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Scheer said he's going to step down as leader from conservatives whole bunches happen and that's just twenty one thousand nine. It doesn't even cover the the last few weeks. I don't know what we were thinking to any time off at all. That is entirely bad. However we're going to fix it now let's catch up because we're gonNA start with what's going to happen? This problem is back is Justin Trudeau's first real go at this whole minority government thing kicking off everything with the new math all right. Let's get into it do it. Okay so if parliament did reconvene Before the Christmas break break But it was very brief and not much was able to be accomplished. This is now a big long run for this first minority government for Justin Trudeau to try and get some things done to test itself a little bit to see what kind of leader Justin Trudeau is in a minority parliament situation and the the first piece of legislation is perhaps not surprisingly a move to ratify. The new NAFTA Does that I guess that sort of makes sense right right. I mean if you're going to start minority government situation. You're going to start with sort of an easy win in this case so the US government is already ratified the new Nafta which we haven't settled on what we're going to call it who smoke or or the ties that bind us all or whatever the name we have for suggestion. I with new NAFTA I can't I can't stand that other one right. Yeah no I can't handle it either. But whatever the new Nafta is they just has to get it through parliament here and it's not like most of the parties are terribly opposed everything that's in it so password. They're starting with their starting with something that they see is sort of an easy political victory back. Yeah and and there is some pressure to get it done given that Donald Trump signed the US west version of this this week so we are the last country to do it and as you say we need to do it. It doesn't seem like the opposition is putting up much of a faucet the end EP. He has some issues around Labor provisions. And just the fact that they don't feel like they've studied it enough. The block has some issues around particularly Aluminum aluminum workers given that. That industry is concentrated in Quebec but the Conservatives have made it pretty clear that they are trading a a free trade party. They want to support this and they want to get it through so I think it's just a matter of time rather than whether or not it happens right. I mean I guess just from a practical level opposition's GONNA opposition thing they're going to do is say org. Well hold on a minute. We need to look at this in committee and have a bunch of conversations. But I don't think there's a real worry that the NAFTA's not going to be ratified at any point. However we've seen a few groups are Canadian Chamber of Commerce grain? Growers Lowers the Cattleman Association. which I don't know why they're not called the Cattleman Cattle Women Association saying that they push through as quickly as possible I have? I mentioned that I missed you. I'm glad you're back. No one talks like that here. I gotta say it's very yeah anyway. Anyway I'm I'm relieved to be filling this role okay. Good Yeah So. It's all going to get done. That peace will get done but there has been of late some questions in the media and by pundits about what really else the government is going to do. I think some of the criticism. Frankly has been a little unfair For a couple of reasons first of all I think minority governments always have to tread a little slower than a majority. Can't just sort of run roughshod with your legislative slative policy agenda because you have to you know see where you can get compromised and negotiate and that of course there have been some outside events that have have sort of slowed things down. We'll get to those in a moment moment right. I mean the thing that sticks out for me. Is that the throne speech which is where where the government outlined their priorities. I was back in December fifth. That was eight or nine weeks ago. they were elected a month before that. So yeah. The Christmas break happened but They still appear to be kind of low gear. The House might might be in low gear over the Christmas break. But that doesn't mean the government is like when I try to think back to when they won in two thousand fifteen liberals in two thousand fifteen like in the month after he got elected they got going on bringing back the the census they got going on resettling the Syrian refugees in the country. But we're three months after election and they're just moving very very slowly. Yeah and I think that that an and correct me if you if you think I'm wrong but I don't think I think there is a recognition and that that being a blazing fire after a minority mandate maybe wouldn't work like wouldn't work well for the many many Canadians who didn't vote for them. Wouldn't work well for the opposition parties. Who are going to as as you say opposition? I like we should get that on a t shirt and they have to do do things with all those things in mind and I do think and much smarter people than I have written about it but I do think that the prime minister is trying to be a different different kind of leader. This time round doing you say that. But I think he's just trying to be less of the centerpiece of the one thing that sticks except for the Liberal Safaris. It'd be a lot more a lot less rather a lot less trudeau centric but what happens when your entire sort of center Andrew is gone is like everyone was like well. Where is the government would have they been up to I mean there are other things that they will have to do. within the next Month or two they will have have to respond to the court decision on medically assisted dying because the court has basically said. You're not really you haven't really gone far enough. In order order to you. Know protect everybody and make sure that they all have access to this. So they're now looking at expanding it to include things like mature minors Advanced I request so saying that you want to die before even get near there and people who have mental illness those are all parameters around medically-assisted dine that may now be expanded in in this new legislation. So it's not as though there's there's nothing there I think it's just a different pace and a different approach. And when you've seen government in action for four and a half years or whatever and they changed fairly dramatically I think that can be disconcerting. And people probably still trying to figure that out are certainly expected. Awesome to be like Brash. Yes pushing forward things but you know I actually would've expected that they'd move a little bit quicker on certain topic topic areas like for example farmers. NDP saying that they're just going to table legislation to push through Pharma care as quickly as possible and that's because the liberals at the moment don't have a timetable for when they're going to introduce it I think they are also waiting to see how conversations with the provinces were expecting a meeting with them I Dunno sometime in February or March Because the provinces have have put down some clear lines as well which is sort of what happens in minority governments. Right people. Start to Feel you like to have a little more leverage to get what they want. But but can I turn us to the other things that have happened as well. That that mean that the government has had to not just focus on a legislative agenda that you know people can quibble about how Substan- of it is but to govern to to make decisions for Canadians in in difficult. Oh places so whether that be the downing of PS seven fifty two in Iran whether that be corona virus. There's a lot going on that. These people have to manage manage right. I mean especially with the Ukrainian plane. I would say that very few people have been criticizing the way that true handled that and in fact he was sort sort of a steady handling that led Iran. Do sort of make that stunning admission that yes in fact they did shoot down the plane. Very few people expected such an admission to come and I saw at least a few opinion pieces in the globe mentioning credited Trudeau's diplomacy with with with getting that admission and I think that Corona Virus Novel Corona Virus. I think is the name that we're using for it. has has now added another sort of dimension two things they have to handle title in the immediate and when sort of extreme threats or disasters or or what have you happen. The whole of government sort of focuses. It's attention on how they can help with those things whether it be you know getting Canadians out of China treating cases here figuring out how how they coordinate with the rest of the world. Those are all really complex issues. That many many different departments of dealing with so it's not an excuse per se but it is I think thinking explanation for why people are are busy just busy doing other things so when I think about that and then I think about sort of this week opening with the new Nafta data that gets you good headlines gets you good conversations right away but there isn't really anything coming up in the pipeline after it so I I'm surprised they're not anxious to look like they're doing a lot at least in terms of like brokering compromises or advancing a bunch of legislations that a bunch of parties agree on. What do you think? Yeah I think maybe they're testing the water to right if if you as you said Nafta sort of an easier Piece of legislation to put in the pipeline. Knowing in that it will go okay. They're probably WANNA see how that unfolds and and you know. The even parliamentary committees. Were a lot of this work gets done. They're only getting started started this week. So there's a lot of the mechanics inside parliament that haven't really been put in place that are needed in order for legislation to go ahead so this might not the pace that we're used to seeing from the liberal government but maybe this is the way they've chosen to operate in a minority government. Maybe they've decided to take Kamar time in the fall of nineteen ninety eight an elderly woman known as the Cat Lady Eighty went missing. She had a very Very Distinctive Silhouette and very recognizable. When you'd see you're walking into town a handkerchief on her hair long long overcoat like somebody that lived on the street? All police could find where her thirty cats shot dead. I always knew something happened to her to vanish like that. Uncover the CAT lady case from. CBC podcasts. Let's talk about the thing. I desperately WANNA talk. which is hey rosie? I have a big question. Yeah why doesn't anyone. At least with a recognizable indictable name want to lead the Conservative Party. Are you saying Peter. McKay is not a recognizable. Get One get one but you know. Let's actually it's easier to talk about who is not running in this race and it is who is running ambrose in that running Caroline Maroon. He's not running Pierre. Paul is not running. Brad Wall is not running please. Rate is not running John. Baird is not running Josh. Yes I'm just I'm just. I'm standing in the studio and I'm just shouting names of all these people who are I'm not running and you would think with this long standing tradition of calling the the leader of the opposition in minority government a prime prime minister in waiting. You think the big names would be just champing at the bit to run the Conservative Party but they are not quite lining up to do. So what do you. What do you think is going on there? I think they're waiting for Stephen Harper to come back no joke. That rumor went around last week and I almost fell off my chair. It's not. He was polling. Well he's probably a month ago he's polling well on my twitter feed to you but I think it is curious I I will give you that because because not only is it as you say a government in waiting but it's also a party that is still very successful One more seats in the last election that it did in the one before has tons and tons of money You Know I. It's it's doing fine like it's it's not as though they need a leader who's GonNa have to come and and retool and and renew the party in the way the Justin Trudeau had to in fact when when he was made Liberal leader so the challenges aren't really they're so then what what could it be. Could it be that. Some people are not convinced that the next time round there's a guaranteed and win Do you WanNa take a job where you might have to sit in on the sidelines for a little longer than expected. I mean that that's sort of the only calculation relation I can think of the Calculus is actually about you know trying to decide what the Conservative Party is about. Sure in the sense that They it's been a few years square. The party hasn't had to have that conversation sort of inwardly and I think he's been more necessary now because After the twenty fifth defeat after the two thousand nine hundred results there's pretty clear indication that there are regions in the country where they are just not resonating. And they're doing great in western Canada They're not doing that well. Everywhere else and you would think that you would have some names especially ambers who was sort of seen as the unofficial leader of the field before. She said that she was not entering. Would be interested in defining with that. Next era of Canadian conservatism might actually look like That that's an interesting conversation to me. It sounds like an interesting challenge. So I'm so curious. Why all these big names would would say no? No thank you not this time around. Yeah I I mean I think you've hit the nail on the head there. I mean the last election looked a whole lot still like Steven Harper's party not only the policy ideas as we talked about through the election podcasts. But but even the way they were approaching certain issues Social Conservative issues for instance. So there was never any time between Stephen. Stephen Harper and Andrew Scheer to have a conversation about what the party is. And what it wants to be this. You would think would be the moment to do that. You lost an election. Then you've lost a leader. There are lots of questions about how far he went or didn't go on certain issues. So we use this as an opportunity to do some self examination and the Conservatives that I'm talking to here agree with what you're saying. They they think like this is it. This is our moment to start talking about these things and decide side. Are we a party. That believes in climate change and want serious platform or plank on climate change. Are we a party. Who as we saw this week with all the main contenders are okay with leader? Walking at pride parade those are the kinds of conversations most conservatives Dina want to have. They want this commander. I'm just not sure it's going to happen if you only have a very small group of well known candidates right and to that end. Let's talk about who those candidates are the biggest names are we mentioned Peter Mackay of course. He's the heavyweight in the race. One of the founders of the Conservative Party he also. I used to be administered Justice Minister National Defense. He's held a lot of titles and he's got national profile. There's also Erin O'Toole Ontario he He ran in the two thousand seventeen leadership race and he finished third in that and Those are the big names. Yeah Candice Bergen is said to be reportedly thinking thinking about going into it but I'm reportedly thinking about going to the gym so I don't know who who's to say. How much weight as you give that until someone announces something yeah? Maryland glows in. I'm glad she's in D-. Please take that out. So those are those are the names of the people people who are running and aside from Peter Mackay I haven't heard a lot from from conservatives who say that. They're excited about this field. Yeah I think that's fair. I mean there's a whole bunch of other. There's sort of marginal candidates Who have not filed paperwork? Who may not be able to raise the initial twenty five thousand dollars? We'll talk more about this process on leader podcast because it would take us thirty minutes but So the these are sort of those names you mentioned three serious contenders to current. MP's and one who not only wasn't MP a cabinet minister but was also the CO founder of this the party With Stephen Harper so clearly has a vested interest but there does seem to be a lack of energy within the party about the choices before them and that's not to say that they don't think that the people there are valuable able and interesting and could be a leader. It's that they have just come off a really difficult time When they when they lost the election and then grappled apple with some really difficult issues around Andrew Scheer and so you use leadership races to engage with your membership to present censure self to the larger electorate to raise money and if you can create sort of momentum and energy around that you might not actually succeed getting people able to take another look at us so I think that's where the concern comes from? I'm not saying that like Peter. Mackay won't suddenly get Super Interesting. He might could happen he he's got you know there's things happening but for now that does seem to be the perception that said like I don't know how much we should read into that D- do you like I don't know that that's I don't know that we should see it as sort of a doomsday moment for the Conservative Party. Maybe it just is going to Take a little bit. I mean you might. There's a deadline to announce to enter the races February twenty seventh. You've got another month or so to get some more people who might even energized afield more but but it seems to me like maybe the the proximity of maybe the proximity of being opposition and being close us to power in a minority government. Situation is kind of clouding judgment in the sense of prioritizing putting the leadership I when maybe what the Party needs is actually a policy convention to talk about what some of those policies that are working better connecting some of the policies that are not Because as it stands whoever gets elected and whoever becomes leader is going to carry forth sort of the same set of policies That Canadians were kind of like this. Just okay yeah. Yeah and I think that. That's where where this infamous John Baird Report Would have been useful so John Baird of course a former cabinet minister Federally and provincially. Now how out of politics entirely was asked by Andrew Scheer the current leader still of the Conservative Party to do a bit of post mortem so he went out and he talked to a bunch of candidates and then he talked to people inside the party apparatus about what went wrong in the last election and he gave them a report that said. I don't know what it's because. Yeah we've we've you know we've managed to dig up one or two lines But we don't really know what what he sort of and what. Everyone that he talked to said was this is the big problem other than maybe Andrea Sherr. So you would think that that report If it was more widely available to members and two elected parliamentarians that they would want to have a look at that and say Oh look at that you know Kate Etienne's don't like our position on XYZ but because we haven't seen it and because a vast is majority of the caucus and certainly the membership hasn't seen it. It's very hard for them to know. How do you push someone? What policy should you change? How should we evolve if you don't even have the test results from the last one and I think that's I think you're right? They need to talk policy. But how do you do it when you don't know. Oh exactly what failed you. Well See. This is where the sort of long running hero syndrome in Canadian. Politics comes into play and this has happened to every single party where they say. Hey Hey we are going to go into election soon. We really need a hero. We need this figure who is larger than life can come in. And maybe he'll be the face off almost often a he almost always a he and this is sort of appears to be Peter Mackay like not that he's going to be a coronation is just that there is a general sort word of agreement that he's the by far the heavyweight in the race and if and if they were to go into election if the minority if drew those minority government were to fall Canadians would at least go. Yeah I knew that is. which is? It's an easier problem to solve. I don't the most useful problems. No and they have to make a decision the conservatives I mean about not only who can represent them as a leader but as you rightly point out who could take down Justin Trudeau and those are sometimes not compatible audible notions right. The person who's the best potential leader for a party is not necessarily the person who can defeat the liberals. So it's it's a it's a conundrum but it's one we're gonNA talk about for many many many weeks. I love that. They've made it so exciting for US already. It's time for last call for this week. That happy noise of glasses clinking means it's time for you to weigh in before we let you go and because of what we were just talking about the Conservative Party raise. There have been questions this week about. Just how bilingual does a federal leader need to be. We didn't get into that. What's your take elamine? I mean the Conservatives won ten seats in Quebec if they want to be competitive in the province. They're going to presumably need a leader. Who can speak pretty decent French? Yeah that's sort of more of ver- official languages so you think that being able to communicate and they all sort of can at least the three top runners but Bilingual fluent those are all sort of up for debate so that I think what we want to put our last call out for this week. Do you think a federal leader should be bilingual. Treat US let us know I am at Alamein Eighty Eight. AM and an eight. And I'm at Rosie Barton. We now have a Hashtag. Isn't that exciting literally. HASHTAG party lines all right like they're coming up. Let's call it for this week. Thank you so much for listening to party lines from ABC News a CBC podcast. Iowa's Martin chief political correspondent. CBC nist catch that fancy new title tailed up to my mood. I'm not a chief of anything. However editor of news curation for Buzzfeed News? That means everything to me. See Back appear next week for more C._B._C.. PODCASTS GO TO C._B._C. Dot C._A. Slash podcasts.