By Aaron Wherry - Friday, February 8, 2013 - 0 Comments
Last night’s At Issue panel.
I’m not sure there’s anything I can add that I haven’t already written over the last two years.
Here is what I wrote last week about one particularly silly question and here and here is what I wrote this week about another. Here is what I wrote this week about what Justin Trudeau says he’d do. And here and here is what I wrote about what Brent Rathgeber has had to say.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, December 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
The At Issue panel takes viewer questions.
I’d like the Speaker to be more assertive on a couple fronts, but, in the context of Question Period, he can’t be asked to judge whether or not a question has been answered sufficiently. I think he should, just as he can cut off a question that doesn’t deal with the business of government, cut off a response that strays from the subject raised, but it’s problematic (and unworkable) to expect that he should be judging the quality of the response for the purposes of deciding when a question has truly been answered. I also disagree with Andrew’s suggestion that he should be able to compel a minister to stand. If the government side wants to hide a minister behind a designated deflector, that’s for the public to judge and the government to explain.
As for the way we elect our federal representatives, I’ve lately fallen for the idea of a ranked ballot. And unlike proportional representation or mixed-member proportional representation, I think a ranked ballot is something that could be widely accepted by the public and easily adopted.
(I’d happily be done with the monarchy, but, as Chantal says, it’s hard to imagine how that change would come about. If we’re looking around for things to abolish, it’d be more practical to focus on the Senate.)
By Scott Feschuk - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 12:40 PM - 4 Comments
CBC tackles the big questions of 2011 with an exclusive panel made up of my relatives
Who needs polling and pundits? To see what Canadians really think, just turn over CBC’s popular At Issue panel to my relatives during a big family dinner.
Peter Mansbridge With MPs away from Ottawa, we have time to look back and look ahead. Joining us to do so: our panel. Uncle Frank. Mike, the new boyfriend of cousin Audrey who we’re all meeting for the first time. And Grandma.
Grandma Thanks Peter, and I just want to say: is the roast chicken supposed to be this dry? Not that I’m criticizing.
Peter Talk about what 2010 meant for Stephen Harper.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 5:37 PM - 68 Comments
The Scene. Near the end of his visit to the National Press Theatre the other day, having completed his prepared statement and having finished his response to the last of two dozen questions from the assembled reporters, Michael Ignatieff was afforded a chance to make an exit. But he was not ready to leave. He had one last answer. To a question that hadn’t been asked.
“If you’ll allow me to conclude on one note,” he said. “My stake in this is actually proving to Canadians, who are very skeptical about politics and our political system, that we can make this system work for them. That we can hold a government to account, get them to improve their performance, get good government for Canadians. That’s the big prize here actually. Make Canadians feel we got a pretty good system here and it works for Canadians and it delivers results for them. We get that, good result.”
He then turned to his right and walked away from the podium, a pensive look on his face—perhaps considering his own words, perhaps worrying that he’d said something he shouldn’t have, perhaps wondering if he’d made much sense to anyone in the room.
It is dangerous to believe what a politician says, or even to believe that he believes what he says. It is impossible, ultimately, to separate the individual from his stated purpose of persuasion and his unending pursuit of public approval. But it is tempting to believe Mr. Ignatieff genuinely believes this much. If only because, in relative terms, it sounded so odd. So out of sync with everything else, simultaneously quaint and precocious, alluring and disorienting.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 4:44 PM - 0 Comments
As Kady reports, UBC’s Michael Byers is aiming to be the next NDP candidate in Vancouver Centre. And as Paul coyly notes, the professor once said something rather surprising about the threat of a terrorist attack on Toronto.
Intrigued by Paul’s insinuation but not recalling the comments in question, I sought clarification from a colleague. He (esteemed bureau chief John Geddes) was nice enough to find a transcript of Mr. Byers’ appearance on CBC’s At Issue panel on June 8, 2006. The discussion focused on the arrest of the so-called Toronto 18. Here’s the relevant portion (including immediate rebuttal from a pre-Maclean’s Andrew Coyne). Continue…