Saturday, January 13, 2007

Relatively quick Saturday hits

Dion visits Alberta, Chiarelli eyes Baird, Khan’t we all just move on, and what to do in Outremont?

*Stephane Dion was in Alberta yesterday, and he was talking the environment and sustainable development to the oil sands. He seems to be advocating a carrot and a stick approach, with rewards for companies that voluntarily meet emission reduction targets and penalties for those companies that don’t. Werner was there and has extensive coverage. Dion also apparently got a little snub from new Premier Ed Stemlach. Now, I’m not an environmental policy expert, far from it. But there seems to be something sensible in a carrot and stick approach to me. And I’ll say this too: When you’ve got the far left of the blogsphere criticizing you for being too soft and the far right of the blogsphere criticizing you for being too hard you may well be on the right track.

*The Ottawa Citizen reports a Chiarelli/Baird battle royale in Ottawa West-Nepean is moving closer to reality, with the former Mayor Bob reportedly talking to the riding association about the nomination and taking on his long time arch-nemesis. And don’t we all need an arch-nemesis? I’m sadly without one at the moment, but applications are being accepted. Anyway, I hope Bob goes for it, as I’ve blogged before it would be a helluva fun race. (H/T La Ruche)

*My friend Jonathan over at TDH Strategies is encouraging Libloggers to move on from the Khan story. I agree with his sentiment. I think protests like the one the other day are of limited utility.

As I’ve blogged before, I don’t have a big problem with the concept of floor crossing per se. But what is important is the exposing the true reasons and motivations for the floor crossing so people can make a judgment based on the facts. It has become readily apparent that the circumstances of this floor crossing as first spun by Khan and Harper were misleading, if not untrue. Then there’s the issue of his report and it’s apparent partisan nature, that’s as much a use of taxpayer dollars issue as a floor crossing issue. Not to mention the patronage appointment for his former opponent.

Anyway, while I share Jonathan’s desire to move beyond this issue, and I agree Wajid isn’t really worth the attention, I think it’s important we not allow Harper falsely frame the debate. Perhaps now that the odor of this thing has been made clear though, as Jonathan hopes we can move on to finding the next MP for Mississauga-Streetsville.

*One of the first tests for Stephane Dion as a leader committed to a renewal of the Liberal Party will be what to do in Outremont in the wake of Jean Lapierre’s departure. (And so far, I must say, while he sucked as a Quebec Lieutenant I’m loving him (though not necessarily agreeing with him) as a tv pundit).

There’s long been talk that riding was reserved to appoint a star candidate; while I’m not a big fan of bypassing nominations if it’s a truly accomplished star candidate I’d get over it. I also support his desire to get more women candidates.

But we also apparently have at least two strong candidates interested in this riding. Former YLC(Q) president and Belinda Stronach staffer Brigitte Legault is organizing and is said to have strong support on the ground; Justin Trudeau is also reportedly interested in the riding. I understand Brigitte wants an open nomination process, I’ve not heard if Justin is angling for an appointment or wants an open process too. I’d hope it’s the latter.

Anyway, if there is an appointment it’s sure to be contentious. How contentious depends on whom is appointed. If it is someone truly accomplished outside of politics, a true star candidate, then it will be less so. If it’s a political partisan with the right connections, then the outcry will be titanic and rightly so, and I’ll be part of the protest.

I don’t envy Stephane here. Frankly, unless they can appoint his sister Celine or someone of equal stature (apparently Louise Arbour passed), I think it may be best to let this one be an open nomination race and let the grassroots of Outremont decide.

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Anonymous said...

I am surprised to find that you did not comment on the conclusion of the Riddell lawsuit. Here is the Toronto Star story in case you missed it.

Jeff said...

Ed, I felt it deserved the full post treatment, which I shall get to a some point today, hopefully.

In the mean time, 5-0 Sens! Heatley is on fire today.