Monday, March 31, 2008

House Renovations

Watching the new members of the Liberal party be ushered into the House today was satisfying.

Before I go on, I'd also like to mention the newly elected Conservative member, Rob Clarke. Pride and sincerity was clearly visible on his face. During the by election, I watched him on the extensive CPAC coverage. He seemed to be a very decent guy and I wish him well.

While all the Liberals were visibly pleased and excited to be entering the House, by far, Martha Hall Findlay most lit up the room.

She has certainly earned her seat.

Bob Rae was equally chuffed,

and it's not tough to read his mind is it? YES!

Kissing Ignatieff was a clever touch on his part. It won't do a thing to stop journalists from all of their lazy speculation but it shows just what kind of political instincts this guy has with respect to optics.

Anyway, it's good to have new energy in the Liberal caucus and despite all attempts from some media types to downplay and throw cold water on the new additions and what it will mean in the future, I for one am going to ignore them and enjoy the moment.

Of course, that wasn't the only renovating going on in the Liberal's home today. There was also a shift of critics within the party.

Mr. Dion has made the following changes in the Liberal Opposition’s roles and responsibilities:

• Bob Rae continues as the Liberal Party’s Foreign Affairs Critic and will join the Priorities and Planning Committee;
• Martha Hall Findlay becomes Associate Finance Critic, and will also join the Priorities and Planning Committee;
• Joyce Murray becomes Vice-Chair of the Caucus Committee on Environmental Sustainability;
• Geoff Regan replaces John Godfrey as Chair of the Caucus Committee on Environmental Sustainability;
• Denis Coderre becomes the Liberal Critic for Canadian Heritage, la Francophonie and Official Languages;
• Bryon Wilfert, formerly Associate Foreign Affairs Critic, becomes Defence Critic;
• Gerard Kennedy becomes Critic for Intergovernmental Affairs; and
• Senator James Cowan and Dr. Bernard Patry join the Priorities and Planning Committee.
Much is being made of these changes, specifically moving Denis Coderre. Despite denials from the Liberal party that this is a demotion, the media are insisting that it is. I'm not inside, so I don't know for sure. Those who are insisting it is make a point of telling us that this is a huge mistake and will just make things worse because now Coderre will really start working against Dion.
To that I say Coderre is many things, but he's not suicidal. To continue to build an environment that could well cause him to lose his seat makes no sense to me. Additionally, last week when all of the junk hit the fan in Quebec, Coderre was the only one on record as supporting Dion. Yes, he passed up the opportunity to be the Quebec deputy a while back, but it was said at the time that he did that out of deference to how Proulx had been left out of the loop on being ousted.
Here's the thing. Coderre is now in a position to make a difference on the Quebec file. Think what you will of him but given our situation in Quebec, isn't it a good thing to have someone who seeks the spotlight, will defend Liberal positions and not hesitate to point out how faulty the Con agenda is as it relates to his new file and more? The way I see it, Coderre never limits himself to one issue. Having a hard working, albeit bombastic MP working on issues that will touch Quebec isn't a bad thing, imho.
The other criticism that came out today, was the Gerard Kennedy appointment. Joel-Denis Bellevance (La Presse) spewed a number of quotes this evening, (out of context and paraphrased), in a manner that mirrored John Baird's propensity for baseless accusations. What he missed of course was Kennedy's experience in Ontario, facing Baird, Flaherty and Clement. He's got their history down pat and the issue is contemporary. I think this was a good appointment and I look forward to seeing him in the House, hopefully on the government side. (Note, his NDP opponent, Peggy Nash never misses an opportunity to bash the Lib's, even today as she was supporting their motion.)
So much is being made of the Liberal 'team approach' but I see it as a good thing. For me it's tough to understand how any Canadian can compare the depth of knowledge and experience of the Lib bench with the nonsense coming from the Con's. Would you like an example?
I give you Helena Guergis, formerly in charge of the Brenda Martin file.
On her upcoming wedding to Edmonton MP Rahim Jaffer:
"I can't plan a wedding. Why don't you call Stephane Dion and ask when we are going to have an election so I can set a wedding date."

Deep isn't she? Here is another illustration of her depth.
MHF on the other hand, with no experience in the House, today made Flaherty look like the buffoon that most of us recognise he is. She stated it and he confirmed it with his idiotic response.
All in all, it was a good day to be a Liberal.


Steve V said...

I thought Martha was terrific, she even made Flaherty turn red. I enjoyed watching it today, a couple more thorough breeds in the stable, actually a pretty impressive team when you go through the list.

Coderre was definitely pre-mediated, a clear signal, but not overt enough, or completely offensive, for anyone to take their ball and go home, or go "suicidal" A subtle move, with clear intention, especially when you look at who replaced him. Dion gets a A for this shuffle today.

Anonymous said...

"On her upcoming wedding to Edmonton MP Rahim Jaffer:
"I can't plan a wedding. Why don't you call Stephane Dion and ask when we are going to have an election so I can set a wedding date."

Please get a grip of yourself. Stop being so serious. Can't you see its tongue and cheek?

Karen said...

Agreed steve..she was great.

I'm with you on giving Dion an A on this, but I'll wait to see Coderre's next move before passing judgement.

Call me naive, but I'm hopeful.

Karen said...

right, yes of course it was tongue in cheek, but did you read the rest of the article, articles?

This woman is a pathetic imitation of an MP. She is shrill, ill informed and an under preformer.

Cute doesn't cut it when you are running the country.

My advice to Rahim would be to run and run now. He however is as self consumed as she is. They will need many mirrors in their home.

My point is, she is a dimwit and that you are defending her, well...

BTW, you ignored how strong MHF was in comparison to any woman in the Con caucus, let alone how she took on Flaherty.

Ha! The man looked like an idiot. Not a new concept, but well done!

I'm liking our new bench.

Anonymous said...

You have your opinion knb and I have mine. Nothing what you may or may not say will ever change this. For the record,overall I'm proud of the accomplishment of this government. I will not list the accomplishments,because it will just end up in an argument. I have enough problems of my own then to start an argument. Have yourself a very goodnight.

Red Canuck said...

I have enough problems of my own

Finally, something we can agree on!

Anonymous said...

Wishful thinking gang! If my party had a weak-ass nerd as a leader I'd play up "Belinda with a dye job" too!

Enjoy T.O., it's all ya got left suckas!

RuralSandi said...

You know, if Coderre played his cards right he could become a Liberal hero - if he brought Quebec up to snuff - he'd be a king. I hope he thinks about that.

Are we supposed feel sorry for Rights Where Its..... or something?

I don't know what Guergis is doing to herself these days but she look terrible - the dark hair? What's with that - trying to copy Belinda? Sad.

She's in a hurry to nab the guy I think - she's nearly 40.

Gayle said...

"You know, if Coderre played his cards right he could become a Liberal hero - if he brought Quebec up to snuff - he'd be a king. I hope he thinks about that."

I thougth about this too, and wonder why he doesn't.

Karen said...


Karen said...

sandi, I read an article not long ago that women are choosing to dye their dark in an effort to be taken more seriously.

I frankly think that's nutty.

As it relates to Guergis, there is nothing that woman could do that would have me take her seriously.
After claiming she was back in charge of the Martin file, she didn't have the courage to take questions on it in the House today.

Karen said...

sandi and gayle, I agree about Coderre.

Early days yet.