Posts Tagged ‘Liberal Party’

Why listen to Bernier?

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Chantal Hébert made an interesting case the other day. She wrote in the Toronto Star that Maxime Bernier of our new People’s Party of Canada should be allowed to be part of the leader debates for the October 21 election. Despite it being doubtful that Bernier will retain his own parliamentary seat for Beauce in the election, the columnist thinks he has a contribution to make.

Hébert makes her case by complaining that people want to exclude Bernier because of his party’s policies. (The new democrats have complained that the PPC promotes “hateful and intolerant ideas.”) She notes that similar complaints were made about the Bloc Québécois and the Reform Party when they first appeared on the electoral scene.

She argues that the form of populism Bernier espouses has already taken root in the United States and is rampant throughout western Europe. She sees no reason to sweep this truth under the rug. She would prefer to address it head-on.

The only problem with her viewpoint is that time on national television is an expensive commodity and these arguments would be better handled in high school civics classes. Teaching tolerance and open-mindedness is not something you can convince people of in the hard pace of a political debate. And definitely not coming into the wind-up of a national election.

My one serious argument is that reality is there are currently 16 federally registered political parties in Canada and if they all were give access to the debate, it would be cumbersome and a frankly boring affair. It is bad enough that we will have five party leaders representing their respective parties in the two debates. It means that politeness will become more important than spontaneity and there can be little interaction between the leaders.

I think voters learn more about these so-called leaders when the debate is open and honest. They need to address each other and call out their dishonesties. The moderator is not there to referee but to ensure each is heard.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Diogenes, Leadership and SNC-Lavalin.

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

There is no time left for what might have been. Canadians are going into an election when what we so desperately want to say is ‘None of the above.’ Are we condemned to face a future of failure? Are we helpless? Have we found there is no honest man?

Justin Trudeau embarrasses us. Jagmeet Singh insults us. Andrew Scheer frightens us and there is no other workable solution.

Justin Trudeau has been weighed in the scales and found wanting. He should have resigned six months ago and given the liberal party a chance to regroup. His chief of staff knew to resign. The clerk of the privy council chose to resign. Justin Trudeau believed that he was untouchable. He was aiding his enemies. He was creating a conundrum for Canadian voters.

In a world facing disastrous climate change, we are seeing the frustration of electorates and civilizations around the world. Populists of the right and left are our false prophets. We turn to a Trump or Brexit and wonder at the failures.

In Canada, that so welcomes those seeking freedom from oppression, a single ethnic group swamps the membership of a political party. Singh embarrasses the NDP. This is no solution.

And it has been an extended silly season for the conservatives in the past few years. They had a federal leadership that chose the least of potential leaders in a federal lottery that proved that leadership does not matter. And then they chose right-wing demigods in Alberta and Ontario to claim the conservative brand.

With two months to go before the election, there is much to resolve. Canadians are resourceful. Let us find that solution together.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

When the real campaign begins.

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

They remind me of a bunch of outlaw bikers, warming up their hogs for a race. They have all taken off their mufflers for that extra bit of speed. The full-throated roar of those bikes makes the ground seem to tremble. And the clouds of exhaust fumes obscure the start.

When you think about it, you realize that it was the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh who took the early start. He needed it. When you have to hitch-hike across the country, you need a good head start. (Have you checked the price of air fare or rail tickets across the country lately?) Fund-raising for the NDP has not been what it used to be.

And then the guy who really needs the exposure has been shy about it. ‘Chuckles’ Scheer does not do himself any good exposing himself to the voters. While the conservatives have no problem reaching into the pockets of their rich friends, Scheer is not the best campaigner. He was practicing on Cape Breton last week and there was concern expressed that he was doing serious damage to the local conservative candidates.

What puzzles the voters meeting Chuckles in the campaign will be questions such as: “Why does this guy not believe in climate change?” “Why does this guy want to keep Doug Ford away from his campaign?” and “What qualifies this guy to be prime minister?”

What is even more concerning about Chuckles is that he does not believe in campaigning by any form of Marquess of Queensberry rules. He is claimed to have used the classic ‘roorback’ political tactic against the NDP’s Lorne Nystrom in the 2004 federal election. He claimed (when it was too late for a response) that Nystrom was soft on child pornography to defeat the longest serving NDP MP by close to a thousand votes.

But in what should be a cakewalk of a campaign for Justin Trudeau, the prime minister has created obstacles such as the albatross of the Trans Mountain pipeline, the travesty of the SNC-Lavalin debacle and he will always have the pictures of the family visit to India. All is not that rosy for the liberals either.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Trudeau’s Secret Weapon.

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

You have probably been wondering why prime minister Justin Trudeau is so cheery and ebullient these days. It is probably not just the fact that his pal Gerald Butts is back to back him up in the campaign. Nor is it the pollsters who are saying that the conservatives and liberals are in a statistical tie.

The truth is that he really is facing off in this election against the weakest opposition that any sitting prime minister has ever had to face. And his opposition is split three ways.

The least of his worries is the green party. In the long run, these people would be allies in protecting the environment. With a potential of three or four seats for the greens in parliament, Elizabeth May is probably hoping for a slim minority situation for the liberals. It would give her some bargaining power.

Conversely, the NDP are in a protectionist mode. They have little hope of Jagmeet Singh taking their party anywhere. They need to hang on to a basic 12 seats to be recognized as a party in parliament. The SOS they are sending out is ‘save our seats.’ On election night, they and the Bloc Québécois could become the forgotten in Quebec. It is likely to not be known if they held on to their party status until the counts start coming in from British Columbia.

This leaves Justin Trudeau with just one party to address. The good news is that the conservatives never expected Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer to even be a serious contender in this election. He was supposed to be holding the fort until the next election when the party could elect a more dynamic leader. What you have is Jason Kenney in Alberta and Doug Ford in Ontario calling the shots for the federal party.

Justin Trudeau’s secret weapon is the leader of the conservatives. What we have right now is Chuckles pleading with the two premiers to stay out of his election. Its an even money bet that says they are unable to do that.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Chuckles Chooses Cheap.

Monday, August 5th, 2019

Conservative leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer was not out to look cheap the other day. It was just the effect when he again announced that the conservatives would guarantee Canada’s health care system a three per cent increase per year. It seems that the Trudeau government made a deal recently to go up four per cent next year.

From Chuckles point of view, it was a waste of a good story about our health care and his mother’s kidney transplant. Politicians do not get many opportunities for personal stories to fit in with major announcements. His mother was martyred for the cause and the son was made to look cheap. And the last thing any politician wants is pity.

There was also a strong sense of déjà vu last week, as our prime minister headed to the far north to kick off his election campaign. It was just four years ago when prime minister Stephen Harper headed for Iqaluit, Nunavut, to kick off conservative Leona Aglukkaq’s bid for re-election. This is despite it still being the dog days of summer and nobody was really interested in politics.

But Justin Trudeau is not just a one-trick pony. He came north to help save the environment and protect the wild life. He came north to enlist the Inuit in the cause. In agreement with the Inuit, he announced that two large marine areas are being set aside as protected habitats of northern wildlife. (Only the Inuit can fish and hunt there.)

It is also an opportunity to show Canadians the changing climate of the north. This is the front-line of the war against climate change and the locals are already seeing the drastic affects. Melting permafrost, and disappearing ice shelves are changing the face of the north faster than people to the south realize.

While some see the changing environment of the Arctic as an opportunity to benefit from a year-round North-West Passage, the reality is that the extensive ice melt will have other drastic affects on our coastal cities and low-lying islands.

There is also no question but climate change is high on the lists of concerns of Canadians in this election. It is very hard to argue against there being any degree of climate change when fires are ravaging our forests, centuries-old ice fields are melting and changes are affecting our weather from an expanded tornado season to record breaking heat across Europe.

So, we will have to give Justin Trudeau and his organizers some credit here: They kicked off the election campaign with style and set the challenge for the climate-change deniers. It is going to be a rough and tumble campaign. (And by the way, Leona Aglukkaq lost the election four years ago. We hear, conservative leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer has already appointed her to run again.)

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Trudeau does a Harper.

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

There was a strong sense of déjà vu as our prime minister headed to the far north to kick off his election campaign. It was just four years ago when prime minister Stephen Harper headed for Iqaluit, Nunavut, to kick off conservative Leona Aglukkaq’s bid for re-election. This is despite it still being the dog days of summer and nobody was really interested in politics.

But Justin Trudeau is not just a one-trick pony. He came north to help save the environment and protect the wild life. He came north to enlist the Inuit in the cause. In agreement with the Inuit, he announced that two large marine areas are being set aside as protected habitats of northern wildlife. (Only the Inuit can fish and hunt there.)

It is also an opportunity to show Canadians the changing climate of the north. This is the front-line of the war against climate change and the locals are already seeing the drastic affects. Melting permafrost, and disappearing ice shelves are changing the face of the north faster than people to the south realize.

While some see the changing environment of the Arctic as an opportunity to benefit from a year-round North-West Passage, the reality is that the extensive ice melt will have other drastic affects on our coastal cities and low-lying islands.

There is also no question but climate change is high on the lists of concerns of Canadians. It is very hard to argue against there being any degree of climate change when fires are ravaging our forests, centuries-old ice fields are melting and changes are affecting our weather from an expanded tornedo season to record breaking heat across Europe.

So, we will have to give Justin Trudeau and his organizers some credit here: They kicked off the election campaign with style and set the challenge for the climate-change deniers. It is going to be a rough and tumble campaign. (And by the way, Leona Aglukkaq lost the election four years ago. We hear, conservative leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer has already appointed her to run again.)

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

The Grand Scheme and the Ocean Drift.

Friday, July 26th, 2019

At this time of the phony election that precedes the real election, we are not really concerned about where pollsters think people are at but where they are headed. It is more of an oceanic drift than a positive direction but some of the flotsam will make it and some will not.

My thinking on this was started by someone who was puzzled by what Warren Kinsella was doing. What he asked was “is Warren working for the conservatives or is he working for Elizabeth May’s greens?

I can understand the confusion, but the only answer he got from me was a shrug. The answer is probably hidden somewhere in the Law of the Sea. It is in the difference between Flotsam and Jetsam. ‘Flotsam’ is what fell overboard inadvertently. ‘Jetsam’ is what you threw overboard intentionally. A simple way to think of it is Jane Philpott in Ontario is liberal Flotsam. Jody Wilson-Raybould in B.C. is Jetsam.

Political parties do not make a standard practice of throwing away their supporters. And all parties consider this voter flotsam at this time as fair game. Where it is taken by the ocean drifts can win or lose an election. And, since the liberals have been careless about losing some voters, I would expect that a goodly share of the current voting flotsam are people who would typically vote liberal.

Now, if I was a canny conservative strategist, I would find someone who could capture the attention of disgruntled liberals and I would arrange for this person to work for the greens. The thing is, liberals tend to listen to fellow liberals first. And a lot of this liberal flotsam are wondering for whom they might vote. They mostly hate conservatives and have little use for NDPers.

But many liberal-thinking voters tend to be sympathetic of the greens. They have no reason to hate them and they consider them more useful than NDPers. And the point is that if they vote green, they will not be returning to the liberal fold.

So, if you were a conservative, in a country that still has first-past-the-post voting, you would be quite happy to see that liberal flotsam vote for the greens. It will help elect more conservatives.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Paint yourself Green.

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

Green party leader Elizabeth May looks tired. The 65-year old is no stranger to politics or environmentalism. She has been touring in and around Barrie on some of the hottest days of the summer and she is showing the strain.

The wife and I would have loved to invite her up to our place for a tall cooling libation but the local liberals would never have understood. We could also have an interesting conversation about the coming election but that would only be if our guest wished.

And the lady is already having enough trouble with her party’s candidates. I know the local greens and neither could get my vote. The problem is that Ms. May is very liberal and knowledgeable in non-environmental subjects, her local candidates have no other talking points than environmental issues. They are one-trick ponies.

Ms. May’s biggest problem in this election is that her stance on the Trans Mountain pipeline is very close to that of Justin Trudeau. She wants to find a way to alleviate the economic impact of the pipeline’s cancellation. Unlike myself, she does not like to write-off the $4.5 billion Trudeau has already wasted on buying the pipeline.

We do have to face the fact that we will be reliant on refined oil products for quite a few years. The single-pipe, old pipeline can still make money and safely send Alberta’s refined products to the coast for the next dozen or so years. It is tripling the capacity over twin, heated pipes and using high pressure to send diluted bitumen to Burrard Inlet that worries most people. This use of the pipeline is dangerous for the land it is crossing through, the Rockies, the rivers and fish spawning it endangers and the endangerment of the Orca habitat. Just one serious spill of diluted bitumen would be there to haunt us for many, many years.

I expect the greens will have a few more seats in parliament after October 21. We will hope that they are helpful members of the party and not the myopic troublemakers who will make caucus discipline difficult for Elizabeth May.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

When you are ready, Justin Trudeau.

Saturday, July 20th, 2019

Facing facts is not a favourite pastime for our prime minister. No doubt there were many old-time liberals who have told him he is heading for trouble. He has made a mess of a one-time strong party.

He said you did not have to pay a membership to be a liberal. You just had to be part of the list. Party members thought it was great to have more worker bees. The more the better.

But then our leader told us we were no longer members of the party we had supported in good times and bad. We were contributing what we could on a monthly basis to the party and yet the party cancelled our memberships. What kind of treatment is that?

Our electoral district associations, where we did not have a sitting MP after 2015, fell into disrepair. Party meetings at the local level were rare and poorly attended. Everyone forgot what it was like to have a quorum at executive meetings. Local party debts were not getting paid. Nobody was shoring us up in these ridings. We became orphans. Nobody cared about us.

All we were to the liberal party hierarchy was a long list to e-mail—as often as three times a day—for money. All their creative energy went to the task of creating new ways every day to say ‘Send Money.’

But what Justin forgot was that, along with the Canadian population, we liberals were aging. Try putting up with all those damn pleas for money when you are a senior on a fixed income? Justin was so busy rebuilding the middle class that he forgot all about the seniors and their daily battle with inflation. Our neoliberal finance minister, Bill Morneau, already has his retirement fund. Maybe he thinks we can inherit our own.

Justin, we gave you the right to lead this liberal party and you get a mixed report card on your effort to date. We had no right to expect perfection and we certainly did not get it.

But we do have the right to ask that you do not repeat your mistakes. Nor do you need to apologize. This job of prime minister is a wonderful opportunity to advance the human experience. You cannot fix the past. You can only fix the future.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

A house divided or a leaderless nation?

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

There was an excellent discussion in Progressive Bloggers the other day by the gentleman who writes under the nom de plume of The Mound of Sound. A very small quibble you might have with the article was there were a couple times that you might be confused as to whether he was writing about the United States or Canada? I would argue with The Mound that the current tensions in Canada might be more serious than America being a world-wide laughingstock.

To put it to rest, I think the Americans have been living with their corrupt political system for too long not to see their road to redemption.  We can have high hopes for people such as those four young House of Representatives members that Trump brought to prominence in his usual boorish way. Those, and others who share their drive and ambition, are the ones who can help lead the fight to unseat emperor Trump next year. Without them, there would be no hope for America.

I feel much more concern for the imbroglio Canadians are heading towards in just three months. This election is becoming unwinnable for any party. It is based on regional greed, regional barriers, angry aboriginals, mistreated veterans, open bribery, serious environmental concerns and a lot of lies and a large helping of stupidity (and don’t ask me which party has the largest share of that).

It is very hard to believe that I live in a riding open to a win by the liberals and the incompetents running the liberal party have no candidate here, with an election in less than 100 days. I have no idea why these people cannot learn anything. These idiots have known about this coming election for four years yet they have allowed the riding to lose more than two-thirds of the party membership it had four years ago. Explain the genius behind that and you get a gold star.

That hardly could explain why conservative leader ‘Chuckles’ Scheer needs to find a way to silence Jason Kenney in Alberta and send him and Doug Ford to Antarctica to check out global warming for the next three months.  Justin Trudeau is going to walk up one side of Chuckles and down the other in this election and it will hardly make any difference in the final result.

All I know is that, whatever happens, Justin will not like it.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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