Devil in the Details?
Welcome to this week's episode of Blue Skies Strategy Groups Canadian podcast. What you need to know about this speak in Canadian politics? I'm Alison Fair and joining me this week. My colleagues Jeff Turner Camera Hallstrom and Neil Brodie Happy Friday everyone morning so we finally got all. The kids are back in Ottawa. Back to school and we kicked it off with the speaker of the House. A comments which I think all of us were quite surprised about We Will Miss Jeff Regan and then we had this speech from the Throne Jeff Let's start with you. Your thoughts on the overall overall content of the speech big day in Ottawa. Yesterday it is just Without a partisan hat on it's always really really sort of reassuring reassuring to watch. I think political science terms what we call the peaceful transfer of power in this case. It's transferring from the government to itself but we go through all this pomp and circumstance stance and we have these We have these protocols and these these sort of a royal prerogatives and all these things because it's a stabilizing force and I think it's always nice to step back in kind of appreciate that. Our system of government does a very good job of evening us out and finding compromises and that's a good segue into what what is this throne speech it is. It is a document intended to start the conversation on compromises and I think the biggest surprise at a top line fine. I wouldn't call it a shock but it's just something we weren't expecting as much of was a bit more specificity in terms of a few specific programs or or specific mentions I think this sort of wisdom going in was that the government was willing to Do what most own speeches do which is paint the sort of broad landscape of the challenges and opportunities facing the country in the years ahead and then proposing how to go about solving solving those and a majority contacts like we saw in two thousand fifteen with the throne speech of the incoming Trudeau government. Typically that that is a a rehash of the campaign platform and the game that everybody would play in. That would be. Hey where's that one platform item seems to have been forgotten and is that a signal that it has auden. was there anything forgotten in your point of view in this renting's forgotten because you you just simply couldn't put the liberal platform and the throne speech and pretend to be interested collaborating with other parties. Not because those things are anathema to those parties I think we saw. There's a lot of shared ground in particular with and EP Social the policy the Conservatives have been opening up much ground to share or a bridge to walk across. I don't think we'll get into that wanted. Eat Yup But we found out if if if there was an additional if there was a ninth were that said oil than Mr Blanchette wouldn't voting for this so I I think they struck balance so what. I was surprised to see us that there are a few more items in there which will lead into the budget conversation with those two potential partners. My sense is the government would prefer to work with the the the blocker back while on the budget But whoever wants to stand behind this throne speech as a declaration of values and priorities. I think every party can see some value in this the questions by these values in playing along politically and what we saw. Some people lead flexing last week because they know the block in the past the government is going to fall today but make no mistake. I mean the number one thing going. Into all of twenty twenty years the Conservatives can't go and find election right now they're leaders imperil And they're they're volunteer basin as a campaign organization would be in disarray. They had to go to the polls two months from now. I mean how many people are going to open volunteer. When you're going through internal party divisions the end EP has less than no money And fewer candidates and have had some serious bruising in different parts of the country although they are trying their best to show it the block wants to stick around as long as possible because their newly relevant relevant again so they they have an interest in sticking around to so and the Liberals have proven leader. uh-huh yes that's right exactly Cam Cam. Jeff brought in there. The word compromise is there enough in that throne speech and will allow the MVP to work with the Liberal Party government. Excuse me this is interesting because I saw your eyes go well couple of his comments commitment. This is interesting because I don't take too much talking. What leaders have to say directly after a throne speech a minority? Because let's face facts. It's just a in. The speech is a statement of high minded ideals for most part. Yes most people have a hard time to scream especially in a minority context. You don't want to get too specific specific and we saw that. There wasn't a lot of specificity. They're eating for a what was there wasn't like knock me over the head. I'm stunned to see this. They're kind of specificity. Starting points the for the MVP even Jagmeet Singh reply to it. Was You know what we wanted to see a bit more we want to see action with all deference prince to meet a throne speech is not where you see action. It's an a legislative piece after so this is part of the dance you see is that you can't seem to be too happy with what you've seen. You can't seem seem to be too upset. And where do you go with this. And Yeah one of the spanners in the works. Here is the fact that you have the block who are just it. I find interesting playing the role. The frankly you used to use Lusa play all the time where he just basically said. I know where I am. You know. You don't want to admit it but it reminds me of the debate us to say well. I know I'm not going to be prime minister to have you know the same right. It's the same kind of role where he can just kind of be how he is and you saw that yesterday. He's like well. I'm going to support it. So that forces everyone else to readjust fast and for the PA how you have to be to be pushing for the things you want to see without maybe pushing too hard. That's kind of the fighting this so I think in the end because the block lock isn't going to back the bill back. I think Mcginn little more room to go with but in the end. There's a lot of things in there that that frankly weren't in the liberal platform. I noticed right away. A federal minimum wage age increase. Something that he's called for a long time and and get heckled about over all the time because just how many people fall under the federal minimum wage get there was. You know there are things like that. And they're the MVP has called for. Okay you can say you've gotten something so there's a few more days to the peace of this as well as people need to kind of calm down the rhetoric a group of it. This is not one of these situations that we saw the last minority where you know where there are always opportunities where the tension was much higher. It's just not there right now. So yeah I heard he over like when we were listening to it yesterday and going over the words in the in the speech you You mentioned possibly that The the wording over handguns ends In in there might not get the reaction from the MVP that the Trudeau government might want the the reaction to past memories and experiences. I wish I could forget To be honest let's face it when it comes to hand when it comes to gun legislation nations general there's history and that's long registry in. Everything came with that and obviously the MVP when that was a big issue at the time it wasn't divisive issue within the caucus us and within the membership It's one of the one of those areas of get one of those cleavages. You could hit in if you really wanted to make life difficult on somewhat and when I when I read quote miles first reaction when I heard that then when I read a little more closely I looked exactly what was said. I Pol these enact handgun gun bandstand. EP called for that. This salt style. assault style rifle ban that something and even called for in the past and the idea of a buyback program. I wouldn't be a D- D did Nestle hit on those areas but again in a in a minority in a in a situation you look at these things are closely how might play out and I can see how constituents of certain MP's will react and the pressures that puts on them to act a certain way and just the unintended consequences. That could bring about. But what I will say is this is that Ah we saw this in the Harper government's because obviously the situation was very different. There wasn't a natural dance partner. You saw a lot more. I called poison pills throwing in their something that somebody had to swallow to get through which made it difficult and and created issues like that. You didn't necessarily see that. There is nothing in there that I would look at. Maybe outside of the The handgun ban for the Conservatives as like a poison pill that was. There's no way I could swallow this. So and so neil poison pill Was it specific enough for the conservative because Andrea Sherr when he afterwards was look quite angry once again and not too thrilled with the contents anti the speech I think sometimes people confuse anger with earnestness or or concern You know people people used to Say See that Andrew Scheer was to smiley and now they say too angry while you know what it's one or the other so Perhaps he's just trying to be more serious Listen Fund fundraising for the Conservative Party of Canada was never better than when we were fighting against the long gun registry That's crass politics but it's the truth Millions millions and millions and millions of dollars poured into the Conservative Party Beginning the day after the liberal government brought into effect the long gun registry Whether Mr Trudeau follows through on what he's placed in this In this speech from the throne regarding Firearm policy is is yet to be seen seen But if he starts down that road We will conserve party will be financially ready for the next election sooner than anybody else anybody else. Any other party in Canada With respect to the rest of the speech from the throne you know the old adage used to be the liberals campaign to the left and governed from the right right now. They're showing that. They are campaigning from left and governing even further left There's there's nothing in here that Sorry right there's not much in here. That appeals to a small C conservative voter The casual conservative supporter There's there's some long-overdue stuff concerns about indigenous health For One Easier access to family doctors Mental health standards in the workplace. That these are all good things That any can he can get behind But as far as a Cross Partisan support I'd be surprised if More than twenty conservative showed up for the vote. Or they're all gonNa vote against it one one of the other. So do you think because in watching the political show's afterwards And my F- My friend and former colleague Don Martin said you know in in all the eight years he he's been covering it in myself as well. We've never seen a throne speech that actually gets to specific. So why were the conservatives like Michelle rental looked like. She was about to a cry on television. Why did the curve conservatives and this is maybe a question for all of you if you're on the party in that in reading in the speech are you telling them to go out there and just be so dramatic on? It isn't a good thing for Canadians to see this drama after the throne speech when there's not too much details in the words start with you Neil. The opposition's Role is to oppose so no matter. You Know Mr Mr Trudeau could've come out and said he's going to increase pipeline capacity across the country by four times and He's going to make sure that every every family gets a a firearm subsidy or You know there's going to be roads built between EDMONTON CALGARY RED deer north battle furred and the Conservative Party. Still going to pose it. Because that's what they have to do. characterizing it as people crying overly overly emotional about it is i. Think a bit of a stretch But the the the message from The Liberal Party and Mister Trudeau and and miss freeland since October. Twenty second is we have to listen to all of all Canadians and we have to govern for all Canadians Canadians. And as I said are there. There's things in here that all Canadians can support which are good things but If if if those comments in the last thirty forty days were or going to speak more to conservatives. There's absolutely nothing here that speaks to large a couple of things first off before I came up. Here record. Tell was catching Mr Shears response the response to the throne speech in the House and he started off by talking about how Canadian sent a message. And how the prime minister said he'd heard the message and but then quickly went into but he obviously hasn't heard or taken it to heart of kind of paraphrasing. But then Mr Scherr continued on with commentary metairie which kind of also gave the impression he hadn't taken what happened to heart either because and I understand where he's coming from an agreement politics piece because there absolutely is that having been unofficial opposition piece that you have to you have to oppose. What's to a certain degree? I think the problem is is that it's remembering what it is you're dealing with and the devils come in the details. I think that's why when I watched the MVP response part of my concern was that you're getting too much into what's asking for details from this is not about details right. You're not gonna see that until until you see legislation here that's rising that's for sure it's the same same kind of thought. Well look yes you you need to show the happiest at the same time how far you go down that road and I think wanting to remember all this at everyone is frankly finding their own little battle right. Now and I think that's why for the for the government having a very nondescript throne speech worked because let's face face facts. We know that the Conservatives are going through some leadership challenges right now and let's face it the next real big vote outside yesterday. We'll be the budget and we don't know I know what the state of the conservative leadership will be at that point and that and that to me. That's where the rubber really starts to hit the road on this. But in the meantime it's one of these things where it's like. Look there's some there. There are things in that speech that I could easily see turning hard right on the on the MVP right away said about like Jeff made the point that the word toil was conspicuously absent but there was language is very clear about getting resources to market which means pipelines. We know that so what happens when and that actually starts hit the road and something extra Ford what's the MVP going to do or when it comes to the implementation like I know I already heard it from a couple new Democrats. The language on Pharma Care it didn't mention universal single payer. So what exactly does this look. Great again. So to me the devil's always in the details and that's where the fight really starts happened. So I I think the opposition parties need to kind of slow the role a little bit here and kind of wait for that piece to come. Jeff hearing the essence of your question. Try to stay contemporaneous with today and yesterday and people are welcome to disagree with me and especially people who may have a different weed. I'm getting this out of the way so that I can so who I can say my piece. which is I think in the risk for Mr Scherr in particular but Mr Singh is also dancing a fine line on this Canadians? Who are watching doing this? Because it's just been such a bruising kind of election campaign political times internationally and nationally are challenging. Canadians are tuned in and generally kind of frustrated with our political process. been so they're watching. I think closer than they may otherwise. And if if if I'm right and people as I said can disagree with it. I kind of see that the Justin Trudeau in the liberal. Government have made that pivot and it was quite a marked pivot two days after the election to kind of put away the really hot white hot rhetoric and and start to fill the role and duty of government as they are as they are entitled and want to do in the the campaign ended right and I think the risk that the conservatives in the end ep are are running right now is since October twenty second and up until today hey and perhaps for some weeks to come. The campaign is very much on like if I can paraphrase all of Andrews here it's like I can't believe thrones shouldn't have my whole platform in it. What the heck right right like? That's just ridiculous. Right and then missing is going on with a number of very specific items that are his platform and he has been telling people that I am here to deliver for you. That's fair there but all of these people are in its minority so we do know that the permanent campaign is an element of a minority government. But these two leaders in particular have been overtly the kind of electoral campaigning in this interim period as if the the full electoral campaign on and I I just I wonder under weather. Canadians are starting to see a difference. Evolving between these sort of opposition parties were continuing on that that higher pitch if I can put it that way rather other than trying to find into camps point the the common ground the working Taylor is GonNa come in twenty twenty. But that's the risk I see and I guess my only caution if I am looking forward and less than service because as I've said before and I believe I don't if they vote for one or two standalone pieces of legislation the next two years like that that is going to be about as much as they do. It's going to have to be right up their alley like a middle class tax cut. I mean if they don't vote for that bill on the premise that it gives does not attack people north of two hundred thousand dollars dollars. That's a pretty awkward political position yourself in. Maybe they'll be shared things around resource sector or other things but legislatively they're not going to be supporting much But on the end EP side they have to work they have to find centerpiece yesterday. They have to find the opposition. Nuts fit on the government bolts the whole the whole thing together because of the whole thing falls apart I would argue. The Liberal Party is in the best position to go into an election today versus everybody else And that's been sustained for a while and so if you're if you're betting the house you better be careful about how far you carry that bluff because if that bluff is called Or you're not willing to bend enough to just make it work The consequences can be big for a party with the MVP especially that actually some very serious consequences because if they went through an election like a month and a half from now they'd be bankrupt. They wouldn't they wouldn't be able to do it. How far's Taylor -sego both three writings your though if this thing were to fall? Apart in January march February we're not going to a campaign campaign the chance to form a government that's our system the G. G. which played us out a little further and something would happen if that ever came to that. I don't think it's going to buy like looking looking at past experience as a good lesson for how things may come and I remember very vividly the last minority because we kept seeing these shows rose from Michael Ignatieff. At the time of. WE'RE GONNA stand up or putting. I remember him in Sudbury. We're putting the Conservatives on nobody's holding them to account and then they backed down one hundred st votes and I remember the Rick Mercer piece when they brought out the whole the whole church choir sang backing down loving. It was one of the best piece of Canadian satire. Ever seen in my life but the point is is that it all comes down to that. Vote once rubber hits the road. That's when you'll see people really at and that's why I think in the minority. That's what we Kinda have to take Kosta back like yes. We're used to pay more attention. And everything going on but really pay attention to moments where he actually has to cast a vote in actually means something in that in that period. Sometimes we'd go ahead in our office. We work one block from where the House of Commons sits. Every day we view does any of this punched through to Canadians. Who Wake up every day and take the subway or the car to work Pick up groceries on the way home. Feed the kids does does. This is a speech from the throne today. Anybody wake up this morning start talking about in coffee shops. No telling you throw on. This is something we you talk about But it is. I just say that to bring us all back to reality that this is the speech from throwing the first step of To two maybe the three year process of the forty third parliament But as as a as a guiding document I do agree with you guys that it's a high level aspirational. There's going to be maybe five or six piece of legislation attached to Keep keep pillars in here And to your point Jeff as concert is the sole conservative in a room full of left-of-centre people trust me. ADP would disagree but that's okay to conservatives everybody conservative is a liberal. Don't worry her liberal supporters There's there's there's things in here that are good for the country and we all sit there. Let's hope let's hope we go into twenty twenty that you know everyone just gets along and I. I would like to see to be on his Andrew shears rhetoric and tone to come down a little bit more kind of seen happening. We've seen Jason Kennedy Scott Bowl covering the temperature. Ford we've seen the weird sight of Doug Ford being conciliator and all that I I think people have kind of realized that temperatures gotten hot and now time to kind of bring it down like we saw. I saw the news last night. Jason Kenny and the federal government agreeing on exemptions for industrial matters his car flex planes. This people need to remember. I think the important thing here is stone and this is where my word of warning to to the government is that the tone means everything when it comes down to a while in a minority you can try to squeeze the other sites. Hi It's until it's your fault if an election comes there's another person at that table and that's the person who's setting the tone and who's actually governing the place and make an easy like really. My argument is that Stephen Harper it could keep a minority got to minority government going over two years each with basically no natural ally. There's no reason why Justin Trudeau schnapp keep this going orange for at least as long. When he's got to natural allies sitting there there should be a much easier job if he doesn't get too high and mighty high on himself and you know what so far? He struck the right tone on but again the other parties. They could have to wait to see what happens and see what happens on the rubber. Gets the real on that note. I think we will have to see what happens. Look to see what happens in the twenty twenty honey. I really hope it. The tone does come down a little bit. I think for everyone across this country would like to see that we dealt with it in the election and now let's just get the job done so Jeff Cam Neil always a pleasure. Thank you guys and thank you to you. The listeners for tuning into blue skies strategy groups groups team of political observers for this week's a Canadian. podcast what you need to know about politics this week in Canada it loose guy. 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