Archive for the ‘Federal Politics’ Category

‘Yesteryear Politicos’ and ‘Tired Advice.’

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Most people are probably unaware that they can get a good laugh from the Hill Times almost every day, for free. The Ottawa-based political newsletter will send you their headlines everyday in hopes of selling you a subscription. The problem they have with me is all I want from them is their headlines. I can do my own research, thank you.

Back when you could get complete samples of the newsletter, I determined that the average ages of their opinion writers are about those of my grandsons. While I am very proud of them (my grandsons), they do not have the experience needed to contribute much in the way of opinions on Canadian politics. Nor do I find the opinions I have read from Hill Times show much experience.

Since the Hill Times is owned by the Toronto Star, you would think that Susan Delacourt or some of the Star’s old timers would pitch in occasionally to give the kids a hand.

What prompted this comment was the hilarious plaint from Hill Times writers yesterday that the green party had reached into the past. They were engaging “in politics of (a) bygone era” and had hired “a politico from yesteryear” to be in their “war room.”

I can remember about 20 years ago when liberals asked me who was this upstart Kinsella running some ‘war room’ for Jean Chrétien? It makes sense to me that green leader Elizabeth May needs even more help to keep her green troops in line.

Before I knew that the Toronto Star had bought the Hill Times, I had even offered the Hill Times some of my expertise. They did not seem interested and that is their loss.

The better story than the green party’s desperation is the war room being created out in Calgary. This is Alberta premier Jason Kenney’s answer to people who do not agree with him. That should be a very busy war room.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

A house divided or a leaderless nation?

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

There was an excellent discussion in Progressive Bloggers the other day by the gentleman who writes under the nom de plume of The Mound of Sound. A very small quibble you might have with the article was there were a couple times that you might be confused as to whether he was writing about the United States or Canada? I would argue with The Mound that the current tensions in Canada might be more serious than America being a world-wide laughingstock.

To put it to rest, I think the Americans have been living with their corrupt political system for too long not to see their road to redemption.  We can have high hopes for people such as those four young House of Representatives members that Trump brought to prominence in his usual boorish way. Those, and others who share their drive and ambition, are the ones who can help lead the fight to unseat emperor Trump next year. Without them, there would be no hope for America.

I feel much more concern for the imbroglio Canadians are heading towards in just three months. This election is becoming unwinnable for any party. It is based on regional greed, regional barriers, angry aboriginals, mistreated veterans, open bribery, serious environmental concerns and a lot of lies and a large helping of stupidity (and don’t ask me which party has the largest share of that).

It is very hard to believe that I live in a riding open to a win by the liberals and the incompetents running the liberal party have no candidate here, with an election in less than 100 days. I have no idea why these people cannot learn anything. These idiots have known about this coming election for four years yet they have allowed the riding to lose more than two-thirds of the party membership it had four years ago. Explain the genius behind that and you get a gold star.

That hardly could explain why conservative leader ‘Chuckles’ Scheer needs to find a way to silence Jason Kenney in Alberta and send him and Doug Ford to Antarctica to check out global warming for the next three months.  Justin Trudeau is going to walk up one side of Chuckles and down the other in this election and it will hardly make any difference in the final result.

All I know is that, whatever happens, Justin will not like it.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

When voters can care less.

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

When we talk about the Ontario voters who now regret their urge to vote for the Ford conservatives last year, we are hardly talking about all. Many of these same people are proud to tell you that they will vote for Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer’s conservatives this fall. The entire conservative election strategy can be summed up as: identify the knuckle-draggers; make sure they vote.

And you know you cannot win any argument over it. They know that Chuckles is a wus. He is their wus. They hate Justin Trudeau. They see him as the arch enemy. They refer to him with homophobic slurs. They never see him as doing anybody any good. They blame him for all of our national debt. They have very convenient memories of Stephen Harper’s reign.

It makes me want to take back every nasty word I have ever said about Justin. He might not be much of an environmentalist but he might be the best we will get for a while. If he had asked me about voting reform, he could have saved a mess of embarrassment promising that it was the last time we would use first-past-the-post. Mind you, the fact we still have first-past-the-post could save his job for him in October.

And how can a guy who needs to be able to count on women to tip the scales for him in October, make such an ass of himself with Jody Wilson-Raybould? Here he is mistreating women when he has no idea of how to handle that idiot Trump in the White House. Was he too busy getting selfies with all those world leaders he met, not to bother making nice with the president of China?

No, our prime minister is not perfect. He should get the praise he deserves and the smack downs for when he screws up.

But the very thought of Chuckles in the prime minister’s office is enough to make me upchuck. The conservatives picked him out of a field of 13 candidates to sit in opposition until they could choose a more popular and dynamic leader sometime in 2021. They never thought Chuckles would even be a contender this year.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Trudeau should listen to McCallum.

Monday, July 15th, 2019

John McCallum was building a very solid career as a professor and as an economist when he took a misstep into politics in 2000. While it took him a while to learn the ropes, his greatest political success was in Justin Trudeau’s government as immigration, refugees and citizenship minister. He brought in large numbers of Syrian refugees with help from Canadians from coast to coast. He made his mark.

But what amount of ego encouraged him to take the post of ambassador to China, we might never understand? He could hardly be so foolish as to think his ethnic Chinese wife gave him a leg up. This man, who throughout his career had been paid for his opinions, was now supposed to be a noviciate to Chrystia Freeland in Canada’s foreign affairs. That was a bad position for a free thinker.

John McCallum would have been introduced in Beijing as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary (meaning he had the right to speak for the Queen in the right of Canada). He barely opened his mouth for the next two years but that was learning the job time. When he did speak his mind, he was fired.

And that firing did no good for John McCallum and it did no good for Justin Trudeau. What John said was his opinion that Canada would be better off to release Huawei executive Meng Wanzhuo. Donald Trump had indicated that the request for extradition was political. Canada has an obligation to comply with legal requests for extradition to the U.S. for legal reasons but not for political.

The prime minister ignored the door that the American president had opened. What it said to the Chinese was that Trudeau was so firm in his desire to support the Trump position that he would fire a man who told the truth.

To make matters worse, John McCallum was fired at the end of January and no replacement has been announced six months later. That is an insult to the Chinese. They have recalled the Chinese ambassador in retaliation.

And just to rub salt, the conservatives are now complaining about some recent McCallum remarks. He told the Chinese that further retaliation would just help the conservatives in the coming election in Canada. The conservatives told the Canadian Security Intelligence Service about it. What exactly CSIS can do about a private citizen expressing an opinion, we are not sure.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

‘Chuckles’ challenges secret(?) tax.

Friday, July 12th, 2019

Conservative leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer sent another letter to prime minister Justin Trudeau. He wants Justin to come clean on his secret tax. You know the one. It was the secret tax the prime minister updated the news media about on June 28. It was the one first mentioned two years ago when the government announced it would work with the industry to set new standards for cleaner fuel for cars and for home heating oils.

Some people think it makes good sense for the government and the industry to work together to set these new standards. There is no point in government setting standards that the industry cannot achieve. And nobody is saying that the industry cannot improve the cleanliness of its products. The only problem is that it takes time to work it through. There are a lot of people needing to discuss this.

And that is why it could be some time in 2020 that some standards can be set. It took the Harper government over ten years of supposed discussions until 2015 and Canadians never did hear of any results.

But Chuckles is not happy with the delays when the shoe is on the other foot. He says that if he is elected in 2019, he will scrap any standards for cleaner fuels. He will also scrap the liberal government carbon tax that the government takes from the fuel producers and rebates to the public.

In his letter Chuckles demands that the government tell him how much the new standards will cost—even though they have not been set yet. It is assumed he wants to know in case he has a chance to also cancel that charge. He is already upset with the four-cent carbon tax on a litre of gasoline that consumers pay and get back in an annual rebate. He is sure that the new standards, when set, will add another four cents per litre to the cost of gasoline. He might just be guessing.

It is not that Chuckles does not have a plan to help save our world. It just seems to be secret.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Singh scans the Six.

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

Canada’s new democratic party leader has been seen in Ontario. Party leader Jagmeet Singh is engaged in a desperate rear-guard action this summer for some Toronto area ridings. Faced with the possible loss of their party standing in the house of commons, the NDP have realized that the Toronto area is where they will take their last stand.

The only problem Jagmeet faces is that most of those ridings that traditionally vote NDP deserted and went to the liberals in 2015. There is little chance of getting any of them back this time. With very few exceptions, the distaste for the Ford conservative government at Queen’s Park is driving many previously conservative votes to the liberal party. Jagmeet can’t catch a break.

It is similar confusion across Canada. While the opinion polls are coming into line with forecasting a minority government situation in Ottawa, it is different parties benefitting in different provinces.

While Jagmeet has hopes for holding his own Vancouver area riding, Elizabeth May’s Green Party looks like it will have its breakthrough in that province. Nobody is assuming anything but the ‘same-old/same-old’ across the prairies. All we know about Quebec is that that the NDP Orange Wave created by the late Jack Layton in 2011 is dead, the Bloc is moribund and Maxime Bernier is going to knock the conservatives out of the Quebec City area (and probably leave those ridings to the liberals). And that leaves the Atlantic playing some musical chairs but not causing much change. It all comes back to Ontario.

My best guess is that if Justin Trudeau spends all of September and October, up until the 21st, in central Ontario, he has a chance. There is a band of red-necked farmers stretching across the province, from Ottawa to Windsor, who think God is a conservative.

But I am sure, those farmers would all like a selfie with Justin. That is his only chance.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The inscrutable ‘Chuckles’ Scheer.

Monday, July 8th, 2019

Conservative leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer sent a letter to prime minister Justin Trudeau the other day. He has come to the conclusion that Justin needs help in foreign affaires. He is particularly concerned that Canada is being bullied by the Chinese. “Chuckles’ is full of helpful tips—he seems to think he knows so much about the subject.

One can only hope that Justin ignores all advice from this source. You have to wonder if Chuckles has ever spent more than a few minutes in conversation with a person who grew up in Beijing, or anywhere else in Asia. Does he have any idea of the Chinese mindset?

He would be better off advising Trudeau on how to deal with his friend Donald Trump. Chuckle’s conservatives are always saying they are the business-oriented party and Donald Trump claims to be a businessman. And speaking about bullies! I would agree with Trudeau getting tough with Trump. Tough talk is the only thing that bastard Trump seems to respect.

But the Chinese do not tolerate tough talk as well. It is not their style. North American business people often used to talk about Chinese business people as being inscrutable. It was their way of admitting that they did not understand them.

And yet, it is so simple. The Chinese like to deal with relationships first. The product is secondary. If we could just let them save a little face out of this fiasco, it would go a long way to correcting the current problems. Canada can hardly win a tit-for-tat pissing match with a huge trading partner who really just wants to be friends.

And what kind of a relationship does the Canadian government think it is maintaining with the Chinese when it will not even replace the Canadian ambassador after firing him in January for being frank about the Huawei extradition claim by the Americans. Mr. Trudeau has insulted the Chinese in his ignorance. He hardly needs help to make things worse by following the ignorance of Chuckles.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The failure of Justin Trudeau’s Senate.

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

It had to become obvious to Canadians eventually that Justin Trudeau’s version of a Senate is a disaster. Justin seems to think that an elite group of senators, picked by an elite committee will produce hard working senators. Well, it doesn’t and it won’t.

This was the equivalent of Justin promising voting reform when Justin knew very little about any of the alternatives. Canadians are used to first-past-the-post and it works for them.

But this Senate is now a problem. Whether you pick elites for the Senate or for the House of Commons, you are going to make mistakes. What frightens me is that these people do not understand the political realities. The problems that the prime minister created with his politically correct Cabinet were bad enough. I could care less if they were all women—provided they knew what they were doing and had some political smarts to help keep them out of trouble.

Justin threw the lambs to the wolves in both the Cabinet and the Senate. Stephen Harper at least had some basic criteria for the people he appointed. They had to be conservatives with some provincial or federal experience and his supporters. He had only a few failures.

Maybe he would still like to throttle Mike Duffy, but the reality was that Duffy did what he was told. The only problem was that Duffy, though he reported on politics, consorted with politicians and obviously had a generous expense account when with CTV, had no idea of the trust involved in the parliamentary system. Somebody had to blow the whistle on him.

Canada now has a Senate that does not function for us. You can hardly fire these people, so they are enjoying themselves. And what the hell is Justin going to do about it? It might be too late to swamp the Senate again with liberals. If ‘Chuckles’ Scheer wins the election on October 21, he will have a line up of conservative senators ready to appoint.

The reality in October could be a minority parliament. We will have a House of Commons that will take forever to make up its mind and the Senate will delay everything further.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Think Big for Canada.

Monday, July 1st, 2019

Do you really believe in this country? Do you believe in your good fortune to be a Canadian? These questions are asked this July 1 in all seriousness. We should ask them more often. I think there are too many of us who pay lip service to the country on this day and then go back to wondering what the country can do for them.

I think we have too much rhetoric on this day and too little commitment. What we are doing is thinking small. We are looking inward to our own wants—not necessarily our needs. Today and maybe every day, we should set aside our wants and look to what others need. If we all put some energy into the needs of others, we would not have to look so hard and so long for what we might need.

On the world stage, Canada is an underachiever. Oh sure, others think of Canada as nice. They admire the green of our forests and the richness of our land and its resources. Yet we restrict admission to this land of plenty and we build resentments. Canadians can be hypocrites.

Canada has to open its doors much wider. We have to tell those people Donald Trump is keeping out of America that there is room for them in Canada. We have to learn from the Germans how they took in the hordes of the desperate from North Africa and from the Middle East.

The point is that this country has to grow much faster. It has to grow in workforce and in energy and in attitudes. We need more soldiers for aiding the populace in peace and protecting them. We need more navy to patrol what is becoming our northern shores. We need more air force to properly patrol our skies.

Farming is becoming more mechanized, more corporate but it still needs people who can endure, dream, work and achieve to feed a larger population and develop more to feed the world.

We need high-speed transportation in Canada and that will take engineers, and emerging technologies and the workers to build the greater Canada for tomorrow.

But you add to the list. Each and everyone of us shares this responsibility. Each of us to our own ability. Each of us to add to the dream. Each of us to build. Happy Canada Day. Let’s get out there and wave our flag!

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

‘Chuckles’ challenges consensus.

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

There will be no apology for calling federal conservative leader Andrew Scheer, Chuckles. He practically giggled his way through a ten-minute on-air version of an interview with Mercedes Stephenson on Global’s West Block last Sunday. Mercedes might not have the gravitas of a Tom Clark or a Vassy Kapelos, but he could have answered some of her questions. For Chuckles to blame the model, on which his environmental plan is based, on the parliamentary budget officer was not only silly but irrelevant.

In the same sense, Chuckles and his crew must have been smoking something soothing when they came up with the plan to have industry dream up the environmentally friendly ways of cutting greenhouse gas. Without suggesting costs or the benefits to industry, or who would provide the funding and who would oversee the program, it seemed to be a half-baked idea—whose time has not come.

After his interview we were still left assuming that he will be keeping his commitment to ending the carbon tax for premiers Ford and Kenney. Since the liberal’s carbon tax is basically a revenue neutral plan, it is only being discontinued by the conservatives because it is annoying for those premiers who do not seem to have any plan for the environment of their own.

Where Chuckles really gets himself tied in knots is the conservative proposition that major polluters will pay if they do not cut emissions. Now that promise might sound much like a carbon tax to you and I, but Chuckles said it was not.

But for all of this supposedly tough talk about the environment, Chuckles also wants to assure Canadians that he is really a moderate guy. He figures it worked (for a while) for Stephen Harper, so he should try to sail the same ship.

But he has also learned from watching his friend Doug Ford trying to do everything in the first year. Chuckles will try to take longer before annoying the voters.  We hear that he is even going to take a few years before balancing the budget. Chuckles might as well chuckle. Nobody wants to see him cry.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me