Friday, May 21, 2010

More in and out and other Friday late aft long weekend notes

1. So, to be clear on the whole mess of an in and out thing, I think it goes this way right about now. If Elections Canada wins its appeal, the Conservative party at the national level gets dinged for exceeding their national spending limit in the 2006 election. If Elections Canada loses its appeal, ten Conservative candidates, including three Harper cabinet ministers, get dinged for exceeding their riding spending limits. Plus there is some mysterious, languishing, criminal offence looming in the background.

I think I'm liking where this one is going.

2. The Great Abortion Issue Reopening of 2010 is apparently all Rod's fault. Bad MP, very, very bad MP. The cause of a 50 minute anger management session in the PMO too. Took them the week to make that dust up publicly known, as the issue snowballs.

But you know...if his MPs are attending rallies and committing to reopening the abortion debate, then someone bears responsibility for that. They're just taking their cues from the top, from the leader that's been sending coy signals about the abortion issue since January by excluding abortion from the overseas maternal health initiative. Yelling in his office at a backbench MP a month after Bruinooge's bill's been introduced looks like plain old reactionary damage control after the issue's gone south. Telling the media about the big anger session smells like damage control too. Riding a tiger is difficult.

3. MP expenses? Shorter Harper: I am not a leader. In fact, I'm helpless to do much at all. Choice remarks:
"This is a matter that is not under the government's jurisdiction," said Harper, who was in Niagara Falls, Ont., to announce funding for the expansion and renovation of the Niagara Falls History Museum leading up to the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

"Parliament is independent on these matters and, through the Board of Internal Economy, makes its own decisions."
Was that some kind of strained nod to parliamentary supremacy? Nice to see, Johnny come lately. But his party, of course, will do exactly what he says. They're good rabbits that way.