The House of Commons is breaking for the holidays, and that means it is time for the members of The National's At Issue politics panel to choose the year's winners and losers.
For biggest political surprise of 2014, here are the picks:
- Andrew Coyne: Industry Minister James Moore.
- Chantal Hebert: NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.
- Jennifer Ditchburn: Former Alberta premier Alison Redford and defeated Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow.
- Bruce Anderson: Finance Minister Joe Oliver.
On the choice for best political move of the year, Hebert and Coyne said the federal party leaders handled themselves well in the wake of the Parliament Hill shooting, with Hebert singling out Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
In the wake of the shooting, the party leaders' speeches were classy, restrained and dignified at a time when emotions were running high, Coyne said.
"This was people practising politics at its best on a very high wire, and it spoke well of all three of them," he said.
Ditchburn said the draining of the federal surplus was a good political move. Harper has "got the family tax cut package [and] billions in infrastructure funding. What this means is that the opposition parties are going have really no wiggle-room to play with when they're developing their platforms and they'll have to commit to cutting something when they're doing all their cost projections. Possibly a really canny move by the prime minister."
Anderson pointed to Harper's move to play a greater role in world affairs. "While people may not agree with his position on every issue, our research shows that he tends to be supported on most of the positions he's been taking on foreign policy issues in the last six to eight months."
See the video for the rest of the panel's picks for worst political move of the year, the riskiest move that paid off and who suffered the biggest hit to his or her reputation.