Well, here’s my take on what has been one heck of a week in Canadian politics…
1) Belinda Stronach:
Like almost everyone, I was surprised and shocked to watch this high profile Tory MP and former leadership candidate cross the floor to the Liberals and accept a position in Cabinet. Pure opportunism. She’s an ambitious politician who knows what she wants, and obviously saw this as the best way to get there (the PMO I’m assuming). The sexist outrage and blasts coming from Tories were unacceptable and only boost the case of why I don’t vote Conservative. The voters in her riding of Newmarket-Aurora will hold Minister Stronach accountable for her actions when the next election comes around. Now, can we have some civility, gentlemen? Which leads to…
2) Welcome to the sausage party!
With the departure of Stronach from the Tories, this now leaves Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition with only 10 women and 88 men. Hmmm. This is quite a troublingly disproportionate number. Not to say the Liberals or ND’s are much better…
3) Chuck Cadman:
The MP from Surrey North listened to his constituents. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for this former Reform/Alliance/Conservative to vote with the Liberals and NDP, but I respect him for not caving into the “protection offered” by Mr. Harper (he must be taking some lessons from Mr. Gagliano) and instead listening to his constituents. There should be more Independent MP’s in the House of Commons; it could cut down on the partisan hackery.
4) Gurmant Grewal, the new Ambassador to France
Opps, I jumped the gun on that one. I really didn’t pay attention to this story, it sounded to “made up.” Apparently there was a tape or something? Was anybody keeping tabs on where Rahim Jaffer‘s assistant was during this ordeal?
5) THE VOTE:
Yes, the vote that political hacks from Victoria to St. John’s tuning in to watch (yes, I watched it on the big screen on SUB stage). I’d never seen something like this before, so close, so dramatic, so intense, so fun to watch! 153-152! It’s like the Stanley Cup for political nerds!
6) Campbell gets it twice!
7) The Queen:
Yes, currently flying under the national news radar is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada. Her Majesty arrived in Saskatchewan on Tuesday and will tour around that province until tomorrow, when her and His Royal Highness Prince Phillip will spend the weekend relaxing in beautiful Jasper National Park. Following their weekend retreat, the Royal couple will visit Edmonton for a big 100 anniversary celebration party at Commonwealth Stadium (which I’m going to) and numerous tours around Canada’s greatest city. Next Tuesday, (still-) Prime Minister Paul Martin will be hosting a gala dinner in the honour of Alberta’s Royal visitors. I was lucky enough to be on the invitation list, so my lovely date and I are getting all spified up and going to have dinner with the Queen and 900 or so other lucky Edmontonians (I had to rent a tux :P). I will definitely let the blogosphere know how that goes.
Well, what can I say, so far they suck. Other than the Queen coming for 3 days, I haven’t heard of any other real celebration party. Saskatchewan looks like it’s having more fun than us. We only celebrate 100 once, Ralph! The least you could do is spend some of that massive surplus to buy us some booze for a change. Such a money hog.
9) Candidate nomination mania!
Well according to this site, quite a few candidate nominations have occurred in preparation of a possible election (averted for now). From what I can tell, in my lovely riding of Edmonton Centre (the best riding in Alberta!), I know of three candidates: Deputy PM Anne McLellan (woo hoo!), Tory Laurie Hawn, and New Democrat Donna Martyn (who got thumped by Kevin Taft in Edmonton Riverview during the 2004 provincial election). I’m expecting a Green, at least an Independent, and probably a Marxist or “Progressive Canadian.”
10) Oliver, the Liberal Heartland:
Today, I was pondering from my downtown perch when it dawned on me that I live in the Liberal heartland of Alberta. My federal riding has been Liberal since 1993, my provincial riding has been Liberal since 1993 (and NDP from 1986 to 1993). Both my MP and MLA are women (Anne McLellan and Laurie Blakeman). My polling district went solidly Liberal in both the last federal and provincial election. Of course, I’m sure that it has a lot to do with the large population of low-income renters, students, the large gay community, people who think for themselves, and no-good transients such as myself in the area.
11) The Federal Tories have updated their normally boring website into a more election style format. Did someone forget to tell them they lost today’s vote?
And to answer your question. Yes, I am a political nerd.
Have a nice weekend.