Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED -- Could’ve ... should’ve ... would’ve


Pollster, pundits and the media are picking over the election results looking for meaning therein. There isn’t any significant meaning -- the people have spoken -- the results are known.

Trudeau carries on with a minority. He can no longer govern without support from one or more of the opposition parties.
The most significant change is not obvious however.

The Liberals no longer control parliament’s committees. The Conservatives, BQ and NDP will have 52% of committee memberships. This means the Liberals can’t block an inquiry into SNC-Lavalin, or the Vice-admiral Norman affair, without opposition support. That will put the ethics, honesty and openness of all parties to the test.

Parliament will open with a Throne Speech. The content may be tempered by concessions to the opposition in return for support. We can expect the first Throne Speech to pass, and a budget will follow. After prolonged debate, the budget will also pass.

**************************
     
We can argue over errors and missed opportunities on the campaign trail endlessly, but people have spoken. Trudeau got his first report card and was graded at “C+”; a pass but he must work harder. Scheer on his first outing graded a “B”; he improved his seat count but did not achieve the break-through conservatives wanted.

Pundits are speculating on whether Scheer will be replaced at the spring 2020 CPC convention, but to do so would be suicidal. There is no time for a replacement to become well-known prior to the next election. Worse, the CPC could be caught in an election during a leadership race.
    

Pundits are calling Singh’s efforts a loss, but six months ago, the NDP was expecting a rout that could cost them party status in parliament. Singh was new and faced substantive racism. The 2015 “Orange Wave” was largely due to Quebecers who parked votes with the NDP rather than vote Liberal. Resurgence of the BQ ended that but Singh kept the NDP a relevant force. He scores a “B+” for his efforts.

******************
    
The challenge for Trudeau is to learn to compromise and take opposition views into consideration. He has so far shown no interest in appeasing other parties.
    
The challenge for Scheer is to adopt the behaviour and stance of a (future) Prime Minister. He must not resort to personal attacks. He must deal with issues, plans and policies. He must replace deriding government initiatives with recommendations for improvement, or better alternatives. He will be building his 2021 election platform from day one.
    
Wexit is going to be an issue for this parliament. Western provinces will not tolerate ongoing uncertainty. The vigour with which western separation will be pursued will depend on the Throne Speech. If the government avoids a clear policy on pipelines, and export of natural resources, the backlash will be severe.
    
Scheer is faced with rebels in his caucus. 38.8% are from Alberta and Saskatchewan (44.6% if we include Manitoba) ... and they are not happy. They will not be intimidated by the 38% from Ontario and Quebec. How Scheer deals with that will be telling.
    
If Scheer is smart, he will undertake to build relationships with provincial premiers in preparation for the spring 2020 budget. That is what a Prime Minister in waiting must do. Provinces are weary of federal incursions into their constitutional sovereignty. That is an issue that needs to be addressed. Scheer can give the provinces voice from the opposition ranks. It is great training for the future.
    
Federal focus on major cities is an intrusion into provincial sovereignty funded by taxpayers. Cities are creatures of the provinces and under their jurisdiction. Cities usually function under a charter from the province rather than under the provincial municipal act; nevertheless, they are still a jurisdiction and responsibility of the province.
    
Federal funding of infrastructure is another intrusion into provincial sovereignty and duplication of the equalization scheme. Federal funding for Montreal subway projects is an insulting addition to unjustified equalization payments to Quebec.

These ‘thorns in the side’ have not been dealt with for decades and are something that requires the consensus of provincial premiers. Since Trudeau will not consult with provinces on these issues, Scheer can consult and take the results to Parliament.

**************************
    
The next parliament is loaded with opportunities to retrench and govern differently. Trudeau speaks for about one-third (33.06%) of the people who cast ballots. He has a mandate to lead -- but not to rule us. Failure to govern responsibly will drive us into an early election.

What we must do in the interim is to allow the process of governance to get underway and examine the signals (announcement of the new cabinet, throne speech and budget). Opposition responds are as important as the plans proposed. That will give us the flavour of how the next parliament will operate.
     
We need to pay close attention to parliament over the next year. That will provide an indication of who deserves our support when the minority government is defeated.

Watch what they do rather than listen to what they say. Governance is a tough business and the actions and behaviour in parliament speak volumes about political parties and their advisors.


John Feldsted
Political Commentator, Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba


John Feldsted ... grew up in a conservative family with a deep interest in arts, history, law, and where reading was a requisite to education. He is steadfastly conservative John strongly believes that the best defense for democracy is an informed electorate.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

When necessary – and only when necessary – the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program can attach (garnish) wages

Alan Forseth ~~ Kamloops, BC ~~ May 15th Earlier this week (Monday May 13 th ) the BC government announced it would be establishing a new Crown agency to oversee the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP).   They indicated that on or before the end of October, the provision of family maintenance services would transition from a contracted service provider, to the newly created Crown agency. Apparently, this was to ensure that family maintenance enforcement services for vulnerable British Columbians continue uninterrupted. Seeing this story, reminded me of a woman ( we’ll call her Mary Brown ) who had email me some time b ack about this very thing, and questions she had about how maintenance enforcement was imposed and enforced. She said to me, “ I’m just curious if you can get any statistics of the homeless men and woman, that have children, that they are paying family maintenance in support of their children”.  “I am not about to sugg

Labels

Show more