By John Geddes - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 0 Comments
From the day Marc Garneau officially launched his bid for the Liberal leadership late last November, I’ve wondered when he would take aim more explicitly at Justin Trudeau, the guy to beat. It seems today is the day.
At his news conference announcing his run, Garneau sounded to me like he was trying to frame the contrast, but without quite saying so. “I will talk about my strengths and my strengths are proven,” he answered then when I asked him about the Trudeau comparison. “That is what I have to do and that is what I will clearly do.”
I interviewed him at length in late December for this story, and pressed him again on how he expected to catch up to a prohibitive frontrunner without bluntly asking Liberals to think hard about why he might be the better choice. Garneau said the danger of sparking a bruising intramural battle was too great and, anyway, he figured Liberals would draw their own conclusions. Here’s how he put it: Continue…
By John Geddes - Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 6:13 PM - 0 Comments
What are the most urgent matters confronting the federal government just now? I ask because I wonder if anybody heard the issues they’d list mentioned much at the Liberal leadership debate—well, not really a debate, but a series of laid-back on-stage interviews—in Winnipeg this afternoon.
Reasonable observers will naturally differ on such a broad question. Still, I’d expect, if we’re talking domestic policy, many to cite the dicey problem of budget-making during such a prolonged stretch of slow economic growth. How to shrink the deficit while still maintaining, even expanding, priority programs? It’s the daily dilemma of governing. It didn’t come up.
On foreign policy, Mali is driving home the lesson that even with Canadian troops no longer fighting in Afghanistan, the pressures of Islamist extremism in vulnerable, far-away countries will continue to demand responses from western nations, Canada inevitably included. Again, not touched at today’s Liberal event.
By John Geddes - Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 1:44 PM - 0 Comments
How many senators did Prime Minister Stephen Harper appoint in 2012? How many years does the government allow, in its latest plan, for “development and acquisition” of F-35 fighter jets? How many premiers, provincial and territorial, attended the November economic summit in Halifax? (Hint: Saskatchewan’s just phoned in.)
In all cases, the answer is an even dozen. But for our purposes here—in this third annual installment of a year-capping look back—we’re interested in 12 only as the number of months in the calendar. Select just a single story for each, and 2012 might almost begin to show some semblance of coherence.