Will you be tricked? Or treated? - Liveblogging Hallowe'en at 24 Sussex, Stornoway and Rideau Hall

... that is, presuming I'm allowed on the premises of the first Residence on the list; the notice says it's a photo op, so let's cross our fingers that the powers that be at PMO -- or, failing that, Laureen Harper herself -- can be persuaded to recognize the berrycam as an officially approved device for tonight's festivities. (I'm betting that I won't have any trouble getting into Stornoway -- unless I show up dressed as an EKOS poll or a senior Liberal strategist, that is -- and Rideau Hall is always open to the public.)  

Power and Politics: Bloggerheads' Sites of the Week

As promised during Friday's broadcast -- which, by the way, you can watch here in its entirety, although if you want to go straight to the segment in question, you can skip to the 1:30ish mark -- here are our respective picks for site of the week. 

Fast and Fair? How to fix the refugee system



This weekend on The House, I'll be sharing an interview I did with Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

This weekend on The House


By Max Paris, Senior Producer for The House on CBC Radio One

Howdy Folks,
So The House this week... well, we're putting Jim Flaherty on the spot over pensions. He came out this week with proposals for the 10 per cent of Canadian pensions that are regulated by the federal government. But we wanted to push him a little further. What is the government going to do about the other 90 per cent, and does that involve a rejig of Bankruptcy legislation?

Jim Prentice's Annus Horribilis


By Susan Lunn

2009 hasn't been Jim Prentice's best year.
In May, the federal environment minister told me the federal government would have its entire plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions released by the time he went to Copenhagen.

That world meeting to come up with a climate deal to follow the Kyoto Accord starts in five weeks.
And Prentice's regulations are no where in sight.

So, are we all ready for the upcoming Royal Visit?  And by "upcoming" I mean, like, Monday, which is when the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall -- or, for those of us who get our monarchist on through the British tabloids, Charles and Camilla -- will arrive for a ten day Royal Visit.

I know, it sort of snuck up on me, too, but if you happen to be of the accredited journalistic persuasion -- or even if you're just an enthusiastic loyal subject -- the protocol mavens over at Canadian Heritage have you covered. 

Mulcair, on what was inside the box...

By Julie Grenier
It was show & tell time in the foyer after Question Period for NDP MP Thomas Mulcair.
Mulcair showed off a cardboard box, one of three that Minister John Baird sent to budget officer Kevin Page detailing the government's infrastructure projects.
The empty prop (literally empty since the documents had been removed) symbolizes what Mulcair calls a dirty tactic --  "an old lawyer's trick to bury your opponent in information."

PBOWatch: That's some mighty fast calculatin', guys


Full disclosure: I have no idea what the Parliamentary Budget Office will -- or won't -- reveal in this just-announced report, which will be tabled on Monday. That said, it's hard not to wonder whether the government really thought that burying Kevin Page in paper would slow him down, and, if so, whether they may be about to learn a very important lesson

Hot off the press gallery e-wire: 

On Monday, November 2, 2009, at 4 p.m., the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) will release a report entitled Economic and Fiscal Assessment Update (www.parl.gc.ca/pbo-dpb) .  This report provides an update of the PBO Economic and Fiscal Assessment that was released in July.  The PBO and his officials will be appearing before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as well as the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance on Tuesday morning to discuss the findings in this report.  

Power & Politics: Question of the Day


Happy Friday, everyone! Seeing as the torch-that-will-not-be-extinguished is now on Canadian soil, the final Question of the Day for the week comes to in the form of five-ringed, warped-medalled glory: 

"Do you think it's possible for the Olympics to be non-partisan and/or non-political?"

I know what you're thinking -- "Of course the Olympics are nonpartisan and nonpolitical -- especially when it's your country playing host!" But is that really true? In a political environment so driven by optics, how can any politician resist the pull of so many potential feel-good photo ops? During the most recent round of will-they-or-won't-they election speculation, for instance, the upcoming Vancouver Games were often cited as a major factor in the timing of any future vote, with the near universal consensus amongst the punditerati that a successful outing for Canada could boost the PM's popularity into the stratosphere. 

On the other hand, could last-minute organizational hiccoughs - and any ensuing international snickering - turn the Olympic dream into a public relations nightmare, at least for a government that was ultimately deemed responsible by the voters? 

Oh, and just to be clear, this hypothetical question applies to both opposition politicians as well as those in government. After all, there's nothing stopping the other parties from sending their respective leaders on a walkabout around Olympic Village -- except the (very real) possibility that it could look like shameless pandering, which could in turn inspire a backlash against such blatant vote baitery. 

Feel free to comment below, or break out the #CBCQotD tag and tell us -- and the twitterverse at large -- what you think. 

Got a question? Have a story to tell? CBC Politics wants to hear from you.

Email us at politics@cbc.ca with your queries or story ideas. You can also talk to us through Twitter by tweeting at us @CBCPolitics.

Marketing the law-and-order agenda


The Conservatives take their law-and-order agenda very seriously.

It's one of the policy areas that party strategists believe Canadians support in large numbers, and which clearly distinguishes the Conservatives from the other federal political parties.
Right now, the government has about a dozen, different Justice bills before Parliament. And yesterday, Government House Leader Jay Hill indicated those bills will continue to be given priority in Commons business.

Now, every bill introduced in Parliament is given a number and a formal title at first reading. Most of those titles are fairly straightforward.