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Tony Clement apparently values the wireless telephone companies concerns over consumers.

That seem to be the logical conclusion, after reading this story from Professor Micheal Geist in the Star today, about Clement killing an online calculator tool designed to help consumers find the best cellphone plan for them, because of lobbying from Canada’s cellphone companies over their fears that it may actually help people pick cell-phone plans that would cost less to them, but not bring in more profit to the phone companies:

After spending tens of thousands of dollars creating and testing an online calculator designed to help consumers select their ideal wireless plan, Industry Minister Tony Clement killed the project weeks before it was scheduled to launch. Government records […]

I support (real) Senate reform.

It’s been rather amusing pointing out the hypocrisy that Harper has engaged in with all these crony appointments to the Senate in recent days and comparing them to his past statements, but let me say that I also want to mirror Jeff’s blogpost in saying that if Harper were actually to propose real Senate reform, I’d go along with that. What is “real Senate reform”, you might ask? Jeff’s definition will do nicely:

..real and meaningful Senate reform means a constitutional amendment. It means the amending formula. It means sitting down with the provinces and negotiating regional representation, and elections, and term limits, and the balance of powers between House […]

I’m not losing sleep over this

In brief, and just to follow up on Impolitical’s post this AM, there are many things I worry about with regards to Liberal election strategy and allowing Harper to continue being PM of this country, but “losing the Senate” because of a raft of patronage appointments by this PM isn’t one of those worries.

I see the only requirement to be a Harper Senator is blind loyalty to the King of Patronage.

Check out the interview that ex-hockey coach, current hockey analyst, and newly appointed Conservative Senator Jacques Demers gave to the Globe:

Mr. Demers… was a well-known face among the new crop of senators. He said he will continue working as a hockey analyst and put his mind to his new job.

“I’ve just been named a senator here, and I’m going to have to start following [federal politics],” he said in an interview.

I’m not listing this to attack Jacques: I applaud him for his honesty about his not having followed federal politics up to this point.

It reflects worse on Harper for picking him then it does Jacques for […]

Gary Doer: a good pick for US Ambassador, but an obvious Harper attempt to deflect yesterday's patronage binge

So, I’m going to get on here today and actually give Harper credit for picking Gary Doer, the just-resigned ex-NDP premier of Manitoba, to be the new ambassador to the US. He’s someone who’ll be more ideologically in tune with President Obama then current Canadian ambassador Michael Wilson is (who probably is feeling a bit uncomfortable down there after Conservative officials leaked to the US press about “Obama doesn’t really believe in vetoing Free trade” stuff that occurred in the Democratic primaries and helped contribute to an Obama defeat in Ohio), and since he’s an ex-premier, he’ll probably be used to try and go at this “Buy American” legislation that’s […]

Gritgirl on the Harper Senate appointments.

Gritgirl strikes on the Harpocrisy of these new Conservative Senate appointments – bringing the total to 27 in less then a calendar year.

Look, I’ll be the first to admit the Liberals aren’t exactly pious when it comes to lecturing other party’s on their PM making patronage appointments to the Senate. The difference is that Harper has said ad nauseum the past 13 years he would never do this. Yet, he’s now made 27 Senate appointments of his Conservative cronies in less then a year. As Gritgirl points out, this is the LARGEST ever amount of appointments in a single year by any Canadian Prime Minister.

[…]

Interesting.

The new director of communications for the Conservative Government, John Willamson, has had some very negative things to say about the Harper government, and a lot of it just recently.

It might make for interesting times around the discussion table – unless John has had an epiphany and now believes Harper and his government is the best thing since sliced bread.

Tidbit Thursday - Harper destroys the Senate to save it, and new Ekos poll confirms dead heat.

A new Ekos poll come out in line with Decima’s results, making me again question Ipsos Reid’s poll as well as the NDP bloggers jumping all over that one result and declaring the end of Liberalism. Also, Harper apparently is destroying the Senate (and his past pious pronouncements on Senate Reform) to save the Senate, or something… […]

Why is the Justice Dept asking the Supreme Court to quickly decide if they’ll hear the Khadr case or not?

Very interesting news today about the Omar Khadr case and the government’s decision to appeal to the Supreme Court; it appears some people’s suspicions (including me) about the government filing this appeal to stall on acting on Khadr may have been incorrect; the government is asking the SC to speed up a decision from them on whether or not to hear the case:

In an unusual move, federal lawyers swiftly filed written arguments to the Supreme Court of Canada yesterday, and asked for an expedited decision from the judges on whether to allow an appeal to proceed. A hearing is not automatic…Even Khadr’s Canadian lawyers were surprised by how quickly […]

A hope that Ted Kennedy's legacy will live on with real health care reform in the US.

So if you’re politically inclined at all, you’ll know that Senator Ted Kennedy has passed away today. He wasn’t a perfect person by any means (and who is?), but he also did a lot of good things on the legislative front.

My hope is that his legacy will live on in a health care reform bill (perhaps renamed the Teddy Kennedy Health-Care Reform Act in his memory) and that it includes the “public option” in it, which is something Kennedy wanted – as a minimum.

Here’s also hoping the Democrats in the Senate use all legal and legislative means (google “reconciliation”) to pass this through the Senate against the […]

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