Weekend Notes (Vol. 1, No. 10)

Spent last Saturday traipsing around north Toronto in a snowstorm with the Martha Hall Findlay campaign. That resulted in both a week’s worth of fever and chills and this story. Judge for yourself whether the latter was worth the suffering.The apartment canvassing was mildly instructional. Granted, the sample size was very small and taken from a Liberal-friendly riding, but consider that only a couple voters made a point of complaining about Stephane Dion. Another explicitly lamented the leadership of Stephen Harper. And not a single mention was made of the Liberal voting record in the House.So good news Ottawa insiders: no one’s paying attention. They’re far more concerned with the increase in cigarette butts found on their neighbourhood sidewalks. Adjust your policy and political projections as you see fit. 

-Didn’t get a chance last weekend to mention Thomas Mulcair’s little freakout. Arrived in the House that day just in time to see the NDP’s next leader yelling and pointing at the Conservative side. As unhinged a moment as Parliament has seen this session. When Mulcair returned to his seat, it was Pat Martin, ever the even-handed diplomat, who came by to make sure he was okay.

-Couple of interesting contributions to the Cadman affair. First, Stephen Maher talks to Dan Wallace (sort of) and a pair of former Conservative MPs. And Glen McGregor talks to two of Cadman’s former financial advisors.

-In this piece, the esteemed John Geddes suggests Ian Brodie will survive the NAFTA controversy. Preposterous? Probably not. Consider the Prime Minister’s response to a question on the subject this past Thursday. “In terms of the issue at hand, the clerk of the Privy Council is leading a full internal investigation. We will accept whatever recommendations come out of that but I can say that at the moment nobody is suggesting that there is any evidence that would suggest at this point that I should force anyone to resign.”

-Finally, one passage from Like A Rock that seems to have escaped notice. This is taken from page 265 and takes place about three weeks before the infamous vote.

A demon dialer message from Alberta was bombarding [Cadman’s] offices in Surrey and Ottawa, saying he should sink the government. But the only thing it managed to accomplish was to make Chuck really angry.

“He was pretty pissed off about it because it was disrupting a lot of things,” Dona recalled.

Surrey residents were getting calls from the Conservative Party of Canada with an automated message urging them to phone Chuck and tell him to vote against the Liberals. The idea of a mass phoning campaign asking thousands of residents to pepper the MP with calls while he was struggling with cancer did not sit well with many constituents.

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