Saturday, October 28, 2006


I'll be out of town - and likely away from the blog - until next Sunday. Enjoy the meantime, and I'll be back before long.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Hypocrisy takes flight

The CP reports that PMS is making plenty of use of citizen-funded Challenger jets for personal purposes without reimbursing anything close to the actual cost of the planes:
The Prime Minister's Office says it has reimbursed the public treasury $9,600 for Stephen Harper's use of government jets for two trips that were partisan business or private pleasure.

But considering past Conservative assertions that the executive jets cost $11,000 an hour to operate - and even using more modest cost projections for the Challengers supplied by the Defence Department - it appears taxpayers are heavily subsidizing the personal travel of Harper and his officials...

Harper used the executive jet to fly to Halifax on Feb. 10 to attend a provincial Progressive Conservative convention and retirement celebration for Nova Scotia premier John Hamm.

Buckler said Friday the Conservative party paid $6,630.90 for Harper and six officials, who she listed, to fly on the Challenger from Ottawa to Halifax and back.

Harper, his son Ben and five PMO officials also flew to Toronto from Ottawa for a Maple Leafs-Senators NHL game on Oct. 4. The Conservative party reimbursed $2,993.13 for that trip, said Buckler.
Of course, it would be nice to know exactly what difference in cost is being eaten by less-privileged Canadians to allow PMS to save travel time on his way to a hockey game - whether it's the $2200 per hour estimated by the Defence Department (which would still leave the Cons underpaying for the planes), or the $11,000 per hour cited by multiple Cons in Parliament and on the campaign trail. But in the Cons' usual spirit of accountability-for-everyone-but-themselves, the officials with the ability to disclose those numbers are under a gag order:
A Defence Department spokeswoman said Friday the fleet of six Challenger executive jets costs $12 million a year to maintain. Flying costs are pegged at $2,233 an hour, plus between $800 and $1,000 a day in duty costs for flight crews sitting on the tarmac, plus ramp charges which are typically around $50.

Asked to break down the numbers into the true cost of the prime minister's February junket to Halifax, Lt. Carole Brown came back empty-handed.

"The word came back from the powers that be," Brown told The Canadian Press. "We were shut down on this one."
In sum, the party which is supposedly for accountability and against waste is once again going out of its way to reverse those principles when it comes to the whims of PMS. And when voters who may have honestly believed the Cons' claims to those principles get a chance to respond, Harper may get to rediscover the joys of flying commercial instead.

A strong start

It's certainly a disappointment that Stephen Maynard dropped out of the NDP's London North Centre nomination race after his solid showing in the last federal election. But the resulting nominee, Megan Walker, left little doubt that she's pulling no punches in the by-election:
"I'm asking you to send the anti-women, anti-gay, anti-environment, anti-equality but pro-George Bush Dianne Haskett a message," Walker said to loud applause from the more than 200 people at the Central Library's Wolf Performance Hall.

"London-North-Centre isn't the London parachute club. (The riding) is not here for you to drop in when you need a job.

"Dianne, I hope the new lease you signed on your apartment has a one-month expiry date, because you're going to need it."...

"To Elizabeth May, London-North-Centre is not rent-a-riding to be used and discarded. Real people with real problems live here," she said, calling the NDP the greenest party in the country.

A Liberal nomination meeting is scheduled for Sunday.

"The Liberals just don't know who will lead them, or who they will follow. Well, London-North-Centre deserves a hell of a lot better than that," Walker said.

Among the issues Walker said will stand out in this by-election are health care, education, equality, the environment, housing and the war in Afghanistan.
Walker's forceful entry into the race should make it clear that while May won't lack for media profile in the race, she'll quite properly have to earn the trust of voters rather than having anything handed to her. And the end result should be a genuine contest of progressive values.

Of course, it would be all the better if the contest was going to be a battle of all the candidates' principles and ideas. But since that would require Haskett to wriggle her way out of PMS' duct tape, London North Centre will apparently have to settle for a choice between three candidates and a mannequin. And of those three real candidates, Walker's experience and strong message look to have her well positioned to win the seat for the NDP.

(h/t to Cerberus.)

On urgency

CanWest reports that the Northwest Passage (or whatever it's now being called), which as recently as seven years ago was virtually impossible to get through even with an icebreaker, has been navigable for the past couple of months:
Arctic straits that are typically choked solid with ice this time of year remain completely open to shipping traffic late in October, raising profound issues for Canada as it struggles to maintain its grasp on the Arctic.

For the past week, the Canadian Coast Guard scientific icebreaker Amundsen has sailed east from the Nunavut hamlet of Kugluktuk, encountering virtually no resistance through straits that have for centuries been nearly impossible to traverse, even in summer.

"We actually went through Bellot Strait and Fury and Hecla Strait, which nobody has ever done this time of year," said Fisheries and Oceans researcher Gary Stern, who is serving as chief scientist aboard the Amundsen. "There was absolutely no ice."

In 1822, when Fury and Hecla Strait was discovered by explorer William Edward Parry, its ice remained so thick at the height of summer that he was forced to anchor his boats and cross by foot. As recently as 1999, Canada's most powerful icebreaker, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, encountered so much ice during an August journey through the strait that she sustained damage to her propellers and could not move faster than 200 metres per hour.
Needless to say, the trend doesn't seem likely to stop anytime soon given the lack of action on global warming (both in Canada and around the world). Which means that Canada can't afford any more delay in determining how to monitor the region and maintain control as to which vessels take advantage of the newly-melted areas - under penalty of forever losing any ability to enforce environmental standards or otherwise exercise sovereignty over the passage.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

On track records

David Wilkins is indignant at the prospect that Canada would expect the U.S. to make use of the full length of the reprieve granted to land and sea border crossings. But even recognizing that there's no statutory reason why an ID card scheme couldn't be implemented earlier if anybody got around to studying and designing it, shouldn't Wilkins be familiar with the Department of Homeland Security's history of implementing the worst-case scenario at the last minute for lack of any advance planning?

On shutdowns

I suppose there was a third option surrounding the outcome of the Accountability Act aside from either the legislation passing, or the Cons having a winning election issue out of Lib obstinance. But surely the Cons wouldn't be dumb enough to launch their own filibuster in a minority Parliament, and thereby forfeit any ability to complain about opposition obstruction. Right?
The Conservatives' weakening grip on the minority Parliament was laid bare Thursday as they resorted to opposition-style stall tactics to stop their foes from setting the country's legislative agenda...

The government tried slowing them down Thursday with an unusual filibuster at the environment committee.

A Tory MP delivered a two-hour monologue on arcane parliamentary procedure to keep the committee from pushing ahead with a Liberal-sponsored bill that would force the government to respect the Kyoto climate-change accord.

The Tories have used similar tactics at several other committees.
I can only presume PMS somehow calculated that the Cons are on the verge of a precipice now, such that they can better afford a large blow later than a relatively minor embarrassment for the moment. But as the article notes, it's a massive sign of weakness for any governing party to have to resort to trying to shut down the functioning of government in order to avoid the will of the majority. And that's doubly so for a government completely centred on the supposed authority of Big Daddy.

Which means that while the Cons may be doing their best to appear to be in control, that pretence is being disproven by the day. And now that the Cons have legitimized opposition delay tactics by resorting to them themselves, the question is only a matter of when the Cons get to practice those maneuvers again from the more usual side of the House.

An ominous prediction

Pat Martin predicts that wrangling between the House and Senate will keep the Accountability Act from becoming law before an election next year. We can only hope that he's wrong in his calculations, as any failure to pass the bill due to Senate delay would offer PMS the opening he surely wants to make the Libs the main issue again rather than his own failures in power. But it remains to be seen whether the Senate's Libs will realize that before it's too late.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On turnarounds

It's interesting to find out that it apparently takes a Lib party relegated to opposition to finally support anti-scab legislation sufficiently to move a bill forward. But while they deserve credit for (largely) seeing the light this time around, it's hard to see why any voters would be gullible to want to put them back in government where they apparently feel safe ignoring labour concerns.

One for the history books

Chalk up another mark in the column of "Cons disrespecting the democratic will of Parliament", as an opposition motion to restore funding to Canada's museums has passed to resounding silence from Canada's Ignorant New Government.

Like previous votes on Kelowna and Kyoto, the motion seems far too likely to be discarded by the Cons. But the Cons' current image of an arrogant government breaking its own promises in order to ignore both the public interest in museum funding and a majority vote in Parliament can't be one the Cons want to leave with Canadian voters - and will likely help lead to their just reward if it does go unheeded.

A convenient coincidence

The CP reports that in a supposed coincidence, three top-ranking public servants from different departments all cancelled their scheduled appearances before the Finance Committee yesterday without explanation. But James Moore thinks he has the answer to the Cons' unwillingness to allow the people who may know their departments best to speak publicly:
The Tories said the appearance of several ministers at the committee proves there has been no clampdown on free speech.

"Nobody has been muzzled," said Tory MP James Moore. "The minister of public works will be at committee. . .

"The President of the Treasury Board (John Baird) has been there. Other ministers are going to be there."
In sum, Moore can't figure out why anyone would want to hear from an official who knows anything when they can instead listen to PMS' talking points ad nauseum. After all, if trained seals are good enough for PMS, surely they must be good enough to satisfy everybody else in the country.

In fairness, John Baird notes as well that some deputy ministers and other official have also appeared. But it should be obvious that a proper parliamentary hearing involves input from a broad range of people who have knowledge of the issues - not only those who the Cons think will most strongly support their position. And if the Cons won't be held accountable in that sense, then there's every reason for the public to hold them accountable for their apparent determination to stifle any review of their actions.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"I'm Stephen Harper, and I approved these bills."

To follow up on this post, let's take a look at some of the private members' bills from Con MPs which have apparently received the Harper Seal of Approval.

They may take our lives, but they'll never take...our collection of garden gnomes without speedy compensation!

When it comes to Con extremism, there's never a better place to start than Garry Breitkreuz. And while PMS himself has mused about the dangerous step of tossing private property rights into the Charter, Breitkreuz' Bill C-223 goes several steps further over the edge.

Note as a starting point that under the Canadian Bill of Rights, property receives equal protection to "life, liberty and security of the person". For Breitkreuz, this formulation apparently falls short of the degree of necessary property-worship. Accordingly, his bill would remove property rights from the above list and place them in a separate category featuring two key twists.

First, Breitkreuz would make any infringement on the newly-detached property right subject to a more stringent standard for due process consisting of fundamental justice, an impartial decider and a reasonable time for decision - none of which exist for protection of life under the same legislation.

Second, Breitkreuz would establish a super-notwithstanding clause which would allow for infringement on property rights only with a 2/3 majority of Parliament. In contrast, remember that the notwithstanding clause in both the Charter and the current Bill of Rights requires only a 50%+1 vote in Parliament. Add it all up, and it's clear that Breitkreuz' bill would turn property rights into the be-all and end-all above all other considerations.

Now, the longer-term intent is presumably to provide a basis to undermine taxation and government involvement in the economy. But in the shorter term, it's not hard to see what laws would likely come under the most immediate scrutiny: those related to proceeds of crime and terrorist financing, which currently provide for seizure of property with relatively low onuses on the government. Meaning that in his zeal to undermine the social role of government, Breitkreuz may be willing to hand a gift to organized crime and terrorist organizations.

And this plan has been vetted and approved by the PMO.

Throw away the key

But while the Cons may not have a problem with proceeds of crime staying in criminals' hands for the greater goal of materiality, they certainly want to get tougher on some offenders. Take for example Jay Hill's Bill C-235, which would eliminate conditional sentences as an option for a wide array of crimes. For some, there's a reasonable argument for taking away the option (though I'd argue that flexibility in sentencing is still needed to take into account exceptional cases). But on even the most generous interpretation, some of the crimes on Hill's list have no business being removed from the conditional sentencing regime.

Consider "criminal negligence causing bodily harm", which by definition has little to do with the offender's state of mind and doesn't appear likely to be a repeat offence. Likewise "unlawfully causing bodily harm", which appears to require only a very small amount of unlawful intent along with potentially relatively minor consequences.

Of course, conditional sentences won't be appropriate for all examples of these offences - which is why the current regime allows for flexibility based on the nature of the crime and the offender. But it can't reasonably be said that absolutely every crime fitting these descriptions is unsuitable for anything but a jail sentence.

And the PMO has apparently vetted and approved a bill which says just that.

Tax evaders' rights

Then there's Joy Smith's Bill C-266, which does include at least a few reasonable ideas such as setting up a Chief Advocate's office to facilitate citizen interaction with tax authorities.

But there's absolutely no need to pair that sensible idea with measures to deliberately make tax enforcement more difficult. And that's exactly what Smith's bill would do, allowing those owing money to delay any audit process while holding Canada Revenue to strict timelines, ensuring that unpaid taxes effectively amount to interest-free loans to the delinquent taxpayer unless the Crown can prove deliberate non-payment, and opening up a loophole which sets a higher standard for prosecution against any taxpayer with creative enough tax lawyers to find a "reasonable explanation" for non-payment.

Any government should know better than to incentivize tax evasion by undermining its own ability to collect and making any delay interest-free to the party who refuses to pay what it owes. But having vetted and approved the idea, Harper's office apparently has no problem at all with it.

(Edit: cleaned up wording.)

Posted without approval

A couple of quick updates on Garth Turner's revelations about the Cons yesterday.

First, Turner adds one more item to the types of information which have to go through PMS' approval process:
I arranged to make statements in the House regularly on issues that need to be addressed. As a Conservative MP, any rare statement had to receive both advance permission and approval of the script.
Not that this comes as much surprise. But now that it's confirmed that every word coming out the mouth of a Con can be taken to have PMS' approval, there should be no lack of material from which to point out how far out of touch PMS is with Canadians generally. (I'll start later tonight with a review of some of the crazier private members' bills which made it through the Cons' vetting process.)

Second, the NDP points out that concerns about the politicization of committees are hardly new - but that last time they were brought up, it was the Cons complaining about the Libs using the same strategy which they're now copying. Which nicely highlights both the Cons' hypocrisy, and the fact that a change back to the Libs wouldn't be a change for the better in the accountability department.

A brief time-out

The concept behind Take Back Your Time Day is certainly worth supporting. But might it not have worked better to plan the day for some time other than the middle of municipal campaign season?

On causation

As a follow-up to yesterday's post on the Cons' micromanagement of committee questions and private members' bills, let's look in a bit more detail at how the policy could already have resulted in a violation of the Canadian Wheat Board Act.

I've noted before my disagreement with the view (seemingly held by many Wheat Board supporters) that any move to eliminate the Board's monopoly over wheat would violate the current s. 47.1 - which I'll reproduce again for convenience:
47.1 The Minister shall not cause to be introduced in Parliament a bill that would exclude any kind, type, class or grade of wheat or barley, or wheat or barley produced in any area in Canada, from the provisions of Part IV, either in whole or in part, or generally, or for any period, or that would extend the application of Part III or Part IV or both Parts III and IV to any other grain, unless

(a) the Minister has consulted with the board about the exclusion or extension; and

(b) the producers of the grain have voted in favour of the exclusion or extension, the voting process having been determined by the Minister.
On my reading, this section clearly refers only to legislative action (a "bill") rather than regulatory action, and even limits the introduction of a bill only to the extent that the Minister of Agriculture has "cause(d) (it) to be introduced". Which means that either regulatory action or an independent private members' bill (i.e. one introduced without any participation of the Minister) could result in the Board losing its monopoly without violating s. 47.1.

So much for what the Cons could have done. But thanks to Garth Turner, we now know that all Con private members' bills "have to be approved and vetted by ministers and the PMO" - which wouldn't make any sense unless it happened before bills are introduced. Which means that Chuck Strahl's approval appears to be a direct cause of the introduction of Bill C-300 - and that Strahl could thus have violated the Act by granting his approval.

Now, this interpretation is far from bulletproof; there's certainly an argument to be made that normally the only MP who "causes" a bill to be introduced is the one who actually introduces it. But if Turner is correct in saying that the Cons are keeping the lid on private members' bills, then the approval does appear to be a necessary causal factor in the introduction of C-300. And it seems to me that there has to be some scope for indirect causation to be included under s. 47.1 - after all, why else would the words "cause to be introduced" be used in the Act rather than "introduce" alone?

In turn, any violation of s. 47.1 would also be an offence under s. 68(2)(c):
(2) Every person is guilty of an offence who:...

(c) contravenes or omits to comply with this Act or any regulation or order.
It's unlikely that any prosecution would take place given the relatively technical nature of any breach which may have occurred, as well as the arguable difference in the interpretation of s. 47.1. But it's still worth highlighting this as an example of the Cons prioritizing their ability to micromanage over compliance with the law. And that should make us doubly concerned as to what other legal corners are being cut by PMS and company in their drive for power.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Deep denial of deep integration

Odiyya at The Conscious Earth took the time to ask nine separate nominally progressive candidates, MPs and parties, as well as five media outlets, about their views on deep integration with the U.S. - and received a grand total of one and a half responses. But the disinterest divides fairly clearly along party lines, consisting of one full response from one request to the NDP, one half of an answer from seven requests to Libs, and nothing at all from one request to the Greens or five to the media.

It's been awhile since we've had an election fought over how we should deal with the U.S. - and it looks like plenty of people are doing their best to avoid another one. But for voters concerned about secretive and undemocratic integration, there can be no doubt which party both shares their concerns and is willing to speak up about them.

Going public

I'm not sure if the Cons thought that Garth Turner would be cowed enough by his expulsion from caucus to avoid discussing anything more about the party's "confidental" information. But rather than going quiet, Turner has been letting out some rather interesting (if less than surprising) tidbits about the Cons' current operations.

First, Turner notes that the Cons have been systematically trying to convert parliamentary committees from sites where issues are actually discussed, to yet another purely partisan arena where MPs repeat talking points from the top:
House of Commons committees are intended to be all-party affairs, and one of the only places where MPs from all political backgrounds get together to try and do constructive things. The fact I have been removed (from the Finance Committee) – the only MP on one side of the table with a financial and economic background, government experience and cabinet experience (facing two hugely experienced former Liberal cabmins and a very able colleague, plus a Bloc economist and an impressive NDP expert) – hints at the Harper Administration agenda.

This government has actually had a PMO senior staffer in national caucus recently instructing MPs on how to politicize the committees and turn them into instruments of government policy. Tory MPs are instructed to meet before committee meetings to plan strategy to help ministers, and to be assigned questions to ask witnesses.
Turner also notes that even private members' bills, which by their nature should reflect on individual MPs more than the the party generally absent some direct party endorsement, are being vetted and approved by Steve and Sandra:
I have lots of initiatives on the go, and much work to do - in fact, a lot more now that I am an indie, and can actually table private member’s bills (as a member of the Tory caucus, all initiatives like that have to be approved and vetted by ministers and the PMO - so they hardly exist).
I'll follow up later with a review of some of the bills which, by this logic, PMS can be taken to have personally approved. (As a preview, I'll note that any ministerial vetting of the private members' bill to demolish the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly might well violate the Canadian Wheat Board Act even if regulatory changes - or an independent private members' bill - wouldn't.)

Whatever private members' bills and loaded committee questions can now be tagged on PMS personally, it's glaringly clear that the Cons' rhetoric about open and accountable government died the moment they took office. And now that Turner has absolutely no incentive or need to appease anybody within the Con caucus, the Canadian voters actually will be able to hold PMS accountable for that turnaround.

The importance of competition

With Elizabeth May announcing her intention to run in the upcoming London North Centre byelection, there's been some suggestion that the NDP and the Libs should step aside to allow May to win the seat - whether based on the on-again, off-again practice of generally allowing leaders to win a seat in the House, or based on a general strategic argument of what that would mean to the Cons.

It's worth noting first that there's far from unanimous agreement that the practice of leaving leaders uncontested should be followed. When PMS ran in a Calgary Southwest byelection in 2002, the Libs and PCs didn't contest the seat, but the NDP did run a candidate against Harper. Likewise a couple of parties, but not all of them, stepped aside when Andre Boisclair recently won his provincial seat in Quebec.

In other words, it's far from clear that the practice is followed universally - and even more uncertain that it ought to be. After all, nothing about a candidate's nature as a party leader makes them inherently more effective as an MP. And the dubious merit of anointing a party leader is particularly obvious when the leader in question plans to pack up for a Nova Scotia riding within a few months, rather than sticking around to represent the riding in question.

As for the wider strategic issues, it's highly unlikely that the Cons will pick up the seat no matter who runs (or doesn't run) from the NDP or Libs. And in any event, there's no apparent reason why the two parties who are competing to be the effective national alternative to the Cons would simply let somebody else lay claim to part of that title.

It would be one thing if the question were one of an institutionalized practice where only the Greens were left out. But faced with a sketchy and inconsistent practice which seems to generally be more a strategic decision to avoid difficult ridings rather than a principled rule, there's no reason for the Dippers or Libs to simply concede London North Centre to the Greens. And if May manages to win the riding on merit rather than based on other parties holding their fire (which strikes me as at least a relatively plausible possibility if the Greens throw everything they can into the riding), then she'll be able to legitimately claim to represent the constituency - which would do far more for the Greens in the long run.

(Edit: typo.)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

One step forward, fifteen steps back

The Cons' recent health moves offer a nice summary of their general governing principles: $120 million per year in little-discussed giveaways to big pharma to be paid for by both provinces and citizens directly, followed by $8 million in highly-publicized federal funding for a vaguely defined "heart health strategy".

While the strategy would be a worthwhile idea on its own, it only makes up for a tiny amount of the damage the Cons have already inflicted on the health-care system - let alone that which looms ahead if a wait-times guarantee is imposed without funding. And it'll take a quick change in government to make sure that the silent cuts don't cause irreparable harm to the system long before the crumbs of added funding have any effect.

A simple solution

There's been plenty of focus on Peter MacKay's all-too-vivid example of inappropriate comments in the House of Commons. But much less time seems to have been put into any efforts to actually improve the decorum of Parliament generally, despite the unanimous concerns of the MPs who discussed the issue on today's Question Period:
While members of Parliament may disagree on the exact nature of some contentious comments allegedly made in the House of Commons last week, they agree it's time to crack down on questionable behaviour on Parliament Hill...

"I've been in politics for 20 years, I've never seen it so bad," said Wasylycia-Leis. "It's always been a bit of a persistent problem, this lack of decorum, the heckling, the name calling, the noise, the palpable anger, but it's getting worse."

She has called for a code of conduct or a sexual harassment policy for MPs.

If everything that is said in the House was recorded by the Hansard, the official transcript of Parliament, "it would make all of us blush because it's that horrific," Wasylycia-Leis said...

(Con MP Helena Guergis) did acknowledge the situation in the House of Commons needs to change, saying "decorum had been shot in the House long before I arrived in 2004."...

Jennings, well known for her own heckling ability, said there is a difference between speaking out in the House when there is a disagreement with what is being said, and levelling hurtful personal insults at other MPs.

She said she has no problem with the first type of heckling, but objects to the second...

Wasylycia-Leis said the lack of decorum discourages women from considering politics as a career, and hurts Canadians' respect for government.

"Do you know how many times you ask a school teacher if they're going to bring their class to the House of Commons to watch democracy in action, and they say 'I wouldn't dare bring my children to that place because they would learn such inappropriate behaviour.'"
While Wasylycia-Leis' suggestions for a code of conduct or harassment policy might help somewhat as well, it seems to me that the obvious solution lies instead in her earlier rhetorical suggestion. After all, every MP's seat in the House of Commons is already equipped with a microphone...and it wouldn't seem to require too much effort to ensure that those microphones were set up to actually pick up what each MP says while other MPs have the floor.

It would be particularly interesting to see a resulting second Hansard consisting solely of what's picked up from MPs not holding the floor at a given moment - though that might not be as viable as simply making the audio public for others to compile.

Granted, more thorough recording wouldn't change the underlying personalities of the MPs who have given rise to the concerns. But it would at least ensure that future incidents would be met with at least as swift and thorough a response as this one, rather than being missed or forgotten for lack of available evidence. And with time, the end result could well be a Parliament where Canadians can observe a civilized debate, rather than a cacophony of insults on all sides.

On patterns

As if it wasn't obvious how the pattern of alleged "security concerns" in Afghanistan was going to play out, yet another Con minister has been allowed to visit Kandahar just days after the Cons bashed a group of Senators for attempting to travel there. Which only continues the Cons' pattern of allowing their own partisans to visit the region while inventing reasons to refuse permission to anybody else - and makes all the more clear that the Cons are far more interested in trying to win political points out of Afghanistan than in trying to improve Canadians' knowledge of what's actually happening there.

A limiting factor

Eugene Plawiuk reminds us of the earlier movement to call for Rona Ambrose's resignation as Environment Minister, and notes that it might be a good time to bring up the question again. But then, that effort can't succeed until we know the answer to one key question: do the Libs still think that Ambrose deserves more time to prove her incompetence?