Posts Tagged ‘Liberal Party’

Riding the bubble.

Saturday, March 7th, 2020

It helps if you think of the main aspirants for the federal conservative party leadership as Bland, Blander and Who(?) This perception was highlighted the other day. It seems one of them promised—if chosen—that they would immediately try to force an election to rid the country of those despicable liberals. The other two immediately chimed in with a “Me too.”

All three want to ride the bubble. The bubble is something that occurs whenever there is a leadership change in a major party. It is that sudden, and temporary, lift in the opinion polls that the party gets from the publicity surrounding the choice of a new leader.

It works, sometimes. The last time I saw it work well was in 1968. We called it Trudeaumania. Our present prime minister’s father got the impression that he was omnipotent in that election. He later learned that omnipotence has a short shelf-life.

Trudeau Junior thought he was riding the bubble back in 2015, when he had such an easy victory and a majority government. That was no bubble. Justin was cashing in on the voter exhaustion with the machinations of the Harper government and the hope that Trudeau was like his father. It took the voters the next four years to realize they might have bought a pig in a poke.

That is one of the problems with the bubble. You are often getting lots of publicity at the time but it is without substantive content. And sometimes a picture really is more effective than 1000 words.

But the bubble is real. Some people will say that in the 2018 provincial election in Ontario, you could have painted any idiot blue and he would have beat Kathleen Wynne and her liberals. And, they did, and he did.

The bubble worked that time because there was just not enough time. If Ontario voters had time to think about it, more time to understand Doug Ford, there might not have been the landslide that they are now regretting.

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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

Del Duca Doesn’t Do It.

Friday, February 28th, 2020

The Toronto Star actually endorsed a candidate for leader of Ontario’s liberals without telling their readers anything of importance about him. They tell us former MPP Steven Del Duca is a good organizer without giving any examples. They tell us he can raise funds without understanding where they come from. They tell us he likes the centre-right political playground instead of being a lefty like Kathleen Wynn.

And that is an endorsement?

Former premier Kathleen Wynne was the most reactionary of liberals. She was slow to listen, slow to react and unembarrassedly milked any media opportunity that made her look even a little bit progressive. To suggest Del Duca is more right wing than her is to put him in a similar political view as Maxime Bernier.

And Wynne seemed to have the political common sense of a gerbil. When she surrendered before the campaign was even over to that ass Ford and his collection of conservative connivers, it was her high-water mark of blundering politics. She gave no thought to the candidates and party supporters she was betraying.

But of the 20 or so of the liberal candidates who had a chance at the time of winning their seats, I hardly think Del Duca was included. Micheal Coteau and Mitzie Hunter were two we expected to pull through because of their strong riding support and their hard work.

The one thing for sure is that the liberal party has little chance of serious reform with someone such as Del Duca at the helm. The federal party has been changed under Justin Trudeau into a collection of easy marks for constant fund-raising. They have little input on where the party is going, its policies or in choosing its candidates.

It will be a sorry day next week if Steven Del Duca walks away with the party leadership. It will be when liberalism dies in Ontario.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

The smart ones fight on.

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

Former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne could learn something from MPP Michael Coteau. He is no quitter. Wynne did irreparable harm to Ontario liberals in the 2018 election when she conceded the election before the voters made their decision known. All her mistakes as premier could not top that one amateur act.

Before she made that gaff, the liberals looked like they were down to 15 or 20 seats in the legislature. She ended up as part of a rump group that were not even recognized as a party. It makes the challenge for the next leader all that more difficult.

But I made the mistake yesterday of saying that Steven Del Duca had effectively won the leadership with his 14,000 membership sales. Michael Coteau, very wisely, challenges that assumption. We will not have the basis for these assumptions until after the ridings elect their delegates. It will be the number of first-vote commitments that will tell the tale. We will not have the detailed analysis before mid February.

The wild cards in this game are the ex officio voters such a federal MPs, provincial candidates and party office holders. Over 400 potential votes fall into this category. With a likely turnout of 1600 to 1800 voting delegates at the convention, Coteau and his supporters are hoping for a second ballot. Del Duca and his people will be hoping for a first ballot win. It all seems to come down to who can give a real barn-burner of a speech to the crowd that morning.

The one thing that is obvious about this campaign is that Steven Del Duca represents the past of the Ontario party and Michael Coteau represents the future. He is aggressive, welcoming to change and recognizes that the future offers a new type of politics.

A lot of what we have heard so far in this leadership contest has to do with getting rid of Doug Ford. I think we need to hear more about the type of politics that would end the possibilities for electing people like Doug Ford.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Being a liberal is tough.

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

Maybe I am not the only liberal who wonders where my party went. I got a copy of a rather angry e-mail the other day from a liberal in my riding of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. The e-mail was to the provincial party president. I know that this letter-writing liberal is a hard-working supporter of both the federal and provincial party and, over the years, has been generous in supporting the party and its candidates, as well as a reliable canvasser during elections.

But he is worried. He is disappointed that his provincial riding association has not held a meeting in the last year and a half. He is worried that the provincial party in our riding is moribund. He is annoyed that he has not had an opportunity to meet or talk to any of the candidates for the job of provincial leader. He does not think that liberal party members are getting a proper opportunity to evaluate the candidates. He complains that the party only seems to want him for his wallet. He wants to be respected by the party for more than the money he contributes.

And would you believe that the federal party is worse than the provincial. In Ontario, the federal and provincial parties share the same electoral district boundaries except in the extreme north. If there was ever a time when the federal and provincial liberals could benefit from working together, it is now. We need the synergy. We need the shared experience. We need to build momentum.

I could add a few things to that liberal’s e-mail. I am outraged that when by a vote of 57 per cent, at its last annual meeting, the party called for a leadership vote for every member of the party, it was refused. This is supposed to be a democratic party and anything other than 50 per cent plus one is an affront to democracy. The party wanted a democratic selection and it cannot be denied. Anything else was to declare any choice undemocratic and subject to corrupt practices.

And I would hardly charge $250 to $600 per delegate to attend the event. That is the most undemocratic aspect of a possibly corrupted convention. The liberal party needs to get with the times.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Where is the vision?

Friday, January 10th, 2020

In a recent commentary we complained about the lack of leadership of all Canadian political parties. What Canadians want from their leaders is vision. It is like the vision of Sir John A. Macdonald that ribbons of steel could bind this country together. It is our flag and the international role as a peace keeper envisioned by Lester B. Pearson. It is the concept of rights and freedoms of Pierre E. Trudeau. Nobody can lead unless they know where they are going.

And how good do you feel when you consider the current leaders of Canada’s political parties? Who convinces you of the better world we can gain? You do not have to look far ahead. You only vote for your MP every four years or so. What can they accomplish for you in that term of office?  How much do you trust the leader the MP follows?

Maybe you have to start with what you want for you and for your family. In your lifetime, you might only get to help choose your federal government about 20 times. You really need to make each vote count.

And what do you want? Is it the selfish wish for lower taxes without understanding what federal funds do for you, your family, your friends and your fellow Canadians? Is it the pledge of smaller government when you have no idea what those people in federal offices are doing for you and your fellow Canadians?

Are the politicians offering you slogans instead of a more solid future? Are they really capable of fighting global warming? Are our airplanes as safe as they should be? Are our roads safe?

And why do we not have high-speed electric trains riding Sir John A’s bands of steel? It saves the environment. It saves money. It brings our country together.

If we are lucky, we should be seeing leadership contests for all parties over the next couple years. Would that only people with vision apply.

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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

Liberals are not dead in Ontario.

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

It seems we do have a contest for the leadership of the Ontario liberals. While overshadowed by the Trudeau party in Ottawa, this Ontario group is starting to come together. They do not seem to know much about making good videos but I sat through a streaming video of the candidate’s presentations to learn more about some of them.

I might have recently mentioned that I wanted to hear what motivates Kate Graham, a political science teacher at the University of Western Ontario. She seems very smart but she needs a political speech writer. And after hearing her speak, I am still not sure why she is buying her way into this race.

In comparison, Michael Coteau MPP is aggressively going down the road talking the talk. I like his approach and I have followed his campaign closely. Some smart ass at party headquarters must have moved my name and e-mail address to Don Valley East riding that Michael represents in the legislature. As I am a former candidate from that area, he must wonder that we have never met.

They must have released the party lists to all the candidates now and Steven Del Duca was the next to send me his solicitation for support. Steven is an old-style liberal and, despite his losing his riding in the 2018 election, he reeks of back room support and confidence. The assumption is that he has the contest in the bag but we can always root for the good guys.

Mitzie Hunter MPP also spoke. She said nothing new.

But I really enjoyed hearing from Alvin Tedjo. He was obviously new to politics. He did not know that it is not liberal policy to do away with religious schools–as much as the public would support such a move. Dumping the costs of supporting separate school boards is just not on the liberal agenda, yet.

Maybe the sixth candidate for leader needs another look. All I can say about Brenda Hollingsworth at this stage is that if I ever have to appear in court in Ottawa, I would want this lady working for me. Queen’s Park just might have enough lawyers.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Trudeau hears from Harder.

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

Former government leader of the senate, Peter Harder had some advice for Justin Trudeau as he retired from the senate. He expressed the hope that the prime minister might consider more people with political experience be appointed to the senate. That is the point I have been making for the past five years.

But I would hardly have included someone such as Frances Lankin from Ontario, who was in the cabinet of NDP premier Bob Rae in the 1990s. In my experience, she ran the most politicized and worst ministries in the Rae government. Her presence in Canada’s senate might not be a plus.

And for an elitist such as Justin Trudeau, her appointment might not be the smartest thing he has ever done.

What Harder was complaining about in his farewell to the senate was that there were already too many senators with their own agendas. He thinks the PM should consider adding more people with some political experience. The former senator thinks they would better understand just why the senate exists and what they are expected to do there.

Of course, there are millions of Canadians who also wonder why the senate exists and why we should be wasting tax money on it. After all, why did we elect all those people to the house of commons if an elitist senate is going to pass judgement on what they do?

Even if Justin Trudeau might agree with that, he has absolutely no intention of opening up the Canadian constitution to make any changes. He is hardly his father’s son. He has neither the wisdom nor the intestinal fortitude to tackle the task of updating our constitution.

The younger Trudeau has seemed to be more of a political dilettante and an elitist. His elitist committee that chooses people from which Trudeau can choose independent senators probably does not know of any particularly deserving politicians.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

How much is too much, Mr. Trudeau?

Saturday, December 28th, 2019

Justin Trudeau has obviously not had a really wonderful 2019. As far back as September 2018, the prime minister asked his justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould to reconsider her position on not interfering in the upcoming prosecution of SNC-Lavalin for corrupt practices. Trudeau insisted that the intent was to save jobs in Quebec. Wilson-Raybould appeared to have no idea how tight large corporations are with politicians in Quebec.

It was mid January, 2019 that Wilson-Raybould was replaced as justice minister by former law professor David Lametti, an MP from Montreal. She was demoted to veterans-affaires. And the prime minister’s year went side-ways. It brought his support for feminism into question.

He was already in enough trouble for his dress-up antics on his trip to India the previous year. He hardly needed to have someone dig up old pictures of him in black-face at a party in Vancouver back when he was teaching there.

And it was in Vancouver where he was facing the most objections to his support for the Trans-Mountain pipeline. It was a red flag to environmentalists from coast to coast.

Throughout the year, the prime minister was under constant direct attack by conservative provincial premiers. The only one that laid back was Ontario conservative premier Doug Ford. It was the federal conservatives who asked him to hold back his criticism as it was hurting the federal conservatives more than the liberals.

But despite all the good vibes, Elizabeth May did not capitalize on her best chance to grow the greens in parliament. She only grew her caucus by 50 per cent and she gracefully resigned.

Conservative Chuckles Scheer grew his caucus, won the popular vote and then succumbed to the savagery of his caucus. He resigned.

We are waiting for the guy who lost a third of his caucus, Jagmeet Singh, to do the honourable thing and resign.

But the guy who really blew it and should have resigned back before the election is sitting in the prime minister’s office in Ottawa. It is a temporary position. He is the one who really should resign.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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