Posts Tagged ‘Conservative’

“Who killed Cock Robin?”

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

“All the birds of the air

fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,

when they heard the bell toll

for poor Cock Robin.”       (English nursery rhyme, author unknown.)

 

Former Barrie councillor, former MP and former leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party, Patrick Brown is not an object of sympathy.  It would be difficult to feel sorry for him. He will be remembered as the first politician to be thrown under the bus in the 2018 provincial election—that has yet to officially start.

But the contest for Ontario certainly has begun. And ‘Who killed Cock Robin?’ is a serious question. Brown was neither charged with a crime nor found guilty and he was dispatched with all the ceremony of empty pizza boxes after a frat house party. Guilty or not, the Tory caucus at Queen’s Park were hardly sorry to see him go. He will not be welcomed back.

When we wrote about his political career being finished last week, we were not talking about the charges against him. His relations with women might be pathetic but it was the news conference at Queen’s Park that did him in.

The staging of that media meeting was terrible, his prepared statement deplorable, his emotional control non-existent and his parting perp-walk pathetic. This is not what the voter wants to see at any level of politics. It is no wonder his campaign staff resigned rather than taking part in it. They had the sense to see where it would lead.

But the jubilant Conservative caucus at Queen’s Park were in a party mood when they picked Vic Fedeli as Interim leader. There is one word for a pompous millionaire and former mayor who is a back-slapping politician: boring. He was no threat to the caucus and a likely loser if he controls the 2018 election campaign for the Tories.

But the party organization belonged to Patrick Brown and the party executive opted for a vote on leadership by the entire party. And if you are wondering about who advised those young ladies to go to CTV with their experiences at Patrick’s place, you might ask who benefits? And bear in mind, the Liberals would want it to happen much closer to the election.

We all want to know who,

Drew the arrow straight and true,

The arrow that slew poor Cock Robin.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Brown’s political days are done.

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

When your entire life is politics, the end of your run can be a tragedy. Like the marathon runner, he is, he felt the eagerness for the starter’s gun and the highs of the final stretch. For the rest of his life, Barrie’s Patrick Brown can only say, ‘If only…”

No, there are no regrets for him. He knew the chances he took. He was not a person who attracted women. Making sexual advances on a person who works for you is reprehensible. There is no excuse.

What is also of concern is the cavalier way Patrick Brown could use his position as a Member of Parliament. There have been questions for years now about his involvement with charities such as a hockey event for the Barrie hospital. The claim that one of his accuser’s makes that he hired her to work on this charity event, pressed her to travel with him on his frequent trips to India and gave her a raise after making sexual advances is a sordid story.

Patrick Brown was a sorry sight at the Queen’s Park news conference on Wednesday. He called it to deny the allegations made by CTV News. Emotions on edge, he denied everything. If he had listened to any of his advisers, that would have been a very different event. It is an extremely difficult situation for anyone to handle and he blew it. Even if all the accusers would recant, he cannot recover from those few moments.

Patrick Brown is finished in politics.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Ontario votes in June.

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

While political pundits have obviously thought long and hard on Ontario Premier Wynne’s possible political problems this spring, I doubt her main concern is misogyny. Nobody is mad at her for being a woman and not many voters give a darn about her being in a lesbian relationship. That is not what the provincial vote on June 7 is about.

The vote will be about the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne and the political hopes of the Progressive Conservative party of Patrick Brown and the New Democratic Party of Andrea Horwath. If you do not like those three options, you might have a Green Party or some independent candidate to consider in your electoral district. And you have the best part of five months to make your decision. Most Ontario citizens will not even think about the election until maybe sometime late in May.

While supposedly neutral, news media pundits wring their hands about the Liberals being in power in Ontario for the past 14 years, that is hardly a record. It was the government that brought the province through the most serious financial crash since the Great Depression while phasing out coal-fired electricity production and introducing all-day kindergarten. And even with the recent uptick in the minimum wage, unemployment is now at an amazingly low number.

When Kathleen Wynne took over as premier, she had already earned this writer’s enmity. I was hardly impressed by the chicanery she pulled in gaining the party leadership. (To be fair, her skulduggery was far less blatant than the underhanded way Patrick Brown used to take over his party’s leadership.)

But, on balance, you have to admit that the Wynne government has done a pretty good job. She should never have listened to that banker who told her to sell off the electrical distribution in the province. Her expansion of beer and wine distribution to large grocery stores became a long-playing joke. And yet, her government deserves a lot of credit for helping improve seniors’ pensions, providing a list of common medicines free to children and young people, and finally getting the minimum wage heading towards a living wage.

In the meantime, the Conservatives are falling all over each other hoping to get some blowback in the election. The worst thing for their hopes would be a strong NDP. If Leader Andrea Horwath continues to bumble along, it will not help the Liberals’ chances. A strong third party could force a minority and it is one of the possibilities we will be looking at as the election gets closer.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Politics is a numbers racket.

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

It is time to admit it: I used to be a numbers runner. Different from the numbers racket in the United States, in Canada, it is a political game. I used to announce numbers provided by my political party to see if we could draw out numbers from the other parties. It was usually a fun game where nobody got hurt or really won.

This subject occurred to me the other day when reading about the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party having (maybe) 200,000 members. The Tory’s were so proud of that figure that they let that silly ass Patrick Brown announce it. There is absolutely nothing surprising about that figure.

When you consider what has happened since its last leader Timmy Hudak embarrassed the provincial Conservatives back in 2014, the party was at its lowest membership. Nobody will provide precise figures but the paid-up membership ($10 per year, please) was likely to have been less than 20,000 die-hard Tories.

And you should note that just because you have not paid for the current year, you are not immediately removed from the lists. It is easy for you to come out to some party event and pay to bring your membership current. In the 2015 leadership there were candidates for leader signing up new members in wholesale numbers and probably increased the membership to more than 80,000. Since about half of those new sign-ups were newcomers to Ontario from the Indian Sub-Continent signed-up by organizers for Patrick Brown, it really was no contest. (Who paid for those memberships is a good question?)

What causes the real boost to the party’s numbers is the upcoming election in June of this year. With questionable polls showing a supposed walk in the park for the Tories to win, there is a lot of interest in the new, redrawn or existing 124 electoral districts. This has sent out an army of people supporting this or that Conservative candidate to sign up people who might support their candidate. A candidate signing up 3000 to 4000 new members in an electoral district is not an unknown occurrence. These contests leading up to the 2018 election have also produced more than the average number of claims of fraud, malfeasance, chicanery and even some serious lawsuits.

Mind you as more and more people find out more about Tory Leader Patrick Brown, his chances of winning are diminishing. We will supply you with a Morning Line on the contest at the end of April.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Forget Beyak, dump Canada’s Senate.

Monday, January 8th, 2018

Why just dump Senator Lynn Beyak? You do not have to like what she says or posts on the Internet? We have all heard it before. Bigotry is hardly new. The problem is that there is not much you can do about it. She was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Stephen Harper until she is 75. She is going to be around for a while yet. It would be easier to dump the entire senate rather than just her.

‘Chuckles’ Scheer, Conservative Party leader and leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition decided to dump her. She is an embarrassment to the Conservative caucus. He tossed her out of the caucus. That was all he could do. He left her sitting in the senate. He made matters worse. He left a pissed-off party stalwart sitting in the senate as an independent.

You can be assured that not all non-first nations’ people from the Thunder Bay region of Ontario are bigots. There are many people there who are well aware of the problems faced by our first nations’ people and are sympathetic. For all we know Senator Beyak might be posting some of those bigoted letters thinking that it can help the situation. Obviously, it does not.

But this is just another of the long lists of embarrassments by our appointed senate. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thinks he is getting around the problem by having an elite committee pick elite applicants for him to appoint supposedly elite senators. He gets no guarantees.

One of the problems for the ‘Lynch Beyak’ mob is that Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations has jumped into the fray and is calling for a ‘review’ of the senator’s actions by the senate ethics committee. To give her yet another platform for racism is not going to help.

The Senate of Canada was created more than 150 years ago to give the land-owning gentry of the Canadian colonies a chance to review and, if they wish, stall the laws passed by our elected parliament. It is not needed today. In fact, its continuance is an embarrassment to our country. It should have been abolished a long time ago.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

A potpourri of New Year wishes.

Monday, January 1st, 2018

This writer’s New Year’s resolution is, as always, to never make a resolution. Each year is another adventure. It is an opportunity to discover and to learn. We have a mixed bag of comments to share today as we start our tenth year of this commentary.

The ten years means both good and bad. Trying to write something pithy and interesting to our broad audience on a daily basis is both challenging and, at times, daunting. The wife notes that we are still playing with words that not all readers might understand and she refuses to read anything further about “bitumen” from the tar sands.

We also make mistakes—and do we hear about it? Ouch. I even got a complaint from an NDP reader the other day who thought I should have explained the sham of the counting in the Conservative leadership contest that chose ‘Chuckles’ Scheer. Sure, it was a con to maximize the exposure time on the television networks. Anyone who knew anything about computers would realize that. So, please argue with the CBC, not with me.

Somehow, in writing about the foolishness of the federal Conservative leadership, I was also accused of not understanding ranked balloting. I do understand ranked balloting and have written lengthy diatribes about it. I consider the results of ranked balloting as guaranteed mediocrity. And to prove the point, I give you ‘Chuckles’ Scheer.

I thought the much more annoying con job by the Conservatives was that phony guaranteed policy fakery of the Ontario Conservatives. That sham was so cynical that an eight-year old would recognize it as desperation.

But in honour of the Roman God Janus, this is a day to look both forward and back. Looking ahead, I am appalled that our friends in British Columbia are going to be presented with yet another attempt to change how they vote. And to hold a plebiscite by mail is rife with opportunities for a corrupted vote.

John Horgan’s NDP government should be ashamed of themselves for pandering to the desperation of the Green Party for more representation in the legislature. Are they so ashamed of their Green Party candidates that they only want them picked from a list? Personally, I only vote for people who want to represent my neighbours and I—not just vote for their party.

But I forget. To one and all, have a wonderful 2018!

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Let’s call it Scheer willpower.

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

You may have been wondering what Andrew Scheer has been doing since winning the leadership lottery run by the Conservative Party of Canada? Our guess is that he has been spending time on his knees thanking the powers above for the gifts he keeps getting from an indulgent Liberal Prime Minister. There are so many attack possibilities opened for Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

After serving as the tame Speaker during the last of the Harper regime, Scheer, was the logical choice for an interim place holder for the party. It only took him until the last of 13 ballots to win by 50.95 per cent. He is showing no new drive or enthusiasm and will make his replacement look that much better. In the meantime, his job is being made easier by a generous Prime Minister who keeps making rookie mistakes.

The main problems Scheer faces are in maintaining discipline in his caucus. The raucous and undisciplined rowdiness of the Conservative side of the House would never have been countenanced when Scheer was the Speaker. It serves its purpose in bracketing his and his colleague’s attacks on some of the Liberals less experienced or adept ministers. Nobody on the opposition side of the House cares about the government responses in any event.

Considered a version of Stephen Harper ‘Light’ but with a smile, Scheer always looks to us like a deer caught in the headlights. We call him ‘Chuckles’ for lack of a respectful nom de guerre.

He will probably serve in the role of leader until he is blamed for the party’s loss in the 2019 federal election. Then he is expected to fall on his sword and move over for a more dynamic leader.

We could tell you more about Andrew Scheer but this guy is boring and we do not like boring our readers.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Brought to you by Bollywood?

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

In reviewing the three leaders of the major political parties in Canada, we came up with what we consider the key question for Jagmeet Singh: Why? What is the new leader of the New Democratic Party out to prove? Was his taking the leadership of the National NDP just a Bollywood production?

First of all, he did not win the leadership. He took it. It was there to take and he did. He watched the contest for a while and picked his time to jump in. He won the leadership by simply swamping the existing membership of the New Democrats in British Columbia and Ontario. He did not want to discuss policy with the more knowledgeable leadership hopefuls and did not bother. Jagmeet Singh took the leadership by saying the least.

In a party bereft of leadership, Jagmeet offers none. In a party lacking direction, he has no idea of where it should head. He knows that the LEAP Manifesto is a formula for controversy. And the Regina Manifesto only mirrors the past. The NDP have nowhere to go and, frankly, nobody to take the party there, anyway.

But can a leader, selected by the Sikh communities across Canada, offer Canadians a future? The Sikh community has come late to this party. In the 1980s and 1990s there were many swamped party riding associations that put a steady series of back benchers from various ethnic groups in parliament and provincial legislatures. It not only did not work but it hurt our democracy. The answer to the problem arrived at in Ottawa was to break with democratic practice and have the party leader sign-off on who could be candidates for the party.

But there is no one to sign off on the selection of party leaders. That is why Jagmeet Singh, then a member of the legislature, was able to watch an Ontario Member of Parliament use some of Jagmeet’s fellow Sikhs to win the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership in 2015. Patrick Brown had made many trips at taxpayer expense to the Indian sub-continent to establish connections for the attempt. He found the paths to signing-up thousands of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims who have immigrated to Ontario. Who paid the memberships for as many as 40,000 of these people so new to Ontario is still in question?

For Jagmeet to use the same connivance as a putz such as Conservative Patrick Brown should embarrass his party. It does not seem to embarrass Jagmeet Singh.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Naughty or Nice: Ontario’s Patrick Brown.

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

As more and more Ontario voters get to see Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown in action, the more his voting preference plummets. He is just not the type of person people can imagine as premier of Canada’s largest province. And neither can Santa as he keeps Patrick on his “Naughty” list.

If we had to pin it down to a one-word description for Patrick and his handlers, we would have to say it is “cynicism.” Patrick Brown lacks any vestige of integrity or sincerity.

Somebody must have spent some time teaching him how to read a teleprompter and his stilted performance at that show introducing his party’s guaranteed policies was the most cynical of all. If you thought Brown was going to bring his small-town thinking to Queen’s Park, guess again. It was Bay Street lawyers calling the shots on that show.

In three terms in Ottawa as an obscure backbencher, Brown never had an original idea. He is what some political people call a “retail politician.” He services his community but does nothing in office. He tells the voter whatever he thinks the voter wants to hear. He uses the slogan that ‘the customer is always right.’ What he gives you, is another matter. The only free votes Brown ever voted on in Ottawa were when he voted against same-sex marriage and to open up an anti-abortion debate.

I might have to revise my opinion of Kathleen Wynne for taking too long to carry out some recent reforms. How can I complain about Wynne taking two years to get to a proper minimum wage in Ontario? Here is Brown offering the same thing in three years. Maybe.

What probably puzzles Santa in making his list is that nobody in the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario has filed any objection to how Patrick Brown stole the leadership of the party. Swamping the existing membership of a political party to take the leadership is not ‘winning.” It is blatant theft of the leadership without any semblance of democratic choice. Whether people paid or did not pay for their membership in the party seems to be of little matter.

But it tells everyone about the lack of character of the new leader of Ontario’s Tories. Santa has an especially large lump of coal for him.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Brown plays bad with the big kids.

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

The first time I met Barrie, Ontario politician Patrick Brown, I wondered what this miserable person was doing in politics? He has no personality. He has little grasp of election issues. What I soon learned was that he is a gamer. And his game is politics. He plays the game of politics as a video gamer would use a PlayStation 2. It is his strength and it is his weakness. The true test of his skills will be on June 7, 2018—the coming provincial general election.

In watching Brown through five election situations over the years, I can report that he tends to push the envelope on what is legal. He obeys the rules—when he has to. I do not think some of his financial reports to the Returning Officer would bear up well under the scrutiny of a forensic accountant. He is a more effective campaign manager than candidate.

Most of Brown’s opponents admit that he is a good retail politician: he knows how to work the riding. His only problem is that he is not good with people. He is a poor public speaker. He does not have a good grasp of many issues. He has little humour and no empathy.

Since taking a seat in the Legislature of Ontario, he has been a weak Leader of the Opposition. He is no hero to his caucus. Neither the centrists nor the social Conservatives in the caucus trust him. He is telling everyone that he is a pragmatic centrist but nobody knows where he would be if in power.

His most serious problem has been a careless comment to the media that he thought was going to get him coverage. He failed to think through what he was saying. It was a play on words that was the same as saying the Premier was “on trial” in the Sudbury trial of two Liberal apparatchiks. That trial was dismissed by the judge and Brown has failed to apologize for the insult to the premier. He is being sued.

The point is that Patrick Brown is out of his league. I am sure that his family was in despair of him ever passing the Bar Admission for Ontario. He looks like a hick and he is definitely small town. The reason he works so hard at this game of politics is because he is always behind. He has neither the smarts nor the skills.

He broke the rules to become leader of his political party and the party people should have called him on it. It is easy enough to prove. For him to find his way to the Premier’s office would be a disgrace.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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