So, it’s looks like Pauline Marois is going to attempt to form a minority government in Quebec – assuming that she can get the confidence of the National Assembly. But hey, it was far from the wipe out of the Quebec Liberals that some were predicting, and it was fairly close in seat count – within four seats at writing time. (If you want to use the flawed metric of the popular vote, it was even closer, but again, it’s a flawed metric that isn’t actually measuring what you think it is). Jean Charest did lose his own seat, and we’ll see who runs to replace him as party leader once he steps down (which is likey to be announced soon). I’ve already heard rumours that MP Denis Coderre could be interested, for what it’s worth. Also, it’s worth noting that there is really no mandate for a new referendum – sovereignty is polling at an all-time low, and the mandate between the PQ and Quebec Solidaire is far less than the 40 percent that the previous PQ government felt would be necessary to even broach the topic. So, small favours. Stephen Harper, incidentally, is looking forward to working on their shared goals – like jobs and the economy.
And then things went crazy. Marois was pulled off-stage during her victory speech as apparently a man in a blue bathrobe entered the back of the theatre, shot two people and set a fire on his way out. He was quickly arrested and apparently shouted “Les anglais se réveillent” or “The English are rising” as he was loaded into the car. One person was shot and killed, another treated for shock, and the fire was quickly doused, and things were under control in short order. It was turned the tenor of the coverage around in a flash.
(As an aside, it was appalling listening to talking heads on the news not comprehending how elections work and a government is formed. Until the incumbent tells the Lieutenant Governor/Governor General to that he or she is resigning as premier/PM, that incumbent gets first shot at forming a new government and attempting to test the confidence of the Chamber. There appeared to be zero understanding of some of these basic lessons in Responsible Government last night. Zero. Appalling lack of civic literacy.)
Bob Rae says that the federal Liberals need to be a strong federalist voice for the country. He also says he won’t make leadership candidates give up their critic portfolios (probably because there aren’t enough MPs to spare). I’ll also take issue with his determination that adding more seats to the Commons is “crazy.” I would argue that we actually need even more – more MPs means fewer cabinet post rewards to go around, which makes for backbenches more willing to speak out because they know they’re not getting a cabinet post no matter what. That’s actually better for democracy in the long run.
According to exchanges obtained under Access to Information, DND and Public Works really didn’t like the Auditor General’s report on the F-35 procurement process and haven’t backed down.
Kady O’Malley digs deeper into that loophole that allowed Anne McGrath to register as a lobbyist despite not having waited out a five-year cooling off period. Tony Clement’s office believes she’s flouting the law, even though as written there is that loophole.
The Conservatives will be going after the NDP over a “carbon tax” – err, except that the NDP are talking cap-and-trade, which is what the Conservatives used to want champion as well.
The Hill Times talks about the calculus of selecting a new Chief of Defence Staff.
And the NDP have their eyes on gains in Toronto during electoral boundary redistribution.