing anti-Semitism, and how Jagmeet Singh is rejecting those voices.
  • Andrew Coyne finds himself unable to find the “positivity” that Andrew Scheer promised when he was made leader.

Odds and ends:

Kady O’Malley collects the tweets remembering Allan MacEachen.

One thought on “Roundup: Media as government whip


    Chantal Hébert’s op-ed’s big final assertion although he can maybe hope to win in places like Outremont, Pierre Nantel’s Longueuil riding immune to Trudeau the Younger is based incorrectly on NPD narrowly beating the Bloc by 703 votes there in 2015? Just looking around at the current non-Liberal South Shore ridings such as Longueuil or Boucherville—Verchères or Beauharnais—Valleyfield, they were pretty narrow defeats for them in 2015.

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