Political Theatrics: Relaxing Party Discipline
The Canadian political system is often argued to be controlled by excessive party discipline flowing from the centre of government onto elected members of Parliament. The tendency of political parties, specifically the governing party, to exert rigid discipline over its members has slowly evolved since the early 1900s and consolidated in the latter years of the 1960s under Pierre Trudeau.
The centralization of government has only strengthened this phenomenon. Under an executive-centred conception of Canadian government, we see a rise of the “Court Government”. The Prime Minister and a handful of his/her selected “courtiers” in the Prime Minister’s Office act as the ultimate decision-making body, significantly restricting the ability of Members of Parliament to dissent. This now characteristically Canadian style of party discipline emerged from the British parliamentary system and eventually evolved into an even more rigid lever of power.
Once again Quebec more equal than other provinces
In the 1992 referendum on the Charlottetown Accord, British Columbians rejected the proposed amendments to Canadas constitution with the highest no vote in the country (68.3%). Also in the no camp were Manitoba (61.6%) and then Alberta (60.2%). Four other provinces also turned it down and the package barely passed in Ontario.
In B.C. and Alberta, a prime reason why the Charlottetown Accord failed so miserably was fierce opposition to the proposed distinct society clause for Quebec. It was a nebulous concept with the potential to continually exempt Quebecs government from norms applicable to other provinces, including on individual rights. (It is why Pierre Trudeau opposed it). In another Charlottetown section, on the Senate, any issue involving French language and culture would have needed the approval of a majority of Francophone senators, not just a bare majority of all Senators.
Therapy Dogs Are Helping Capitol Hill Staffers Having a Ruff Time With the Impeachment Saga
Stress has hit an all time high on Capitol Hill as Democrats move forward with their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. It’s so stressful that the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) brought a group of therapy dogs to the Hill on Wednesday, the same day public hearings began.
“This is a happy accident,” Mike Bober, president of PIJAC, told PEOPLE magazine. “We had this planned for several months, so when they announced the date of the hearings, we thought ‘if there was ever a time for a bipartisan source of comfort and relief, it’s today.'”
Pet Partners, the nation’s leading organization in registering therapy animals for animal-assisted interventions, and PIJAC came together three years ago to bring therapy dogs to Capitol Hill. It was such a success that it has become a yearly event. This year’s event just so happened to coincide with day one of the impeachment hearings.
US newsrooms practically blame Mormon family after brutal slaughter in Mexico
The line in media between poor editorial choices and anti-religious agitprop was blurred again this week after newsrooms appeared to blame the victims of a massacre in Mexico, which claimed the lives of three adult women and six children and left an additional five children injured.
The victims, all U.S. citizens, were members of a Mormon community that settled decades ago in northern Mexico. The mothers and their children had traveled in three separate vehicles Monday from their settlement in Sonora, Mexico, to a wedding in neighboring Chihuahua. Along the way, gunmen believed to be in the service of the cartels ambushed them, killing nine and leaving the rest for dead. Of the murdered, the oldest was 43-year-old Dawna Langford, and the youngest victims were 8-month-old twins, Titus Alvin Miller and Tiana Gricel Miller.
Yet, here is a sampling of how some American newsrooms have covered the ruthless massacre:
“Brutal Killings Spotlight Small Religious Sect in Mexico,” declared a since-amended New York Times headline. The story’s subhead declared also, “Fundamentalist religious communities have a long history in northern Mexico, dating back to settlers who practiced polygamy.”