Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Scheer’

Chuckles Chucks It.

Friday, December 13th, 2019

We are going to miss Chuckles. Sure, it is customary to think of something nice to say about the guy now he has announced he is quitting as leader of the conservative party. The first problem with Andrew Scheer is to think of something nice to say.

The hair looks good. Most leaders start to grey right away in that job. Maybe the wife has been doing touch-ups for him. Here he is at 40 with his career behind him.

It was easy to see why Justin Trudeau was so effusive in thanking Scheer. Scheer made Trudeau look good despite the liberal leader’s problems. Scheer might not have cared whether he was being entirely truthful in criticizing the liberal leader but Trudeau found him to be delightfully ineffective in his criticisms.

Even NDP leader Jagmeet Singh jumped into the round of people saying nice things about Chuckles. It was a lovefest in the house of commons. The circle was complete when bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet also praised his service.

Chuckles was probably lucky that the green party members are not recognized as a party and were not allowed to speak. The new interim green leader is new to this old school hypocrisy and might have mentioned Chuckles’ less than admirable concern for climate change.

But the good news is that the federal conservative party is going to have another leadership contest. There are lots of people who might like the job but the smart ones should be wary. This is a party that only likes winners. You can win the popular vote, you can increase the number of seats held by the party in parliament, you can leave the incumbent liberals in minority and you will still be crucified.

It sure is fun living in turbulent times.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Does Kenney prefer Ottawa?

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

Alberta’s Jason Kenney spends an inordinate amount of time in Ottawa. This is hardly the norm for premiers—especially western premiers. It just maybe that the real prize tantalizing Mr. Kenney is Mr. Scheer’s job. Maybe this stretch at the funny farm in the Edmonton legislature has just been a means to an end?

It would be far too early for him to be measuring for new curtains at Stornoway or even Sussex Drive. Those who know Kenney, know he plans ahead. His determined takeover of the united mess of Alberta conservatives and the Wildrose showed how hard nosed and ruthless he can be. He takes no prisoners.

It was particularly interesting last week when Jason left the ranting and roaring on behalf of the west to his dear friend Andrew Scheer. Here was Chuckles standing up in the hallways and the house claiming the liberals were to blame for “fomenting a national unity crisis.”  And all this, he declared, was at a time commodity prices were stagnant and the prime minister’s climate policies were fanning the flames of western alienation. It was a heavy load, of something.

And all the time Chuckles was carrying on in this way, Kenney and the prime minister were quietly making a deal to split the climate change financial action. Kenney got the big players out in the tar sands and Trudeau got the users who would actually get their money back. I have not heard what Kenney is going to do with his province’s share.

I have this funny scene going through my mind of Jason Kenney visiting his friend, former foreign affairs minister, John Baird, while in Ottawa, sitting on John’s lap and telling him what he wants for Christmas. Would you not like to tap into those secrets?

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Singh sings Scheer’s song.

Monday, December 9th, 2019

One of the questions we have always wanted to ask new democratic leader Jagmeet Singh is what makes him think he is a politician? When you have a question such as that, it is always best to just watch for a while. Now it can be asked. What ever gave this guy the idea that he had a career path in Canadian politics?

Singh has had more than enough time. His years in the Ontario legislature, including two years as deputy leader, was more of a comment on how poor a job provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath was doing rather than anything Singh did to help. And his first two years after swamping the federal NDP with Sikh sign-ups were wasted until he found a safe seat to contest in Burnaby.

It appeared that NDP MPs and benefactors were less than impressed with Singh, until into the 2019 election. It was during the federal election that the news media discovered him. He was colorful, controversial and convenient. He was usually off topic and accommodating, anyway. He could not afford to rent a plane and was more available.

But his response to the throne speech was his least political action to-date. He followed conservative Scheer’s lead and attacked it. He complained that the speech only paid lip service to the needs of Canadians. “What we’re seeing is a lot of pretty words but not concrete actions,” was his complaint.

But what did he expect? A throne speech is about expectations, not action. It is direction, not doing.

The problem in the NDP leader’s reaction to the speech is that he was giving no quarter. He was still in the nagging attitude of the NDP’s approach to electioneering. He wanted more but did not know how to get it. He wanted to show off for his voters but acted as though he was still campaigning.

This was the guy who lost the NDP’s previous gains in Quebec. He saw his caucus whittled down. He wanted to shout louder than the conservative leader. Instead of taking advantage of the liberal’s minority, he stayed in an attack mode instead of making himself useful. He gave what little ground he had left to the Bloc Québécois.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

There has to be a pony in there.

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

You cannot have all that cast-off material from a barnyard without a pony in there somewhere. The speech-from-the-throne writers must have figured that if you have to use weasel words, you might as well use a lot. So, if you could stand one more reading of that speech, that the governor general struggled so gamely through, please tell us where it is taking this country?

The most positive thing that the prime minister has done this past week, was to comment on the American president’s presumptuousness. And here, all this time, I would have assumed there was respect for the sanctity of the pre-dinner cocktail gathering—at Buckingham Palace for God’s sake! Next thing we know, the media will be following the world leaders into the washrooms!

But I doubt that the prime minister did himself any damage making fun of the American president. In fact, I would bet that his overall approval rating by Canadians has gone up a few degrees.

I would certainly not say that for ‘Chuckles’ Scheer. He must think he is on permanent ‘attack dog’ duty, as leader of her majesty’s loyal opposition to the liberal minority. And for Singh of the NDP to make it a duet defaming the throne speech, is just ludicrous.

Why doesn’t somebody tell those two that the election is over and everyone has to catch their breath, beg for more money from their benefactors and plan ahead. To rush pell-mell into an ill-considered election will hardly solve their parties’ leadership problems.

And why would those guys want to make the point to Canadians that the leader of the Bloc Québécois just might be the smartest politician in that troubled house of commons.

Frankly this situation reminds me more of the Joe Clark government in 1979 than anything more recent. The Clark people could not count and it cost them a government. It makes you wonder if school teacher Justin Trudeau ever taught any mathematics?

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Chuckles is doing a listening tour.

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

He should have listened before the recent election. We heard the other day that Andrew Scheer is on a tour to hear what the conservatives have to say about his election effort. The words he is hearing are not all that positive.

Luckily, he has just fired his chief of staff and communications director. His campaign manager has already headed back to private practice. Chuckles can just blame any of the three of them anytime anyone complains about the recent effort.

And, if you are fair in your analysis of the recent effort, you will admit that Chuckles did a decent job. First of all, he won the popular vote—no mean feat. He booted a few of the traps laid for him by the liberals but he should hardly expect them to play nice when his people were so busy digging up dirt on them.

But it is hard to believe that three such staff experts would be blind-sided on global warming. Surely one of these so-called experts should have been able to see the trap ensnaring them. Quebec alone, was a path straight down hill.

And for another thing, a federal leader who is outflanked by his party’s provincial premiers is a sorry sight. Personally, my money was on Alberta’s Kenney doing more damage to Scheer than Ontario’s Ford.

Scheer is obviously enjoying the thought of all the money he is socking away while living rent free at Stornoway, the leader of the opposition’s residence. And that is not even considering the extra $80 thousand, he is paid, as leader of the opposition.

But the real danger for Scheer is the April 2020 conservative party meeting. His job is on the line and he will not pass the test easily. Between now and then, he has to find a rationale for him to be allowed to keep his job. The conservative party is waiting.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

 

The Day of the Blacksmith.

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

We might be just one of many commentators trying to fathom the actions of Alberta’s premier. The other day, the province’s main apologist, Gillian Steward, reported in the Toronto Star that premier Jason Kenney’s threats to take Alberta and run away from home were getting louder every day.

What amuses me about this protest from the West is that Steward refers to Kenney as the alpha male of the conservative party. To suggest that a 51-year old bachelor who is a practicing misogynist is the alpha male, does not say much for men in the conservative party.

Maybe we are just going to have to accept the fact that Andrew Scheer is the best they have to offer. Nobody seems to want Ontario’s Doug Ford sticking his nose into the federal foxhole.

But to explain the blacksmith reference in the headline; It is just that we have heard all this B.S. from Jason Kenney before. I remember the nineteen-sixties in Ottawa when everyone was asking what does Quebec want? Whatever it was hardly mattered because they were never going to get whatever it was.

It was the blacksmith blaming the farrier for the lack of horses to shoe in the time of the automobile.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau committed the ultimate environmental faux pas when he bought the Trans Mountain pipeline in an attempt to placate Alberta’s greed. If it was just a gesture of conciliation and had been stipulated as only for processed oil products, he might have been able to get a short term laissez passé from the environmentalists. The aboriginals would know that oil clean-ups would bring money but diluted bitumen would bring disaster. And the environmentalists also know that diluted bitumen could spell the death of the world’s remaining Orcas coming to the Strait of Georgia.

It was likely just blacksmiths who turned their talents to tool and die making who survived in the age of the automobile.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Now do the decent thing.

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

Green leader Elizabeth May did the right thing. The other major party leaders, Scheer, Singh and Trudeau should follow. None completed the recent election with honour. Scheer won the popular vote and lost the election. Singh lost ground for the new democrats. Trudeau lost the West but won Ontario and Quebec and held on with a minority.

May improved her party’s membership in the commons by 50 per cent (one member) and then she resigned. In comparison, Singh lost a third of the new democratic party seats and thinks he is a hero. That supposed surge for Singh in the latter part of the campaign was reluctant NDPers admitting that there was not much choice and coming home to their party.

What is particularly odious about the crushing of Singh was the loss of former NDP seats in Quebec to the Bloc Québécois. The Bloc also took over the third-party status of the new democrats.

It will be at the first opportunity for his party to have a secret vote on his leadership that will end Jagmeet Singh’s career in federal politics. The same end is likely to be in store for Andrew Scheer.

The most amusing aspect of Mr. Scheer’s dilemma is that he could have been prime minister today, trying to win the approval of other parties to support him. What it would have taken was a change in the position taken by members of his party on the special commons committee on electoral reform. This was the committee that studied proportional representation and the conservative members of the committee insisted on holding a referendum. Nobody anticipated that a referendum would approve such a change and Justin Trudeau was forced to renege on his promise.

Despite his many short-comings, Justin Trudeau might be the only party leader able to survive a leadership vote at the next meeting of his political party. The problem is that Trudeau has been busy attempting to turn the liberal party into more of a cult than a traditional Canadian political party.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

A failure in leadership.

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

If conservative leader Andrew Scheer is looking for compassion, he is looking in the wrong places. There is no succor for losers in Toronto’s Albany club. Long the King Street hangout of the rich and famous of Canadian conservatism, there is no compassion there for someone rejected by the voters of Toronto and the GTA.

And, no matter how you look at it, Chuckles’ days of power and privilege and free accommodation, in the opposition leader’s residence at Stornoway, are sliding away from him. He came, he saw what he wanted, and he lost. The story is that simple.

The only person who owes Andrew Scheer anything is Justin Trudeau. Chuckles kept Trudeau in power.

Most conservatives complicit in the selection of Andrew Sheer as leader of their party in 2017 considered him to be nothing more than a place-holder. His job was to hold the fort while Justin Trudeau went through the typical two terms as a young, fresh-faced prime minister. Nobody considered the liberal leader to be particularly vulnerable. The wheels only fell off the liberal bus early in 2019.

Liberals were cringing and conservatives were jubilant when the SNC-Lavalin affair hit the news media. It was the kind of affair that had legs. It dominated the media for months. It remains unresolved.

There were also broken promises and Trudeau’s use of his party lists for constant fund-raising that was tearing at the fabric of liberalism across Canada. The liberal party machine went into the fixed-date election in September, unprepared and in disarray.

It was an election to see who could sling the most mud. It lacked ethics, urgency and coherency. The liberals and conservatives (and, to their bias, the Parti Québécois) chose this election to divide the country. There were few answers for those of us concerned about climate change. People became tired of endless, meaningless promises as to how to spend their money.

It was a campaign that left every man and woman to look to their own needs and wants. There was no unifying theme. There was only ‘get mad, get even.’ It was a campaign to remember with sorrow. We were all losers. So far, the only party leader to do the honourable thing is Elizabeth May of the Greens. The other leaders should follow.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Go angry into the night.

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Canada went to bed angry last night; a failed decision behind us. We had bought into distrust and grievance and discord. We set aside our normal fairness and caring. Greed seemed to be the only compromise. It was a failure in leadership and trust. The next election is not in four years but anytime that there might be an advantage.

Some of Quebec’s francophones gave the rest of us Canadians the finger last night. They chose to send a group of separatist Bloc Québécois members to parliament—but not to contribute to the common good. Thankfully, they did not win the balance of power.

The harshness of the Prairie choices was a more critical critique of confederation. And the failure of the greens to grow and to take their commitments to parliament spells continued conflict over pipelines.

But Jason Kenney in Alberta has to realize that by failing to address his anger in parliament, he is but a dog barking in the night.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer can take off his clown make-up and let his party stew over his poor leadership. When is the safe time to replace him?

Jagmeet Singh and his NDP took their losses but retained party status and can offer the support the liberals need to govern. Maybe the NDP will end up with a direction after all.

And the liberals suffer from the same dilemma. Justin Trudeau has much to learn about politics, political parties and leadership. The difference might be that he is still teachable.

But he let us down here in the catbird seat in Ontario. Once again, we had a winnable candidate, we had the skills and we had the desire to win and the party let us down. There were important lessons learned in Milton. Political campaigns do not start when the writ comes down. They start the day after the last campaign.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

“Mommy, It’s over!”

Monday, October 21st, 2019

The sign-off for the Just for Laughs television show seems quite appropriate for this election. Though it was hardly just for laughs. There are still a lot of tears to be shed over this 43rd Canadian General Election. Having a green monster wailing to his mommy seems the right tone to end it.

There were lies told and vulgar language used. It was just not always comedic. As in any show of this type, you have to rate the actors individually.

The prize for most improved went to the boy born at Sussex Drive. Did you note that he was no longer saying ‘Aahh’ while thinking of the next part of his answer? He had obviously been quietly taking elocution lessons as well as training on the use of teleprompters.

‘Chuckles’ Scheer, on the other hand, is still a work in progress. The high cheek bones that earned him the clown title are most often hidden under make-up and his handlers are trying to expand his current repertoire of two facial expressions (surprise and puzzlement). His wife is often with him on the hustings late in the campaign, in a further attempt to soften his image.

But the growing meanness and cruelty of conservatism in this age still nags at Scheer and his candidates. He can hardly deny premiers Ford and Kenney and their unfeeling cuts, refusal to understand global warming and failure to understand the critical relations with other countries that Canadians have gained around the world.

Jagmeet Singh might have stirred the cold hearts of the news media but the growth he has claimed during the campaign has been among the NDP supporters who had given up on him. He is still facing serious losses of previously held seats in Quebec, no potential for growth in Ontario and lost hopes on the Prairies.

Election-day reality in Quebec is most likely to be conservative and NDP losses to the Bloc and the liberals.

What surprises me is that there seems to be no organized effort in B.C. to move to Elizabeth May and the greens and guarantee the end of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

And then, maybe my sources are wrong!

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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