Thursday, January 05, 2006

2005: Year in Review

You can see my bon voyage to 2004 here. I've always felt year in reviews were a nice excuse to write something during a very slow news period but, even though the election campaign is coming down the stretch, it's probably worth looking back at the year that was.

Best Picture of 2005: Was it ever in doubt?

Dead Man Walking: Pierre Pettigrew

The “Liberation of Norway Award”: Goes to Paul Martin for his "Ambasador Williams" and "the best person to lose the country" comments.

Inadvertent Compliment of the Year: Bryan Wilfert introduces Paul Martin as “Jean Chretien”.

George Radwanski Golden Expense Account Award: Joe…Volpe…and his ever expensive pizza parties.

Quote of the Year: Pat Martin, on Liberal spending:

"(This recent spending) is like a Roman orgy. With the tightened election timetable, it's a Roman orgy with a premature ejaculation."

Winners of 2005:
1. Peter MacKay: Positioned himself as the heir apparent in the CPC and come out of the Belinda affair with a ton of sympathy from the Canadian public.
2. Irwin Cotler. Got SSM passed and, more importantly, proved himself to be a ping pong superstar.
3. Ken Dryden & Rona Ambrose: With all the talk of child care, these two have been thrust into the spotlight.
4. John Gomery: OK, OK. I don’t like the inquiry, and I’m not a big fan of the Judge, but he’s sure been a star in 2005.

Losers of 2005:
1. Conrad Black
2. The Board: Between Tim Murphy’s “welcome mat with lots of nice comfy fur”, David Herle’s consulting, Scott Reid’s “Beer and Popcorn”, Mike Klander's blog, and a rather underwhelming election campaign, it was a tough year for PMPM’s best and brightest.
3. Gurmant Grewal
4. Jean Lapierre: Just because.
5. David Dingwall
6. Judy Sgro

Back from the Dead:
1. Jean Chretien: Between the golf ball gag, his press conference on Gomery Day, and Paul Martin now supporting all things Chretien (from Kyoto to Clarity), he certainly made a comeback in 2005.
2. Brian Mulroney: The Newman book made us all remember lyin’ Brian. But he stole the show at the Press Gallery Dinner.
3. The GST

Breakthroughs of 2005:
1. Independent MPs: Chuck Cadman was one of the stars of 2005 and, independent MPs like David Kilgour, Pat O'Brien, and Carolyn Parrish made names for themselves throughout the year.
2. Policy
3. Jack Layton: "Better balanced budget", "Getting results for people", "Making Parliament work". Repeat.

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Bloom is off the Rose:
1. Michael Ignatieff: Both him and Boisclair probably belong in the “breakthrough” category too. Ignatieff became a Liberal leadership candidate this year…but he also became a weak one.
2. Ralph Goodale: Ralph’s first budget of 2005 was supported by the CPC and generally well received. Then, Jack Layton became Canada’s Finance Minister. Then Ralph released his third budget of 2005. Then…well…you know the rest.
3. Andre Boisclair: He was a big winner, but the cocaine revelations have given pundits many a great line.
4. Paul Martin and the Americans: He said no to BMD, we had the Parrish incident, and then he got into a spat with the new ambassador.

Keep an Eye on in 2006:
1. January 23rd
2. Liberal and/or Conservative leadership race
3. Private Health Care – Jean Charest will be making reforms after the election and the Chaouli decision still lingers.
4. The Income Trust investigation
5. Managing minority parliament – whoever gets in will have a very unstable minority.


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