Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Never Ending Story

Courtesy of Andrew Coyne, here are two more all too delicious news stories on everyone's favourite topic:

Michael Fortier may be Montreal's representative in the newly elected Conservative cabinet, but the Senate riding he will represent in Quebec doesn't include any part of the city in its boundaries.

Heh heh.

Members of Parliament who bolt from their parties and cross the floor of the House of Commons should have to quit and face their voters in a byelection, says new Public Works Minister Michael Fortier.

Tomorrow: David Emerson speaks out in favour of an elected Senate!

I think Michael Fortier is making a strong case to be the blogging equivalent of Jean Lapierre in the new Harper government - the gift that keeps on giving.


  • Has anyone seen our leader (still) lately. What is Paul Martin doing these days? (Besides moving). Mysteriously quiet I would say.

    Our Leader should probaly be attacking these guys all day. Hum. What do I know?

    By Blogger James Curran, at 9:28 p.m.  

  • Jesus Christ

    Fortier is attacking Emerson?

    Seriously, what has happened to reality? It's like we all woke up in Bizarro World.

    At least Emerson wasn't too busy to run in an election.

    I think PM is kicking himself for having resigned.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:06 p.m.  

  • Ok I think Bart you should start another pool on when Emerson is gonna resign...this is getting interesting.

    I have had my fill of the gift that keeps on giving, but more of this and I might have a change of heart.

    By Blogger Anthony, at 10:20 p.m.  

  • C.G

    Check out Garth Turner's blog. It looks like there is actually an MP with REAL principles.

    They man deserves major credits for the flak he is taking from his own party for standing up for what is right.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:36 p.m.  



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:47 p.m.  

  • Ok MF is attacking DE... WTF... does he think he represents less slime than DE???

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:34 p.m.  

  • ...but the Senate riding he will represent in Quebec doesn't include any part of the city in its boundaries.

    Uh... there are "ridings" in the Senate? I thought Senators were assigned to their province as a whole.

    Where can I find a list of the various Senate ridings?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:05 a.m.  

  • Oh, and are these "official" districts whose existence is spelled out in law, or just an informal classification?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:10 a.m.  

  • After looking throught the bios of various Senators, their "Senatorial divisions" seem to be a purely arbitrary and informal thing. The sum of the divisions are anything but representative of the province as a whole. Take a look at Alberta's:

    3 are listed as "Edmonton"
    2 are listed as "Calgary"
    1 is listed as "Lethbridge"

    Now look at Manitoba's:

    1 is listed as "Winnipeg"
    1 is listed as "Winnipeg-Interlake"
    1 is listed as "Red River"
    3 are listed simply as "Manitoba"

    And Saskatchewan:
    1 is listed as "Regina"
    1 is listed as "The Battlefords"
    4 are listed simply as "Saskatchewan"

    And New Brunswick:
    1 is listed as "Grand-Sault"
    1 is listed as "Saint John - Kennebecasis"
    1 is listed as "Fredericton-York-Sunbury"
    1 is listed as "Tracadie"
    4 are listed simply as "New Brunswick"
    1 is listed as "Saint-Louis-de-Kent" (but they used to just be "New Brunswick")

    It seems like the Senators just get to pick whatever division name they want, specific or otherwise.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:46 a.m.  

  • Antonio, why don't we call Wayne Gretzky (or his brother) to set up the pool for Emerson's resignation ???

    By Blogger Alex Plante, at 1:51 a.m.  

  • Quebec is different from all the other provinces, where Senatorial Districts are optional and arbitrary.

    In Quebec, Senators represent one of 24 geographic districts, which are the original 24 federal constituencies from 1867. Although you are appointed as a Senator from the province of Quebec, you have to own $4000 of property in the geographic district of the person you are replacing.

    What's really interesting is that the Senator who represents the area including Montreal is ... a Conservative, David Angus. Harper already had someone from Montreal in his caucus, and could have appointed him to Cabinet, saving a lot of fuss.

    More info here:

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:10 a.m.  

  • The Tory apologists continue their burn and squirm... Tonight Ian Waddell, waving a copy of the House of Commons ethics and procedures, pulled out some important codes which do not shine a pretty light, infact, even a damning light on Stevie Harpo'scrit-ic-al judgement. Through quote after quote, from Harpo to Emerson, the media has one stating he asked the other to cross and accept a role in cabinet. Waddell points to a rule and also the latest judgement by Shapiro in the Grewal-Dosanjh case, that had an offer or enticement, like a cabinet post, been offered, then the house ethics would have been seriously breached. Waddell suggested that this could result in the removal of the PM (wow, wouldn't that make for gripping TV! Harper:"Get your hands off me, I'm not finished reforming parliament! I still have two bagman and a religious zealot to insert! I'm entitled to your entitlements!")
    I listened patiently to all those Tory blagblabbers claim about Harper 'the genius, restorer of justice' before he even set foot in Ottawa this year. Ten minutes into his reign, the plastic-haired one is looking like even a bad bet Janet Gretzky wouldn't wager on.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:35 a.m.  

  • Thanks for the info, nkn.

    What about northern Quebec, which wasn't part of the province in 1867?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:10 a.m.  

  • Is it just me or has this been the dumbest week in politics ever? It seems my blue folks are governing about as well as the Martinis' campaigned!!

    Good grief. Let's hope this is the hiccup and not the norm, or Joe Clark banners are goin way up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:06 a.m.  

  • Well, it's very much a mess of Harper's making, so it suggests that what we're seeing is his own judgement on display, rather than some fluke occurrence. This may be a pattern that repeats.

    By Blogger Wrye, at 10:01 a.m.  

  • You know 2 weeks into Harpers reign and Wayne Gretzky is being investigated for sports betting, can you imagine after 4 months, Margaret Atwood accused of plagerism, Gorden Lightfood song stealing, Ralph Klein will start drinking again, Jim Carey will take back his Canadian citizenship and within a year Vancouver will fall into the sea in an earthquake, it is the wrath of God we need Harper out now!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:07 a.m.  

  • How many tories will take the above seriously, a few I bet.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:07 a.m.  

  • I said this on's board, but it got lost (maybe for good reason)... if the Liberals were smart, the MP from Mont Royal would resign immediately to challenge Fortier in a by-election.


    a) Fortier *lives* in Mont Royal.

    b) Mont Royal is the safest Liberal seat on "earth", (at least according to Don Newman).

    c) Paul Martin never appointed anyone from outside Cabinet, so at least on *this* page and not Emerson they have a leg to stand on.

    d) The CPC are internally outraged at the Fortier appointment, so either Harper/Fortier risks splitting their party by rejecting the offer or they go ahead with the obvious risk Fortier will lose and Harper will look like a dingbat for appointing him. That's a great position to put Harper in.

    e) The CPC are not ready to win that election on the ground, so they will be forced to make all sorts of stupid public concessions to try to buy it. All sorts of stupid public concessions is the Liberal approach, again inflaming the Reformers.

    f) Although the CPC will argue the Liberals knew all of this when they decided to go for the Machiavellian gold ring, the Liberals will say they were just being parliamentarians by doing the most expeditious and honourable thing to put the issue of Fortier's appointment to bed so the government can move on with its business.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 a.m.  

  • Most Canadians don't care about this stuff. Most people here don't even know who Michael Fortier or David Emerson are.

    As soon as parliament sits nobody's going to pay attention to this. This issue's dying.

    By Blogger Michael Fox, at 12:44 p.m.  

  • Perhaps Paul Martin could do everyone a favour and let Mr. Fortier run in a by-election in LaSalle-Émard.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:17 p.m.  

  • Come on, you conners

    This story has legs. It really does. Even Tory bloggers keep talking about it. I hope there is a book about how a top Liberal wanted to cross the floor and the Tories actually accepted him. My gosh! I hope there is a CBC movie about it in 6 months.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:58 p.m.  

  • This looks interesting

    "Vancouver Kingsway Conservative Kanman Wong says he had a backup plan to step aside for controversial new cabinet minister David Emerson - long before January's election.

    'That was my plan. I heard lots of rumours that Mr. Emerson wasn't happy with the Liberal party long before the election,' Wong said in an interview yesterday. "If one day Mr. Emerson prepared to cross the floor I was ready to step aside for him.'"

    and This is interesting

    "Francophone groups and opposition MPs are raising concerns about an appointment in Stephen Harper's government after learning the parliametary secretary for la Francophonie doesn't speak French."

    By Blogger Koby, at 3:25 p.m.  

  • I think Emerson should pay the Liberal party back for campain funds expended....

    I think Belinda and Brison should pay back funds to the CPC for elections they one under the conservative banner...

    fair enough????

    didn't think so.

    I think Belinda should be censured along with Emerson.

    fair enough????

    didn't think so.

    Conservatives have every right to protest this move.

    to the Liberals, you may want to keep quite about it, cuz you have zero moral authority.

    Oh, and how many Liberal blogs were outraged about Belinda's about zero.

    How many conservative bloggers are about about tons.

    The conservative movement, as a movement, is alive and well, standing up for what they believe in right.

    The Liberals - anything to stay in power, which ironically was what the Stronach defection was all about...that one survive a few more months. That's it.

    By all means, lets keep party defections in the spotlight.

    Let's also keep the relative integrety (or lack thereof) of the respective party supporters, and their willingness to hold their own to account, in the spotlight as well.

    Lets also highlight the high standards we expect of Harper, versus the complete lack of standards the Libs have for themselves.

    This debate is a good thing. A very, very good thing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:50 p.m.  

  • People are holding Harper to higher standards because that's what he was campaigning on three weeks ago.

    And Martin not commenting is the smartest thing he's done in awhile. There'd be no point in attacking the Conservatives over it all when they're doing a nice enough job by themselves. Plus, him stepping back into the spotlight would just remind people of why they voted him out. Of course, the fact he's out of the country and representating Canada at some conference probably has as much to do with why he's not speaking up about it...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:45 p.m.  

  • "People are holding Harper to higher standards because that's what he was campaigning on three weeks ago."

    People are making up whatever standards they feel like for Harper, completely ignoring (or perhaps ignorant) of what Harper actually did campaign on. Go review, for example, what he said during the "Town Hall" with Mansbridge.

    But the media, and many bloggers, don't actually want to let facts get in the way of their fun.

    By Blogger Paul, at 5:27 p.m.  

  • "In the end, it will serve to remind Canadians that politics is the second oldest profession, and that from time to time, through actions such as yours, it bears a striking resemblance to the first." - James Moore. Quoted in the Ottawa Citizen, January 29, 2002, p.A4

    "He's an adult and he's making a choice, but he's going against his own principles." - John Reynolds. Quoted in the Ottawa Citizen, January 28, 2002, p.A5

    "I always said if you change parties you should have a by-election and let the people decide. It would have been the honourable thing to do, and I hope tomorrow he enjoys sitting in the back rows." - John Reynolds. Quoted on Sunday Report, CBC-TV, January 27, 2002

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:30 a.m.  

  • In Quebec, Senators represent one of 24 geographic districts, which are the original 24 federal constituencies from 1867.

    Actually they were the 24 Lower Canada electoral divisions in the pre-Confederation Province of Canada.

    Although you are appointed as a Senator from the province of Quebec, you have to own $4000 of property in the geographic district of the person you are replacing.

    Or you can have that property qualification anywhere in the province, but reside in the division you represent.

    What about northern Quebec, which wasn't part of the province in 1867?

    Not part of the 24. Which is why Charlie Watt is the Senator for Inkerman.

    What would be really cool is to have a map of these 24 Divisions. Anyone know if such a thing exists?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:34 a.m.  

  • First, Scott Brison was elected as a "Progressive" Conservative. That party virtually put itself out of business with the "Alliance" merger to create the CPC. Brison never ran under the CPC banner. Second, Belinda Stronach sat in the CPC caucus for close to a year before switching. Her displeasure with the party was known. David Emerson campaigned as a Liberal, then switched before anything was said or done. My money is that he'll resign by Monday.

    Ths story has legs because the majority of Canadians still do not trust Harper and the CPC. Harper has praised Brian Mulroney as a "great" PM despite the fact he was at the centre of the "Reform" party's creation - a party more opposed to the Tories and Mulroney than anything else. Then, of course, Mulroney's name resurfaces thanks to the CBC's "Fifth Estate" report on Karlheinz Schreiber and his links to Muldoon.

    The universe will unfold as it should.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:23 p.m.  

  • Thank you for the post, pretty helpful info.

    By Anonymous, at 2:26 a.m.  

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