Posts Tagged ‘Conservative’

Colour coding Doug Ford.

Thursday, November 5th, 2020

A month ago, Ontario premier Doug Ford turned thumbs down on colour coding the severity of the pandemic. Now he tells us the doctors have talked him into doing it. In among the much more interesting American election news the other evening there was an item about the new color coding.

If you are not from Ontario, you might never have seen Dougie in action talking about the pandemic. It really is a treat. It has none of the chutzpah of Justin Trudeau’s cuckoo clock single at Rideau Cottage, but it suits his style. Ford brings three or four cabinet ministers or senior civil servants along to give the session some gravitas. He lets them talk occasionally but it is, without question, the Dougie Ford show and tell.

He has been hard-put to convince the news media to stick to the pandemic when it is about the only chance they get to ask him about other provincial subjects.

It does not appear that the premier gets any briefings on these other subjects but he bravely takes them on. It is fun when some of these questions are prepared to embarrass him. A good example was the recent covid-19 bill that had been introduced in the legislature that had a little gift hidden in it for the premier’s friend Charles McVety. The Whitby-based Canada Christian College that McVety runs was being given university status so that it could grant degrees.

The questions from the news media became interesting after it became known that the bible school had not been approved for granting degrees by any senior educational body.

This leaves the premier with the question if he should stay out of trouble and just send lesser ministers and senior health experts to do these briefings.

But it looks like he loves the limelight too much. There he was, hogging the spotlight, and digging a hole for himself. After shrugging off colour coding the various levels of covid-19 seriousness, here he was really confusing people with his new codes. He missed the mark on that one.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

The kid who couldn’t.

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Sam Oosterhoff MPP, is the youngest person, at 19, to be elected to the Ontario legislature. He might also be the MPP with the most to learn. The member for Niagara West received a more dubious first when he was made parliamentary assistant to the minister of education. It must have amused premier Doug Ford to appoint someone with less than a full semester of experience in the Ontario education system to the job.

But boys will be boys and the kid might be determined to embarrass the premier. The other day, he posted pictures on the Internet of himself and more than 35 fellow citizens without masks, crowded together at a Niagara area restaurant.

It is not that the kid was home schooled and was taught religious conservativism. Ford has publicly pleaded with the citizens of Ontario to wear masks and practice social distancing during the current surge in the coronavirus pandemic. And that request is supposedly meant to include the legislature’s enfant terrable.

And it is not as though Doug Ford was not looking after the province’s social conservatives. His government has been trying to slip through an omnibus bill that includes Charles McVety’s Canada Christian College that would give the Whitby-based college the rights of a degree-granting university. Mr. McVety has a well publicized reputation for being anti-gay rights and for his Islamophobia.

It is assumed that Doug Ford has learned from president Donald Trump in the United States that hypocrisy in regard to religion can pay off at the polls for conservative-minded politicians.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Don’t blame Singh.

Sunday, October 25th, 2020

If there was ever a guy on the wrong side of the parliamentary ledger, it is Jagmeet Singh of the new democrats. While the rest of the opposition thought they were driving more nails into liberal coffins, this week, there was Jagmeet and the NDP caucus keeping their word and supporting the liberals.

Singh and his losers in the NDP knew what this support was costing them. They stopped an election that Canadians did not want at this time but there is no reward for their keeping their word or their honesty.

And when the election does take place, it will likely be Jagmeet’s last as leader of the new democrats. There will be no reward from the voters for keeping his word. Whether the next election is next week or next year, Jagmeet’s tenure in office is on a short string.

The only time that the NDP improved their position in trashing a minority government was under Jack Layton in 2006. They might have gained a few seats in parliament at the time because of the liberal sponsorship scandal. The new democrats’ lack of support, at that time, for the Paul Martin government, also helped open the door to Stephen Harper’s ten years as prime minister of Canada.

It might be a very different situation for Singh and the liberals if tomorrow or a few months from now he and his caucus support another motion of non-confidence. The reality is that the public does not see the WE scandal in the same way as the Quebec-based sponsorship scandal.

Also, a lot of Canadians admired Justin Trudeau for his cuckoo-like popping in and out of the Rideau Cottage throughout the pandemic ups and downs of 2020. They felt a kinship with him that could transcend the usual political relationships. He and his party could see an edge there that the opposition were not recognizing. The liberals were willing to bet on it.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Looking for the “kinder, gentler Tories”?

Saturday, October 24th, 2020

It seemed like such an interesting idea. Erin O’Toole, the new conservative leader, was going to impress the voters with his reason and patience in handling the liberal minority government. He was going to offer a new, more cooperative form of opposition in Ottawa. It looked like he was going to allow some of his pit bull nasties to attack occasionally but appear to be restraining them.

But it did not seem to work. When you start using words such as ‘corrupt’ about your political opponents, you are pushing the envelope. Next thing you know, we would be into an American style election.

Besides, Justin Trudeau and his boy scout and girl scout caucus are hardly in the ‘corrupt’ category. I have heard the Trudeau family called naïve, Pollyanna, and occasionally stupid, but it would be rude and quite unjustified to refer to them, collectively, as corrupt. I know the liberals quite well and my only complaint with them is their elitism.

And I can enthusiastically assure you that Trudeau and his clique of advisors in the PMO are not God’s gift to Canadian politics. I would question how they think they can walk around some ethical considerations in doing their jobs but I would tend to think of their errors as more careless than venal.

The more serious problem with the Trudeau Class of 2015 is finding out if they are liberals, neoliberals, Red Tories, pseudo environmentalists or helpless do-gooders who have absolutely no idea how to run a government. Thank goodness that they took the professionals’ advice on the pandemic. I used to respect Justin’s father because whether I agreed with him or not, he always enjoyed arguing his case. Justin just does not have the intellect.

But we have needed a more civilized form of politics in this country for quite a few years now. There are some serious differences between doing the political thing and doing the right thing. And knowing those differences counts for something with the voters.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Dougie Dumps Ranked Ballots.

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020

You have to hand it to Ontario premier Doug Ford. He rarely gets much right. He just knows what he hates about municipal politics—anything that the downtown Toronto councillors like. This includes changing the voting from first-past-the-post (FPTP) to ranked ballots.

The change had been allowed under provincial legislation but to-date only Cambridge and London, Ontario had taken the step away from FPTP voting. Some Toronto councillors were hoping the city could make the change to ranked ballots as early as in the upcoming 2022 municipal elections.

The provincial government explained their decision with the curt statement that “Now is not the time for municipalities to experiment with costly changes to how municipal elections are conducted.”

While some of the proponents of the change were claiming this was an anti-democratic move by the Ontario conservatives, nobody other than the legislature had ever voted for it. Ontario voters took a look at what is called mixed member proportional voting in a referendum linked to the provincial election of 2007 and defeated the suggestion by a vote of about two to one.

The problem with changing how we vote is that FPTP is a known and trusted system that has been used for hundreds of years. It would take extensive, and probably expensive, selling of any alternative system before voters would accept it.

In the view of this writer what people seemed to be asking for in discussing the subject of change is that they want to be able to be sure candidates have a majority of their voters supporting them. This can best be achieved with run-off elections. In these circumstances, when no candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the vote, the top two vote getters have a run-off and a second vote is held.

With the growing interest in Internet voting, run-off elections would be inexpensive and easily run.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

“I double dare you.”

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

The kids are bruising for a fight but unsure of the outcome. The Ottawa liberals are tantalizing the conservatives with the prospect of an election. The only problem is that it could all be for nothing. If nobody can win, what is the point?

And that is the real problem. No matter how you read the polls, there is no other likely outcome to an election than what already exists today. The only logical outcome is a few seats this way or a few seats that way. If you cannot win, why do it?

And that is the question. The conservatives are trying to corner the liberals with corruption charges which have little real support from the voters. It is an attempt to oversize the We scandal.

What the conservatives do not realize is that the We charity is a dead issue. The voters have much more serious questions to think about. The covid-19 figures keep growing and all the voters want is a vaccine. They want a Halloween to enjoy for their kids. They want us all to have a Merry Christmas. They want life in Canada to get back to normal. Then they will have time to listen to politicians who might or might not know what they are doing.

But, at this time, the conservatives only have their new leader in the crosshairs. Erin O’Toole can ill-afford an election. His problems are the attack dogs such as conservative Pierre Poilievre from Ottawa. They are undermining O’Toole’s ideas for a kinder, gentler conservative party and dragging him into a fight that he does not need.

But never fear folks, Jagmeet Singh and his sorry new democrats will come to the rescue. They can hardly afford an election either.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

It would never win a ‘QCJO.’

Saturday, October 17th, 2020

Let’s face facts, you rush things and you screw up. Mind you, I also found it funny. It makes you wonder just how many Alberta voters made the same mistake. Did you think it was Alberta’s Jason Kenny(stet) who had become a husband and father? It is unlikely that we would ever be awarded the designation of a “qualified Canadian journalism organization” (QCJO) for that boo-boo.

It all started yesterday when I had absolutely no idea what to write about. For ten years, I have been (in one form or another) writing a   daily posting for BabelontheBay.com. We never pretended to be anything other than a commentator on things political. We acquired a sizeable number of readers over the years (more around election times).

But we are fallible. And you would not believe how nasty some NDPers get about some of my comments about their party. I have been known to make the occasional error. And I know better. I am the first one to tell Google noviciates that you triple check anything in Google. It is full of silly errors.

And I did not check. My only excuse was that the apartment above me was undergoing renovations (for the past month) and the guy who was fixing my bathroom showed up to do that job. The noise was, to say the least, distracting. I must admit, I was not checking my sources. I finally found out this morning how I had screwed up. I am totally embarrassed. I forthwith apologize to Alberta premier Jason Kenney. I was wrong to say he had married and reproduced. Far be it from me to question a gentleman’s preferences in lifestyle. I blew it.

But I started out today to write about the liberal government’s intend to give piles of money to qualified Canadian journalism organizations. It has been in the offing for a couple years now. And maybe it is not going to happen at all. My only concern is that if they give money to the liberals who just bought the Toronto Star, will they also have to give money to the Americans who own PostMedia?

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Democracy Denied.

Saturday, October 10th, 2020

Canadians should stop worrying about the fascist leanings of that guy in the American White House and worry more about the death of democracy in Canada. Every day, we see the continued erosion of democracy in Canada’s political parties as another brick in the wall closing down our democracy.

I make no secret that I am a liberal. It is why I received an e-mail from Suzanne Cowan, president of the liberal party the other day telling me how it is going to be for people to become candidates for the party in the next federal election. I should send her an answer asking when the party agreed to this arrangement? There is nothing democratic about this selection of candidates.

The problem started back in the 1980s when the liberals ended up with some very bad choices for candidates when they were selected by a gang-up of their ethnic or religious group. It was during the 90s that Jean Chrétien’s liberals got parliamentary approval to having party leaders sign off on all candidates for their party.

Instead of the measure being used as a last resort, to block gang-ups in the electoral district associations, it became a way for the leader of each party to decide who would be their candidate. Leaders such as conservative Stephen Harper and liberal Justin Trudeau used this to further their discipline over their parties. It did little to further democracy in Canada.

We have effectively neutered Canada’s political parties. Instead of democracy, Justin Trudeau is ushering in his personal autocracy. He is an elitist, supported by his own cabal in parliament.

The only problem Trudeau has not addressed is what to do about the liberals who might object to being used as his personal piggy bank. There are too many times that more than one e-mail from the party in a day will ask for more money.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

O’Toole’s new hue of blue.

Friday, October 9th, 2020

Erin O’Toole, the new conservative party leader brought a new hue of blue to parliament on his late arrival. Delayed by covid-19, the conservative leader brought a new approach to the minority parliament. Where catcalls and rudeness have prevailed for so long, the new leader brought reason, conciliation and understanding. It was an approach to politics readily understood by most Ontario politicos over 50. It was the politics of former Ontario premier William Davis.

Bill Davis turned 91 this year and while his health might not be the best, his legacy in Ontario continues to be honoured. It all boiled down to one word: decency. He was conservative premier of Ontario from 1971 to 1985 and he made sure Queen’s Park during that time was a friendly place. In those years, I worked closely with the liberal caucus under Bob Nixon and, when at Queen’s Park, I often had a friendly word with people on Bill Davis’ or NDP leader Stephen Lewis’ staff.

But I think for Erin O’Toole, sincere or not, this approach will be a hard sell to his caucus, his supporters and his provincial conservative backers. Today’s political divide is too broad, the acrimony too deep and the distrust ingrained.

Too many of the conservative caucus are former Steven Harper MPs who went through the hard-fought years of his partisan governments which dealt more with conservative ideology than the needs of Canadians. O’Toole was there for the last and in cabinet in that final four years.

It is hard to imagine that he would not realize the difference in style he is trying to utilize from that of the provincial conservatives where they are in power. This is with some of the provincial conservative governments routinely condemning the federal liberals for their efforts on climate change, bringing lawsuits to the supreme court and even putting advertising stickers on all provincial gas pumps condemning the carbon tax—until the practice was stopped by the courts.

Mind you, this kinder, gentler conservatism might be just to impress the voters. Time will tell.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Ford cures covid-19 numbers.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Premier Ford of Ontario has a salesman’s way with numbers. You want fewer people with covid-19 from the coronavirus, he gives you lower figures. He can even flatten the curve.

The secret is in the number of tests. He has it all figured out. He has found that he who controls the number of tests can make the numbers of covid-19 casualties go up or down. He can even tell you if the curve is flattening or not.

It is simple statistics. If you do 100,000 tests of people who have an incidence of one case in every 1000, you will have close to 100 cases. When you complete only half the number of tests, you are more likely to have half the number of cases of covid-19.

And if you want everyone to have a happy Thanksgiving in Ontario, just close those testing centres in high incidence areas of the province. That could be as simple as telling people to book an appointment for a test and when they call, leave them on hold until they give up.

But please do not ask Premier Dougie how many people are celebrating Thanksgiving at the Ford Household this coming weekend. Until the premier has checked with his wife, he has no idea how many Fords will gather at the premier’s household.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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