Posts Tagged ‘Green Party’

Is it news or gossip?

Friday, April 9th, 2021

It is a puzzle sometimes. You look to the news media to keep you abreast of politics across Canada. The question you need to ask about the so-called political news is it news or just gossip? It is discouraging to think of some of our favourite pundits of the press as gossip mongers.

What stirred this thought was articles (two days in a row!) in the Toronto Star complaining about Annamie Paul’s experience in her first six months as leader of the green party ranks. And, as is the Star’s custom, Ms. Paul’s race, religion and sex are pitted against the supposedly white-male dominance of the party organization.

When she first won the green party leadership, Ms. Paul reminded me of the bad jokes about Sammy Davis Jr. during his career. In today’s brittle race relations atmosphere, there are no jokes and there should be no recriminations. Her campaign manager was out of line to complain openly. It was amateur of him to complain to the news media. He has burnt his boats with the party.

And if you do not want to “paint this organization as overtly racist,” why would you say it?

Mind you, it is hard to imagine a competent campaign manager who would advise Paul to throw herself on the pyre by deciding to run in the Toronto Centre byelection. It was never her race to win. I can think of at least seven ridings in the Toronto area where she would have had a much better chance. There are also some conservative-held electoral districts where the sitting members need to be challenged on their lack of environmental concern.

Previous green leader Elizabeth May never made it secret that the green party was a difficult party to run. It is badly organized and run by too many prima donnas. The current ambition of the party is to get enough members elected to become a recognized party. Then, they would be able to hire some decent research staff.

The party has an ongoing problem with its rank and file taking some very bad stands on non-green issues.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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

 

The upcoming battle for the GTA.

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

Some pundits are under the impression that the key battle in the coming federal election is in the greater Toronto area (GTA). They might be able to give logical support for their assumptions but I would not suggest that it is all a done deal. Some things have changed and we need to pay attention.

It takes a while for population shifts to be recognized by census and there will certainly be some new electoral districts to be considered in a few years. In the meantime, there will be some surprises in store as assumptions are not met.

To start with there is a band of ridings that starts outside of Ottawa on the east and heads toward the Windsor area. It is what we used to think of as dominated by rural conservative and Ontario Landowner voters. Many of these ridings have been absorbing newcomers who are former city dwellers and quite often liberal voters. This offers some opportunities for aspiring liberal candidates.

It is unlikely that Trudeau and his trusted henchmen will understand it. Even more serious, they could not take much advantage of the situation. They have let those ridings drift away from them. They have destroyed the base of liberal support in that area. When you have spent the last six years doing nothing with the liberals there but demand they send money, there might not be much organization left.

And we should also wonder about the shape of the liberal organization in Toronto itself. There could be a few surprises for Trudeau’s liberals in the 25 liberal seats in the city. Why? It is a tired vote. The supposed liberal supporters will be harder to motivate. These people have been taken for granted by the Trudeau liberals and some are looking for an alternative. A couple ridings could even fall to the green party—to the disappointment of the new democrats. It should come as no surprise that a higher green vote will be mostly at the expense of the NDP. What will be concerning is the slightly higher percentage of conservative votes. Combined with a slightly lower vote for the liberals could put four to five ridings at risk. Justin Trudeau should not bank on moving back to a majority government.

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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

Did you know the campaign was on?

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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

To listen and to learn in Ottawa.

Sunday, November 8th, 2020

Yesterday it was noted how quiet the Ottawa scene has been while history is made in America.

But we ignore Ottawa at our peril. You have to listen to buzz in the quiet. There is the testiness of the conservative caucus—planning for the partisan attacks to come. There is the disquiet of the new democrats hoping to build a new future. There is the hope for new leadership and new challenges among the greens. And the bloc MPs share their hopes for a future, no sitting bloc member can expect to see.

It is the nervous energy of the liberal caucus that spins Canada’s immediate future. Do they sit quietly in the balcony watching the high jinks of the country below or is there serious thought of the road ahead for their party, their leadership and their country??

Do they realize the crossroads where their country is at? Do they see the changes that move like the world’s tectonic plates?

Do they see the damage that Justin Trudeau has done to the once-strong liberal party? Is the liberal list of registered liberals just Trudeau’s handy ATM? And whose electoral district do you represent? Is it your riding, or Justin’s?

As a member of parliament, who do you represent? Is it the riding or the liberal party? Who do you speak for in parliament? Your political masters in the PMO? Or Canadians? And are you financially independent for the next election? Are you allowed to think or are you just a rubber stamp for the PMO?

And speaking of the PMO, is that collection of sycophants capable of keeping the prime minister out of trouble? Do you realize the naiveté of your leader? He learned so little at his father’s knee.

So, let’s give a passing thought to our MP’s. We will soon be seeing them at the hustings.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Dredging Down in Green.

Sunday, October 4th, 2020

Congratulations to the new leader of the Green Party of Canada. The party has selected a Torontonian named Annamie Paul to be its new leader. The party leader is a 47-year old lawyer.

As in the recent conservative party election, it took considerable counting to arrive at a majority choice. Ms. Paul was selected after eight counts of the ballots to arrive at a choice by over 50 per cent of the voters.

As the mathematics works in a preferential ballot, it is not necessarily the primary choice of candidate who wins when there is a large number of candidates in the running. In each subsequent count, the last candidate in the count is dropped off the ballot and that candidate’s second votes go to the indicated candidates. One of the possibilities in that form of balloting is the election of the candidate known as ‘None of the Above.’ It is when none of the multiple candidates achieves a count in excess of 50 per cent.

Without a rule to cover this situation, a secondary balloting process becomes necessary—less the candidate who came last in the first ballot, of course.

While there is, at least one candidate challenging the correctness of the Green Party vote, there is little likelihood of the count being declared invalid. Paul led in many of the ballots and ended up with just over 12,000 of the 24,000 votes cast.

Ms. Paul succeeds Elizabeth May who led the Greens for the past 13 years and was the first Green Party candidate elected to the House of Commons. The Toronto native has already been nominated to contest the upcoming bye-election for the Toronto Centre electoral district.

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Please Note: If you intend to castigate me for criticizing the preferential voting, please come up with some better arguments.

Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Liberals whistle past the graveyard.

Thursday, July 30th, 2020

While it might be foolish to buy stock in Trudeau and Company in Ottawa, you have to ask who is going to gain in an election? It is a serious question. It would be necessary for the opposition to get together and bring down the minority liberal government in late September. We could be into an election in November.

But I think not.

There is no doubt that Canadians are displeased with the Justin Trudeau’s gaffes and the We Charity fiasco. And the conservatives would see it as the ideal time to strike with a new leader.

The problem is that there is little reason for the Bloc Québécois to go along with them. Without a new leader, the new democrats have even less reason to get on board.

My guess is that, in such election, the liberals might lose, at most, five or six marginal seats. Would the Bloc or the new democrats gain? Not likely. A few more conservatives would be a slap on the wrist for the liberals and life, such as it is in a pandemic, would go on.

But Canadians are concerned. New voters are the ones likely to be most angry at the liberals. Sure, the liberal government was generous in trying to protect them from the coronavirus and its impact on the economy. The prime minister also won Brownie points for his briefings out of Rideau Cottage. The voters just know now that he will never be perfect. Let another national party get a half-decent leader and Justin Trudeau might be history.

We know that neither Peter MacKay nor Erin O’Toole are going to take the conservatives anywhere. The taste of Harper-style economics will keep either from reaching the brass ring. New democrat leader Jagmeet Singh is also last year’s loser. He fails to promote money, loyalty or effective policies for his party.

And one can only wonder at how the greens are doing in their search for new leadership.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Longing for leadership.

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Sometime, after August 21, the conservative party hopes to announce the winner of the party’s national leadership. The big question though is does anybody care?

What possible difference would it make if Erin O’Toole beat Peter MacKay? It is the same old, same old conservative dogma. It would mean promising Canadians the squeezing of the size of government, tax loopholes for the rich, ignoring global warming and maybe more concessions to the radical Christian right. There are no new ideas coming from this party.

Nor do we have any expectations from the new democrats. If the party fails to get itself a new leader and new ideas, what hope is there for a party that is supposed to be the conscience of parliament?

The NDP did not even respond when outgoing leader of the green party, Elizabeth May, suggested that the NDP join with the greens. Without Ms. May, both parties are currently leaderless.

That leaves us with the liberals. Since the liberal party has been effectively neutered by Justin Trudeau, we have to look to the liberal caucus. Despite the yeoman service of the prime minister popping out of the cuckoo clock at Rideau Cottage on the pandemic file, it is his leadership we really have to question.

We have all seen it now. When things are swinging his way, the Trudeau scion gets cocky. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seems to have no one capable of looking ahead at the prime minister’s proposed actions. Nobody is giving the files the smell test. There is no political prospective being taken. Trudeau is free wheeling it, as though drunk. He is embarrassing liberals across Canada. He has put the Trans Mountain pipeline ahead of the environment. He ignores obvious conflicts of interest. He has no conscience.

And the solution can only be resolved by the liberal caucus. It is up to our liberal members of parliament to stand on their hind legs and bring the prime minister to heel. When the party leader loses the confidence of the caucus, it is time for action.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

And a sneer from Scheer.

Sunday, July 12th, 2020

It was difficult to assess all sides of the discussion last week to the finance minister’s snapshot of Canada’s financial position. To be fair, minister Morneau is not a dynamic speaker. You needed time as he droned on to grasp the dimension of the how far this pandemic has taken Canada into debt. And it is not even over!

What is to be appreciated though is that Canada is doing the job that has to be done. Canada is working to save lives. Canada is working to save jobs and businesses that can assure us a strong recovery.

But instead of recognizing the efforts from the government benches of parliament, acting opposition leader Andrew Scheer sneers. He nit picks the programs. He tells us that the government is just wrong. He tells us that the government is slow to fix gaps. Mr. Scheer and his conservatives carp a lot.

Conversely, Jagmeet Singh and his NDP want more. When a bit helps, they want more. He claimed that much of the help being delivered to Canadians was at the bequest of the NDP. He is concerned about the negativism of the conservatives. He is concerned that the liberals will start to back down.

Singh and other NDP spokespeople believe the weakness in the liberal efforts has been in the lack of special programs for the handicapped in our society. It is no surprise that liberals agree with them. These programs were created in haste and they are still being adjusted to ensure all segments of society are helped.

I thought the best comments were by former green party leader Elizabeth May. She agreed with the weakness pointed out by the NDP but made a fulsome defence of the government efforts. She also agrees with this writer that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) makes an excellent start towards a basic guaranteed income for all Canadians. It is amazing how much such a program can really save us.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Ms. May must be mishegus.

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

Did you hear former green leader Elizabeth May’s latest? After giving up the leadership of her green party, she wants the greens to join up with other losers in the new democratic party. She tops this by then suggesting that the person to lead this gong show is former liberal Jody Wilson-Raybould, the independent MP for Vancouver-Granville.

While it is somewhat cavalier of Ms. May to give the back of her hand to NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in this manner, you have to admit, he was taking the party nowhere anyway. Our poor socialists have been wandering in the wilderness for a long time now.

You have to consider the LEAP manifesto that Ari Lewis and Naomi Klein initiated to fill the gap in NDP direction was a better document than anything the greens have produced recently.

But neither party has a good grasp of Canada’s non-environmental needs. And previous NDP leader Tom Mulcair often seemed to be moving to the right of Trudeau’s liberals. May’s problem with her environmental party was that they could never seem to agree on a direction in other areas such as Canada’s foreign affairs.

And Elizabeth May wants Jody Wilson-Raybould to lead this new green-NDP to the barricades? She must have seen something in Wilson-Raybould that others of us have missed. Wilson-Raybould had a responsibility as a cabinet minister to take her problems with the SNC Lavalin affair to cabinet or directly to the prime minister. If she could not carry out her responsibilities as justice minister and attorney general, how would she fare in running a political party?

The other concern I see in this scheme is that Elizabeth May would have to commit to be being part of this green-NDP arrangement to help keep it from falling apart. It would be a sad ending to an otherwise exemplary career.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Who Knew?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

Politics can be full of strange happenings. Canada had an election seven months ago. The guy who was prime minister is still prime minister and doing very well, thank you. He lost 20 members of his party caucus and his party came second in popular vote. You would think he would have something about which he might be embarrassed.

But no. It was the poor schmuck whose party won the popular vote and who led an additional 26 members of his party to Ottawa, who saw the handwriting on the wall. Party leader Andrew Scheer resigned before the party took a vote to tell him to get lost. Scheer resigned as conservative party leader and, it turns out, few want the job.

And yet there were other strange things that happened last October. The guy who more than doubled his number of MPs in the house of commons was the leader of the Bloc Québécois. The Bloc vote alone, handled carefully, could keep the liberals in power for the full four years of this parliament.

The guy who lost the most in the election was the leader of the new democratic party. Jagmeet Singh dropped 15 members of his caucus and did not seem to even consider it a bad-hair day. What? Him resign? I guess nobody in his party thought of it.

The person who really won big was green party leader, Elizabeth May. She not only won her own seat but she doubled the size of her caucus. She went from one MP to two. With this accomplishment under her belt, May promptly resigned as leader. She had had enough. She might have been the only smart party leader left.

I would dearly love to report that peace, order and good government prevailed after the election. And then along came a novel coronavirus pandemic and everything went to Hell. I am sitting here in my den, drinking my morning coffee, doing nothing, looking out at the world and wondering what I will feel like writing about tomorrow?

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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