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Karl Nerenberg has been reporting on federal politics from Parliament Hill for rabble.ca since September, 2011. In his long career, he has won numerous awards as a broadcaster and documentary filmmaker.
The Fair Elections Act received Royal Assent last June and is now the law of the land.
The hue and cry of protest from the opposition, the media, almost every reputable expert, and tens of thousands of Canadians had virtually no effect.
The Conservatives pushed their oxymoronically named legislation through with only a few amendments.
Now, it seems we have all moved on. There are other matters to excite and worry us: war in the Middle East, global warming and the Harper government's indifference to it, Ebola -- and let us not forget the latest opinion polls.
Prime Minister Harper used few words on Friday afternoon to justify Canada taking a combat role in Iraq, and, possibly, Syria.
The nub of his appeal to Canadian public opinion was:
"This intervention is necessary to ensure regional and global security ... The evidence of the necessity of this is none better than the fact that the mission has been launched by President Obama, the leader who had withdrawn American troops and proudly ended the war in Iraq."
There you have it.
If the U.S. "President of Peace" says this war is necessary, it must be necessary.
Editor's note: Since the publication of this piece Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberals, has indicated his party will vote with the NDP and oppose Harper's motion to expand Canada's military role in Iraq.
The politics of Canada's going to war are not simple.
The prospect of taking military action in Iraq and even Syria is problematic for all political parties.
Mainstream media commentators in English Canada say that it is a particular problem for NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.
When a government is strongly committed to a policy it is usually very open and up front about it.
The Harper government has said, for quite a while, that most of those who come to Canada seeking refugee status do not deserve health care.
Current Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and his predecessor Jason Kenney have both characterized a large number of the often-desperate people who seek Canada’s protection under the 1951 Geneva Convention as 'bogus refugees.'
On Tuesday night the House of Commons voted down an NDP motion that would have made Parliament a little more serious and relevant to the concerns of Canadians.
The motion, proposed by Official Opposition House Leader Peter Julian, pertained to government behaviour during the daily Question Period.
Had it passed, Julian's motion would have given the Speaker the authority to assure that when government ministers and parliamentary secretaries answer questions they address the subject matter at hand.
There are times when some of the most significant events in Parliament happen far from public view.
This week the chatter about politics is all about Paul Calandra's tears -- were they true remorse or chagrin at being frog-marched into the apologizer's seat?
More substantively, the chatter is about the role the Speaker should play in guiding Question Period, and what the parties in the House might do if and when they get to vote on a combat role for Canada in the Middle East.