Thanks to the folks at CTV for inviting me on tonite, Clip can be found here. http://www.ctvnews.ca/ctv-news-channel/video?clipId=441256
Today we saw the return of Parliament or was it the first day of a very long election campaign?
Clearly every leader was staking out their position on a variety of subjects and there are early indications that both Mulcair and Trudeau will be spending a lot of time on the road during this session. One can see their point as being in Question Period doesn’t really accomplish much for either leader.
The Prime Minister got into the act with an election style speech outlining his accomplishments and hinting at some of the things we might expect to see in the months ahead. Are we surprised that the Conservatives have managed to come up with some more justice bill ideas or that they don’t want to see surplus funds go to special interest groups? What about the hint that there might be early tax breaks, which if in place, the Conservatives can argue on the campaign trail that the NDP and Liberals will take back that money from hard working Canadians, who pay their taxes and play be the rules? It has a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it? All in all today was a good opportunity to distinguish the Prime Minister from his opponents.
Question Period of course was its usual self, offering little of value to taxpayers except a few 10 second clips for the media to use.
Seeing as taxpayers will have to watch our elected MPs essentially campaign day after day in the House do we expect anything that isn’t of a partisan nature to pass or any debate to be other than stirring of the pre-election pot?
If party leaders will be using this long pre-writ period to campaign, especially if they are not in the House, what expenses will taxpayers be picking up? Who will pay for the leader and his political entourage to fly or travel around the country? Who picks up the meal tabs, hotel expenses, meeting room expenses etc.? Will it be taxpayers through MPs expense accounts or party research office funds, MP travel points? It would be interesting to see a balance sheet outlining who paid what.
Today was just the first day of what could be a long 13 month election campaign. Let’s hope that the parties can spend some time working for Canadians instead of just working to get themselves re-elected.
Enjoyed the discussion today on The Current on CBC. Shared thoughts with Brad Lavigne and Martha Hall Findlay on the return of parliament and the lead up to the next election. Link can be found here. http://bit.ly/1q7ghN1