No more chances to introduce legislation. The record of the Harper Government is set. Parliament is done for the summer and won't reconvene before the election.
Minister of Industry James Moore is the latest cabinet minister to not run for re-election. Moore cited the health of his two-year-old son Spencer, who suffers from a rare bone disease.
Moore was the Minister of Heritage before switching to Industry. He also held a junior role as secretary of state. Moore also represented British Columbia in the cabinet in much the same way as Peter MacKay represented Nova Scotia.
Moore and MacKay join an impressive list of cabinet members not running for re-election. John Baird (Foreign Affairs); Shelly Glover (Canadian Heritage); Christian Paradis (International Development); and Diane Ablonczy (several minister of state and parliamentary secretary roles) are all not running for re-election in October.
Add Jim Flaherty (Finance) who resigned and died shortly afterward and there are a lot of key names as part of Harper's team who won't be in the next Parliament.
The traditional passing of the baton by parties that have been in power for some time doesn't look to be a part of the Conservatives playbook in 2015. The ship goes down or stays afloat with Stephen Harper.
We thought Stephen Harper would be the only major player from the 2011 election in the mix for the 2015 federal election. Michael Ignatieff is teaching at Harvard University. Jack Layton tragically passed away in August 2011. And Gilles Duceppe left politics after the humiliation of the Bloc Quebecois in the 2011 election.
Madames and monsieurs, Gilles Duceppe has re-entered the building.
Sure the Bloc Quebecois is down to 2 seats, one of them belonging to Mario Beaulieu, who had been the leader. Beaulieu wasn't well suited to be the leader of a political party. The Bloc Quebecois had 4 seats in the 2011 election but lost 2 members in the interim time.
The political landscape has changed considerably for Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois. The publicly-financed per-vote subsidy helped the Bloc at its height but is no longer available. The Parti Quebecois took advantage of the backlash against then Liberal Premier Jean Charest, but Pauline Marois got greedy and lost her minority government in April 2014. The drive to get Stephen Harper out of power may be stronger than the potential separatist power return in Ottawa.
Presumably, Duceppe would run in his old riding of Laurier—Sainte-Marie for the fall federal election.
A strong showing from the Bloc Quebecois hurts the NDP primarily, the Liberals significantly, and the Conservatives less than being poked by a comb.
The polls have the NDP and Thomas Mulcair out in front. If you wondered what happened to the Liberals and Justin Trudeau, you are not alone.
The NDP win in Alberta has given hope nationwide for the party. The Liberals bizarre and unexpected support of Bill C-51 did damage to the Liberals and Trudeau in the polls.
Trudeau recently came out and supports an end to 1st-past-the-post voting in his platform speech. What Trudeau is in favor of is representation in the House of Commons based on the percentage of vote your party receives, not how many ridings a party wins. The NDP has traditionally been in favor of this position, given its traditional 3rd-place finishes.
This new take would help the Green Party and Elizabeth May as well as other parties that come close in ridings but don't win.
If the winning coalition is Liberal-NDP or NDP-Liberal, you would have a combination that agrees on this subject, making it easier to pass that kind of legislation.
The right to a speedy trial in Canada may only apply to the start of that trial if the Mike Duffy trial is any indication. There have been long breaks in this trial. The next major witness will be former Harper chief of staff Nigel Wright. You might remember that Wright wrote a $90,000 check to Duffy to cover his Senate expenses that he wrongly claimed.
Duffy is charged with receiving the check as a bribe, yet Wright wasn't charged with offering the bribe.
There will be an official call for the federal election, some 35 days before October 19. Then again, the race has already started. No parliamentary sitting means candidates and MPs have plenty of time to court voters.