Posts Tagged ‘NDP’

Justin’s ‘Turn to Bow’.

Friday, July 31st, 2020

Yesterday’s show from Ottawa reminded me of a small book produced by Maclean’s magazine for the 1972 federal election: Their turn to curtsy – Your turn to bow. It told you all the magazine thought you needed to know to be a knowledgeable voter. Maybe that was the intent of the latest episode of the finance committee hearings.

As usual, the Zoom technology proved its strengths and weaknesses. It is dependent on the individual participant’s Internet service—and that is a mixed bag across the country. Mind you the different ‘sets’ for each of the politicians also told a story. I felt sorry for liberal MP Julie Dzerowicz. We know the cost of real estate in Toronto is horrendous but the poor girl looked like she was in somebody’s closet.

New democrat Charley Angus’ background was the clutter of a mind occupied with other things. Yet, conservative Pierre Poilievre was regally presented with a perfectly lit set (until his back flood failed) and full make-up. Chairman Wayne Easter, MP from Prince Edward Island, had a power failure during a storm and it looked like Pierre Poilievre, deputy chair, would take over. Luckily, the power came back quickly in Malpeque.

Whomever set up the studious office setting for the prime minister should have demanded his subject get a shave and a haircut. Maybe he kept the beard because it aged him but the hair looked like a four-year old who screamed when taken to a barber. And not having a teleprompter for his opening remarks was a mistake.

But some would argue that what was said was most important. You could only wish something new was said. As one of the most experienced politicians, the NDP’s Charlie Angus used the ‘more in sorrow than in anger’ approach and it earned him a lecture from the PM who was probably among the least experienced.

The people who needed better balance were the conservatives. Michael Barrett, the newby from Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes was trying to out-nasty Pierre Poilievre. His angle of attack was whether the PM would fire the civil servants who where supposed to vet the WE charity.

Like the book from Maclean’s, I am not sure I ever read the entire content. You had to be a political person to really stick with the drama yesterday. Will it matter? Not much. Will finance minister Bill Morneau be fired? I think he should be.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Liberals whistle past the graveyard.

Thursday, July 30th, 2020

While it might be foolish to buy stock in Trudeau and Company in Ottawa, you have to ask who is going to gain in an election? It is a serious question. It would be necessary for the opposition to get together and bring down the minority liberal government in late September. We could be into an election in November.

But I think not.

There is no doubt that Canadians are displeased with the Justin Trudeau’s gaffes and the We Charity fiasco. And the conservatives would see it as the ideal time to strike with a new leader.

The problem is that there is little reason for the Bloc Québécois to go along with them. Without a new leader, the new democrats have even less reason to get on board.

My guess is that, in such election, the liberals might lose, at most, five or six marginal seats. Would the Bloc or the new democrats gain? Not likely. A few more conservatives would be a slap on the wrist for the liberals and life, such as it is in a pandemic, would go on.

But Canadians are concerned. New voters are the ones likely to be most angry at the liberals. Sure, the liberal government was generous in trying to protect them from the coronavirus and its impact on the economy. The prime minister also won Brownie points for his briefings out of Rideau Cottage. The voters just know now that he will never be perfect. Let another national party get a half-decent leader and Justin Trudeau might be history.

We know that neither Peter MacKay nor Erin O’Toole are going to take the conservatives anywhere. The taste of Harper-style economics will keep either from reaching the brass ring. New democrat leader Jagmeet Singh is also last year’s loser. He fails to promote money, loyalty or effective policies for his party.

And one can only wonder at how the greens are doing in their search for new leadership.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Longing for leadership.

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Sometime, after August 21, the conservative party hopes to announce the winner of the party’s national leadership. The big question though is does anybody care?

What possible difference would it make if Erin O’Toole beat Peter MacKay? It is the same old, same old conservative dogma. It would mean promising Canadians the squeezing of the size of government, tax loopholes for the rich, ignoring global warming and maybe more concessions to the radical Christian right. There are no new ideas coming from this party.

Nor do we have any expectations from the new democrats. If the party fails to get itself a new leader and new ideas, what hope is there for a party that is supposed to be the conscience of parliament?

The NDP did not even respond when outgoing leader of the green party, Elizabeth May, suggested that the NDP join with the greens. Without Ms. May, both parties are currently leaderless.

That leaves us with the liberals. Since the liberal party has been effectively neutered by Justin Trudeau, we have to look to the liberal caucus. Despite the yeoman service of the prime minister popping out of the cuckoo clock at Rideau Cottage on the pandemic file, it is his leadership we really have to question.

We have all seen it now. When things are swinging his way, the Trudeau scion gets cocky. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seems to have no one capable of looking ahead at the prime minister’s proposed actions. Nobody is giving the files the smell test. There is no political prospective being taken. Trudeau is free wheeling it, as though drunk. He is embarrassing liberals across Canada. He has put the Trans Mountain pipeline ahead of the environment. He ignores obvious conflicts of interest. He has no conscience.

And the solution can only be resolved by the liberal caucus. It is up to our liberal members of parliament to stand on their hind legs and bring the prime minister to heel. When the party leader loses the confidence of the caucus, it is time for action.

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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

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

When our world is on hold.

Sunday, May 17th, 2020

Every morning when waking up to this pandemic, I challenge myself to remember what day it is. I never realized how confining a person to their home could be so cruel. I work hard at keeping alert and interested in our world. Some days the newspaper crossword is a challenge and other days, simply frustrating. It is like politics, some days it is so simple and easily understood and some days it can be beyond belief.

Maybe that is why I enjoy writing about politics. While most of the comments from readers are positive lately, my wife cannot understand why I am not a fan of prime minister Justin Trudeau. She meets the guy a few times, gets added to his Christmas card list and she wants to protect him like a lioness with a cub.

What really gets to me is her way of ending arguments regarding Trudeau. She simply says, “Then, who are you going to vote for?”

She knows, she has me cold.

She knows darn well that there would be three moons in the sky before I would vote conservative. Conservatism goes against everything in which I believe. Conservatives, these days, are too often cruel, self-absorbed people. They think a jurisdiction that does anything for its citizens is a ‘nanny state.’ These people, when in power, try to impose their philosophy on others, like a wicked step mother.

The current leadership situation with Canada’s federal conservatives is a joke. The four contestants hoping to replace Andrew Scheer are shallow, unimpressive ideologues—which also explains Scheer.

And as for the new democratic party, it is based on a socialism that reflects the desperation of Canada of the 1930s. It has not had a new idea since Tommy Douglas retired from politics. The party is still dominated by labour unions that are far from progressive and have no interest in the effort to convert it into a modern social democratic party. It is just another ideology, seriously in need of a leader.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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

Who will bell Ford?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

Before you bell the cat, you had better learn something of its habits. This is not an animal that has been de-clawed nor rendered toothless. Nor has Ontario premier Doug Ford. You have to remember that Ford is a bully and a braggart and there are no Marquess of Queensbury rules in his erratic approach to politics.

While we have no idea yet on what the conservatives will build their next provincial campaign, we do know something about the party leaders who will be involved. And we have already mentioned the conservative’s Doug Ford. He has gained a bit of credibility during the pandemic but who knows what he will do to rattle voters before the June, 2022 provincial election.

We also have an idea who his opponents might be. The leader of the opposition is Andrea Horwath of the new democratic party. We have all seen her in inaction and if her party is happy with her leading the party, the public obviously is not. The only reason she became leader of the opposition in Ontario is because liberal Kathleen Wynne announced her party’s defeat before the public got a chance to vote. Horwath was the only alternative for those wary of Ford.

Kathleen Wynn’s replacement is Steven Del Duca, the former MPP from Vaughan. He has yet to seek a seat in the legislature. This makes it difficult for him to get much publicity or to ask questions of the conservative government.

From what I know about Del Duca and his key advisors is that they failed to contain or block Ford and his conservatives in 2018. I was not even impressed with how they made Del Duca leader of the party. He is right wing and from a different era of politics.

I am coming to believe that we will be going into a different political era post pandemic. I hardly think of Ford being the answer in the new politics. Nor do I see Horwath or Del Duca as being any improvement.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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