Posts Tagged ‘Jagmeet Singh’

The NDP want voting reform.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

In a letter to Justin Trudeau last week, Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal new democrats, laid out his plan for the minority government. It seems to be the best time to try to manipulate the liberals into changing the way Canadians vote. All the liberals have to do is go along with a change to proportional voting and it would likely change Canadian parliaments for all time.

Singh uses the argument in his letter that our first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system produces parliaments that do not reflect Canadian voters’ wishes. What he also should have mentioned is that alternative methods of voting can deny the winning political party the ability to enact some of its election promises.

And who wants to go to political rallies in an election where politicians say they will try to do this, or try to do that—if only one or more of the other parties allows them to make the change.

What Singh and his NDP caucus want is proportional representation in voting. This might give the NDP as many as 20 per cent of the seats of the members of parliament. That would mean, under proportional representation, almost 70 seats. What it would probably also mean is that we might never again have a majority government.

With FPTP voting, our conservative and liberal parties have been what are called ‘big tent’ parties. That means that they accommodate a broad range of voters wishes though maybe not all of them. What would happen over time with proportional voting is that these large parties would tend to split into smaller voting blocks. The negotiations and compromises people made before the election under FPTP will now have to be negotiated after the election. You not only get more parties but they spend much of their time arguing about which party gets this or that promise delivered to the voters.

In Mr. Singh’s letter, he tells the prime minister that 80 per cent of Canadians want this change. That might surprise Justin Trudeau but I hardly think Canadians would want to make such a change if they stopped and thought about it.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Don’t blame Singh.

Sunday, October 25th, 2020

If there was ever a guy on the wrong side of the parliamentary ledger, it is Jagmeet Singh of the new democrats. While the rest of the opposition thought they were driving more nails into liberal coffins, this week, there was Jagmeet and the NDP caucus keeping their word and supporting the liberals.

Singh and his losers in the NDP knew what this support was costing them. They stopped an election that Canadians did not want at this time but there is no reward for their keeping their word or their honesty.

And when the election does take place, it will likely be Jagmeet’s last as leader of the new democrats. There will be no reward from the voters for keeping his word. Whether the next election is next week or next year, Jagmeet’s tenure in office is on a short string.

The only time that the NDP improved their position in trashing a minority government was under Jack Layton in 2006. They might have gained a few seats in parliament at the time because of the liberal sponsorship scandal. The new democrats’ lack of support, at that time, for the Paul Martin government, also helped open the door to Stephen Harper’s ten years as prime minister of Canada.

It might be a very different situation for Singh and the liberals if tomorrow or a few months from now he and his caucus support another motion of non-confidence. The reality is that the public does not see the WE scandal in the same way as the Quebec-based sponsorship scandal.

Also, a lot of Canadians admired Justin Trudeau for his cuckoo-like popping in and out of the Rideau Cottage throughout the pandemic ups and downs of 2020. They felt a kinship with him that could transcend the usual political relationships. He and his party could see an edge there that the opposition were not recognizing. The liberals were willing to bet on it.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

“I double dare you.”

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

The kids are bruising for a fight but unsure of the outcome. The Ottawa liberals are tantalizing the conservatives with the prospect of an election. The only problem is that it could all be for nothing. If nobody can win, what is the point?

And that is the real problem. No matter how you read the polls, there is no other likely outcome to an election than what already exists today. The only logical outcome is a few seats this way or a few seats that way. If you cannot win, why do it?

And that is the question. The conservatives are trying to corner the liberals with corruption charges which have little real support from the voters. It is an attempt to oversize the We scandal.

What the conservatives do not realize is that the We charity is a dead issue. The voters have much more serious questions to think about. The covid-19 figures keep growing and all the voters want is a vaccine. They want a Halloween to enjoy for their kids. They want us all to have a Merry Christmas. They want life in Canada to get back to normal. Then they will have time to listen to politicians who might or might not know what they are doing.

But, at this time, the conservatives only have their new leader in the crosshairs. Erin O’Toole can ill-afford an election. His problems are the attack dogs such as conservative Pierre Poilievre from Ottawa. They are undermining O’Toole’s ideas for a kinder, gentler conservative party and dragging him into a fight that he does not need.

But never fear folks, Jagmeet Singh and his sorry new democrats will come to the rescue. They can hardly afford an election either.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Pick your battles better Mr. Singh.

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

As leader of a political party, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh needs to learn to pick his battles with more care. When he says that the person who broke through the gates to Rideau Hall with his truck early this month was treated differently because he is white, Singh is making a racist statement. He is indiscriminately condemning all RCMP personnel as racist without justification.

Canadians would be quite surprised if the Mounties sent rookies just out of school to protect the prime minister and the governor general. The mounted police on this detail would be well aware that you are not allowed to shoot somebody who surrenders. And they know how to deal respectfully with citizens who want to visit the grounds of Rideau Hall.

I think I am more annoyed today with the Toronto Star. The newspaper seems to have a thing for hiring writers of colour who appear to disapprove of anybody white or in authority. An op-ed today by a writer named Kelly Roche was supposed to be about police chiefs and the NDP leader. It was, instead, a racist rant against all Canadian police and their (white) chiefs of police.

Ms. Roche seems to have a thing for cops. She thinks she can say with impunity that “Cops aren’t listening.” She tells us that “They (the police) want a scapegoat and it is the dude with the turban.”

And what kind of editing is the Star doing these days. The writer uses an arcane journalism term ‘nut graf’ to show she is some sort of journalist. That term would likely be understood by less than five per cent of the Star readers. (The term ‘nut graf’ refers to the paragraph—usually the first—that explains what the article is about.)

The thumbnail picture that comes with the opinion piece tells us nothing about Ms. Roche but the copy tells us that she teaches journalism part time. Based on this one sample, I would not be inclined to recommend her course.

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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

Lessons in Leadership.

Friday, June 19th, 2020

New democrat leader Jagmeet Singh got himself thrown out of our socially separated house of commons the other day. He called a fellow parliamentarian a racist. That is not leadership. That is desperation.

Jagmeet’s explanation of his obduracy on the subject was also wrong. How can he insist on saying that the RCMP is systemically racist before the accusation has been proved?

People have been throwing the word ‘systemic’ around quite carelessly and I believe it is best to make sure before making the charge that the blot of racism pervades the organization as a whole. Should that be the case, it would oblige our politicians to do away with our fabled Mounties.

I think the point is that it is the responsibility of our politicians in Ottawa to discuss the subject seriously and without self-indulgent and personal argument.

We need to remember that the house has been meeting these days as a pandemic committee. Not all of our MPs are in the commons. Most are taking part by remote television. Those actually in the house have a special  responsibility to those members who are there only electronically.

But what is the new democrat leader doing but having a personal fit about his perceived racism of a block Québécois MP. At a time when his leadership responsibilities are under a much greater challenge, Jagmeet Singh really does not know what to do.

The NDP leader asked for the responsibility to lead. It is something he has never seemed to be doing while in his present position. His party has continued to be reduced in stature, at a loss for clear policies and less relevant for Canadians. It is not an ideal situation.

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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

NDP closes ranks around Singh.

Friday, January 24th, 2020

‘Better the problem we understand’ seems to be the thinking of the leaders of Canada’s new democratic party. They are closing ranks around the leader who cost them almost half the seats they held in the last parliament. Unlike the conservatives whose leader actually grew their seats by 22, they are not launching a new leadership race.

The NDP obviously rued their impetuous dumping of Thomas Mulcair just because he was run over by the 2015 liberal campaign bus of Justin Trudeau. Mulcair certainly left the NDP in better shape than Jagmeet Singh did, just four years later.

But the truth was that Singh wasted time in finding a safe seat to get into parliament, fell way behind in fund raising for the party and made little impact on voters before a small boost during the election period.

The truth is that Singh would have been far better to have fallen on his sword as soon as the election was over. He had to admit that his efforts were a strategic failure. He was neither an effective leader nor was he articulating a clear and understandable platform. He spent the campaign apologizing for taking the NDP nowhere.

For lack of anyone else to be an apologist for Singh, the news media have been interviewing NDP national director Anne McGrath. She tells them she would have preferred to hold the convention sooner as she is impressed with the personal popularity of Singh after his failures in last fall’s election.  It makes you wonder about the quality of political journalism in this country.

By pushing out the convention to 2021, the urgency of a possible election will be even greater than of a snap (but probably accidental) election this year. In addition, the new conservative leader with the second largest caucus in parliament, will be much more eager to launch an election before the liberals have a chance to become even better established in office.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

All federal parties need new leaders.

Saturday, January 4th, 2020

Canadians are going to be seeing a number of national political party leadership contests in the coming year. The conservatives are blowing smoke and fire as they warm up to their winner-takes-all contest in June. The greens are having another cup of green tea and considering who might replace the wonderful Elizabeth May. Jagmeet Singh is foolishly waiting for the 2020 meeting of the NDP that will fire him. Meanwhile the federal liberals are drinking Mr. Trudeau’s Kool-Ade while he tells them how great it is going to be.

I was laughing at an editorial cartoon in the Toronto Star the other day that suggested that the conservatives were debating whether to go with a social conservative or a progressive conservative leader. Our Canadian conservatives obviously consider progressives passé. They are looking for a populist like Doug Ford but with the management style of Stephen Harper.

I think the greens have the toughest problem in they might have to clone Elizabeth May.

The new democrats have an entirely different problem in that their form of socialism really is dead. All they are sure of is that Jagmeet Singh is not going to lead them anywhere. The NDP have to make the move to be seen as social democrats and that could be awkward with so many liberals already occupying that ground.

Mind you, I would never include Justin Trudeau among the social democrats. He is an elitist and is barely a liberal. He lied to liberals when he ran for the leadership saying that he was going to restore the party’s roll in policy and candidate choice. Instead, he has interfered in riding’s candidate choices and ignores policy input.

Trudeau has treated the lists of party faithful as a piggy bank that he inundates with e-mails asking for money. He has no understanding of the role of the party between elections and ignores the need for party development in the electoral districts. He fails to understand that you govern from Ottawa; you win elections in the ridings.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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