Posts Tagged ‘Conservative’

It’s the Tory party that is self-destructing.

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

Last weekend, Chantal Hébert wrote her regular opinion piece for the Toronto Star. She was ruminating on the idea that presumed front-runner Peter MacKay’s campaign for the conservative leadership might be self-destructing. Not that MacKay was heading anywhere in particular anyway. He is hardly the saviour of Canada’s conservatives.

If you are checking with conservatives on the telephone, you can hear an audible gagging sound when you ask them about MacKay’s campaign. And it is hardly a direct reference to the Deity when you hear the person say, “Oh God.”

But Peter MacKay has been in trouble since the turn of the century when he drove the progressive conservative bus into the arms of Stephen Harper and the Alberta cowboys of the reform conservative alliance. It was hardly good intentions that finally united the right across Canada. It was more like desperation.

What is really desperate today is not MacKay. He might be Elmer MacKay’s son but even our friends in Nova Scotia wonder about Peter’s campaign this time around. They have been there before.

If you did not know that Peter is a lightweight, you have not been paying attention over the past 20 years. At least he is a married man today and we can stop making fun of the ways his lady friends embarrassed him.

And he no longer is among the privileged who have military helicopters at their beck and call.

But it is really the party committee that was making the rules for the leadership that did Peter in. They set forth the most ridiculous and short-sighted rules for the leadership campaign that were more suited to the requirements of Vladimir Putin in Russia than a democratic party. The cut-off was just the other day for their proposed $300,000 fee and 3,000 party signatures.

The right leader for the conservatives has not even surfaced yet. It is a good thing the campaign was delayed because of the coronavirus.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Dougie dumbs it down.

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

You get the impression that our Ontario premier goes to the office each day hoping to find new things to screw up for Ontario residents. Despite the tantrum he threw the other day over a high-priced grocery store overcharging for sanitary wipes, I never get the impression that he is on our side. He is not.

I do not believe of making lists of peoples’ failings and in Doug Ford’s case I have probably forgotten half of them anyway. I think the reason is the lack of logic in what he and his troop of clowns decide to tackle. For some reason, he had taken aim at price gouging this past week.

It was Dougie’s ‘whim of the week.’ He is proposing fines of as much as a $100,000 for price-gouging convictions and up to a year in jail. If he could go after a federally incorporated company such as Bell Canada, I would settle for just the board of Bell going to jail for a year. Bell just raised the price of already over-priced Internet services by another $7 a month. Add that up for close to three million customers and you are talking about a billion dollars in annual cash flow. Bell could pay a $100,000 fine from petty cash.

But the most serious problem is that Dougie and the rest of his troop do not think things through. The gang heard that some people might be stock piling their meds. The government’s solution was to stupidly cut back on certain meds that are for long-term conditions such as with heart and diabetes. These drugs are usually supplied on a three-month schedule. I really doubt anyone would over-dose on any of them. There is certainly no black market for them. Nor are they in danger of being in short supply. All this incompetent government did was increase the costs for private drug plans and seniors. Instead of one co-pay for these prescriptions every three months, we now have to pay the co-pay three times. I really do not think my local Shoppers Drug Mart needs that extra $12 per prescription every three months from seniors!


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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The imperfect timing of Doug Ford.

Saturday, March 14th, 2020

It seems that no matter what he does, Ontario’s premier Doug Ford, finds that it always costs more than he saves when he makes cuts in Ontario’s government budgets. It costs him money to fire people. It costs him money to cancel projects. It costs him friends when he cuts health or education budgets. And when he tries to give friends jobs, he is held up to ridicule by the media. He is beginning to think it is just that he does some things at the wrong time.

Probably the best example of Doug’s bad timing is this Covid-19 pandemic. Why only a year ago, he had decisively dumped some of the costs of public health services on Ontario’s municipalities. Even Mayor John Tory of Toronto dumped all over him for that.

But Doug Ford is not without experience at fixing things for people who are upset. He tells them that his government is restoring funding—maybe not all the funding—but maybe enough of the funding to get him off the hook for being a curmudgeon. He gave the whole thing a grace period and it would be in 2020 that some cuts would still be made. Which everyone grumbled about but figured it could have been worse.

And welcome to 2020. The budget-squeezed public health services had been complaining but are still doing their jobs. Nobody told the public health people that in 2020, they were going to have to face a possible pandemic called a coronavirus or Covid-19.

The only person that Covid-19 has helped is Ontario finance minister Rod Phillips. It means he can blow the lid off his projected $9 billion deficit planned for the coming fiscal year. He has to give the health ministry and others whatever they need to help battle the pandemic.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Doug Downey doubles down.

Friday, March 13th, 2020

That nice guy, Bill Davis, one-time Ontario premier, must be having some sleepless nights. Those idiots in his conservative party are busy destroying Bill’s legacy. They spend more money on their dumb ideas than any other Ontario government in the past. And they never get anything right. From the premier who wants to only appoint cronies to any job and personally picks stickers for gas pumps and license plates, to that education minister who acts like a fugitive from the Godfather movies, to an attorney general who ignores a common sense approach to appointments, this is a conservative government from Hell.

Did you hear about the latest dumb stunt by my MPP? Yes, Doug Downey is the member of the legislature from Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. This guy’s justice ministry has more than 30 committees working to attract, vet and advise on Ontario citizens suitable to serve on all the legal and other appointments by the government of the day.

But what does Downey do? This schmuck appoints a Toronto police officer—a friend of the premier’s—to the Ontario Human Rights Commission. The cop did not even apply for the job. It appears this appointment is by Dougie, for Dougie, to appoint Dougie’s friend.

And, has the independent integrity commissioner ever got his shirt in a knot about this stupidity. I have no idea of the per cent of cases brought before the human rights commission dealing with policing but my guess is the cop would have to recuse himself at some time, at every meeting of the commission. I am sure we could all appreciate the insights that a former cop could bring to the commission’s work but not while still employed at policing.

And one further note: Doug Ford is younger but I remember driving through American states and seeing the Berma-Shave series ads along the highways. Maybe he also might have noticed them. It is no excuse though to be waxing nostalgic for billboard advertising along the 400-series highways of Ontario. He is talking about opening our scenic controlled-access highways to advertising. He must be desperate.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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“Most stupid people are conservative.”

Monday, March 9th, 2020

This will be of small comfort to premier Doug Ford of Ontario. A friend reminded me the other day of the quote from 19th Century philosopher John Stuart Mill that “Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.” And the Ford government keeps on proving it.

Mind you, I am concerned that Ontario’s teachers might have not yet recognized that they have won their battle. It is time for them to take a victory lap and get the hell back to work. They have inconvenienced the parents long enough. Goodwill is a fragile commodity.

All teachers should have two side-by-side pictures in their classroom. Both pictures should be of education minister, Stephen Lecce. In the first, you will be able to admire the fine cut of that expensive suit, the positiveness of his demeanour, the toothy smile and the smooth trim of that immature beard. That is the first picture.

The second picture should show him snugged into his straight jacket, the wild look in his eyes, the mussed hair and the craven look of defeat. This should be what victory looks like.

But I warned the friend that despite the general consensus in Ontario that Doug Ford is something of a jerk, about 25 to 30 per cent of the voters are yellow-dog conservatives. And that, no matter what, they still want to vote for Mr. Ford and his conservatives. Short of putting a bounty on them, they are going to the polls and voting that way.

The problem is further befuddled that another 25 to 30 per cent of Ontario voters are yellow-dog liberals. They might have a slightly different attitude. The only real difference between them is that they tend to be city mice. They are also inclined to be a bit more progressive.

It should also be noted that there are those who are of the dying breed of socialists who like to sing Solidarity Forever. These NDP still have about 15 per cent of the voters supporting them. It is more for the sake of nostalgia than any idea that it will take them anywhere.

But this still leaves a bunch of voters who are not really committed. These are the people who vote against something or get behind the voting screen and say, “Eeny, meany, miney, moe,” close their eyes and vote. You would like to think these people really decide the election but they often just go with the flow.

Obviously, it is not just conservatives who can be stupid.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Riding the bubble.

Saturday, March 7th, 2020

It helps if you think of the main aspirants for the federal conservative party leadership as Bland, Blander and Who(?) This perception was highlighted the other day. It seems one of them promised—if chosen—that they would immediately try to force an election to rid the country of those despicable liberals. The other two immediately chimed in with a “Me too.”

All three want to ride the bubble. The bubble is something that occurs whenever there is a leadership change in a major party. It is that sudden, and temporary, lift in the opinion polls that the party gets from the publicity surrounding the choice of a new leader.

It works, sometimes. The last time I saw it work well was in 1968. We called it Trudeaumania. Our present prime minister’s father got the impression that he was omnipotent in that election. He later learned that omnipotence has a short shelf-life.

Trudeau Junior thought he was riding the bubble back in 2015, when he had such an easy victory and a majority government. That was no bubble. Justin was cashing in on the voter exhaustion with the machinations of the Harper government and the hope that Trudeau was like his father. It took the voters the next four years to realize they might have bought a pig in a poke.

That is one of the problems with the bubble. You are often getting lots of publicity at the time but it is without substantive content. And sometimes a picture really is more effective than 1000 words.

But the bubble is real. Some people will say that in the 2018 provincial election in Ontario, you could have painted any idiot blue and he would have beat Kathleen Wynne and her liberals. And, they did, and he did.

The bubble worked that time because there was just not enough time. If Ontario voters had time to think about it, more time to understand Doug Ford, there might not have been the landslide that they are now regretting.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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The downhill dance of Doug Downey.

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

It is all Caroline Mulroney’s fault. Nobody wants a member of the legislature who constantly embarrasses the people in his riding. We sure got that in spades in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. And if only Caroline Mulroney knew more about Canadian and Ontario legal traditions, she would still be attorney general.

Instead, Ontario has the embarrassing Doug Downey, a small-town lawyer from Severn, Ontario, as attorney general. Ford parachuted him into the Barrie area seat to keep Patrick Brown out. It is not that I think Downey is stupid but he seems to be in dereliction of duty when he does what his boss, Doug Ford tells him to do. Consider Downey’s struggles to change how we appoint judges in Ontario:

Downey’s boss is not a highly educated person. He is a great believer in cronyism. He wants people in positions of power in Ontario to be good conservatives—this includes judges.

But how is Downey going to tell the good guys from the bad guys if he is only sent two recommendations of qualified people, when he asks the independent committee to give him some recommendations?

There might have been more than a couple of formal letters go back and forth here. The upshot was that he finally asked the committee to send him a list of all the applicants. It would appear that Downey was going to put cronyism ahead of having qualified judges.

That might have made sense to Downey but it outraged many of the legal community in Ontario. The province has an envied reputation throughout Canada and the U.S. for its non-partisan judicial appointments.

But what should be obvious to all in Ontario is that this guy Downey does not seem to have read the specifications for his job at Queen’s Park. As chief law officer for the province, he has a responsibility to advise the premier and the various ministers of the crown on how to stay out of legal entanglements. Failure to provide this advice and/or having it ignored is not acceptable for an honourable person. He should resign.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Where have all the leaders gone?

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

You get the feeling that we are talking about a ghost. Everybody is looking for leadership. Nobody has seen it. Talking to a friend about it, he said the problem is that there are too many rowboat people and not enough canoeists. He explained it as most people row a boat facing where they have been. Canoeists on the other hand, face where they are going. We just need more canoeists.

Look at the pitiful state of our national political parties. The only ones that even matter are the liberals, conservatives, new democrats and the greens. Two of the parties are looking for leaders and the other two should. The conservatives reached their cut-off date this past week and who do you think that choice will excite? The greens are still arguing about how to manage a contest and they might not have one.

The NDP are in the worst shape. The party lost a third of its caucus in the last election because of the lack of leadership, lack of direction and its inability to raise adequate funds for a national campaign.

But the most serious lack of leadership is in the liberal party. Justin Trudeau is certainly not his father. And he is not a leader. A leader brings clarity to direction and nobody has a clue as to where we are going with Justin. And it is a lot more than our environmental direction that is concerning.

The PM was talking reconciliation with our native peoples four years ago and look how far have we come with that?

How many prime ministers get to spend billions on a pipeline that nobody wants except the greedy who do not care about the environment.

Trudeau is a hypocrite. He claims support for feminists and you might want to check with Jody Raybould-Wilson MP on that one. He enjoys travels to meetings of world leaders but what has been his contribution at those international conflabs?

Trudeau has been tearing down the liberal party as he and his underlings pester registered liberals for money. The party has been crying out for leadership.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Buffalo Declarations and other Bull.

Tuesday, February 25th, 2020

There is an odour emanating from the politics of self justification in Alberta. And it is not that of the wild prairie rose. It is the greed and the false tears and it is the manure that helps it grow.

I remember as a young man, standing at the government dock on the shores of Cold Lake. I was looking across the water as I waited for the Beaver (the kind that fly) to come in on its floats to take me further north. I remember thinking this is awesome country.

But it does not need these avaricious politicians who pander to millionaires and foreign resource robbers who tear into the ground to attack our heritage and despoil our future. It does not need these mindless politicians who pander to their voters by blaming eastern politicians for their shortcomings.

Did all Alberta politicians fail Economics 101? Do they not realize that Teck Resources quit the idea of the largest, most polluting open-pit mine in the tar sands because the company realized that it could not make money? Any smart investment analyst will tell you there is no future in bitumen. There is no booming market in oil futures.

But then we have to contend with the ignorance of the Buffalo Declaration that underlines Alberta MP’s political efforts to undermine our Canada. Please, please tell me in what way is Alberta not an equal partner in this Canada?

And, for God’s sake, in what way is Alberta culturally different from the rest of the country (other than Quebec)? I have always found that I get excellent and friendly service in Calgary despite whatever accent people from Ontario might have.

The four Alberta politicians who wrote that silly Buffalo Declaration are not speaking for all their constituents nor is their whining very helpful. It is an interesting counterpoint to the LEAP Manifesto of the NDP. It is also going nowhere.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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A debutante ball for John Baird?

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

It is difficult to explain what kind of an event this will be. It has always been evident that John Baird wanted to make some kind of a statement in his lifetime. Nobody really believed it was his final act when he left the Harper cabinet. He always seemed to want to do more. He has seemed to be struggling ever since to make a statement.

It all made sense when he agreed to do the West Block show on Global Television on Sunday. If he is not studying the field for a run at the conservative leadership, why was he there? He knew all the right moves and he made them. Like a debutante, he is responding to the calling.

Look at his friend Jason Kenney. Kenney went west and found a calling. He is now the much-quoted premier of Alberta—the thorn in Justin Trudeau’s backside.

I always wrote of Jason Kenney and John Baird as Stephen Harper’s Bobbsey Twins. Those two just belonged on the same page. At the time, they were two 40-something bachelors who had made politics their careers. They both know how to manipulate that mean streak that runs through Canada’s conservative party to-day.

What impressed me most is that John Baird did not go after Trudeau’s new foreign affairs minister, François-Philippe Champagne. He said that he felt the Trudeau minister was doing a good job in John’s old portfolio and there was no need to criticize him for his handling of a difficult task, at a difficult time.

And that might be the tone that the conservatives across Canada are looking for in their next leader. They appear tired of the constant attack mode of their party at both the federal and provincial levels.

Even Jason Kenney has changed his tone a bit lately. It might be that the prime minister has been keeping his deputy, Chrystia Freeland, between them. Anything that can ward off the constant attacks from the west is helpful.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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