House calls being made as part of EI audit
Opposition leader Tom Mulcair has been working tirelessly for nearly a year to position his New Democrats as the government in waiting, and himself as a future prime minister. Thursday both those objectives grew measurably more difficult to achieve.
With the defection of Quebec NDP MP Claude Patry to the moribund but apparently still kicking. With the defection of Quebec NDP MP Claude Patry to the moribund but apparently still kicking Bloc Quebecois, it now becomes clear that Mulcair is fighting on three fronts to hold the historic gains made by his party in the 2011 election. Never mind building on those gains: Mulcair will be putting out this fire for the foreseeable future, focusing on the preservation of his Quebec beachhead. Even that is no longer a foregone conclusion. There’s Justin Trudeau to consider.
The truly aggravating thing for Mulcair here must be the realization that he brought this on himself with his ill-considered bid to “improve on” the federal Clarity Act in January. That was a battle of choice, not necessity. He could have left well enough alone. Now the damage is done, and its ripple effects are spreading.
Consider how humbly it began, with Bill C-457, initiated by Bloc MP Andre Bellavance. Had that passed – it was never more than a goad, on account of the Bloc holding, at that time, four seats – it would have repealed the law that sets the terms for separation. Among other measures, the Clarity Act states Canada cannot entertain such negotiations absent a clear majority, voting on a clear question. (Source: National Post)