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RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:21 pm    Post subject: the Liberal backbench is feeling fractious ? Reply with quote

( news that the liberal backbench is starting to feel the heat over bad decisions made by this government and there not happy about it anymore )



As Liberals gather in Kelowna, the backbench is feeling fractious

iPolitics Insights


Susan Delacourt



Tuesday, September 5th, 2017



Two Liberal MPs got promotions in last week’s cabinet shuffle. Another 150 backbench MPs did not.

Is this going to be a problem for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the weeks and months ahead?

Liberal MPs who aren’t in cabinet are a hard bunch to keep happy, as just about any former leader of that party will tell you. The “disgruntled Liberal backbencher” (always anonymous) was a recurring character in Hill coverage during the 1990s and early 2000s.

While no prime minister will complain about winning too many seats on election night, it’s no easy feat to manage such a large group of people with big egos and sweeping ambitions, especially after a couple of years in power.

Many Liberals heading into this week’s caucus retreat in Kelowna, B.C. don’t seem to be in a great mood after a summer away from Parliament Hill. They’ve been talking to reporters about the backlash they’re getting in their home ridings — first over the $10 million settlement for Omar Khadr in July, and now over proposed tax changes for small businesses.

One long-time Liberal MP from Toronto, John McKay, talked to the Canadian Press about his grumpy constituents, using such phrases as “genuine outrage” and “really irritated”.

It’s all well and good to get that kind of feedback about government measures when you’re in opposition, as the Liberals were for a decade. From 2006 to 2015, Liberal MPs didn’t mind at all when people in their ridings were annoyed about what was going on in Ottawa; it helped them build their case against the Conservatives.

But it’s sounding now like backbench Liberal MPs got hit with a lot of constituent complaints through the summer over decisions made by their government. Listen carefully to what these backbenchers have been telling reporters — specifically about how these decisions were out of their control.



The goal for Trudeau at this week’s caucus retreat is to make sure that his MPs aren’t in the same mood as the constituents who have been giving them an earful this summer.

Liberal MP Frank Baylis, for instance, had this to say to the Globe about the Khadr settlement: “Nobody’s happy about this … I don’t think our government’s happy to have to do it, either.”

On the tax changes, Liberal MPs keep saying that they hope Finance Minister Bill Morneau is open to rethinking what he’s proposing. They don’t seem entirely certain that their concerns will be heard. That’s not how you want backbenchers feeling about the responsiveness of their own government.

Along with his promises of “sunny ways” governance, Trudeau came to power nearly two years ago vowing that he wouldn’t be a heavy-handed prime minister — that MPs would have the freedom to disagree with the PMO.

Many of them did just that back in March, joining with the opposition parties in defiance of their own government on not one but two votes in the Commons — one on genetic discrimination and the other on detention in custody. That collective act of defiance didn’t provoke a crisis — but it did say something about the ability of Trudeau’s PMO to herd the cats in caucus.

It also may have been an indication of a certain distance between the PMO and ordinary backbenchers, one that could be made worse by every potentially unpopular decision — such as the ones we saw this summer.

Some prime ministers appoint veterans from the political trenches — long-time partisans or former MPs — to keep them in touch with the backbench. Jean Chrétien had Hec Cloutier. Brian Mulroney had Tom Van Dusen Sr. Trudeau doesn’t seem to have anyone like that in his inner circle. Institutional memory, it’s fair to say, is not as highly prized by this PMO as generational change, or even gender equity.

At the moment, the grumbling in Trudeau’s caucus is still at a low level. You do hear some complaining about how Trudeau’s unelected advisers have more profile and perks than the elected folks. The PM might want to consider getting some MPs into those pictures of him meeting world figures like the Pope, for instance. Giving some high-profile tasks to non-ministers also might be a good idea (Montreal MP Emmanuel Dubourg was dispatched to Miami recently to tamp down the asylum aspirations of Haitians in the United States).

The goal for Trudeau at this week’s caucus retreat is to make sure that his MPs aren’t in the same mood as the constituents who have been giving them an earful this summer. At the least, if they are in that mood when they arrive in Kelowna, the prime minister wants to make sure they don’t leave the same way.

Dozens of them had their hopes of promotion dashed with last week’s cabinet shuffle. Trudeau and his PMO are going to need some new, creative ways to keep spirits sunny in the second half of the mandate.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by all iPolitics columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of iPolitics.


http://ipolitics.ca/2017/09/05.....fractious/
Bugs





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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is kind of fascinating. The dissatisfaction has reached the point where it is worrying the caucus membership ... where does it come from?

The article suggests the Khadr payoff is one thing, but more recently the tax announcements have brought a lot of grumbling to the MPs.

But it also suggests that the MPs are feeling left out, as their glamorous leader shines on the stage, and everyone else is put in the shade. Politicians like to be visible in the picture.

I wonder if it isn't something else. Why is this meeting taking place, in the first place? Is it routine, or is it an attempt to heal tensions in the caucus?
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
This is kind of fascinating. The dissatisfaction has reached the point where it is worrying the caucus membership ... where does it come from?

The article suggests the Khadr payoff is one thing, but more recently the tax announcements have brought a lot of grumbling to the MPs.

But it also suggests that the MPs are feeling left out, as their glamorous leader shines on the stage, and everyone else is put in the shade. Politicians like to be visible in the picture.

I wonder if it isn't something else. Why is this meeting taking place, in the first place? Is it routine, or is it an attempt to heal tensions in the caucus?



there is always party caucus meetings in the early fall before the house returns , so the meeting itself isn't unusual .

but the level of dissatisfaction among average mp's does seem to be very high at the moment and policy being pushed by trudeau and morneau as an example doesn't seem to be coming from the mp's themselves but rather somewhere else

the tax issue as an example . the mp's don't appear to have asked for it but rather people behind the scenes
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the Liberal backbench is feeling fractious ?

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