Posts Tagged ‘Conservative’

In the steps of the Hair or of Trump?

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

There could be as many as 14 contenders for the upcoming Conservative leadership contest on-stage in Moncton tonight. Which candidates will take their cue from the Hair (Stephen Harper) and who will want to try the President-Elect Donald Trump style is the question?

The Moncton event is our first chance to hear from some of these contenders. They have been coming (and one going) for a while and nobody has paid much attention. If you had to pick one to emulate the Harper approach, it is likely to be Maxime Bernier. The MP for Beauce, Quebec takes you straight down the Conservative line with the exception of advocating legalized marijuana. Other than that, he is just as boring as most of the other candidates.

The candidates who might steal the show could be either Kellie Leitch, MP for Simcoe-Grey or Chris Alexander, the former MP and former ambassador to Afghanistan. Leitch tells us that her hero is Donald Trump and she is the one who thinks immigrants to this country should be tested for their knowledge of Canadian values. (Whatever they are?)

It was Alexander and Leitch who introduced the Tory tip-line for ‘barbaric cultural practices’ in the last federal election. Leitch’s latest talking point has been for getting rid of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

But Alexander did her one better in Edmonton the other day. He was talking to a fair-sized crowd of Conservative supporters. They were outdoors and there to object to carbon taxes and he got them chanting “Lock her up” to keep warm. This chant was in reference to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. It was not only a disgustingly ignorant chant but did not reflect any Canadian value that we can think of.

But it is the very fact of having up to 14 nonentities willing to put down a $100,000 deposit and provide 300 signatures from Conservative party members in 10 electoral districts that has us wondering. You would think that alone would keep the numbers down. These wannabes’ do not even seem daunted by the spending limit on their campaigns of $5 million each.

And even one or two more are expected to jump in. We have still not heard a firm ‘no’ from Boy Wonder Kevin O’Leary. He might be studying Donald Trump’s style before making his announcement.

In any event, Babel-on-the-Bay will not be announcing its Morning Line on the Conservative leadership until mid March. And please remember a morning line is just a handicapper’s aid in assessing the possibilities in a race. You only need a few visits to race tracks to know how often the morning line can be wrong.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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

Lord Black lauds buddy Trump.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

You get the feeling that there could be another boring book by Lord ‘Cross-the-Pond’ in this. Yes, Conrad Black came out of seclusion on his Toronto estate the other day to promote another book that will look good on your coffee table. He told the news media that his raison d’etre for the lordly appearance was to defend his pal Donald Trump. He managed to both insult and needlessly flatter his Global News interviewer while name-dropping throughout an argumentative interview.

Black’s text for the interview was that his close pal Donald Trump is not a fascist. He actually appears to believe that the pompous ass is going to be a very productive President of the United States. In a rapid series of name-droppings, Black explained that his good friends, the Clintons and members of the Bush dynasty had raped and pillaged the scene in Washington for much too long and his pal Trump would certainly fix things.

The interviewer (Toronto-based newsman Alan Carter) remained stuck in the groove that Trump might be a fascist. He did not seem to understand that one takes considerable risk in arguing polemics with the likes of Lord Black. Wiser heads in discussing the Trump phenomenon see him as more of a laissez-faire capitalist than a fascist.

Trump’s only serious fascist trait has been in the use of the big lie as introduced in the 1930s by Hitler’s information minister Doktor Josef Göebbels. President-elect Trump seems to have cottoned to the idea that if you tell an outrageous lie often enough, some people will eventually accept it as the truth.

Oddly enough the counter point to the Conrad Black interview was the earlier interview on the Global Television Focus Ontario program with Doug Ford who has also just published a book on Ford Nation in memory of his brother Rob. Doug Ford comes across as something of a rube in comparison to Lord Black. You get the feeling that both of them should jump with both feet into the Conservative Party of Canada leadership.

You want redemption, Conrad, there is your chance.

You want redemption Doug, there you go.

Oh poop, we forgot the citizenship problem. To our knowledge, Conrad is still not a Canadian.

Oh well, he could get a work permit as a temporary foreign worker and act as Dr. Leitch’s campaign manager. If that did not stir the pot, we would at least be assured that her literature is grammatically correct.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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

Does Wynne cry for liberalism?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Did you hear that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne got all teary at the Liberal Party gathering this past weekend? Not being there, are we to assume these were crocodile tears or tears of frustration? Or were they just a notation on her script saying ‘tears here’? You never know what her reaction is to being pilloried for the inadequate job she is doing.

But in the spirit of concern for her emotional stability, we will try to be more helpful.

First of all, if you like to have people think of you as a progressive, you have to act like one. This might be difficult for Ms. Wynne but to be a progressive, you have to be an agent for change in our society. And to be a liberal, you have to have concern for the rights of the individual. That means that you have to work at ensuring that the individual has the freedom and opportunity to enjoy the lifestyle that they choose.

We need to take a serious look at this agent for change agenda of yours. When will it start? We agree that the fixes on pensions was overdue and you did a good job of dumping the problem on the federal government. Good show! Now what is next? You have to be more than a one act pony.

How about giving some speed and credibility to your electrifying and speeding up the GO Trains? Or better yet get your friends in Ottawa and Quebec City together for a little brainstorming on high-speed electric trains to give us better and ‘Greener’ travel between our major cities. That just might be the profitable type of infrastructure spending needed to attract that foreign investment.

The point is that there are lots of dramatic and worthwhile opportunities in our society for a progressive government. Nobody other than some of the unions are interested in the self-serving New Democrats. You should start now establishing that the raving Patrick Brown has no better answers on what to do about hydro pricing.

And stop the stupid water torture. If you want grocery stores to sell booze, let them. Stop the damn guessing games about who sells what. You cannot keep trying to be half pregnant. It just looks silly.

And the most important thing for a true liberal today is to make sure that every child in the province has all the education and training readily available to them as their life unfolds. Let the conservatives among us be the repressive bastards if they want that appellation. And we need more universities across the province—not just in Toronto.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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

The rise of the exurbanites.

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Trump reached for it in America and the exurbanites coalesced behind him. With these new rural voters who have fled the cities and in sync with the traditional American Gothic farmers, he dominated state after state. These people resent and fear our conglomerate cities, the liberal attitudes they promote and the crush of the ethnic hordes. Many of these exurbanites commute to the cities for work and they hate it. The buttons are there; you just have to press them.

It is a supposedly easy route to power. There are two good examples of politicians seeking out those voters here in Ontario. They are the ones working that grungy side of the street. They are MP Kellie Leitch from Simcoe-Grey who is trying to muscle in on the federal party leadership and Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown, currently representing Simcoe-North. They are here in adjoining ridings in central Ontario, pandering to the same type of narrow-minded, bitter and easy to anger voters.

And if you think Barrie voters are going to elect Patrick Brown in the 2018 provincial election, you are wrong. Barrie was deliberately gerrymandered under the Conservatives to cut the city in half and give each half a solid slice of exurbanite and rural voters. The edge in both north and south Barrie ridings goes to the Conservatives.

Brown’s current problems in Ontario are that unlike Donald Trump, he tries to keep a foot on each side of the street. He is a social conservative and he tries to find the middle ground. Eventually he is going to find that there is no middle ground and make a decision.

Meanwhile, in the safe ground of small town and rural Simcoe-Grey, MP Kellie Leitch is moving forward with her hate-filled Canadian-values campaign for her party’s leadership. Donald Trump is her hero.

Leitch has neither the money nor the ego of a Donald Trump and is hardly expected to sustain this aspect of her campaign under the intense pressure by her colleagues in Ottawa to tone it down. What her fellow MPs are concerned about is not as much as whether she wins the leadership but the very real concern of creating a schism in Canada’s Conservative Party. A large block of the urban Conservative vote across the country are progressive conservatives who pride themselves in not being knee-jerk rednecks. They will never buy into Dr. Leitch’s Canadian-values, anti-immigrant B.S. and you cannot win Ontario without winning any urban seats.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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

The drip torture by the Wynne government.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Maybe they think they are too classy for simple water torture or boarding. The Ontario Liberals are inflicting an alcohol torture on the poor consumer. First, you have to find out which super grocery stores have just beer and cider or wine and beer or just a kiosk for plonk. There are now 67 out of about 1500 larger grocery stores selling both beer and some real wine.

But do not get these new stores confused with those older kiosks that sell Ontario wines and wines made from foreign concentrate. Those wines are for when you are desperate and do not have time to go to a real liquor store.

This booze roll out by the province has been undertaken with constant news media ballyhoo and the poorest results we have ever seen. After a career in public and government relations with a side interest in politics, this is the stupidest travesty we have ever seen a sitting government inflict on itself.

These foolish people are going to be forced to add more stores so that it can find some new communities in which to hold beer, wine and cider announcements. In an announcement that must have been in the provincial electoral district of York Centre, they even rolled out their recuperating(?) MPP Monte Kwinter (who is 85) in a wheel chair for him to be cheered by his happy constituents.

But the silliest part of this is that in the stores where the province is getting its share of the revenue from alcohol sales, the sales hours for these products are determined by the hours of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

Some convenience! If the idea behind this ridiculous roll out is to provide convenience for the consumer, why have the inconvenience of saying ‘no’ at certain hours. If you have ever noticed, grocery stores try to be open at hours convenient to the public. These are people who understand what their customers want. The LCBO is run by bureaucrats. They are not paid to care what the customer wants.

What also strikes us as odd is that in no time during this forever rollout of booze sales has there been a single grocery store selected in the City of Barrie. This city has a population of over 140,000 thirsty souls and we do have some very nice (and large) grocery stores. We do not feel personally slighted but you might wonder if it is because Barrie is where the cranky leader of the opposition, Conservative Patrick Brown, will be running in the next election?

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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

The losers are lurking.

Friday, October 28th, 2016

It must be Halloween in the air. Losers from the last federal election are gathering. There will be a provincial election in 2018 and the Conservative losers from the last federal election are jockeying for nominations in provincial electoral districts.

The first of these Conservative nominations was for the upcoming bye-election in Niagara West-Glanbrook and former St. Catharines MP, as well as current provincial party president, Rick Dykstra lost to a young Brock University student running on a social conservative platform. While that electoral district might not be a Liberal stronghold, any campaign manager who cannot figure out how to defeat a home-schooled 19-year old social conservative should not be involved in politics.

In another age-related skirmish, defeated Conservative finance minister Joe Oliver, in the blue trunks and 76-years old, who lost in Eglinton-Lawrence last year, wants the Conservative nomination in York Centre where incumbent Liberal MPP Monte Kwinter, in the red trunks, is 85-years old. They should both do quite well in the riding’s retirement residences.

Another comer for Conservative party leader Patrick Brown is the famous former MP Paul Calandra. Many Canadians will remember his distress on crying in the House of Commons over his failed attempts to mislead the House when answering questions for his leader, Stephen Harper. He is from Markham but we are unsure where he might find a provincial electoral district suitable for his dramatic talents.

Even more interesting as a provincial possibility is the right-wing Bob Dechert from Mississauga. Dechert was the chap who, when serving as foreign affairs minister John Baird’s parliamentary secretary, was exchanging flirtatious e-mails with a lady who worked for the People’s Republic of China as a foreign correspondent (nobody admitted she was a spy). It was reported that it was the correspondent’s husband who broke into her e-mails and published them on the Internet to the considerable embarrassment of all concerned.

There are more hopefuls in the offing. One of the best bets is MP Tony Clement. He is a bit miffed with the federal scene since he found that nobody wanted to fund his run for the federal leadership. He has to be considering heading back to his halcyon days on the Mike Harris team at Queen’s Park. Not that working for Patrick Brown would be all that much fun but he is no heavy hitter in Ottawa.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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

 

What goes around, comes around Mr. Brown.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

The social conservatives in the Niagara Peninsula had a surprise the other day for Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown. It was not the surprise he wanted. He expected his pal party president Rick Dykstra to easily win the nomination in the provincial electoral district of Niagara West-Glanbrook. Dykstra was defeated.

The local party’s selection of a 19-year old Brock University student will add some interest to an otherwise dull bye-election set for November 17 to replace former Tory leader Tim Hudak. Sam Oosterhoff, the surprise Conservative candidate, ran on a platform of being against Brown’s newly found resolve to support the Ontario sex education curriculum. It seems the young candidate believes in parents having the final word on sex education. Mind you, it is reported that he did not agree with the pro-life stance of some of his young supporters.

It ends up with the young candidate learning what it is like to be half pregnant. Since that is impossible, he—like Brown before him—needs to make a clear choice. If he wants the social conservative vote, he has to say “I believe.” That will cost him votes among the fiscally conservative. Winning the votes of both sides of the coin might be beyond his young experience.

Even Patrick Brown in his years in Ottawa never found that balance. On the only two free votes that pitted social conservatives against fiscal conservatives in Ottawa, Patrick Brown came down fully on the side of the anti-abortion, anti- rights social conservatives. These were not issues he ever brought to his electoral district in Barrie.

Brown’s advice to his young candidate should be that politics is nothing like the political science he is studying at Brock. Real politics is adversarial. It is hardly theoretical, nor is it philosophically based. It is cronyism and an old-boys’ network. It is a world of privilege and entitlement for the select few. And like in federal foreign affairs, it is all about business. The real decisions for Queen’s Park are made by lawyers and bankers working on Bay Street.

It was Bay Street that said sell off some of Hydro One. It was Bay Street that said let Loblaw sell some beer and wine. It was Bay Street that said let Woodbine Entertainment have a full casino and entertainment centre. The politicians at Queen’s Park are just a side show.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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

How far Bill Davis’ party has fallen.

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

We can admit it now but could not when he was Premier of Ontario, Bill Davis is a decent guy. As much as he likes to pose as the bastion of the right, Bill has always liked people and is a caring, compassionate person. If he was much younger and leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives today, Kathleen Wynne and her neo-Liberals could pack their bags.

But Bill Davis’ party has fallen on hard times. The triumvirate of leaders, Harris, Hudak and now Brown have not helped. John Tory, who as a young man attended Bill’s breakfasts at the old Park Plaza Hotel, might have been an exception during his brief stint as Conservative Leader but his timing against Premier ‘Dad’ Dalton McGuinty was bad. And he blew it by going against the hard core right of his own party by offering more support for parochial schools.

The present leader Patrick Brown is causing further splits in the party by denying his roots as a religious right conservative. He has managed to get all factions of the Conservative Party angry with him for his constant flip-flops. He can hardly deny his vote against women’s rights and against same -sex marriage when he was a Member of Parliament. Attending Toronto’s Pride Parade this year only showed what a hypocrite he can be.

Current public opinion polls are useless as no Ontario voters outside of Barrie really know anything about Patrick Brown. And those voters do not know much. Bill Davis must be appalled at the thought of a person such as Brown sitting in his old office at Queen’s Park.

But the more serious problem is that Premier Wynne and her caucus are not doing the job. They lack direction, attention, discretion, determination and intention. They only use half measures when bold steps are needed. They use band aids instead of solutions. They have no discernable leadership or philosophy.

It hardly adds up to anything better than Patrick Brown running Bill Davis’ old party or the New Democrats under the hapless Andrea Horwath.

But as much as Ontario voters might think The Wynne Liberals are less than productive, they have absolutely no idea how bad Brown would be.

When Bill Davis was premier, there was a certain trust that he earned. That would not be what Ontario would get with Brown. Brown is a manipulator with the personality of a nerd. Women tend to lose interest in him very quickly. Men just do not like him. He really does not belong in the same party as former Premier Bill Davis.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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

No guts, no glory, no re-election.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Ontario’s Liberals have to stop whistling past the graveyard. That American idiom means that they are ignoring sure destruction. And nothing said it better than the recent rebooting of the Legislature with a joke of a throne speech read by the Lieutenant Governor.

It was no throne speech. It was a stop-gap to oblivion. It put another band aid on electricity rates and solved nothing. The problem quite frankly is that there is no one in the Legislature capable of running this province. There are no leaders. There is no direction.

Does anyone have any idea what Ms. Wynne’s political stance might be? We already know that the Conservative leader will go whatever way he can find some votes. And that silly New Democrat leader is nothing but a nebbish. Welcome to a province where the only option for the voter is to vote for ‘None of the above.’

The only policies we have seen Premier Wynne espouse are the ones she steals from other parties. She takes on the pension problems brought forward by the NDP and then steals their pledge to take the tax off electricity charges. Only—typical of her—she only goes part way. She gets lucky and dumps the pension problem to the Trudeau Liberals and then just gives a tax rebate on run-away electricity charges.

There is nothing any other party can think of that the Premier cannot find a way to handle conservatively. We should not forget the former PC Leader Timmy Hudak took the lead in suggesting liberalizing beer sales until somebody convinced him to turn off that tap.

But what Wynne is doing is ludicrous. She is actually allowing less than ten per cent of the large grocery stores to sell warm six-packs of beer. Not in this town though. The only place to buy beer downtown in this writer’s city of more than 135,000 is the province’s most disgusting beer store.

And the other day, Kathleen Wynne announced her ‘Liberal’ stalwarts to run the 2018 Liberal election effort. If these are the same Pat Sorbara and Vince Borg who wandered the halls at Queen’s Park some 30 years ago, we will not get our hopes up.

One of these days Ontario might finally have a government of grown-ups that will realize that selling off how you distribute electricity is a no-no and selling off the Liquor Control Board stores is the golden goose that can continue to pay off in gold.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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

The Blame of Brother Brown.

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

There is a big difference between taking the blame for something than to accept responsibility. And it appears that the Ontario news media are not letting Progressive Conservative Provincial Leader Patrick Brown hide behind that difference.

It all has to do with that letter that helped the Tories win the by-election in Scarborough—Rouge River at the beginning of the month. The letter was in  both English and Chinese, signed by Mr. Brown and delivered on the last weekend to as many as 13,000 households. The letter promised that if the Conservatives were elected to a majority in 2018, they would cancel the Liberal government’s updated sex education guide.

It all seems to be about at what age you should call a penis, a penis. Some of the objections to the new sex curriculum among newcomers is that children should not be taught this too young. Mind you, they can learn lots of other names for a penis at play time.

Which brings us back to that putz, Patrick Brown and the difference between blame and responsibility. At first, he denied knowledge of the letter. The only problem was that his signature was used on it. The one thing that is made absolutely clear in any party leader’s office is that while there is a machine available to put the leader’s signature on documents, it is a trust that cannot be violated. Only the leader can be responsible.

But Patrick Brown says he did not see the letter. Was he in a cloistered monastery without Internet at the time? Party President Rick Dykstra saw the letter. Why has he not resigned? By-election co-campaign manager Doug Ford had obviously seen the letter. What is Brown going to do about that? Certainly some people in the leader’s office need to be fired. They should line up the sacrificial lambs.

Obviously Mr. Brown is skating on the blame game. He is accepting the blame for the incident—since it is too late to call back the letters. He is just not taking responsibility.

All this incident really proves is that Mr. Brown is not a responsible person. He can take the blame and fight on—and fight as dirty as he likes. This is his type of politics. This writer might accuse the ruling Liberals at Queen’s Park of stupidity but they at least try to keep it civil. Watching Mr. Brown from his electoral district here in Barrie for the past nine years has been like watching the process of rot.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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