Posts Tagged ‘Green Party’

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

Glen’s coat of many colors turns Green.

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

Former mayor of Winnipeg, former member of the Ontario legislature, former Ontario cabinet minister and former executive director of the Calgary-based Pembina Institute, Glen Murray, has a new quest. He wants to replace Elizabeth May as head of the Green Party of Canada. It might not be one of his best ideas.

What best illustrates the problem with Murray is when you google his name and the Pembina Institute. What you get is two announcements. One is his appointment as executive director of the institute and then, a year later, is his resignation. It makes you wonder what happened in between?

The only statement of interest about the resignation was made to a reporter at the time. It was the information that he was returning to Winnipeg, and ‘No, he was no longer interested in politics.’

Murray was the first openly gay mayor of a large Canadian city. When he came to Toronto, he quickly became part of Toronto’s large gay community and when the local MPP stepped down, Murray was acclaimed to run for the liberals. He won in 2009 and served in the liberal cabinet over the next eight years in the portfolios of innovation and research, transportation, and environment and climate change.

Murray even ran for the leadership of the liberal party. He gave this up to make a deal with Kathleen Wynne two weeks before the convention. He virtually gave her the role of premier of Canada’s largest province. And served in her cabinet until his resignation in 2017. It was the next year that the party was decimated in the general election and conservative Doug Ford became premier.

The only accomplishment that Murray took the credit for in the liberal cabinet was the implementation of cap-and-trade to lower carbon emissions. If this is what he has to offer Canada’s green party, they need to understand that cap-and-trade is something that is very hard to explain to the general public. It is carried on out of public view and requires lots of explanation to the voters.

Doug Ford killed cap-and-trade in Ontario as soon as he took over as premier. The voters will probably never know how much it cost them.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Learning to love your local MP.

Monday, April 20th, 2020

In our time of need, do you not love the attention we are getting from our local politicians? I am thinking here of your federal member of parliament. This person is your lifeline to the decision makers in Ottawa. No matter what party they might represent, they also represent you. That is their job.

And this dual role is particularly important at this time of need. This is not a time of ‘politics as usual.’ No politician is going around shaking hands and kissing babies. When was the last time, he or she washed that hand? And try to kiss a baby at your peril.

Anything you want to do has to be at least two meters away.

This might be a good time for a serious talk. After all, do you really know why this person wanted to represent you in Ottawa? And you hardly want the usual B.S. about that. Do you know what committees your local member is sitting on and what they hope to achieve in those committees? There is a lot more to being a member of parliament than voting with your party.

If you want to talk about his or her politics, you could lead into it by asking what they think of the leadership position of their party. Even Justin Trudeau needs to be replaced some day. Canadians do not like elitists and they might catch up with the liberal leader soon.

But the most serious leadership problem is owned by the conservatives. These people drove away possible candidates when they made conditions for candidates to compete quite untenable. Their good ship Andrew Scheer is dead in the water and there is nobody left to steer the boat. As soon as there is a light at the end of the covid-19 tunnel, these people have to arrange for a fair fight for leadership.

And then there is the NDP. If you have one of those representing you and your neighbours, this could be fun. Ask what the heck they are going to do for leadership. If he or she tries to sell you Jagmeet Singh, you should vote for some one else next time out.

As for the greens, they might as well sell their services to another party that needs some environmentalists. It would not only make them more useful but it might do some good.

I think if more people took the trouble to meet and talk with their MP, we would have a very different parliament next time.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Where have all the leaders gone?

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

You get the feeling that we are talking about a ghost. Everybody is looking for leadership. Nobody has seen it. Talking to a friend about it, he said the problem is that there are too many rowboat people and not enough canoeists. He explained it as most people row a boat facing where they have been. Canoeists on the other hand, face where they are going. We just need more canoeists.

Look at the pitiful state of our national political parties. The only ones that even matter are the liberals, conservatives, new democrats and the greens. Two of the parties are looking for leaders and the other two should. The conservatives reached their cut-off date this past week and who do you think that choice will excite? The greens are still arguing about how to manage a contest and they might not have one.

The NDP are in the worst shape. The party lost a third of its caucus in the last election because of the lack of leadership, lack of direction and its inability to raise adequate funds for a national campaign.

But the most serious lack of leadership is in the liberal party. Justin Trudeau is certainly not his father. And he is not a leader. A leader brings clarity to direction and nobody has a clue as to where we are going with Justin. And it is a lot more than our environmental direction that is concerning.

The PM was talking reconciliation with our native peoples four years ago and look how far have we come with that?

How many prime ministers get to spend billions on a pipeline that nobody wants except the greedy who do not care about the environment.

Trudeau is a hypocrite. He claims support for feminists and you might want to check with Jody Raybould-Wilson MP on that one. He enjoys travels to meetings of world leaders but what has been his contribution at those international conflabs?

Trudeau has been tearing down the liberal party as he and his underlings pester registered liberals for money. The party has been crying out for leadership.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

It costs less than a house and you feel welcome.

Friday, February 7th, 2020

Huh? Sorry, I might have dozed off there. I was dreaming of running to be the leader of the Green Party of Canada. I will just have to run a “Go Fund Me” page for the $50,000. entry fee. It sure is a lot cheaper than the conservatives. They want $300,000 up front in that race.

But cheapness is not the only enticement. This vehicle has only been driven by a single elected leader. Elizabeth May drove it with great skill and determination. She took it from the ranting and roaring on training wheels stage into the hallowed halls of parliament.

But she had a hell of a time getting the party into lock step behind her. These people have to learn some discipline. They have to learn about the realities of power. And they have to realize that actual actions outweigh fuzzy objectives. They also need to learn to synchronize their social media postings.

My first problem might be the party’s vetting committee. Getting by these worthies (no matter whom they might be!) could be a challenge. Their secret is they are secret and their deliberations are secret and their decisions are secret. And, frankly, they should stay secret and go away. These people have never realized that the public want politicos who are open, transparent, honest and never beat their spouse.

The idea of having these exorbitant entry fees is to discourage charlatans and thrill seekers from running for the publicity or just the heck of it. It is also necessary for you to show off your skills as a person who knows how to separate the wealthy from their ill-gained loonies. Just why the leader should also be the chief fund-raiser is left unsaid.

What does not seem to worry any of the possible candidates is party policy. They all seem to be in tune with Green is good. As for the rest of it, they are all over the map.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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