A message about sending messages

About to embark on his cross-Canada unheld-riding tour, Michael Ignatieff offered the following: “If you vote NDP or Bloc to send Harper a message, you get Harper and he doesn’t get the message. So, if you want to get rid of Harper, you have to vote Liberal.” It’s probably his most coherent message to date about an upcoming election (should it ever happen).

The Liberals, meanwhile, have picked their candidate for the Calgary North-Centre by-election, whenever that happens. Stephen Randall is an author and former dean of social sciences at the University of Calgary – just the kind of ivory-tower academic the Conservatives will love to pick apart, I’m sure.

Still suffering from presidential envy, Stephen Harper unveiled the Prime Minister’s Awards for Volunteerism – because apparently the Governor General’s Awards aren’t done by him, and that simply won’t do.

Harper is also considering creating a parliamentary committee to vet our top-secret intelligence organizations, which was actually something that was drafted up by the Liberals in 2005 but died when the government fell. It would be a good idea if it happens, but this government has a way of kneecapping these kinds of watchdogs anyway, so we’ll see what the details are of said plan, should it ever get off the ground.

Remember hearing John Baird and various other Conservatives bellyache about how awful it was that Liberals held those hundreds-of-dollars-per-plate fundraisers? Turns out he’s holding a $500-a-plate fundraiser of his own, offering the chance for attendees to meet “numerous” cabinet ministers. Imagine that.

Look – more evidence that there was no groundswell of opposition to the long-form census. And hey, the Conservatives are going to be building more prisons. And wouldn’t you know it, under their leadership our access-to-information laws have become some of the worst in the developed world. And the number of female governor-in-council appointments made under Stephen Harper has fallen, not that this should be a surprise to anyone. But hey, they’re Getting The Job Done™.

Here are a few more details about those “perimeter negotiations” that we’re engaged in with the States, which looks like it may mean that the United States is finally waking up to the fact that we’re not Mexico, but still no word on the implications for our sovereignty.

And Tuesday is Sir John A Macdonald Day, and we’re very nearly at his bicentennial birthday (which is in 2015). Perhaps we should all raise a glass to the first prime minister of this great nation.
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