The second session of Canada's 41st Parliament opens today. And early word about the Speech from the Throne is that PMS (Prime Minister Steve) will make a move towards consumer rights.
He was against pick-and-pay cable and satellite, before he was for it.
He was for long term cell phone contracts before he was against it.
He was against cell phone company mergers -- now in the next auction of bandwidth it looks like those restrictions are going out the window.
There's no indication yet that he'll allow financial institutions and life insurance companies to set whatever mortgage rate they want, especially if they're below the general market (remember earlier this year when Slim Jim practically ordered an insurance company to reverse a rate decrease). The public backlash might have changed Harper's mind about that too.
Why all of this?
To try to lift a page from the NDP. Although the Liberals are out in front despite a very weak leader in Justin Trudeau, the Cons must be worried that Tom Mulcair actually has a chance to win in 2015 and lead our country's first ever socialist federal government. And as I've written before, Mulcair actually appears to favour free enterprise over the Conservatives. Unthinkable for the NDs even a decade ago.
Oh, and let's not forget the other week when Harper said he won't take no for an answer when it comes to the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. What's the point of having a National Energy Board, or any arm's length quasi-judicial board when the Cabinet can just override their decision? Such powers make the resident of 24 Sussex, whoever he or she is, a dictator. Even the British PM doesn't have nearly those powers -- the only reason he's perceived to have more is because he has his finger on The Button (or one of them).
And even if the NEB says yes but Obama says no, what will Harper do? Order Alberta to turn off the pipelines and let the southern b******s freeze in the dark? Sue maybe, and under the much hated Chapter XI of NAFTA. Doesn't bode well to help America -- and us -- get off OPEC's client list.
Meanwhile, Parliament goes into its 13th year of renovations. A $50 million job is running up to $5 billion and counting. All parties are to blame on that one, but you'd think Steve would hire as many stonemasons and other general labourers as he could -- even foreign ones on temporary work permits -- and tell them, get this done in time for the next election. Seven to ten years more is crazy. Yeah, there's asbestos there, but how about closing the place for two months while it's cleared out? They had the summer.
A new session? Much ado about nothing. There is no reset button today. Whether it's the Senate or the train crash in Lac Mégantic, Harper still has to answer some tough questions.
In the meantime, it's time to stop the grandstanding standing ovations in the House. There were nearly none under Mulroney or Chrétien. Those demonstrations don't impress me much, or a lot of other Canadians. Just a change there would indicate Harper actually respects the integrity of the House, or what's left of it.
PMS? Are you being sexist? Oh all right, I think you really mean PM Scandal ... don't you agree that really fits, eh?
Yeah, scandal is the mot juste here. There are a few other words beginning with S, but I won't use them. Not here anyway.
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