Posts Tagged ‘Conservative’

Being ‘Just Erin’ won’t cut it.

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

It seems that conservative leader Erin O’Toole is not just an unknown to Canadian taxpayers. His own caucus in Ottawa is just as much in the dark as are the voters. The conservative MPs are puzzled as to where he intends to lead their party.

Some of the more reliable reporters in Ottawa are starting to ask questions. And if the conservative party is going to start running pre-election ads on television saying he is ‘Just Erin,’ they might just dig a deeper hole than they are already in.

The conservative caucus is already in a pandemic slump. And all they are getting, after six months of their new leader, is confused messages. It seems that O’Toole used the extreme right wing of the right-wing party to win the leadership. Since then, he has tried to sell himself as more of a ‘middle of the road’ kind of guy.

A middle-of-the-road kind of guy is someone without a clue where he is headed.

The worst surprise the caucus had to absorb was the demotion of Pierre Poilievre from finance critic. Pierre had proved himself a pit bull in the position. His replacement is more the grandfatherly type. What that is communicating to voters remains to be seen.

But ‘Just Erin’ might reveal all at the upcoming virtual convention of the party on policy. This is scheduled for March and the party’s extremists on the right have been quietly snapping up the invites. Not knowing how the event is to work, or not work, as the case might be, there is no telling what will happen when everybody virtually meets.

When conservative MPs have a chance to get together in Ottawa, there seems to be a lot of quiet conversations about what they can do to save their seats in parliament. Mind you that does not include the boys and girls from Alberta and Saskatchewan who are practically guaranteed to return.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Kenney opts for debt over taxes.

Sunday, February 28th, 2021

It seems obvious that premier Jason Kenney of Alberta is a strange sort of conservative. His and previous conservative regimes in Alberta have managed to piss away another fortune in resources royalties because of their fear of balanced taxing of the voters of Alberta.

It is hard to compare the handing of health care and the provincial budget but Jason Kenney’s incompetents have screwed up both. Instead of working with the medical profession to fight the pandemic, Kenney fights with the doctors. Instead of introducing a harmonized sales tax with the federal sales tax, Kenney would rather stick the province with unconscionable levels of debt.

It was not that long ago that the former premier Peter Lougheed in Alberta was warning the citizens about abusing their resource funds but his latter-day conservatives have ignored his warnings. When you compare what the Norwegians have done with their sovereign fund from their off-shore oil, it paints a picture for Alberta of what might have been.

But it is now time for Albertans to get in line with the rest of the provinces. The province can no longer consider the rest of us as suckers to go along with sales taxes. Those who can afford the biggest and latest in SUVs can pay their share of the both the sales tax and the carbon tax at the pumps.

And Kenney can hardly continue to waste taxpayers’ money and his hot air on promoting pipelines. They are not going to happen. The resistance to pipelines is growing. A critical example is the dual line (Enbridge Line 5) that has been pumping gas and oil across the Straits of Mackinac since 1953.

After the experience Michigan had with the 2010 Enbridge spill that was impossible to clean up on the Kalamazoo River, the state realized a similar spill in the critical area of the Straits of Mackinac would be catastrophic. It would not only have a disastrous effect on Michigan’s economy but would seriously harm the main source of fresh water for five other states as well as Ontario and Quebec.

While Enbridge might have the best of intentions, the Michigan authorities are increasingly dubious of Enbridge’s tunneling solution under the straits.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Andrea Horwath has an easy job.

Thursday, February 25th, 2021

Other than being insulted occasionally by Ontario’s premier-in-training, the new democrat’s Andrea Horwath seems to enjoy her continuing role as leader of the opposition at Queen’s Park. The biggest complaint we have heard about her recently is that they never answer the phones in her riding office in Hamilton. You would think with a $4 million budget for the opposition offices at Queen’s Park, she could get her phones answered.

But she is going to have to enjoy her role for now. It is due for a change.

What Horwath and the new democrats do not seem to understand is that what ever supposed electoral successes they have enjoyed over the past twelve years of her holding down the leader role, it was never her accomplishment. Horwath remains an unknown and uninspiring leader of a party mired in the past. Every gain she has made in the elections, during her leadership, have been courtesy the liberal party and its hapless leadership.

Horwath’s first premier as NDP leader was Dalton McGuinty. He was not called premier dad for no reason. It was not a compliment. He was on his last legs as head of the liberals at that time. He might have been an uninspiring premier but Ontario had gained by the environmentalism his party exhibited.

Kathleen Wynne got a majority back in the 2014 election and took the party further down hill every day she was in office. She actually threw the 2018 election by surrendering before election day. She betrayed her party. She left Andrea Horwath to face off against populist conservative Doug Ford.

You have to admit that Doug Ford might be a faster learner than Andrea Horwath. He makes classic mistakes but the problem is that Andrea Horwath has been unable to capitalize on them.

Ford pointed out last week that Horwath was more annoying than anything else. She is unable to get around that pompous ass of a premier. She needs to stop whining and learn to make fun of him. He can be made a subject of ridicule. It is just that Horwath does not know how.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Damaged Democracy.

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

It is catching on. This writer is delighted that more and more Canadians are starting to question our commitment to democracy. Many point to the United States and say, ‘Boy, isn’t that democracy a mess. The bad news is that our mess is no better than theirs. It is just not as divisive.

What Donald Trump did to democracy in the United States over the past four years was in plain sight. It was because he had little understanding of political processes and the use of the levers of politics or where they are located. That weakness was key to the Biden-Harris victory last November.

The difference in Canada is that people who do understand the levers of politics are undermining the political parties themselves and destroying them from within. Who are these malefactors? You know them. Their names are Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair.

Stephen Harper never seemed to like the political party that Peter Mackay brought to him when they combined it with alliance-reform to create their new conservative party of Canada. Even without a majority at first, Harper created a fortress prime minister’s office (PMO) that treated the party membership with a fair amount of scorn.

When Justin Trudeau ended the Harper era, he did Harper one better. He abolished the senate liberals and the membership structure of the liberal party. He did not like either. There are those who refer to the current enrolment of what is left of the party as Trudeau’s ATM. They are just a source of funds. He fails to understand that these people are the core of party workers, listening posts in the electoral districts, sources of ideas and future MPs.

And then there was Tom Mulcair of the NDP who might have done better as a liberal. He left a hollowed-out and dispirited party for Jagmeet Singh to swamp with Sikh memberships and walk away with the leadership. He leads a party that time and Canadians have forgotten.

Susan Delacourt wrote a book recently about Shopping for Votes that tries to explain the new consumer approach and treatment of voters. I think it is more complex than that, but that would make another book on it a tough sell.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

The silence of Doug Ford’s lambs.

Monday, February 22nd, 2021

Sometime in the next couple months, the province of Ontario is expected to offer me the opportunity to get one or two jabs with a needle. This knowledge alone is helping to lift me out of some of my covid-19 doldrums. As I am considered to be among the more vulnerable citizens and supposedly have early access in getting the shot(s), I have been waiting for a call.

But my hopes were somewhat dashed the other day by writer Martin Regg Cohn at the Toronto Star. He says that all we are hearing is static about the arrangements. Nobody at Queen’s Park has any information for us.

And we have already heard enough from the prime minister. Justin Trudeau knows nothing about the problems facing a company making something as complex as a vaccine. It is not his fault that there are no Canadian vaccines yet available. He has placed orders with everyone now delivering and soon to be delivering. He has done his job. There are always a few glitches in delivery.

But there is no excuse for the people in Ontario who are supposed to vaccinate us. A delay in product reaching them is no time for them to sit back and carp about the incompetence of the feds. It is an opportunity for them to get their act together and make sure that everyone is ready to get their shot in the correct order.

Many had a good laugh about them bringing in the army. Personally, I would have called in Purolator. At least those people have a better idea of how to reach anybody and everybody in the province. You bring in the army when you want order and discipline, maybe someone shot—or to shovel their snow.

But why are they not spending this time getting organized? Why are they not arranging the place, who’s wielding the hypodermics, and letting us know? And bear in mind that this first squadron of people to be poked are not those you would ask to stand in line for long. These are people with health problems and maybe age working against them. And for goodness sake, do not order them around. They might fight back.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Never upstage your leader.

Saturday, February 13th, 2021

Pierre Poilievre MP appears to have been demoted in the conservative ranks in parliament as it heads toward a possible spring election. Little boy blue might have made the political mistake of upstaging his leader. The member for Carleton, in the Ottawa area, has been having much too much fun as finance critic, attacking the liberal government for its supposedly spendthrift ways.

Poilievre can be nasty, when it comes to critiquing. He seems to be really enjoying himself when he goes in for the metaphoric ‘kill.’ Like a weasel, he might be deceptive in size but still deadly.

And he has taken to the Zoom parliament like a duck to water. He was among the first to appear to have put up the false background filter on Zoom, with professional lighting. This Calgary-born conservative does not miss a trick.

With his hair neatly coifed and wearing an impeccable conservative suit, with a blue tie, Poilievre has been keeping his leader, Erin O’Toole, in the background. It makes the voter wonder just who is the leader here?

It is just too bad that Poilievre comes across to voters as mean and Scrooge-like. It would never do for his leader to take baggage such as that into an election campaign. He needs a potential finance manager such as Ed Fast, MP for Abbotsford in British Columbia. The grandfatherly Fast was a cabinet minister in the last Harper government and would be expected to get a senior portfolio in any future conservative government.

And poor Poilievre has been relegated to carping on the liberal’s failure to produce the industries and jobs that Canadians need for financial recovery after the pandemic—at least in the view of the conservatives. And he will have his work cut out for him as the liberals roll out their multi-billion plan for critically-needed infrastructure roads and bridges and transportation.

What makes his job even tougher is that it seems none of this liberal benevolence will be coming forward until after the election. It leaves Poilievre tilting at windmills.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

An apology to Gillian Steward.

Friday, February 12th, 2021

Fair is fair. For years I have thought that Gillian Steward, a freelance journalist in Calgary who frequently writes for the Toronto Star, was an apologist for the oil interests. Her scathing indictment of the Kenney government’s public enquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns the other day helped correct my opinion.

Maybe we had got into the habit of assuming anything from Alberta was tainted. The east has become weary of the stories that describe bitumen and diluted bitumen, from the tar sands, as ‘oil.’ It is not until it goes through a highly polluting refinery process does bitumen become ersatz crude oil. It can then be further refined into various petroleum products.

Ms. Steward makes it very clear that the Alberta united conservative government is wasting $3.5 million investigating a claim that is nothing more that a conspiracy theory. It is based on the specious claim that the aboriginal and environmentalist groups in British Columbia are funded by American interests. Why Americans would want to fund these groups might be a mystery but it would hardly be worthy of a government-funded enquiry.

The truth today is that, with fracking, the United States does not need our bitumen. And the U.S. refineries can get more bang for their buck from the higher oil content of Venezuelan bitumen.

What really bothers this writer about the enquiry is the millions that have already been spent by Alberta tar sands exploiting companies trying to sell Canadians on their selfish view of what is good for this country.

And if we were into conspiracies today, we would be investigating the relationship of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and their lackies in Alberta’s united conservative party. The silly enquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns must include investigating the ongoing campaign of this commentator to stop piping bitumen out of Alberta. Let’s face facts, they could probably buy my silence for a reasonable share of that $3.5 million.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Did you know the campaign was on?

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

Jagmeet Singh has been heard from. He did not exactly come down from the mountain with tablets of stone. The new democratic party leader has decided that the low-hanging fruit of for-profit, long-term care homes was as good an issue as his party needs in the looming federal election.

It is likely that he figured that is all he needs if Canadians are to be presented with a campaign fought over the handling of the pandemic. The NDP might not be aware that there are no heroes while the battle still rages. Our prime minister, Justin Trudeau is hardly looking like a leader popping in and out the front door of Rideau Cottage like a cuckoo to repeat the advice of medical personnel. And conservative leader Erin O’Toole has hardly won kudos from the voters complaining about how Trudeau does, or does not, do the job.

O’Toole might not remember that it was conservative Brian Mulroney who sold off the Connaught Laboratories that might have helped Canadians get vaccinated as fast as citizens in other countries. Nor does it help Justin Trudeau if the liberals did give out more money per capita than any other advanced country during the pandemic.

It might come as a surprise for those who pay attention to politics that Justin Trudeau is doing as well in the polls as he is. You would think that some of his record as prime minister would work against him.

But his real secret weapon is the opposition. The reason Justin Trudeau and the liberals are likely to win any election called this year is the sad condition of his party’s opposition. There really is none. Erin O’Toole is a mistake. He is a conservative who thought the military taught him leadership. He is no leader. Jagmeet Singh has already proved that he is incapable of leading the new democrats anywhere. His leadership of that party is being endured.

There are only a few Canadians who would bet on the new leader of the Green Party. Annamie Paul, leader of the Greens, is an unknown to the majority of Canadians.

That leaves us with Yves-François Blanchet of the Bloc Québécois. That is hardly an alternative for anyone who cares about our country.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Don’t believe it can’t happen here.

Friday, February 5th, 2021

There seems to be some arguments these days about whether Canadians have to suffer through the same political mistakes made by Americans. We hardly seem to have to wait long to have our own version of Donald Trump. It is a toss-up whether Doug Ford of Ontario or Jason Kenney in Alberta is the better stand-in for Trump.

I tend to lean towards Ford. Trump proved that he was an incompetent. Ford shows all those same traits. He was still running for office as leader of the conservatives when he was caught negotiating a deal with some developers to let them build on protected aquifer lands that provide the greater Toronto area with fresh water. And Ontario voters were so tired of the liberals that they elected him anyway.

And did you understand why, when once in office, he wanted the Ontario Police to provide him with a roaming bedroom—so he could keep tuned up, so to speak. Like Trump, Ford is always pissed with the news media and tries to give out his own version of events.

Mind you, he is not as bad as fellow conservative Jason Kenney, premier of Alberta. Not satisfied with the efforts of Post Media to please him, Kenney runs his own version of Alberta news from Calgary’s Petroleum Club. The ranting and tantrums that Kenney had about incoming U.S. president Biden cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline were a classic. He even said that he was going to sue the Americans for the taxpayers’ money he had put into that pipeline.

We will have to wait a couple years to see if the pundits are right that enough Alberta voters are ready to turf Kenney.

Both Ford and Kenney are supposed to get in line behind federal conservative leader Erin O’Toole in saying nasty things about Justin Trudeau. We suspect that Canadian voters are not interested in a federal election until the pandemic can be declared to be over. And then all bets will be off until the dust of the federal and provincial elections settles.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com

Canadians are on to O’Toole.

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

Every time I look at conservative leader Erin O’Toole, he reminds me of cartoons of the bloated English capitalist.  What makes me laugh though are his on-going attempts to create a conservative party more acceptable to the mainstream of Canadian voters. And I hardly think tossing Derek Sloan out of the party caucus will achieve much.

But it was obvious that something more than confusion, over the name of a donor to Sloan’s leadership campaign, was behind the attitude of the conservative caucus. The very fact of O’Toole trusting the caucus to oust Sloan, said there was more.

The last time, we looked at O’Toole in Babel-on-the-Bay, our opinion was that he was going nowhere. He will have a hard time convincing people that he is fit to follow Stephen Harper. He has neither the smarts, the experience nor the understanding of his party to pull that mishmash together.

And no, he is not as apolitical as Trump but nor is he as dictatorial as Harper. Harper ran the party with an iron hand. He silenced the social conservatives, dominated the extreme right and held those such as O’Toole up for ridicule.

To be fair, O’Toole is smarter than conservative premiers Ford in Ontario, Kenney in Alberta, Moe in Saskatchewan and Pallister in Manitoba, even if they do set a fairly low bar. The only problem is that those are the four provinces that O’Toole needs to have securely in his pocket to leave him free to work the east and the west to have any hope of defeating Trudeau’s liberals. The day that they can deliver the kind of help that O’Toole is going to need will depend on what they had for breakfast. Ford is the least political, Kenney has his own agenda, Pallister would rather be in Costa Rica and Moe seems to prefer to serve as second banana to Kenney.

If O’Toole wants to consider the conservative party as his own, he should have at it. He will only be disillusioning himself.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be temporarily sent to  plowry904@gmail.com