By my count, there are exactly three political columnists in Canada who a) understand, and b) care, that Paul Martin is doing incalculable damage to the legitimacy of the federal government and to the workings of responsible government: Andrew Coyne, Richard Gwynn, and Norman Spector. The ones who should know better are either weirdly insouciant (Paul Wells) or completely missing in action (Jeffrey Simpson — phoning it in since 1997).
Coyne’s been the most consistent on this. What I like about Coyne is his ability to distinguish partisan questions about policy or direction, from constitutional issues. That’s always been a major problem with the way our federation (mal)function: Those who don’t like the way the Liberals run the country have always preferred to deal with the problem by sucking power away from the feds, instead of working to gain office and wield that power differently.
But Norman Spector is in the game as well, and that’s good. Unlike Coyne, Spector is an old Ottawa insider. If he still has friends on the Hill, maybe he can wander over and bash some heads together.
Here‘s Spector today.