On Aug. 16, the Tories announced the return of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force after four decades as Maritime Command and Air Command.
A Harris/Decima survey conducted for The Canadian Press found that 56 per cent of respondents agreed with the change and only 31 per cent opposed it.
The poll suggests support is consistent across ages, genders and income levels. On partisan lines, Conservatives offered 72 per cent support, but even self-declared Liberals and New Democrats showed majority support.
Regionally, there was marked disagreement only in Quebec, where 41 per cent approved of the idea and 46 per cent were against it.
Doug Anderson, senior vice-president of Harris/Decima, said the bare numbers in Quebec may conceal a deeper reality, however.
“Within the partisan scope it’s really only Bloc Quebecois supporters who are opposed to it,” he said.
“This means that actually among all the rest of the voters in Quebec who are either considering a federalist party or not considering the Bloc Québécois, there must necessarily, mathematically, be overwhelming agreement with the move.”
It fits with what I know: ordinary Liberals and New Democrats are still history-minded, whatever their politicians may or may not be.
Any non-separatist Quebeckers also understand the importance of historical institutions.
Anyway, I knew this was true based on conversations I had with friends and strangers, but it’s nice to see polling data that backs it up.
Lord of the Rings aficionados know that the evil lord Sauron paid little attention to the danger posed by two hobbits slowly struggling across the mountains and deserts of Mordor until he suddenly realized that the ring on which all his power depended was about to be hurled into the pits of Mount Doom. All at once the enemy plan became clear; what looked like stupidity was revealed as genius, and Sauron understood everything just when it was too late to act.
Jeffrey Toobin’s gripping, must-read profile of Clarence and Virginia Thomas in the New Yorker gives readers new insight into what Sauron must have felt: Toobin argues that the only Black man in public life that liberals could safely mock and despise may be on the point of bringing the Blue Empire down.
In fact, Toobin suggests, Clarence Thomas may be the Frodo Baggins of the right; his lonely and obscure struggle has led him to the point from which he may be able to overthrow the entire edifice of the modern progressive state. …
At most liberals have long seen Thomas as the Sancho Panza to Justice Antonin Scalia’s Don Quixote, Tonto to his Lone Ranger. No, says Toobin: the intellectual influence runs the other way. Thomas is the consistently clear and purposeful theorist that history will remember as an intellectual pioneer; Scalia the less clear-minded colleague who is gradually following in Thomas’ tracks.
If Toobin’s revionist take is correct, (and I defer to his knowledge of the direction of modern constitutional thought) it means that liberal America has spent a generation mocking a Black man as an ignorant fool, even as constitutional scholars stand in growing amazement at the intellectual audacity, philosophical coherence and historical reflection embedded in his judicial work.
Thomas’s intellect and his influence have also been recognized by those who generally disagree with his views. According to Akhil Reed Amar, a professor at Yale Law School, Thomas’s career resembles that of Hugo Black, the former Alabama senator who served from 1937 to 1971 and is today universally regarded as a major figure in the Court’s history. “Both were Southerners who came to the Court young and with very little judicial experience,” Amar said. (Thomas is from Georgia.) “Early in their careers, they were often in dissent, sometimes by themselves, but they were content to go their own way. But once Earl Warren became Chief Justice the Court started to come to Black. It’s the same with Thomas and the Roberts Court. Thomas’s views are now being followed by a majority of the Court in case after case.”
Well, this is something I saw years ago.
It’s nice to see others come around.
Well, if you follow Laura Payton’s Twitter feed, you know that Justin Trudeau said:
“I think if we’re serious about getting this country on the right track and reflecting the will of the vast majority of Canadians who didn’t vote for Mr. Harper, I think we have to be open to looking at different possibilities. I’m certainly not going to take anything off the table, but I’m certainly not convinced that a merger is the right thing or the way to go. I’m open to being convinced but I’m not there.”
So, there’s that.
And there’s Ignatieff’s Facebook note:
At Jack Layton’s funeral service at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, I thought, yes we are separate families, separate traditions, and yes, we’ve fought each other over the years, but now sitting together in the same hall, isn’t it obvious how much we have in common?
The words we care about —generosity, justice, hope—they care about them too. We don’t own these words and they don’t own them either. These values are bigger than all of us, bigger than our divisions and our arguments.
It was good to put the past behind us for an afternoon and imagine what the future of our country might look like if we put those values first.
That speaks volumes, too.
Of course, there’s Dr. Dawg’s reply:
@laura_payton Does the NDP even get a say in this? Good grief!
Which is fair.
Well, it’s true, they can. It’s possible.
The Tories can defeat themselves — and there’s no-one to stop them now.
I’m lazy, so I’ll just let the WordPress Twitter widget paste them in from the URL.
They’re always unpredictable beasts, aren’t they?
The Wikipedia article “Next New Democratic Party leadership election” has a table of potential candidates, with their bilingualism status highlighted.
So, here’s how it works. 25% of the votes must come from affiliated organizations — that’s to say, trade unions. But otherwise, it’s one member, one vote.
This reflects, I think, the Prairie heritage of the NDP. Westerners are always pushing for a return to OMOV in the CPC, too.
Enough procedure. How’s the horse-race looking?
NDP “insiders” say a January convention could hurt Mulcair’s chances.
An MP told The Hill Times the schedule would leave little time for Mr. Mulcair, as a former Liberal and newcomer to the NDP, to generate widespread national support.
“If we do go with a January convention he has very little time to marshal that number of people [he needs in the party] to support him,” said the MP, who did not want to discuss the leadership publicly until after Mr. Layton’s funeral. …
The connected backroomer who spoke to The Hill Times said members of Mr. Layton’s inner circle “loath” Mr. Mulcair.
“I would think that would be pretty tough, for the party to say, ‘No we’re not going to do what Jack wanted’ after all of this. I think his dying suggestion will be written in stone for the party. They will see that as something they will have to do to honour his memory and legacy,” said the New Democrat.
Another MP also expressed the view that a January convention—with nine weeks of Commons sittings from Sept. 19 until mid-December when Parliament recesses for a long Christmas and mid-winter break—could virtually kill Mr. Mulcair’s chances.
This assumes, of course, that Mulcair runs. That’s not guaranteed — if he thinks his chances are slim, he might just not throw his hat in.
Next, what about Olivia?
At the moment, Chow isn’t talking about her political future. In response to a Star email Sunday asking if she would comment on leadership plans, the Trinity-Spadina MP wrote only:
“I am looking to take a few days off to swim in a river — walk in the woods and sleep.” …
Nor surprisingly, she added in understatement: “I’m a bit exhausted from organizing the invitation list and the program of yesterday’s celebration.”
But her silence — and lack of denial on a leadership bid — is interesting.
It’s clear she has some thinking to do.
So there’s that elephant in the room.
So, what are the ground rules?
Haven’t seen the 2011 version, tho’.
Update: Does the 25% set-aside still exist?
It may not. It may be pure OMOV, by preferential ballot if by mail, or by electronic or telephone vote, live.
… not just regarding Jack Layton — though he was on all of our minds — but your general correspondent here is keeping tabs on his favourite aunt today.
My mother’s sister had a heart attack on Friday morning, and is among the living only because one of her children happened to be living at home at the time and was getting dressed for work. Had my cousin not been around to raise a hue and cry (and wake her brother who could perform CPR), my aunt would have had no-one to save her.
To put it another way — had my aunt’s heart attack been fifteen minutes later, I would be short one aunt today. (Mind you, she’s not out of the woods yet — she’s undergoing various invasive treatments at her local hospital now.)
So something — serendipity, blind luck, a touch of the Divine — kept her with us, for at least a little longer. (Hopefully a lot longer — she’s otherwise in good shape, and ought to have been good for another two or three decades.)
Anyway, Canadian politics continues. And just as public tragedy didn’t stop my interest in the horserace, neither does personal tragedy. (This may be a character flaw. But I like to think I’m a good sport in any case.)
And the NDP is preparing to choose a new Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition:
Also, in the letter that the late Mr. Layton penned in his final days, he urged the party to choose a permanent leader as early as possible in 2012. As one veteran NDP MP said Sunday, that means the contest to succeed Mr. Layton unofficially starts this week.
On Monday morning, more than 100 staffers move into interim Opposition Leader Nycole Turmel’s official workplace, so the first order of business will be ensuring phones and computers are up and running, principal secretary Brad Lavigne told the Globe.
NDP legislators will put the final touches on their strategy for the fall session at a three-day caucus meeting Sept. 13-15 in Quebec City, Mr. Lavigne said. And in the next two weeks, the party’s federal council will set the timing and parameters for choosing a permanent leader. …
“The leadership race effectively begins Monday morning, I would say,” Mr. Martin said. “It won’t be a divisive race, it will be a uniting experience and respectful experience,” Mr. Martin said. “That’s the tone Jack has set; he’s raised the bar for civility in political discourse in this country, and the first demonstration is going to be a very interesting but respectful leadership race.”
Brian Topp is considering a run.
Meanwhile, the Liberals watch, wait, prepare…
12:57 PM: Today in Toronto is Jack Layton’s day, as you all know.
It’s a beautiful day. Couldn’t ask for anything more.
As the day goes on, there’ll be things said, that will probably get linked from here. Read more…
Oh, come on. Not every little disagreement has to end with people getting offended.
I’m highly amused, for instance, by this.
Tiny Goshen College in Indiana has banned the “The Star Spangled Banner” at all sporting events because the Mennonite school’s president considers the National Anthem’s words to be too violent.
The 1,000-student school had already banned the words last year, but the band could still play the music for patriots in attendance. Now, the school has banned the song entirely, according to NBC Sports.
That’s sparked this response:
NBC Sports’ Rick Chandler weighed in, saying: “I suppose we could have followed the example of the Mennonites and simply fled, giving the nation back to the British. But then we’d all be playing cricket.”
Come on, that’s funny.
I suppose that calls for a song.
British Columbians have voted to scrap the province’s controversial harmonized sales tax, according to the results of a binding, province-wide referendum.
Elections B.C. announced on Friday morning that 54.73 per cent of the 1.6 million British Columbians who cast a ballot in the mail-in referendum voted to get rid of the tax and 45.27 per cent voted to keep it.
B.C. Finance Minister Kevin Falcon said the government will now move to reinstate the PST with all of its previous exemptions. The transition is expected to take at least 18 months he said. …
“This is step backwards, but it is a manageable step backwards,” said Falcon after the results of the referendum were announced on Friday.
The province will enter into negotiations with the federal government on repaying the $1.6 billion it was given when the tax came into effect, he said.
Well, it wasn’t unexpected — it was a slap at how it was done. It’s a wonder the tax got up to 45% support, given that it had 85% opposition when the campaign began.
On the other hand, this is nonsensical:
The office of Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the federal government will work with B.C. to roll back the tax, which has been administered by the officials in Ottawa.
“We respect the decision made by the people of British Columbia. We will work with the Government of B.C. on the transition. The provincial government has already repeatedly acknowledged that the $1.6 billion in transitional assistance will be recovered as per the agreement,” said a statement issued by Flaherty’s office.
But federal NDP MPs are already calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to forgive the debt.
“It would be both spiteful and damaging for Harper to now force B.C. to pay back $1.6 billion, after it was already invested in things like health care and education,” said NDP B.C. caucus chair Don Davies.
No, it’d be idiotic to allow the province to keep the money after reneging on the deal.
Anyway, I’d've preferred to keep the HST, if I lived in BC. But then, I do enjoy watching politicians get slapped around, and so that’s not a bad conclusion either.