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Politics Today: Why MPs don’t vote against their parties

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.


Politics Today is your daily guide to some of the stories we're watching in Ottawa and across Canada, by The Globe and Mail's team of political reporters.

Paying the price for breaking ranks

Since Thomas Mulcair took over as NDP leader, no MPs have broken ranks with their party on a vote. But the year before, one MP did and paid the price. Today, as part of our Reinventing Parliament series, we have the inside story of Bruce Hyer's vote against his party on the long-gun registry and why he left the caucus. And in case you missed it yesterday, here's our interactive look at which MPs voted against their parties since the 2011 election. The most surprising thing may be how few did.

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Reading the budget tea leaves

Stimulus will meet deficit-defeating goals in March. The Conservatives' new budget will likely feature a long-term commitment to infrastructure spending, sources tell The Globe and Mail. The measure will help municipalities plan better in the future, while fixing aging infrastructure and providing some much-needed economic boost. We'll find out more when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks at the Economic Club of Canada on Wednesday.

When Red Bull just doesn't cut it any more

If you thought energy drinks were bad, they can get smaller and more caffeine-ier. Health Canada has licensed more than a dozen "energy shots" (even more concentrated than their larger brethren) under a temporary system that ended yesterday. Meanwhile, similar drinks are being investigated by the FDA in the United States over reports of serious health concerns.

Don't turn Page yet

NDP finance critic Peggy Nash is planning a motion at this morning's finance committee meeting for an extension to Kevin Page's term as Parliamentary Budget Officer past March. As questions swirl about what will come of the office after Mr. Page leaves, Kevin Milligan makes the case for a watchdog with a narrower mandate.

Politics laugh of the day

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Here's another comedy video on Globe Politics, this time produced by RapidFire Theatre in Edmonton: what if restaurants acted like Parliament? We, uh, wouldn't suggest eating here.

Quebec goes it alone

The Parti Québécois has made the biggest step so far in its pro-sovereigntist agenda by refusing to work with the other provinces on health care. The PQ say the federal government is interfering too much in an area of provincial jurisdiction.

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