Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Scheer’

Musing on Maxime’s Maxims.

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Maxime Bernier MP does not endear himself. It is not so much his conservatism as his libertarianism. I have met some pretty far right Quebec politicians before but Bernier likes to use his ideas for shock and awe. It gets him lots of media coverage—not all good.

Bernier rides the razor’s edge of racism. He is definitely tribal but he sees no future in being tied to the Parti Québécois. The left-wing péquistes have little appeal. Even the conservative comers in the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) are not far enough to the right for him. He has national ambitions anyway.

If it were not for the foolish system of voting in that last federal conservative party race, he might be leader of the conservative party of Canada today. Instead the system drilled the party down to mediocrity in multiple ballots and they got ‘Chuckles’ Scheer of Saskatchewan instead.

It is that mediocrity in leadership that has saved Bernier from being bounced from the party. Instead of sending the loudmouth to Coventry, Scheer just freed him to spread discontent among the party. Just one more wrong step for Scheer at a time when Justin Trudeau is becoming more vulnerable.

Bernier’s latest faux pas is to accuse prime minister Trudeau of “radical multiculturalism”—whatever the hell that is? It seems Bernier is concerned that the PM is encouraging a lot of smaller tribes instead of the more traditional English-French tribes. Since Bernier and Trudeau are on equal footing with the English-French tribes, it looks like Bernier does not want anyone else in the running.

Bernier complained the other day about these “little tribes” created by Trudeau are causing division. He seems to see them as failing to accept North American values. He complains that they do not immediately appreciate our freedoms and are less eager to accept our openness and tolerance.

I do not know where Bernier grew up but I grew up in Toronto and I watched many of my friends’ immigrant parents struggle with what some saw as the licentious nature of our society. It was tough for them and all we could do for them was to be understanding and recognize why they felt as they did.

To-day, we look at the second and third generation of those families and we see the value that they brought to this country. We are long past Maxime Bernier’s English-French divide. He needs to look around.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Checking Chuckles’ Challenges.

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Maybe it is just the pundits in Ottawa who are challenged to understand the leader of the conservative party. While some tend to treat him as the Joker character from the Batman comics, Andrew Scheer M.P. has a little more depth than that. At least, his leadership of the federal conservatives is not going to frighten little children.

Chuckles has been wending his smiley way with the conservative caucus and seems to have them mainly under control. They might not be ready to resume power on the government benches but they do seem to know what they are there to do.

But if prime minister Trudeau and the liberals keep fumbling the ball, nobody expects Chuckles and his team of cheer leaders to know what to do with it.

On something such as the acquisition of the Trans Mountain pipeline, Scheer and the gang are caught between a rock and a hard place—and both are named Jason Kenney, leader of the united conservatives in Alberta. Jason Kenney could not have asked for a better solution to shipping bitumen to Burnaby, B.C. than Trudeau has offered. Trudeau and the feds take the blame for spills and Alberta gets the revenue.

Ergo, Chuckles also has to be in favour of Justin’s folly. It hardly matters that the government has offered to pay too much. They hardly care that Justin has put billions of public money at risk.

And nobody gives a damn what Jagmeet Singh, seat-less leader of the NDP, has to say about it. He is caught between NDP premier Notley of Alberta and NDP premier Horgan of B.C. and has been effectively silenced.

Chuckles can try to bask in the glory of the conservative win in the bye-election in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord. He would first have to thank the Bloc and the NDP for collapsing to less than ten per cent of the vote. And he should be more aware that Quebec bye-elections are intensely local events and meaningless on a national scale.

But despite a relatively positive performance on the opposition benches of parliament, Chuckles remains a relatively unknown quantity among the public. I would never say “never” but Chuckles would have to have a surprising amount of luck going with him to pose any major threat to Trudeau and his team’s re-election next year.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Chuckles brings home a report card.

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer has spent the better part of a year in Ottawa as leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. A report card is due. Will we like the report on that purportedly placid Prairie politician?

Will he reprise the docile and easy-going speaker of the house role he played for the former prime minister? Do our parliamentarians still refer to him as ‘Harper’s boy’?

You might be surprised to hear that he has now been retrained as an attack dog and he can be ferocious when standing on his hind legs. He stands in place in the House and almost drools as he focusses in on the prime minister. And it is not to praise him.

Chuckles is quite adamant that our prime minister is an empty suit, a wastrel and a waster of public monies, a hypocrite in his policies and is taking the country in entirely the wrong direction. In fact, according to Chuckles, the liberal leader does nothing right.

His only problem is that very few Canadians pay much attention to what Chuckles has to say in the House of Commons. They do not know him and if they did, they might not like him.

Chuckles is more than a bit boring. He and his wife are practicing Catholics and have five children. He is a social conservative. He has been known among the conservative caucus as Stephen Harper with a smile.  He ran for the leadership last year on a slogan of being a real conservative and a real leader. Not all conservatives believed his slogan. He won on the 13th ballot with 50.9 per cent of the vote over second-place Maxime Bernier’s 49. 1 per cent.

If he really brought home a report card for his first year as opposition leader, it would probably report that he does not always play well with the other children. He has been known to complain that the liberal government has not done something and when they do it, he complains that that they did it. He went to England recently to promote himself with the people back home. He got failing grades in diplomatic relations with the U.K. government.

Chuckles is also busy preparing for his first test as conservative leader in next year’s federal election. The consensus is that he will be lucky to survive as party leader.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Ceding Civility in Canada.

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Writing about civility in politics the other day, we never got to the situation here in Canada. Despite our Canadian reputation for civility, things have lately gone to hell in a basket. Federal and provincial politics in Canada have become noisy arguments between spoiled children. Our politicians are not working together to meet the needs of those who elected them.

At the federal level, our parliament has continued to lose sight of the ‘sunny days’ that greeted the defeat of the Harper conservatives. Our poster boy prime minister is losing his lustre both at home and abroad as he missteps his way into new ground in Ottawa and in world politics.

The opposition party in Ottawa chose a nobody to hold the fort as leader and now ‘Chuckles’ Scheer is leading the wolf pack with a ferocity that surprises those who know him. Attacking the liberal government and its ministers has become a blood sport as the façade of competence falls away.

But Ottawa’s problems also come from surprising sources. The American White House is challenging Justin Trudeau’s attempts at bonhomie. Trump alternately patronizes and berates the Canadian prime minister. He tells Trudeau one thing and then tweets something else.

Even long-standing provincial politicians are falling in an onslaught of meanness. No party is safe anywhere. The west coast is a war zone as Alberta and British Columbia’s two New Democrat governments hurl insults and law suit arguments at each other. And you wonder what things are coming to when you have to count on the Saskatchewan government to stand up for that dreary Prairie ultra conservatism.

And yet it is Canada’s two most established and long-running governments of Ontario and Quebec that stand threatened. The pollsters tell us that in Quebec it is the liberal government of Phillippe Couillard that stands on shaky ground as another unknown, unexpected coalition of the right tries to usurp the liberal trust.

It is a Trump-lite wannabe named Doug Ford who is attempting to destroy the liberal dynasty in Ontario. As more and more of the province’s voters come to realize how shallow are his promises, the less the credibility.

But whatever the outcome, the vaunted myth of the civility of Canadians appears to be in jeopardy.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

‘Chuckles’ Scheer, meet Donald Trump.

Saturday, March 10th, 2018

Did you hear that Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer, Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in Ottawa, wants to move the Canadian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem? He must have heard that is what U.S. President Trump intends to do. That is a very bad move by Chuckles.

The problem is that the Canadian conservative leader wants to pander to the Jewish vote in Canada. He assumes it is the same reason as Donald Trump is supposedly pandering to the American Jewish vote. That is wrong.

Chuckles does not seem to be aware that Donald Trump is not political. He never has been and he panders to nobody but his lumpenproletariat followers. He has been doing business with New York Jews all his adult life. They have likely influenced his attitude about Arabs and Muslims. It boils down to: Jews good; Arabs bad. It would take a good psychiatrist to break that down into the whys but it means Trump sees Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu as an ally.

Netanyahu was visiting Washington the other day and in their joint news conference, the news media tried to get some clear answers from the American president about his proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum. Netanyahu was visibly amused by the byplay. It seemed to this political apparatchik that Netanyahu should be asked by the Canadian Jewish community, why he thought the proposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum were that funny?

The preponderance of Jewish voters in three electoral districts in Toronto and two in Montreal can be important in federal elections. Those five MPs are usually Liberals. Stephen Harper used ever trick in his book to try to win Irwin Cottler’s Mount Royal seat in parliament when Cottler stepped down at the 2015 election. Despite the concerted effort, a Liberal still won.

What Scheer also does not seem to understand is that Canada has maintained a very clear policy. As a friend of Israel, we maintain Israel’s right to exist and believe the time for moving embassies around is when there is a clear and lasting peace established by Israel and its Arab neighbours.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

The troubled travels of Trudeau.

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Good advice is a treasured commodity in government. Bad advice is plentiful. It seems that our current prime minister has plenty of the latter and not enough of the former. It could also be that Justin Trudeau has lots of good advice but chooses to ignore it. That was how his father behaved in his first term in office. He almost did not have a second term. And watching Trudeau the Younger these days, we are wondering if he even knows in what direction he is headed?

After an easy election despite the obvious weaknesses of his advisors, Justin Trudeau had a good start. He made the point that it was 2015 after all and he was a new broom. We said: Go for it, tiger!

We were not aware that we now had an elitist for prime minister. We were unaware that he wanted to take family vacations with the rich and famous. We had no idea that he would turn appointments over to elitist panels.

He did not seem to know that real men support feminism because they are proud of what women contribute in our society. Their respect and the equality of the sexes is self-evident and accepted. Real men and real women have little to prove.

Justin Trudeau’s devotion to his family is evident and commendable. His family is a truly charming representation of our country.

But when they travel abroad they are representing our country. They are not there just as tourists. They are not there to ape the dress and manners of their hosts. For the children to try native dress is charming. For our prime minister to repeatedly try native dress is distressing.

Stephen Harper would travel to excess to escape what he saw as the boredom of parliament. Justin Trudeau travels to escape what he sees as the nagging of parliament. If he does not find better sources of advice, nagging will be the least of his problems.

Watching ‘Chuckles’ Scheer paraded through the talk shows last weekend, it is obvious the shift in his position in his Conservative party. The move is from an interim fill-in to a possible success. The day they think of Scheer as a possible prime minister, I thought there would be at least three moons in the daylight sky.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Our leaders need to ‘man up.’

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

It is unlikely that in this era of #MeToo that we can find many men willing to stick their neck out—or any other body part, for that matter. It is just that the we are getting into the realms of ridiculousness with some of today’s witch (or more accurately, warlock) hunts. Our political leaders are starting to look like a bunch of wusses in their eagerness to ruin careers needlessly.

And they are all to blame. It was when New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh called for an investigation of charges coming second-hand from another MP, that we really hit the depth. How dare Singh use such flimsy evidence to besmirch the character of someone he has not worked with in parliament?

And ‘Chuckles’ Scheer is just as ridiculous. Chuckles wants someone to investigate a former MP. Why? If the guy (former MP Rick Dyskstra) is no longer in parliament, what business is it of the leader of the Conservative Party? This problem came up under Stephen Harper’s watch. Would you also like to investigate Sir John A. McDonald’s boozing on the job?

And who made Justin Trudeau chief hall monitor for this kindergarten on the Rideau? We hardly need a blue-stocking feminist policing MPs. It is nowhere in the job description. If an MP embarrasses himself and his party, the leader can kick him out of caucus. Until then, the leader should butt out.

Once, many years ago, when leaving the Parliament buildings on a Wednesday evening, I gave a couple older liberal ladies I knew from a neighboring riding in Toronto a lift to the airport. Wednesdays in Ottawa were known as Wonderful Wednesdays at the time. It was an evening off for MPs and what ‘Chuckles’ does not worry about after eight, got started early. We happened to drive past two very friendly couples on the sidewalk and too late I realized the males were the ladies’ MP and a well-known senior aide.

As I explained to the MP the next time I saw him, he might get some glares at his next meeting with his riding executive. I could not convince those two women that he and his friend were just making sure those two young ladies got to their car safely. I at least got them laughing about it.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Forget Beyak, dump Canada’s Senate.

Monday, January 8th, 2018

Why just dump Senator Lynn Beyak? You do not have to like what she says or posts on the Internet? We have all heard it before. Bigotry is hardly new. The problem is that there is not much you can do about it. She was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Stephen Harper until she is 75. She is going to be around for a while yet. It would be easier to dump the entire senate rather than just her.

‘Chuckles’ Scheer, Conservative Party leader and leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition decided to dump her. She is an embarrassment to the Conservative caucus. He tossed her out of the caucus. That was all he could do. He left her sitting in the senate. He made matters worse. He left a pissed-off party stalwart sitting in the senate as an independent.

You can be assured that not all non-first nations’ people from the Thunder Bay region of Ontario are bigots. There are many people there who are well aware of the problems faced by our first nations’ people and are sympathetic. For all we know Senator Beyak might be posting some of those bigoted letters thinking that it can help the situation. Obviously, it does not.

But this is just another of the long lists of embarrassments by our appointed senate. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thinks he is getting around the problem by having an elite committee pick elite applicants for him to appoint supposedly elite senators. He gets no guarantees.

One of the problems for the ‘Lynch Beyak’ mob is that Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations has jumped into the fray and is calling for a ‘review’ of the senator’s actions by the senate ethics committee. To give her yet another platform for racism is not going to help.

The Senate of Canada was created more than 150 years ago to give the land-owning gentry of the Canadian colonies a chance to review and, if they wish, stall the laws passed by our elected parliament. It is not needed today. In fact, its continuance is an embarrassment to our country. It should have been abolished a long time ago.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

A potpourri of New Year wishes.

Monday, January 1st, 2018

This writer’s New Year’s resolution is, as always, to never make a resolution. Each year is another adventure. It is an opportunity to discover and to learn. We have a mixed bag of comments to share today as we start our tenth year of this commentary.

The ten years means both good and bad. Trying to write something pithy and interesting to our broad audience on a daily basis is both challenging and, at times, daunting. The wife notes that we are still playing with words that not all readers might understand and she refuses to read anything further about “bitumen” from the tar sands.

We also make mistakes—and do we hear about it? Ouch. I even got a complaint from an NDP reader the other day who thought I should have explained the sham of the counting in the Conservative leadership contest that chose ‘Chuckles’ Scheer. Sure, it was a con to maximize the exposure time on the television networks. Anyone who knew anything about computers would realize that. So, please argue with the CBC, not with me.

Somehow, in writing about the foolishness of the federal Conservative leadership, I was also accused of not understanding ranked balloting. I do understand ranked balloting and have written lengthy diatribes about it. I consider the results of ranked balloting as guaranteed mediocrity. And to prove the point, I give you ‘Chuckles’ Scheer.

I thought the much more annoying con job by the Conservatives was that phony guaranteed policy fakery of the Ontario Conservatives. That sham was so cynical that an eight-year old would recognize it as desperation.

But in honour of the Roman God Janus, this is a day to look both forward and back. Looking ahead, I am appalled that our friends in British Columbia are going to be presented with yet another attempt to change how they vote. And to hold a plebiscite by mail is rife with opportunities for a corrupted vote.

John Horgan’s NDP government should be ashamed of themselves for pandering to the desperation of the Green Party for more representation in the legislature. Are they so ashamed of their Green Party candidates that they only want them picked from a list? Personally, I only vote for people who want to represent my neighbours and I—not just vote for their party.

But I forget. To one and all, have a wonderful 2018!

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Let’s call it Scheer willpower.

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

You may have been wondering what Andrew Scheer has been doing since winning the leadership lottery run by the Conservative Party of Canada? Our guess is that he has been spending time on his knees thanking the powers above for the gifts he keeps getting from an indulgent Liberal Prime Minister. There are so many attack possibilities opened for Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

After serving as the tame Speaker during the last of the Harper regime, Scheer, was the logical choice for an interim place holder for the party. It only took him until the last of 13 ballots to win by 50.95 per cent. He is showing no new drive or enthusiasm and will make his replacement look that much better. In the meantime, his job is being made easier by a generous Prime Minister who keeps making rookie mistakes.

The main problems Scheer faces are in maintaining discipline in his caucus. The raucous and undisciplined rowdiness of the Conservative side of the House would never have been countenanced when Scheer was the Speaker. It serves its purpose in bracketing his and his colleague’s attacks on some of the Liberals less experienced or adept ministers. Nobody on the opposition side of the House cares about the government responses in any event.

Considered a version of Stephen Harper ‘Light’ but with a smile, Scheer always looks to us like a deer caught in the headlights. We call him ‘Chuckles’ for lack of a respectful nom de guerre.

He will probably serve in the role of leader until he is blamed for the party’s loss in the 2019 federal election. Then he is expected to fall on his sword and move over for a more dynamic leader.

We could tell you more about Andrew Scheer but this guy is boring and we do not like boring our readers.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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