Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Brown’

The Lion proposes to his Princess.

Saturday, January 20th, 2018

We read that it was the Tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, who determined that Sikh men could identify as Singh (lion) and Sikh women as Kaur (princess). This happened more than 300 years ago and was all in aid of getting rid of the caste system for Sikhs and asserting the equality of women. It is why, with the upcoming marriage of Jagmeet Singh to Girkiran Kaur Sidhu, the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party and his wife will probably want to keep their own names.

But despite it being a Sikh ceremony, it is all very political. There are just too many problems with an unmarried political party leader. If you do not have to face the rumours and innuendoes about a politician’s sexuality, you can concentrate on the more important issues.

When you consider the provincial Conservative leaders in Alberta and Ontario, you can understand the problem. Nobody really cares about the sexual choices of Jason Kenney, who is now the leader of Alberta’s United Conservatives. His record is clear as a social Conservative and there have been enough claims about the misogyny of him and his circle that it is hard to understand why any woman would want to support him.

Observing Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown while he was in Ottawa and representing us here in Barrie, I think his problem is that women do not seem to like him. He is also a social conservative and has voted to re-open arguments about abortion and against same-sex marriage. He does not appear comfortable talking to women and they seem to rapidly lose interest in him.

Jagmeet Singh is quite different. With an outgoing personality and as a devout Sikh, he would probably be considered a very good catch for a Sikh lady. His ‘princess’ also looks like the perfect spouse for a politician. She is a successful fashion designer and appears to wear her designs well.

Jagmeet is already a hero to younger Sikhs because of his days as an extreme wrestler as well as being a successful lawyer before going into provincial politics in Ontario. He has yet to win election though to the House of Commons and take his place in parliament as NDP leader.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Politics is a numbers racket.

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

It is time to admit it: I used to be a numbers runner. Different from the numbers racket in the United States, in Canada, it is a political game. I used to announce numbers provided by my political party to see if we could draw out numbers from the other parties. It was usually a fun game where nobody got hurt or really won.

This subject occurred to me the other day when reading about the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party having (maybe) 200,000 members. The Tory’s were so proud of that figure that they let that silly ass Patrick Brown announce it. There is absolutely nothing surprising about that figure.

When you consider what has happened since its last leader Timmy Hudak embarrassed the provincial Conservatives back in 2014, the party was at its lowest membership. Nobody will provide precise figures but the paid-up membership ($10 per year, please) was likely to have been less than 20,000 die-hard Tories.

And you should note that just because you have not paid for the current year, you are not immediately removed from the lists. It is easy for you to come out to some party event and pay to bring your membership current. In the 2015 leadership there were candidates for leader signing up new members in wholesale numbers and probably increased the membership to more than 80,000. Since about half of those new sign-ups were newcomers to Ontario from the Indian Sub-Continent signed-up by organizers for Patrick Brown, it really was no contest. (Who paid for those memberships is a good question?)

What causes the real boost to the party’s numbers is the upcoming election in June of this year. With questionable polls showing a supposed walk in the park for the Tories to win, there is a lot of interest in the new, redrawn or existing 124 electoral districts. This has sent out an army of people supporting this or that Conservative candidate to sign up people who might support their candidate. A candidate signing up 3000 to 4000 new members in an electoral district is not an unknown occurrence. These contests leading up to the 2018 election have also produced more than the average number of claims of fraud, malfeasance, chicanery and even some serious lawsuits.

Mind you as more and more people find out more about Tory Leader Patrick Brown, his chances of winning are diminishing. We will supply you with a Morning Line on the contest at the end of April.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Welcome to our Gripes of Wrath.

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

It makes sense to save up our complaints and just share them periodically. There is no need to write too much about them. We should see if we can give them the quick shot in the head they deserve.

It is like that guy Desmond Cole who is playing coy about running for mayor in Toronto. And you thought the late Rob Ford was a problem?

It is highly unlikely that anyone in the offing is a challenge for incumbent Toronto Mayor John Tory. The problem with John is that I imagine all Toronto’s streets converted to a version of his silly King Street solution. Why are the burghers of Toronto allowing this business-destroying foolishness?

Did you hear that Peel Region really appreciates its School Resource Officer (SRO) program? So why did Toronto cancel its program of police involvement in schools before the results of the Toronto study were known? If a minority of students felt threatened by the program, it might pay to find out why.

And speaking of civic stupidity. Did you hear that a Kingston, Ontario pub has changed its name from “Sir John’s.” It seems that some local First Nations dilettantes feel that Sir John A. Macdonald did not respect our First Nations peoples. And in Sir John’s time, few did! What Sir John had was an idea called Canada. And I will raise a glass in his pub to that anytime!

While always admiring Toronto Star columnist Bob Hepburn’s political insight, I think he is losing it. He wrote the other day that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is going to lose the June election because she is a woman. First of all, he knows full well that it is far too early to say which party might win. And to say her party will lose because she is a woman is sexist and silly. Wynne is a lesbian and she is proud of it. If Patrick Brown makes the mistake of trying to debate directly with her, he will get lessons in politics he never expected.

And have we all heard enough about the Trudeau family vacation with the Iman of the world’s 25 million Ismaili Shiite Muslims? The prime minister probably should not have to resign over this incident of bad judgement. He will probably make more errors in judgement and we can weigh them all at the next federal election.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

A New Year rich in political opportunity.

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

This political junkie is looking forward to 2018. Starting with the Ontario election in June, Quebec scheduled for October 1 and then the American mid-term elections in November, there will be much on which to comment. The only recommendation we can make at this stage is to ignore the pollsters.

And one other suggestion at this stage is that you should be cautious about what you wish for. Much can happen over the year. Our moods and our priorities can easily change. Even our well-read Morning Line, issued five to six weeks before the vote, can see sea change.

While pollsters gain accuracy as the final polls get closer, it is their lack of people on the ground feeling the changes that jeopardize their accuracy. You have to be able to feel what voters are thinking.

The ups and downs of the Trudeau Liberal government in Ottawa is impacting the positions of both the Wynne Liberals in Ontario and the Couillard Liberals in Quebec. Both provincial parties are philosophically to the right of the federal party and yet each is being challenged by a more right wing party.

The mistake the Ontario Tories are making is that they are trying to prove they are at the political middle. Frankly, Ontario voters would be more inclined to vote for them if they were honest about being right wing.

But my neighbours and I in the riding of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte would dearly love to have a good Liberal candidate to support and defeat a puffed-up Patrick Brown who needs to be beaten—and can be beaten.

The situation in Quebec is quite different. Quebec Francophone voters tend to park their vote when asked by pollsters and the Coalition Avenir Québec seems to be the current parking choice. The thought of this right-wing bunch of separatists making it to the top spot next October is a sad comment on the condition of Quebec politics. It would be ideal if the threat gets Premier Couillard off his butt and into action.

The fun stuff south of the border will be in full swing after the Quebec election and U.S. politics will get most of our attention until the November vote. Change in the House in Washington is possible but just three additional Democrats in the Senate will do wonders in controlling Trump for the last two years of his Reign of Terror.

We are all looking forward to that!

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Brought to you by Bollywood?

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

In reviewing the three leaders of the major political parties in Canada, we came up with what we consider the key question for Jagmeet Singh: Why? What is the new leader of the New Democratic Party out to prove? Was his taking the leadership of the National NDP just a Bollywood production?

First of all, he did not win the leadership. He took it. It was there to take and he did. He watched the contest for a while and picked his time to jump in. He won the leadership by simply swamping the existing membership of the New Democrats in British Columbia and Ontario. He did not want to discuss policy with the more knowledgeable leadership hopefuls and did not bother. Jagmeet Singh took the leadership by saying the least.

In a party bereft of leadership, Jagmeet offers none. In a party lacking direction, he has no idea of where it should head. He knows that the LEAP Manifesto is a formula for controversy. And the Regina Manifesto only mirrors the past. The NDP have nowhere to go and, frankly, nobody to take the party there, anyway.

But can a leader, selected by the Sikh communities across Canada, offer Canadians a future? The Sikh community has come late to this party. In the 1980s and 1990s there were many swamped party riding associations that put a steady series of back benchers from various ethnic groups in parliament and provincial legislatures. It not only did not work but it hurt our democracy. The answer to the problem arrived at in Ottawa was to break with democratic practice and have the party leader sign-off on who could be candidates for the party.

But there is no one to sign off on the selection of party leaders. That is why Jagmeet Singh, then a member of the legislature, was able to watch an Ontario Member of Parliament use some of Jagmeet’s fellow Sikhs to win the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership in 2015. Patrick Brown had made many trips at taxpayer expense to the Indian sub-continent to establish connections for the attempt. He found the paths to signing-up thousands of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims who have immigrated to Ontario. Who paid the memberships for as many as 40,000 of these people so new to Ontario is still in question?

For Jagmeet to use the same connivance as a putz such as Conservative Patrick Brown should embarrass his party. It does not seem to embarrass Jagmeet Singh.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Naughty or Nice: Ontario’s Patrick Brown.

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

As more and more Ontario voters get to see Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown in action, the more his voting preference plummets. He is just not the type of person people can imagine as premier of Canada’s largest province. And neither can Santa as he keeps Patrick on his “Naughty” list.

If we had to pin it down to a one-word description for Patrick and his handlers, we would have to say it is “cynicism.” Patrick Brown lacks any vestige of integrity or sincerity.

Somebody must have spent some time teaching him how to read a teleprompter and his stilted performance at that show introducing his party’s guaranteed policies was the most cynical of all. If you thought Brown was going to bring his small-town thinking to Queen’s Park, guess again. It was Bay Street lawyers calling the shots on that show.

In three terms in Ottawa as an obscure backbencher, Brown never had an original idea. He is what some political people call a “retail politician.” He services his community but does nothing in office. He tells the voter whatever he thinks the voter wants to hear. He uses the slogan that ‘the customer is always right.’ What he gives you, is another matter. The only free votes Brown ever voted on in Ottawa were when he voted against same-sex marriage and to open up an anti-abortion debate.

I might have to revise my opinion of Kathleen Wynne for taking too long to carry out some recent reforms. How can I complain about Wynne taking two years to get to a proper minimum wage in Ontario? Here is Brown offering the same thing in three years. Maybe.

What probably puzzles Santa in making his list is that nobody in the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario has filed any objection to how Patrick Brown stole the leadership of the party. Swamping the existing membership of a political party to take the leadership is not ‘winning.” It is blatant theft of the leadership without any semblance of democratic choice. Whether people paid or did not pay for their membership in the party seems to be of little matter.

But it tells everyone about the lack of character of the new leader of Ontario’s Tories. Santa has an especially large lump of coal for him.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Brown plays bad with the big kids.

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

The first time I met Barrie, Ontario politician Patrick Brown, I wondered what this miserable person was doing in politics? He has no personality. He has little grasp of election issues. What I soon learned was that he is a gamer. And his game is politics. He plays the game of politics as a video gamer would use a PlayStation 2. It is his strength and it is his weakness. The true test of his skills will be on June 7, 2018—the coming provincial general election.

In watching Brown through five election situations over the years, I can report that he tends to push the envelope on what is legal. He obeys the rules—when he has to. I do not think some of his financial reports to the Returning Officer would bear up well under the scrutiny of a forensic accountant. He is a more effective campaign manager than candidate.

Most of Brown’s opponents admit that he is a good retail politician: he knows how to work the riding. His only problem is that he is not good with people. He is a poor public speaker. He does not have a good grasp of many issues. He has little humour and no empathy.

Since taking a seat in the Legislature of Ontario, he has been a weak Leader of the Opposition. He is no hero to his caucus. Neither the centrists nor the social Conservatives in the caucus trust him. He is telling everyone that he is a pragmatic centrist but nobody knows where he would be if in power.

His most serious problem has been a careless comment to the media that he thought was going to get him coverage. He failed to think through what he was saying. It was a play on words that was the same as saying the Premier was “on trial” in the Sudbury trial of two Liberal apparatchiks. That trial was dismissed by the judge and Brown has failed to apologize for the insult to the premier. He is being sued.

The point is that Patrick Brown is out of his league. I am sure that his family was in despair of him ever passing the Bar Admission for Ontario. He looks like a hick and he is definitely small town. The reason he works so hard at this game of politics is because he is always behind. He has neither the smarts nor the skills.

He broke the rules to become leader of his political party and the party people should have called him on it. It is easy enough to prove. For him to find his way to the Premier’s office would be a disgrace.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Tories try sleight-of-hand with transit.

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

When we first saw the Ontario Conservative’s proposal for Toronto Transit, we thought it was one of the silliest we had heard for a while. It just made no sense why they thought the provincial government would make less a mess of the job of running the subways and light-rail systems than the city. It turns out that what they are really proposing is changing the ownership on a lease-back type deal.

It seems when Toronto Mayor John Tory saw the idea, he also asked if they were that crazy. He had no idea how they could keep Toronto’s transit running in an integrated manner. It turned out that the Brown Conservatives only want to have the assets on their books instead of on the city’s books. By having tangible assets behind the debt, it becomes a way to hide other debt.

It is all sleight of hand. Now you see it, now you do not see it. Debt enables accountants to do their magic. As long as it is a lien against a substantive asset, it effectively disappears. You have balanced your books.

I was surprised as a business executive when I learned that the goodwill of the company was whatever you needed to make the balance sheet balance. Provincial governments certainly do not seem to build up much goodwill. They do need assets to offset debt. That is why it always seems a desperation measure when the politicians want to sell off assets.

Only a banker would have told the Kathleen Wynne government to sell off Ontario’s Hydro One electrical distribution network. They could have kept the golden goose and sold off the Liquor Control Board. The booze network is worth far more than the sum of its parts and the liquor taxes keep on giving.

But why would Wynne care about that? She could make herself look foolish announcing new booze outlets at her friends at Loblaws.

But it is Patrick Brown we are dissing today. Obviously, his accountant friends had come up with this great idea to take the transit assets away from the city. They have no thought of running the system but they have far more use for the transit assets than the city people.

But, as I said when this first came up, kids just love playing with trains.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Does Ontario come with an owner’s manual?

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

Maybe Patrick Brown forgot to ask. It has been clear that Premier Kathleen Wynne has been playing the job by ear for the past four years. It is just that the former do-nothing back bencher from the Harper government wants Wynne’s job. The Globe and Mail tells us that Brown is a pragmatist on steroids and the Toronto Star’s Rick Salutin thinks he is merely returning to the zeitgeist of the Bill Davis era in Ontario.

As very few of us understand Rick Salutin, we have to go along with the Globe and Mail on this one. The only problem is that the Globe points out that some of the Conservative promises are more liberal than anything the Ontario Liberals are offering. Maybe Brown’s model is the Trudeau government in Ottawa.

All we know here in Patrick Brown’s electoral district is that the putz will say anything to get elected.

The only thing I regret is that the Conservatives must have read my criticisms of Kathleen Wynne’s Cap and Trade system. They are absolutely right to get behind the federal carbon tax. While it must be causing apoplexy in some Toronto board rooms, the carbon tax is the most open way to force people to help save this planet.

But nobody ever suggested that the carbon tax should fund personal income tax cuts. A proper carbon tax is designed to be revenue neutral and only a Libertarian would see it as a chance for tax cuts.

If any among us has had time to study all 147 promises in that Conservative work of fiction, they must be wondering where the cuts are hiding. You can hardly move that much revenue to popular promises without cutting the hell out of some critical programs. You have to figure that doctors’ incomes will be the only safe zone in the health care budget. (With the help of Brown’s campaign manager, Walied Soliman, greed won control of the Ontario Medical Association this past year.)

While the men in suits that seemed to dominate the Conservative gathering were applauding the new Patrick Brown, there was a feeling of déjà vu to the events. It felt like a piece meal plucking of a goody from here and a goody from there. Yes, Brown had a new haircut but it was the same schmuck we have known for years, reading the teleprompter.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Promises and Political Promises.

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

The magazine style “policy platform” handed out to the Ontario Conservative elite at their get-together last weekend is a style of political literature that was developed many years ago. The glossy magazine is a strong sales style that the voter might keep a bit longer. Adding a full-page guarantee was an idea that popped up occasionally when the writers ran out of policies. The only drawback is if you win the election, the people who keep the magazine the longest are your supporters and they will notice how few promises you keep.

The problem with promises are that governments are elected to govern and the minutia of day to day governance, their party ideology and reality get in the way of keeping promises such as a chicken in every pot.

But you are the sucker who believed them.

The other problem with all the promises made is that they are mainly half-baked, ill-considered ideas that are presented in very positive terms. These are not necessarily panaceas.

Some are very bad ideas. An example of a very bad idea is the one the Conservatives are making about taking over the planning and building of subways in Toronto. What they are suggesting is taking the process from one set of incompetent politicians and giving it to another group of incompetent politicians. The only difference is that the people affected will have less say.

Frankly, if a third of the election promises of any party are ever addressed, the voters should be surprised. One of Canada’s best loved Prime Ministers in the last quarter century was Jean Chrétien. His 1993 Red Book of promises was a work of fiction that was supposedly based on the Liberal Party’s Aylmer Policy Conference. Did he rid us of the hated Goods and Services Tax? Did he cancel the North American Free Trade Agreement? Of course not!

What is the most serious flaw in all these promises is that you need to understand the people making the promises. You need to decide whether these people really have your best interests at heart? If Patrick Brown has been a social conservative all his life, would you wonder at why he now says he is not? If he never had an idea in his life that helped people in Ontario, why does he now promote all these helpful ideas? Do you think we would elect him if he told the truth about himself?

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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