This week, a Conservative MP resigned over transparency and accountability, and new details emerged about the Nigel Wright - Mike Duffy payoff. Traditional supporters and sympathetic voices in the media are scathing about Harper's conduct and handling of the current crisis. All this comes in advance of a Conservative Party convention in Calgary at the end of June. Can he survive as the prime minister and as the leader of the Conservative Party?
Stephen Harper praised Rob Ford for "cleaning up the NDP mess in Toronto." Tim Hudak said he wanted to emulate Ford's by 'derailing' the 'gravy train' at the provincial level. How much will the ongoing Ford fiasco hurt other right-wing politicians in Ontario and Canada, and the overall conservative 'brand' in politics?
Mike Duffy stepped down from the Conservative caucus, but remains a sitting independent Senator. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office stated that Stephen Harper had "full confidence" in Chief-of-Staff Nigel Wright, who secretly wrote a personal cheque to help Duffy pay back his debts. Clearly, there are still many questions that need to be answered.
What's the worst part of the Mike Duffy - Nigel Wright Senate expense scandal?
Note: On Sunday, May 19, Harper accepted Nigel Wright's resignation.
The fate of Ontario's minority Liberal government is in the hands of NDP leader Andrea Horwath, who has said she is taking the next few days to hear from the public about whether or not her party should vote for the Liberals' budget. The Conservative Party led by Tim Hudak will vote against the budget. If the budget is defeated that would mean an election will be called.
This week Parliament is voting on Bill S-7, 'anti-terror' legislation that the Conservatives rescheduled for this week. See Karl Nerenberg's report from earlier this week for background.
With the NDP's federal convention in Montreal just one week away, there is already a lot of discussion about a proposal to 'soften the language' around the word 'socialist' in the party's constitution.
The proposed new preamble to the party constitution reads:
"New Democrats seek a future which brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, have worked through farmer, labour, co-operative, feminist, human rights and environmental movements to build a more just, equal, and sustainable Canada within a global community dedicated to the same goals..."
What do you think of these proposed change to the NDP's constitution?
The Globe and Mail reports:
Mark Warawa, the Tory MP who represents the B.C. riding of Langley, has asked Speaker Andrew Scheer to find that his parliamentary privilege was breached when the party refused to allow him to talk about his private member’s motion condemning sex-selective abortions.
Mr. Harper has made it clear he does not want the issue of abortion to be raised, and Gordon O’Connor, the government whip, says it is the party’s right to draw up the list of its caucus members who will be permitted to speak.
What do you think: Should backbenchers be allowed to speak in the House of Commons, even when they are raising issues that their party leadership does not want to see raised?