Posts Tagged ‘Hudak’

On being bullish on Brown.

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

There is lots of laughter at the current argument among Ontario Conservatives about whether their leader Patrick Brown has policies. Some Conservatives think it would be nice if they knew where their party is headed. Others think policies should be kept secret so that the opposition does not belittle them.

They would if they could but Patrick Brown would not know a good policy talking point if it bit him on the bum. In more than 13 years in politics, this guy has never had a hint of an idea. Watching him over the years, you get the impression that the last person he talked to had the best ideas.

It was amazing in the last provincial election at a meeting at the Barrie Country Club in Brown’s riding, to see him strongly applaud a speech by then leader Tim Hudak. He jumped up after the speech to be the first to congratulate the then provincial leader for his brilliant new policy. It was the promise by Hudak to fire 100,000 Ontario civil servants. It was also the promise that cost Hudak the election and the leadership.

It reminds us of Michael Harris’ style when he was Premier of Ontario. The province endured a litany of bad policy and ill thought-out ideas under Harris. He was like an earlier less-urbane version of President Donald Trump in the United States—incompetent, erratic and dangerous. Harris might have been a golf professional but we always had the impression he might have done his best work on the 19th hole.

Patrick Brown trained as a lawyer. He even managed to pass the bar in Ontario. He is not the type of lawyer you would want representing you in court. He is a backroom schemer. He made his mark in political organization. He is no leader. It is unlikely that he even likes people.

It was amusing recently to read that Deb Hutton has defended Brown’s lack of policies. As former chief of staff for Premier Harris and the wife of former Conservative leader Tim Hudak, she must know a lot about ignoring common sense. She thinks Brown should also ignore policy.

And come to think of it, he has survived this long with never having an idea. If Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals keep screwing up, maybe he will not need any policies.

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Copyright 2017 © 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

Our Tories are troubled tra-la!

Friday, August 9th, 2013

When writing about the ‘Dump the Dummy’ campaign among Ontario Conservatives a couple days ago, we could hardly imagine the Tories having any choice. It gives you serious pause though when you find out who are the people leading the charge to get rid of Ontario Leader Timmy Hudak.

If you thought the people behind the move were responsible, level-headed red Tories who cared about the mess Hudak is making of things, you were wrong. It seems to be Tiny Tim’s fellow crazies over on the right wing of the party who are seeking vengeance. The most level headed is the irascible Frank Klees MPP who came second to young Timmy back in the 2009 leadership contest. Frank was never happy with the party’s choice as it showed the depth of control still wielded at the time by former Premier Michael Harris.

Timmy’s most powerful enemy appears to be Ontario Landowner leader MPP Randy Hillier. A pale imitation of the American Tea Party, the Ontario Landowner members are the rural Don Quixote’s who hate wind turbines, liberals, gun control, abortion, government interference and left wingers. These are the rural Ontario voters that Premier Kathleen Wynne thinks she is going to win over by assuming the role of Minister of Agriculture as well as Premier.

While you have to expect most sensible Conservatives to want to head off a blood-bath at the party’s September convention. This meeting is supposed to discuss a better Conservative platform for the next Ontario election that is expected as soon as early next year. Those who know and hate Timmy Hudak are probably of the mind that he would screw up anything sensible they come up with. They hardly see leaving Tiny Tim in place as an option.

The most serious problem is that the Conservatives do not have all that many options. The caucus at Queen’s Park is slim pickings. Sure, Frank Klees might think that his third time might be lucky but he lost credibility with too many of the Tory caucus when he tried that end-run at becoming Speaker of the Legislature. It is an excellent retirement type job but for a Tory to get it at the time was too hard for many Liberals or Conservatives to swallow.

What might be the leadership solution for the provincial Conservatives is the pool of experienced Ontario Tories in the federal party’s caucus in Ottawa. Some might not want to wait for Harper to leave. The negotiations might already be underway.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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

Hudak the Hun hardens his heart.

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Neither age nor adversity nor the perspective of parenthood has softened the heart of Ontario Conservative Leader Tiny Tim Hudak. As he explained to his followers the other night, he knows what is right, far right. At the annual Ontario Conservative Party fund raiser, he promised to stay the course of Michael Harris-style cut and slash conservatism.

Hudak is like an old damaged vinyl record of the past, stuck in a groove repeating his mentor’s mantra. He is going to crush unions on our behalf. He is going to get rid of palatial public pensions. He would put an end to the Rand Formula to goad the hated unions. And his business supporters get to keep more of their profits.

What is amazing about this discourse is that companies paid over $2 million dollars into the Conservative Party in Ontario coffers to listen to this bilge. In offering them a return to the ideology of Michael Harris’ Ontario, Hudak is asking them to accept the discord, the anger and the union strife of the time that was so unnecessary.

What is particularly galling is the sham of Hudak’s position on the growing gridlock in Toronto. He thinks the Ontario government can produce magic money. Hudak was part of a government that saved money on testing municipal water supplies and killed people. It had a simple solution to health costs: it fired nurses. It downloaded highways on municipalities. And yet, Tiny Tim is promising to build subways and highways for us and save us money at the same time.

But we are not to worry about the cost. According to Timmy, Ontario can rest assured that his government would be vigilant in its quest for new investors in Ontario. He would “upload” the Toronto Transit Commission and regional highways such as the Don Valley Parkway, Gardiner and ‘400’ series highways to be looked after by the province. By working with the new investors, Timmy can see new highways being built and new subways serving Toronto.

What is puzzling about all this is that Timmy’s little girl might be getting a bit too old for fairytales but Ontario business leaders can attend a dinner and listen quietly to this guff. You would think in a province of over 12 million, reasonably well-educated Canadians, they could find a provincial Conservative leader with a little more on the ball.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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

Tories have opening at Queen’s Park.

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Some Conservative friends want to run a want ad for the opening at Queen’s Park. They want to fill the position of Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and Leader of the Ontario Conservative Party. The previous job holder, Tiny Tim Hudak, appears to have left the building.

It is not as though Timmy has given up. Nor has he resigned. They just think it is time for Timmy to admit that he is not up to the job. It is time to end the embarrassment. Timmy just needs to look back to his predecessor, John Tory. John knew when it was time to resign. He gave the party his best shot. He did not need to be told when to turn in his key to the leader’s office. He left with grace and his head held high.

Now is Timmy’s time. He gave it his best shot in the last Ontario election. He has had more than a year as Leader of the Opposition in a minority house of cards. He effectively turned the job of Leader of the Opposition over to New Democrat Andrea Horwath. And Andrea pulled it off with her virtue intact. There were no demands on her. She even kept the job alive when the former Premier prorogued the Legislature so that the Liberals could have some playtime to pick a new leader.

And now there is a new leader and a new Throne Speech and all that Timmy finds to say is that the new cabinet is too big and he will not support the speech. First of all, Timmy has to understand that you end up with a lot of political debts to pay when you win both the Leader’s and Premier’s job at the same time. And everyone understands that the Leader of the Opposition will not support the Throne Speech but you are also supposed to pick a few things from it and propose alternatives. That is the job stupid!

Instead of doing his job in the old tried and proven ways, Timmy has been showering the news media with supposed white papers of policy alternatives that are of no interest to anybody. His transit solutions could cost him the vote of every Conservative on Toronto City Council. His white paper on post-secondary education is earning him derision from students and academics across the province.

What Conservatives are now realizing is that Tiny Tim has stopped trying to build to win in Ontario. He is using politics of division. He divides people not to conquer but purely for the sake of dividing. He wants to see the day that we have walled cities again to keep his rural riff-raff away from the decent people. He does not understand that some of those decent people are well-meaning but obviously misguided Conservatives.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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

Timmy can smell the fear.

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

While we can all appreciate the need to quickly get the Ontario legislature back in business, a little more time to consider the throne speech would have helped. NDP leader Andrea Horwath gave the speech guarded approval yesterday but Conservative leader Tiny Tim Hudak rejected it. There was little to please either leader. Worse, there was little to capture the imagination of the voters. And Tiny Tim could smell the fear.

The throne speech was long on rhetoric and short on facts. It was supposed to be a feel good speech and all it did was give the impatient among us cramps in our buttocks. And it should be pointed out to the Wynne government that the only people who give a damn about when Ontario gets rid of its deficit is the bond rating service of Standard and Poors.

Throne speeches have changed a bit over the years. They started out as a dull detailing of the legislation to be put forward by the government during a session of parliament. Today, the speech is written to reach the voters and to provide them with an appreciation of what this wonderful, fearless government is going to present during the session and the opposition can only oppose at their peril.

With what we heard yesterday, it was a darn good thing that Andrea Horwath had already promised to support it. No real liberal could support such bilge.

The throne speech was a melange of old and new, the forgotten and the forlorn. Who does not want to help our youth find jobs, improve the skills of our workforce, fix social assistance programs, aid people with disabilities to find employment and build a strong, prosperous province. Now how many times have we heard that?

There was nothing new in what took about 3800 words. Oh yes, there were the usual curtsies in the direction of putting aboriginal communities to work, trotting out more all-day kindergarten and continuing the tutition grants for undergraduates, home care for the elderly, better access to mental health services and home renovation tax credits. The list was interminable and, in case anyone was left out, they promised they are going to create opportunities for everyone.

But what the silly speech failed to do was to provide leadership, to surprise, please, thrill, innovate, wow, challenge, build or propose a future for Ontario on which we could sign-on and work together for a better future for all.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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

Timmy Hudak confuses ideology with thinking.

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Ontario Opposition Leader Tiny Tim Hudak has come up with another of his white paper policies. The subject of this one is education and return on investment. If you have read this one, please raise your hand,

Seeing no hands raised, it should be noted that this so-called white paper is almost unreadable. If you attempt to read it on-line, you are in for a technological treat in just finding out how to read it. After you have finally figured out how to do it, you will find that the effort is not worth it. It is a pedantic, badly written, boring document with nothing new to say. It cries out for enforced standards in the English language that would allow us to pillory the miscreant who did such a disgraceful job of editing.

To be fair, the document is nicely designed with excellent type selection and good quality pictures. Now if it had just said something worthwhile.

The essence of the document is that Timmy wants to tie student loans to marks. Get good marks and Timmy’s professorial police will approve your next semester’s student loans. Mind you, in Timmy’s Brave New World (sorry Mr. Huxley) most students will be directed to the labor force and streamed through the community colleges for faster trades training. He is not about to support mediocre university students who try harder.

Timmy’s penchant for cost savings is evident in the document as he searches for areas of left-wing waste. He is determined that he is going to save us money—no matter how much it hurts us.

Some of the white paper is believed to be authored by Cambridge-North Dumfries MPP Rob Leone. A former assistant professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, he says he wants to fund institutions of higher learning based on the jobs won by their graduates. That is certainly an unusual idea and many people are interested in learning how he expects to be able to do that.

Timmy must be disappointed that his white paper has not won universal applause since being released earlier this week. No doubt some are still trying to read it and many more have given up. It is surprising though to read a document about higher education written in language that should be easily understood by someone with a grade eight education. Maybe Tiny Tim is just defining his market.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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

“A Liberal is a Liberal, is a Liberal.”

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath made that trite statement to the news media at Queen’s Park yesterday. It points out why Andrea is not Premier of Ontario today. And if she is sincerely trying to shore up the failing Liberal regime in Ontario to prevent an election, her own party will soon have the knives out for her.

If Andrea was really Machiavellian—which she is not—you would think that she was promoting MPP Kathleen Wynne for leadership of the Liberals. With the Liberal leadership convention less than two weeks away, the opposition leaders at Queen’s Park take every shot at publicity the media will give them. And Andrea must know how much easier it would be for her to defeat Wynne in an election than it would be to take on Sandra Pupatello as Liberal leader.

Pupatello is everything that Horwath is not. Pupatello not only looks good but she is smart, fiscally credible and can run rings around Conservative leader Tiny Tim Hudak. With Wynne as Liberal leader, Horwath could sit back in an election, let Timmy do all the bigotry things, play nice and reap the reward of the Premier’s job. Mind you, Horwath would make a worse Premier than McGuinty—if you could imagine it.

Frankly, any politico who believes all adherents to a political party should think or act alike is guilty of wishful thinking. The real strength of any political party is its ability to encompass a wide range of political philosophies and ideals. A political party without some dissension and cross talk will eventually die of boredom. It is the party that can welcome dialogue and ideas, that has a future.

And what the future holds for a Liberal Party of Ontario led by Sandra Pupatello, is hard to say. You have to admit that the lady has bombast but then so did Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom. What both of them have, in spades, is self-confidence, arrogance, fiscal conservatism and a mind of their own. Where that will take a Premier Sandra Pupatello, nobody knows.

Frankly, the Liberal Party in Ontario would be far better off with Gerard Kennedy at the helm. He has promised to return democracy to the party and that is worth a great deal. He also knows and understands the mentality of the New Democrats and could work a good deal with Andrea Horwath. He is certainly the only candidate who has a chance of healing the rift with the school teachers.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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

Beer wars make strange bedfellows.

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Ontario Opposition Leader Tiny Tim Hudak, the Toronto Star and Babel-on-the-Bay on the same side of any issue is the day there are also three moons in the sky. Yet here we are: all three concurring on doing something about the disgusting state of beer sales in Ontario. Maybe we all come at this for different reasons and with differing agendas but thankfully, we can all agree on screwing Brewers’ Retail.

There is a wonderful hypocrisy to the Toronto Star’s stance. As artfully explained by Martin Regg Cohn in the Star today, we can screw the foreign owners of the Beer Store but we need to preserve the provincially-owned Liquor Control Board stores. It seems that the free enterprise Toronto Star thinks there are good monopolies and bad monopolies. And only Torstar knows the difference between them.

At least Tiny Tim is consistent. The Conservative leader is having a hard time these days. He has to overcome the natural tendency of the news media to ignore him. He needs ink. Half his caucus are busy plotting how to dump him and the other half are looking around for a place to jump ship.

But give Timmy credit. Instead of going home to his loving wife and daughter and hiding under the bed, he has writers preparing papers on promises to please Ontario voters. Privatising beer and liquor sales is certainly something to please the discriminating voter. He would forget all about it if he ever accidently came to power but it sure sounds good today.

Babel-on-the-Bay has always fought the good fight against big box beer stores and monopoly liquor stores. This blog still believes that the most disgusting Beer Store in Ontario award should go to the Anne Street store here in Babel. We still believe that the dregs of beer and liquor bottles on the floor in that place will rip the Birkenstocks right off your feet. Luckily, we have never seen a pair of Birkenstocks in that store.

But we do not discriminate against foreigners. We want that Brazilian, Belgian, American, Japanese beer, sold as Molson Canadian or Labatt Blue, available in the corner convenience store. Let the Beer Store continue as a recycling centre. They already smell bad enough anyway.

And the Toronto Star will have to forego its hypocrisy about the LCBO. Beer and wine and liquor need to be sold with food. They belong together. Specialty liquor and wine stores also need an opportunity to flourish where the market will sustain them. Nobody wants the government making decisions about the brands of booze they can buy. We have to get out of the middle ages.

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Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

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