Posts Tagged ‘Liberal Leadership’

Looking for the “kinder, gentler Tories”?

Saturday, October 24th, 2020

It seemed like such an interesting idea. Erin O’Toole, the new conservative leader, was going to impress the voters with his reason and patience in handling the liberal minority government. He was going to offer a new, more cooperative form of opposition in Ottawa. It looked like he was going to allow some of his pit bull nasties to attack occasionally but appear to be restraining them.

But it did not seem to work. When you start using words such as ‘corrupt’ about your political opponents, you are pushing the envelope. Next thing you know, we would be into an American style election.

Besides, Justin Trudeau and his boy scout and girl scout caucus are hardly in the ‘corrupt’ category. I have heard the Trudeau family called naïve, Pollyanna, and occasionally stupid, but it would be rude and quite unjustified to refer to them, collectively, as corrupt. I know the liberals quite well and my only complaint with them is their elitism.

And I can enthusiastically assure you that Trudeau and his clique of advisors in the PMO are not God’s gift to Canadian politics. I would question how they think they can walk around some ethical considerations in doing their jobs but I would tend to think of their errors as more careless than venal.

The more serious problem with the Trudeau Class of 2015 is finding out if they are liberals, neoliberals, Red Tories, pseudo environmentalists or helpless do-gooders who have absolutely no idea how to run a government. Thank goodness that they took the professionals’ advice on the pandemic. I used to respect Justin’s father because whether I agreed with him or not, he always enjoyed arguing his case. Justin just does not have the intellect.

But we have needed a more civilized form of politics in this country for quite a few years now. There are some serious differences between doing the political thing and doing the right thing. And knowing those differences counts for something with the voters.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Justin Trudeau did it wrong.

Monday, October 19th, 2020

Thinking back to that lame throne speech that took so long and said so little, it is now clear that prime minister Justin Trudeau was wrong. He promised us a look toward the future and all he really gave us was more Covid-19. Instead of a positive look towards tomorrow, he dwelt on the ugliness of the pandemic.

Oh sure, he included the child care for the new democrats to support. We were all aware that nobody really wanted an awkward election so soon. They all talked the talk of political combat but meant so much less.

And we heard some answers for the chilling problems of long-term nursing homes and the financial concerns of a decimated print media.

But it was all wrapped in the context of the pandemic with wage subsidies and another version of employment insurance. It all came with soaring debt and no answers.

It was a sad story without the lift Canadian spirits needed. Our government promised us a rebound after the pandemic but there was nothing there but the rebuilding, the paying down of a large debt.

We were a country in need of jobs, challenges, new horizons and a healthy future and our government let us down. We needed to see our future and the government failed us. We needed confidence that the pandemic had an end. We needed to rebuild our health care. We needed to be part of restoring the primary engines of our economy. We needed to see Canada’s role in a better, healthier, progressive world.

Canadians thrive on challenge. They need a positive future. They can handle the hardships, if they can see ahead into a better tomorrow.

Justin Trudeau presented the challenges. He forgot the rewards. He concentrated on healing and left out the future. He still does not know how to lead.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Democracy Denied.

Saturday, October 10th, 2020

Canadians should stop worrying about the fascist leanings of that guy in the American White House and worry more about the death of democracy in Canada. Every day, we see the continued erosion of democracy in Canada’s political parties as another brick in the wall closing down our democracy.

I make no secret that I am a liberal. It is why I received an e-mail from Suzanne Cowan, president of the liberal party the other day telling me how it is going to be for people to become candidates for the party in the next federal election. I should send her an answer asking when the party agreed to this arrangement? There is nothing democratic about this selection of candidates.

The problem started back in the 1980s when the liberals ended up with some very bad choices for candidates when they were selected by a gang-up of their ethnic or religious group. It was during the 90s that Jean Chrétien’s liberals got parliamentary approval to having party leaders sign off on all candidates for their party.

Instead of the measure being used as a last resort, to block gang-ups in the electoral district associations, it became a way for the leader of each party to decide who would be their candidate. Leaders such as conservative Stephen Harper and liberal Justin Trudeau used this to further their discipline over their parties. It did little to further democracy in Canada.

We have effectively neutered Canada’s political parties. Instead of democracy, Justin Trudeau is ushering in his personal autocracy. He is an elitist, supported by his own cabal in parliament.

The only problem Trudeau has not addressed is what to do about the liberals who might object to being used as his personal piggy bank. There are too many times that more than one e-mail from the party in a day will ask for more money.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Liberal MPs not doing their job.

Saturday, July 25th, 2020

When the mail box notification dinged the other morning with another e-mail from the liberal party, I thought it might be news of finance minister Bill Morneau’s resignation. No such luck, the party just wanted more money. I am not sure why. The MPs in the liberal caucus must be sheep to allow what is happening to continue.

The party caucus has rights, you know. It would be a good time to exercise them. Or not, if they do not care what happens next time Canada elects a government. Their voters will blame them for the shortcomings of their leader and the cabinet. They will lose with Trudeau.

The sheep are allowed to ask questions in caucus. Why are we not hearing about it? They have the power to ask for the resignation of the leader or from members of the cabinet. In a situation as extreme as the current situation, they can even move a vote of non-confidence in the house of commons.

It is not like in Ontario where the leader of the party in power has a large enough majority to silence a malcontent in caucus. Liberal MPs need not worry about being kicked out of caucus. They have a problem and it is their responsibility to solve it.

Hell, they have a leader who does not have the common sense to get a shave and a haircut when he really needs it. The twit does not have the smarts to recuse himself in cabinet when discussing giving money to an organization paying his mother hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This guy puts selfies ahead of easy rules to follow. He does not seem to understand that Canadians so not need his choice of finance minister, his elitism, his self indulgence or his cockiness.

These are serious times in Canada and around the world. The public has awaited his cuckoo clock appearances from Rideau Cottage but often the plans that were announced have needed more thought and long-term consideration. Those briefings at the cottage could have been better served by a media secretary.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Happy Canada Day Mr. Prime Minister.

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star hit the nail on the head recently when she ran a commentary saying that “Trudeau doesn’t want advice from his dad’s friends. She ‘s right. When the wife and I first met the adult Justin Trudeau ten years ago, we both agreed that he was more like his mother than his father. He lacks his father’s curiosity, intellect and whimsy. He is not even as liberal.

I often wished when he was running for the liberal party leadership that he had some stronger competition. He seems to have a switch in that mop of hair that he can turn on for an audience. His father would have been appalled at all the selfies and mindless speeches that his son gave in that non-contest.

But, as party leader, Justin started to show his leanings. His attack on the liberals in the senate told where he was headed. He and I had discussed abolishing the senate as one of the priorities for constitutional change in Canada and he made it very clear that would not happen during his watch. I had missed the signals of his elitism.

He simply dumped the existing liberal senators as old baggage. He put his confidence in an elite committee to find him worthy candidates to be ‘independent’ senators and other government appointees who would do what he told them because it was the ‘right’ thing to do.

That attitude has bit him on the ass a few times, but mostly he has been lucky. There are still enough of the old timers in the senate to keep it doing its job.

The most serious mistake he has gotten away with so far was dumping the membership fees for the liberal party. Instead, people who are on the list are inundated with pleas for funds. What Justin Trudeau and his friends do not seem to understand is that these are the people needed to help win their riding. Their financial support is secondary.

The reason we have a minority government today is that Trudeau and friends did not have the grass roots support that was needed in the 2019 election. They gave up on ridings that they could have won.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

CERB opens the door to a new Canada.

Sunday, June 21st, 2020

For all the weaknesses, errors and misunderstanding of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the program is the solution to Canada’s future economy. And when the government extended the program the other day, it put the country on the road to build that new economy.

What the government has done with CERB is set a new base level for a minimum wage and opened up opportunities for a healthier, happier society, with better opportunities for higher education.

As one young man told me recently, he never has been better off. He is making more money from the government than he has ever been paid before. No company is going to hire him at minimum wage while the government is paying the equivalent of $20 per hour. This kid is not lazy. He is enjoying his summer, despite the pandemic, and will be heading back to university in the fall with some money in the bank to keep him going. Are there smart businesses that will offer him more?

And by no means do I believe that the government is paying him too much. Though the impact might be more inflationary than intended.

While I have to admit that I was initially shocked at the potential impact of CERB, I recognize it now as genius. It has broken the barriers to the fiction of the ‘middle class.’ It has created options for all. It has opened doors to true democracy. CERB is the first step to an effective guaranteed minimum wage for Canadians.

That does not deny that it creates problems for seniors. These are the people left in the ‘middle class’ economy. They are still waiting to be paid that placebo for seniors of a one-time covid-19 $300 or $500. It is just a prize that seniors are getting for missing the cull of the pandemic. The government will have to seriously address the need for improved old age security (OAS) payments in the future.

We should all tell Justin Trudeau how smart his government is to have come up with CERB.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

 

The embarrassment of Justin Trudeau.

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

You do know, do you not, that in a time of pandemic, prime minister Justin Trudeau is quietly building an abomination of a pipeline across our magnificent Rocky Mountains. There is no excuse for this. It can hardly be to please those climate change-deniers in Alberta. They will hate the name Trudeau, no matter what he does for them.

Justin Trudeau has to quit talking out of both sides of his mouth. You cannot be an environmentalist and do what he is doing with the Trans-Mountain pipeline. The twinning of the old pipeline and the addition of heaters and high-pressure pumps is the abomination. It will triple the capacity of the old line to enable it to ship tar-sands bitumen to foreign ports. It is no gift to British Columbia home owners to have that crap piped through their backyards.

And it is no gift to Vancouverites or to the Orcas of the Salton Sea. The damn pipeline now spells trouble for all to see. Just one burst seam out of thousands will create an unerasable pollution scar that will be with us for many years. Fresh water courses can be fouled, salmon runs could take decades, if ever, to be restored.

The oil tanker traffic alone through Burrard Inlet is of deep concern. A spill of diluted bitumen from a tanker will float for a while and then sink to become part of an ecosystem less supportive of the local creatures of the sea.

I am sure that what concerns most liberals in this is that they are, to some level, concerned environmentalists. I like to think of liberals as forward-thinking Canadians who are worried about the vagaries of climate as more and more carbon is thrown into our air. We are not so foolish as to want to melt the ices caps of our polar regions?

I like to think that being liberal means you care.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Please Justin, get a haircut.

Sunday, June 14th, 2020

We hear through the grapevine that Justin Trudeau and his liberals are thinking election. Since I am supposed to have an opinion on this proposal, I will need to reach deep into my conscience to see if I could support such foolishness at this time.

The one thing that is clear to me is that Justin Trudeau needs tonsorial intervention. A decent haircut and the removal of that facial hair would be a good beginning. I was practically sitting on my barber’s stoop yesterday when she re-opened her business. Let me assure you, it felt wonderful. Life is lighter when the pigeons no longer look at your head with thoughts of nesting.

But now to the question at hand. Should there be a snap election during a pandemic?

The answer is an unequivocal: No. I might be a liberal but that does not require me to approve of stupidity.

It hardly makes sense to call an election as the major opposition party (that actually had the largest vote in the last election) wastes its time in a leadership contest to go nowhere. It hardly matters who wins in the conservative race. The contestants are all losers.

The guys who really need a new leader are the new democrats. If they are too slow to recognize their leadership problem, they deserve the lack of respect they get.

The only party that has really gained ground in Ottawa is the Bloc Québécois. Blanchet and his team are having far too much fun with their new found power to want an election.

But you cannot blame the conservatives and new democrats for being annoyed with Trudeau’s popping in and out of the cuckoo clock at Rideau Cottage. Nor can you deny the need for speed in rescuing Canadians from the serious financial impacts of the pandemic. That does not mean that some of these financial rescue programs do not need a serious second look and adjustments. The opposition are entitled to their views and their criticisms. Justin needs to continue playing nice.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

“Do as I say, not as I do.”

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

It is part of being of the political elite. We have no royals like the Brits. And we have little of America’s Hollywood. We have to settle for talking and speculating about our politicians. We put them on pedestals and then complain when they take advantage of their position to do as they wish.

And even a provincial premier can end up falling off their pedestal for doing what we were told specifically not to do. Premier Doug Ford of Ontario got ripped for telling us not to go north to our cottages over the Easter weekend. Yet he made a quick trip up to his family’s Lake Country cottage—to check the plumbing—we were told.

And then for Mothers’ Day, the premier had all four daughters home to honour their mother. He thinks that it is alright as he did not invite the sons-in-law. He apparently does not realize that they might be sleeping with his daughters.

But the elitist el supremo in this country is our prime minister. As the eldest son of Pierre Trudeau, Justin has spent a life of privilege. He hobnobs with the rich and famous. He is a long-time friend of the Aga Khan, one of the world’s ten richest royals. You might remember when the prime minister and his family spent Christmas with him on the Khan’s island in the Bahamas. (Last we heard, the RCMP still had not reimbursed the Khan for accommodating the PM’s security detail.)

Justin’s latest display of his elitism was sending his wife and children to Harrington Lake in Quebec last month after she recovered from her bout of covid-19 at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa. Travel between residences has been banned in both provinces and unnecessary travel between provinces is also being discouraged. While it is easy to understand the wish to visit with his wife and children, Canadians do not need a reminder that Justin Trudeau considers himself to be exempt from any rules.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Trudeau’s triumph.

Saturday, May 2nd, 2020

Fess up, guys, prime minister Justin Trudeau has won. The wonder kid has changed his spots and been exactly what Canadians have needed. Santa Claus came early this year. Even Bob Hepburn of the Toronto Star says that the Trudeau haters have been proved wrong.

While I pointed out a while ago that Trudeau lucked into his ideal positioning, I have had to admit that he has handled it well. He might still be an elitist but even an elitist can accept his good luck.

But I must admit that his appearances out of the cuckoo clock at Rideau Cottage have worn thin. There is no need for him to continue in his singles showcase and he can join with the hoi polloi from the cabinet and senior civil servants for briefings. Almost daily briefings make sense as long as the covid-19 scene keeps fulminating.

What Bob Hepburn is ignoring is that those Trudeau haters who blame Justin for everything, including the flooding in Fort McMurray, Alberta, will still hate him after the battle against covid-19 is over.

What I am hoping is what he has learned throughout this experience sticks with him. What has annoyed me about Justin in the past has been his unabashed elitism. You cannot remain elitist though when you are forced to understand the serious neglect our society has shown for those less fortunate. What he has seen so many times now that programs designed in Ottawa to reach these people are very hard to create and very difficult to manage.

What he has to understand is that the one-per cent with whom he has hobnobbed all his life are the ones who are out-of-step with being Canadian. I always got the feeling that the middle class to which he was always referring when campaigning existed only in his own mind.

I keep getting the feeling that this country is going to be very different after we shut the door on covid-19. I think we have learned too much about our short-comings through this first half of 2020, to ever want to be the same country again.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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