Posts Tagged ‘Green Party’

“Mommy, It’s over!”

Monday, October 21st, 2019

The sign-off for the Just for Laughs television show seems quite appropriate for this election. Though it was hardly just for laughs. There are still a lot of tears to be shed over this 43rd Canadian General Election. Having a green monster wailing to his mommy seems the right tone to end it.

There were lies told and vulgar language used. It was just not always comedic. As in any show of this type, you have to rate the actors individually.

The prize for most improved went to the boy born at Sussex Drive. Did you note that he was no longer saying ‘Aahh’ while thinking of the next part of his answer? He had obviously been quietly taking elocution lessons as well as training on the use of teleprompters.

‘Chuckles’ Scheer, on the other hand, is still a work in progress. The high cheek bones that earned him the clown title are most often hidden under make-up and his handlers are trying to expand his current repertoire of two facial expressions (surprise and puzzlement). His wife is often with him on the hustings late in the campaign, in a further attempt to soften his image.

But the growing meanness and cruelty of conservatism in this age still nags at Scheer and his candidates. He can hardly deny premiers Ford and Kenney and their unfeeling cuts, refusal to understand global warming and failure to understand the critical relations with other countries that Canadians have gained around the world.

Jagmeet Singh might have stirred the cold hearts of the news media but the growth he has claimed during the campaign has been among the NDP supporters who had given up on him. He is still facing serious losses of previously held seats in Quebec, no potential for growth in Ontario and lost hopes on the Prairies.

Election-day reality in Quebec is most likely to be conservative and NDP losses to the Bloc and the liberals.

What surprises me is that there seems to be no organized effort in B.C. to move to Elizabeth May and the greens and guarantee the end of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

And then, maybe my sources are wrong!

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Voting and Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

I am voting in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte this weekend. And I am voting for the liberal candidate. My sense of this riding is that the green candidate is taking some votes from both the liberals and new democrats. That combination will give the riding to another do-nothing conservative.

I expect that situation to be duplicated in a few other Eastern electoral districts and is why the liberals are looking at the possibility of a minority government. If the trend continues to grow, it could change that liberal minority to a conservative minority. A minority conservative government might not last long but we can cross that bridge if we have the bad luck to get to it.

Some ridings are talking strategic voting to ward off that situation but when you have never seen strategic voting work, it seems pointless.

The problem is that the country has never been so divided. Voters came out of that English-language debate confused and angry. There is a heavy line drawn down the Ontario/Manitoba border with an arrow pointed east saying ‘liberal’ and an arrow pointed west saying ‘conservative.’ The only problem for the conservatives is that there is another line drawn down the Rockies that says ‘We do not want your bloody bitumen.’

And this is the position that British Columbia voters have always dreamed of: deciding Canadian elections. With 42 seats to be decided, a unified effort in B.C. could not only determine which party forms the government but determine the fate of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Just remember some observations from the east. Not much change is being forecast in the Atlantic provinces. The conservative and new democratic parties are in trouble in Quebec. The main beneficiary there will be the liberals. The conservatives are in play in rural Ontario and the liberals favoured in the cities.

Think of it as a train crossing into Manitoba from Ontario with at least 140 liberals, maybe 70 conservatives and a few NDP. The conservatives pick up some friends while the train crosses the Prairies.

It is B.C. that holds the balance.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Another bad night for Canadian democracy.

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

When will we treat these election debates as what they are? When they told us that there would be six leadership hopefuls and five moderators for the one English-language debate, we knew trouble was coming. It would have been much better to drop some of the moderators and pay a competent sound engineer. No viewer needs to listen to the babble of people trying to shout over each other.

And what were all those ’moderators’ running for?

Lisa LaFlamme of CTV got my vote for just acting professional. Maybe she had the easiest job at the beginning and the end. We were certainly glad to see her end the event.

Althia Raj of HuffPost won the award for being the coolest moderator.

You would expect someone with the CBC’s Rosemary Barton’s experience to help ease the confusion about what is going on. Since the audience is expected to make sense of what people are saying, it would help if the rules were explained to the audience—as well as the supposed leaders.

But then, there seem to be too many confusing rules at these events. Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star was the only moderator who seemed to be unsure of why she was there.

The only moderator who seemed to show a bias was the normally stony Dawna Friesen of Global Television. Maybe it is because I have watched her interview Justin Trudeau at various times and I sense that she does not like him.

The best idea of the night was from Elizabeth May when she mentioned a financial transaction tax. Canadians deserve an airing of that idea. This is a logical extension of the GST into banking and financial institutions that is long overdue in Canada. We have too many sacred cows in this country that are not paying their way.

The best line of the night was Jagmeet Singh’s reference to Trudeau and Scheer as “Mr. Delay and Mr. Deny.” It is a common enough perception. Whomever gave him that line did him a favour. It would even be more effective if Singh was not saying one thing to Quebec and something else to English Canada.

All I can add about the torture of that English debate is that we certainly have a long way to go to get it right!

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Death by a thousand tax cuts.

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Canadian voters are being nickel-dimed and conned by their politicians. Even Elizabeth May and her greenies have joined into the game of making promises, with funds, from where, they do not really know. It is a game that voters should not buy. Let’s face facts: Sheer is no savior, Trudeau is untrained in being a trustee, Singh will be lucky if there is a party with him after the election And Ms. May and her rag-tag army would not last a day in a real battle for the environment.

It is time for everyone to take a dose of reality before they vote. You are deemed to be adults, you know! You are supposed to have some idea about what you are doing.

Those wonderful people out on the Wet coast are fighting a desperate action to protect their Orcas, their pristine mountains and the best ski hills in the Americas.

Our people in Alberta, who blew all the money from their first oil bonanza, are lying to themselves that bitumen will make their foreign investors and themselves rich again. And Saskatchewan and Manitoba want to be part of that rodeo?

Ontario is facing its own disaster with the guy running the circus at Queen’s Park. If they can survive that fiasco, Ontario voters are ready to take on the world.

Quebec is still cloistered with its own demons as the anger of the past passes into a confused history. And God bless the Atlantic provinces as they provide Canadians with an anchor.

Everybody should pay attention to the upcoming televised leaders’ debates. Make your own decision. And if you cannot believe any of those people, check out your riding candidates. Try to pick the smartest liberal or conservative. You need someone in a position to do something. They will need to know what they are getting into. We need people who can make a difference.

And do not worry about all the promises. Few of them will be kept.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

The Over-Analyzed Election.

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

It’s a circus on the hustings. It is like somebody tossed a cherry bomb into the outhouse. Everybody has an opinion to lay on you as to what is happening but not what will happen. There is more coverage every day from radio, television and daily newspapers. They tell you what is going on and yet cannot tell you what it all means. And besides you can read magazines, follow blogs and subscribe to newsletters. The Internet, with its Twits and Facebooks and fake news is ramping up. Everywhere you go, people want to talk about what will happen, but nobody knows what to say.

In a lifetime of knocking on doors for politicians, I have never been more reluctant to be telling people how to vote. The pollsters have never been more wary of their own forecasts. The talking heads of television are hedging. The columnists of our newspapers are telling us of everything except what might happen on election day. All they know is that they do not know.

We have reached the point where there is too damn much reporting and of where we are at. We read gleeful reports, ad nauseum, of the missteps of the politicians, their culpability and the nuances. They are all prone to error.

The greenies cannot add two plus two. It is increasingly embarrassing for them to keep making promises everybody knows they cannot keep.

The NDP are promising you the moon as it is more and more obvious that the party is really fighting for its very existence. Jagmeet Singh is working on a shorter and shorter lease.

‘Chuckles’ Scheer must have a death wish as he makes himself ever more at odds over the environment. He is making himself a laughing stock as a denier of global warming. Greta Thunberg warned the deniers she was coming!

And then there is Justin Trudeau. He might be the best we have but he still needs to grow into the job. And the job of prime minister is not just another opportunity for a selfie!

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

The timeless media tempest.

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

It seems as though this election is taking place just for the benefit of the news media. I am not sure of the right word for it but it is the most over-reported and over-analyzed campaign I have ever seen and it is only week two. I can only hope that the media are not still ramping up to full coverage!

Maybe it was the long run-up to the fixed date with which we seem stuck. The political mills have been grinding away for about nine months and yet all hell broke lose when the election was called. I am getting so many campaign advisories, newsletters and news releases each day that I could spend every waking hour reading them. I learned speed reading many years ago but that does not seem to help with material on a computer screen.

I think it is best not to get bogged down in the morass of social media stuff on the Internet. There are a few insights in blogs that I check occasionally but there is a lot of bad information out there among the personal information that you did not need to read.

But it is the traditional media that are having a last hurrah. Geriatric pontificators are enjoying themselves commenting on the foolishness. Reporters work in wonder of finding out what is going on.

I think the distaff of the commentators are finally getting their innings. I love the breezy style of the CBC’s Vassy Kapelos and the more desperate style of Mercedes Stephenson on Global. And who is this Kady O’Malley of Torstar’s The Lead?

Before this campaign is over, I hope someone can find out if Andrew Scheer ever had a sense of humour to lose. Maybe we are all hoping that the campaign might bring some aging and political smarts for Justin Trudeau. The upshot of this campaign should see the honourable retirement for Elizabeth May, for doing the tough job, and the departure of Jagmeet Singh to attend to his law practice.

If the vote was tomorrow, I would still vote for the liberal candidate in my riding. I am a liberal and I am absolutely appalled at the ignorance of the conservatives about global warming—and I have always resented their mean-spirited “I’m alright, Jack” attitude.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

So far, so what?

Friday, September 20th, 2019

The dispatches from the front line of the current election strife are mostly about stupidity, compounded by incompetence. Despite the usual whining, scratching and digging up old pictures of each other, the kids are playing by the rules.

Justin Trudeau and his liberals are establishing a traditional campaign ground game. The leader flits about the country, offering bribes with our own money to vote for him and apologizing for once being young and stupid. It makes you wonder how many times you can ask for a second chance?

As you would expect, the conservatives and ‘Chuckles’ Scheer are still getting their roles straight. Chuckles is the lonely pedlar from the Prairies offering a mixed bag of goodies to the rubes.

The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh is counting on his Sikh friends to at least win Brampton in Ontario for his socialists—anything else is up in the air.

And Elizabeth May and her greens are trying to get used to all the media attention.

There is no point in looking at the polls yet. Not everyone can be in the position they hoped to be at. We were expecting more movement in the green support but those figures have remained flat. There seems to be some delay factor built into the pollsters’ algorithms.

The conservatives got the usual early start in the lawn sign pollution. They know that for every unordered lawn sign torn and thrown in the garbage, one will be left standing, no matter if the homeowner cannot vote—it helps the conservative candidate look strong, at first.

In addition, the first of the conservative four-color literature has gone out introducing Chuckles and their new candidates. The liberals are still cleaning out their new riding campaign offices and ordering their signs. ‘Where to find a competent campaign manager?’ is still the liberal question of the day. Not so the NDP as they try to find some supporter with a garage that can be turned into cheap storage for signs and a make-shift campaign office. And the greenies are sitting at home, wondering what to do next.

On the national scene, the liberals are preaching and reaching to the middle class. They have met the attack ads head-on by refusing to join in a four-party love fest called a debate and got away with it.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

We can do that ourselves, thank you.

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

This ongoing concern for foreign countries interfering with our federal election is more of a joke than a threat. It is not that it could not happen, but why bother? What would be the mythical country’s objective? Why would they, for example, prefer one of our leaders over another? This is not something that any country would be so foolish to do for practice.

Frankly, we can screw up this election ourselves without any outside help. As it stands at this juncture, the liberals and the conservatives are doing more damage to each other and themselves than any foreigner could do for them. And the NDP and the greens are warring with each other as well as fighting the older parties for the crumbs from the table.

While the telecom companies love to tell the public that telecommunications just vanish into a cloud to re-emerge some seconds later in another part of the world, the World Wide Web has finite, defined transmission channels that connect the countries of the International Telecommunications Union.

Many Canadians are unaware that Canada is not just a member of what are known as the Five Eyes, the five countries that regularly police material being communicated around the world. Canada originated the capability when it developed the secret Hydra installation on the north shore of Lake Ontario, early in the Second World War. Canada provided the intelligence gathered to the Allies to give them a leg up in winning the war and the Ottawa based Canadian Communications Security establishment of today takes second place to no country in its special telecommunications reading capabilities.

And besides, the only country that would possibly benefit from controlling a Canadian election would be the United States of America. And if congress ever found out that the Trump White House had ordered such manipulations, they would jump on the opportunity to impeach him. Why not? They want to impeach him for something!

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Ms. May has the bit in her teeth.

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Elizabeth May must have promised her bathroom mirror that come hell or high water, she was going to improve her green party’s position in parliament. And she has the chance in this election. It is based on a mix of factors. Nobody thinks it will be easy but it is not just hope.

There is no question that there is a serious concern for the environment this time around. How Andrew Scheer and the conservatives can continue to ignore global warming is the secret of this election. After years in the wilderness, the green party message of saving our world is getting through. It is just too bad that the party does pratfalls on other aspects of its agenda.

It also helps considerably that the greens are moving in to benefit from the expected collapse of the new democrats. Jagmeet Singh is leading the socialists to nowhere. He should have thought about where he wanted to take the party before encouraging all his Sikh friends in B.C. and Ontario to swamp the low membership of the NDP. It was a hollow win. Without a plan, it is very hard to raise money. Without money, it is very hard to run a very strong campaign. And if you cannot afford to charter an airplane, you are really going to find out how big this country is.

Ms. May’s major problem is that the party behind her is a mixed bag. There are separatists running for the party in Quebec. Most of the platform stuff for candidates to reference is motherhood. There is nothing particularly exciting. This party has a plan for the environment but has no very clear plans beyond that.

Mind you, Ms. May continues to impress the public. Media people who are paid to assess politicians are not always as positive. They report that she is sometimes off the wall. I watched her during the special committee hearings in Ottawa looking at how we vote and I saw a dogged and determined person asking more adult questions. I rated her and the liberal party committee chair as the more competent participants.

At this point in the campaign, Ms. May seems to have gained the most momentum. Her first obstacle is Jagmeet Singh of the NDP. He has shown some energy and still stands in the way of the greens taking over third place. It is the byplay in this election that provides a background to the battle between the conservatives and liberals.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sen

They’re At Post!

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Finally. This never-ending scrabbling for political position has a finite finish line. The free-for-all has focus and Elections Canada is in charge. Like with stewards at the track, there are rules to be observed.

It is an election like no other in Canadian history. It is not the politicians who have changed. It is the voters. There is a distrust and unease on all sides. We are seeing olive branches offered by traditional conservatives. Concern is on the face of liberals. Socialists look in wonder at their NDP.  Is Green the color of Canada?

These are not the parties of John A. Macdonald, William Lyon Mackenzie King or Tommy Douglas. No party talks of tradition. And, yet, are they ideologues? And how likely are their promises: “Yes, Mommy, I’ll be good.” Do they have an agenda for Canadians?

Is the bitterness to be directed from Alberta? Are the fools running Ontario? Will the Atlantic provinces hold promise? And who will be the bête noir of Quebec? Will ‘beautiful’ B.C. be bountiful?

There will be no morning line at the track today. What prognosticator has the polls or prescience to prove anything? The sense of this election is deep in the gut and there is many a bellyache. The Trudeau liberals will defend their record—such as it is. The conservatives will be defensive of their woefully inadequate leader. The NDP will try to win with some stalwart old-timers. Elizabeth May will keep looking behind her, in hopes that some partisans will be there.

But there is hope. All politics is local. Here in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, we are still gerrymandered in aid of the rural conservatives. We have another empty suit conservative to consider and the usual suspects from NDP and Greens. The liberal is different, aggressive, daring and honourable. I will bet on him but not his leader.

I am expecting the possibility of a liberal minority. It is as good a bet as any.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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