Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Scheer’

“Enter Laughing.”

Saturday, January 18th, 2020

So, you want to be an actor? And Canada is the theatre. Nova Scotian Peter MacKay, once more wants to be conservative leader. It reminds us of the semi-autobiographical novel by American humourist Carl Reiner. He turned the book into a successful movie in 1967 and launched his career in Hollywood. Frankly, MacKay might be better off in Hollywood than in Canada’s conservative politics.

This is not the first time Peter MacKay has made the effort. He seems to have forgotten how Stephen Harper handed his head last time around. Once more, he is heading into the buzz saw of Western Reform politics. MacKay is a ‘progressive’ among conservatives and that spells ‘wimp’ to westerners.

And anyone who thinks Peter MacKay means competence, could not know the man. He is a light-weight, an egoist and is only impressed by money. He is Brian Mulroney redux. He is an old-time progressive conservative, astray and lost in the 21st Century.

I say this when I am not even a conservative. The guy is a waste of our time. He is just another lawyer obfuscating life.

But he is welcome to join the downhill race to the conservative leadership. He could hardly do worse than Chuckles Scheer.

Can you imagine the temerity of the damn fool to make his announcement that he is running on Twitter? How shallow and inconsequential could he make the contest? He’s a twit.

You would think that MacKay would have matured somewhat since he was last in politics. It hardly sounds like it!

But back to Carl Reiner’s talents: There is a man who can stand tall while laughing at life. What he could teach Peter MacKay about life is that the high points of your life are when you enter and when you exit. If you do those two well, you’ve aced it.

-30-

Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Defeating democracy, drilling down to dismal.

Sunday, January 5th, 2020

Are Canada’s conservatives making the same mistakes in their June, 2020 leadership contest as gave them Andrew Scheer last time? Some people never seem to learn. We are hearing that they are trying to defeat democracy again.

In what should be a one-member-one-vote contest, we understand that they have declared all electoral districts to be equal. It means that, as in the last contest, each riding is allotted the same weight. It means that a city riding with over a thousand members has the same weight as a rural riding with fewer than a hundred members.

Add to this imbalance a preferential ballot and you have doubled down on what caused the problems in choosing ‘Chuckles’ Scheer. A preferential ballot is a poor substitute for sequential balloting. You are asking people to number all the candidates. If there are ten candidates, you have to number them one to ten. Your last three or four choices might be based on very shallow opinions.

And, don’t forget, in the last contest there were 13 candidates and the voting went down to the 13th ballot. Andrew Scheer won by being the 13th choice of some of the voters. How is that for a consolation prize?

But please do not consider preferential voting as democratic. It is the lazy thinkers’ solution. You would be amazed how simple and secure it could be to have national voting over the Internet. You can vote over a smart phone or at a school or library.

And you will never beat the one-person-one-vote approach. It is definitely democratic. The voting results are easy to count and easy to verify. If you believe in democracy, you will demand it.

-30-

Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

How much is too much, Mr. Trudeau?

Saturday, December 28th, 2019

Justin Trudeau has obviously not had a really wonderful 2019. As far back as September 2018, the prime minister asked his justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould to reconsider her position on not interfering in the upcoming prosecution of SNC-Lavalin for corrupt practices. Trudeau insisted that the intent was to save jobs in Quebec. Wilson-Raybould appeared to have no idea how tight large corporations are with politicians in Quebec.

It was mid January, 2019 that Wilson-Raybould was replaced as justice minister by former law professor David Lametti, an MP from Montreal. She was demoted to veterans-affaires. And the prime minister’s year went side-ways. It brought his support for feminism into question.

He was already in enough trouble for his dress-up antics on his trip to India the previous year. He hardly needed to have someone dig up old pictures of him in black-face at a party in Vancouver back when he was teaching there.

And it was in Vancouver where he was facing the most objections to his support for the Trans-Mountain pipeline. It was a red flag to environmentalists from coast to coast.

Throughout the year, the prime minister was under constant direct attack by conservative provincial premiers. The only one that laid back was Ontario conservative premier Doug Ford. It was the federal conservatives who asked him to hold back his criticism as it was hurting the federal conservatives more than the liberals.

But despite all the good vibes, Elizabeth May did not capitalize on her best chance to grow the greens in parliament. She only grew her caucus by 50 per cent and she gracefully resigned.

Conservative Chuckles Scheer grew his caucus, won the popular vote and then succumbed to the savagery of his caucus. He resigned.

We are waiting for the guy who lost a third of his caucus, Jagmeet Singh, to do the honourable thing and resign.

But the guy who really blew it and should have resigned back before the election is sitting in the prime minister’s office in Ottawa. It is a temporary position. He is the one who really should resign.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

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