Tom’s Take: The parliamentary session ahead

Above: They aren’t your typical political predictions. Tom Clark tells us what we can expect from politicians when Parliament resumes.

So, peer with me into the crystal ball and all will be revealed.  OK, maybe psychic journalism isn’t the right idea. But it is safe to say that things around Parliament Hill aren’t going to be same old, same old come Monday.

For starters, the relatively small Hill is tasked with tackling the world — an unsettled and unsettling mess.  From the biggest new threat, the Islamic State terrorist group, to Iran, Putin, Gaza and, well, who knows what else?

In a nanosecond, any of these people, places or events can change everything with the flick of a detonator.  And that always hangs over the Hill.

But let’s imagine the best: that Canadian politics is left to its own devices and disasters.  What then of the coming months?

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Small scale combat among politicians was already ramping up last season and there will be a lot more of that as we inch closer to the election, which will be on … well, that’s another uncertainty. A Conservative law says Oct. 19, 2015, but it’s not written in stone.  There are several ways around it.

So, Canadians could be heading to the polls as early as this spring.  Who knows?  Well , Prime Minister Stephen Harper does, but he’s not talking; never does.

Either way, elections focus the mind, the money and the mendacity.  So, what to watch?  Well to hear the Liberals tell it, it’s going to be the “Sunshine Kid” (Justin Trudeau) versus “Grumpy Cat” (Harper).

The Conservatives, though, will say it comes down to “Mr. Substance” (Harper) over “Mr. Fluff” (Trudeau).

The NDP, meanwhile, will tell you it’s an epic fight of “Good” (Tom Mulcair) versus “Evil” (Harper AND Trudeau).

The challenge, as a voter or a journalist, is to find the long view.  It’s why I fly bush planes because from up in the air, you really get a perspective on this amazing country of ours.  How it survives at times, in spite of what politics does to it.  More politicians should see it from up there, and they will.  I’ll be taking some for a flight this season and we’ll bring you along.  I wonder what they’ll say away from their handlers and talking points, knowing that you’re in the backseat listening in.

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There will be nothing usual about the upcoming political season but our job will be the same:  to make sure that they don’t get away with anything while they try to convince you that they are the very best.

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