In the closing moments of an excellent At Issues panel on CBC's The National last night, National Post columnist Andrew Coyne explained why traditional Question Period theatrics are so feckless when a real scandal envelopes government. [If the Opposition] would slow down and ask short simple questions, rather these kind of multiple-part grandstanding theatrics, but they don't seem to be capable of that. What sort of short questions, host Peter Mansbridge asked. [S]imple questions of fact that put ministers on the record, where you can then compare what they say on the record with what they say later. It's more in the nature...

The much anticipated fireworks display over Halifax proved an austere celebration. They were fun while they lasted, about 12 minutes, and the cheerful, appreciative, harbourside crowd was a delight. This cheerfulness, a certain joie de vivre, has a leavening effect on patriotism, an emotion that, left unchecked, can be unpleasant and dangerous. In that spirit, I point out that, over the last 24 hours, we've had the Canadian Women's Soccer Team don Tory blue jerseys for their pre-Canada Day bout with the Yanks, and the managing editor of the National Post tweeted his outrage that the Globe and Mail occasionally publishes op-ed pieces by...

Blogger and tech journalist Jeff Jedras has a good analysis of the moral panic that swept through the Parliamentary Press Gallery last Friday (and previously touched on here). The leading lights of Canadian journalism had had the news cycle snatched from their grasp not once but twice the day before, and not by the customary culprits in the PMO but by a pair of tweeters, one obscure (the PEI man who kicked off the wildly popular #tellviceverything meme) the other anonymous (@vikileaks30). After floundering unhappily for 24 hours in the turbulent wake of these citizen journalists, the gallery regrouped Friday for an...

I won't presume that Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner, poster child for the Harper government's plan to kill the long gun registry, was purposely being nasty when she referred to citizens who oppose the registry as “good salt-of-the-earth people," "upstanding citizens who work hard," and parents whose children "probably aren’t involved in gangs in the streets.” But I wish she would take a moment to consider how offensive her characterizations are. They’re upstanding citizens who work hard. They take their kids and grandkids out hunting and shooting and those kids, by the way, probably aren’t involved in gangs in the streets. These are...

The National Post ferrets out a Canadian army officer's surprisingly critical master's thesis on Canada's handling of Afghan detainees. In an exhaustive critique, the author concluded Canada's decision to hand over suspected insurgents to Afghan authorities with a history of abuse violated Canadian ethical values, could turn ordinary Afghans against foreign troops and likely increased the stress of this country's combatants. The policy might even have contributed to the alleged mercy killing of a Taliban fighter by a Canadian soldier, she wrote. Major Manon Plante's thesis, completed this year as one of the requirements for a master's degree from the Canadian Forces...

Mike deAdder writes about the lot of cartoonists in a era of declining newspapers. Moneyquote: In 1967, Canada's Centennial Year and the year of my birth, Terry "Aislin" Mosher, Canada's pre-eminent editorial cartoonist began his long illustrious career after graduating from École des Beaux-arts in Quebec City. He started at The Montreal Star in 1967, then transferred to The Montreal Gazette in 1972. To this day, he still works for The Gazette. The great Roy Peterson, who retired this year, always called The Vancouver Sun his home, as did The Edmonton Journal's Malcolm Mayes, the Calgary Herald's Vance Rodewalt, and The Province's...