Posts Tagged ‘Trudeau’

Tip-toe through these tulips.

Saturday, April 6th, 2019

This is a story about women of a certain age and how a man has to tip-toe carefully to explain or be maligned and castigated as sexist. It is just, by now, we should all be tired of the sexist claptrap surrounding the ongoing one-act play of Jody Wilson-Raybould. Yes, the prime minister was wrong. He dropped the ball.

But Justin Trudeau is a wimp. Do you really believe that Wilson-Raybould did not know that when she set out on her mission to destroy him? The problem between the prime minister and his justice minister needed to be settled in the confidentiality of cabinet, not out on the street like common drunken brawlers.

And it was hardly a fair fight. I think the prime minister was blind-sided. Gerry Butts and the clerk of the privy council tried to protect him and got caught in the threshing machine of the Ottawa media.

The only thing we really want to know is ‘Why?’ I have carefully brought up the subject with a number of women of similar age. They have raised their children. They might perceive their earlier sexuality as slipping away. Similar to Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, they are successful in their profession and they are seeking that further elusive something else. They do not know what it is.

Is it a legacy, the notoriety, another mountain climbed, or the thrill of the kill by the huntress?

All I know is that it is a bad example for those young people who were in parliament to hear from the PM the other day. Who the hell told them they can turn their backs on the prime minister of Canada? Those young women need to understand that nobody demands your respect for the person but you should never ever disrespect the office.

In retrospect, in years to come, Wilson-Raybould will likely rue her legacy as the one who brought down a prime minister. So much more of likely benefit to her and her peoples was possible.

To be continued…

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

If Harper is a bully, what is Trudeau?

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

The last two prime ministers tell us much about this country of Canada. In June 2015, I wrote a comment on PM Stephen Harper, accusing him of being a bully. It seemed to be his way of making up for his deficiencies as a human. A reader reminded me of that comment the other day when I forecast that Jody Wilson-Raybould would soon be a non-liberal MP. He wanted to know if that meant Justin Trudeau was also a bully?

The answer was ‘No.’ If Stephen Harper was still prime minister and Jody Wilson-Raybould his justice minister, she would have been out of the cabinet last December. Nor would his chief of staff or clerk of the privy council need resign. In Stephen Harper’s Canada, the divine right of kings and prime ministers still prevails. And he is very much a hands-on type of guy.

But we now have Justin Trudeau at the helm of this ship of state. He watched as his hand-picked chief of staff and his obsequious clerk of the privy council each (figuratively) took a bullet for him. He did not have the guts to tell a woman what he wanted and he paid the price.

The late Pierre Trudeau was a great guy who stood up for Canada and he stood up for his own legacy. His son, Justin, is a wimp. Some legacy!

But there is a rub folks. Who wants a Jagmeet Singh government? Who could tolerate a ‘Chuckles’ Scheer government? There is a country at stake here, smarten up!

Liberals across Canada have six months to do better. First, we tell Justin Trudeau to resign. Then we have a leadership race to replace him and have a fair fight down to the wire in October.

And remember that you do not have to have a sitting liberal MP as leader of the party. Let me just throw the name of Elizabeth May into the mix. We have choices.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Team Trudeau tells the tale.

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

An invitation came from the liberal party the other day to sign up for Team Trudeau Campaign College. It is just $25 for the day and you have your choice of attending campaign management, official agent or a single stream covering the three areas of digital management, volunteer management and canvas management. I heartily recommend the three-part stream as better bang for the buck.

And teaching at these efforts can be a great experience in itself. I sometimes offered to talk about dirty tricks to get a bigger turnout to my classes. The time I told people that our text would be from Carl von Clausevitz’ On War, we had to get a larger hall. If you want people to remember, you have to make it memorable.

The only stipulation on these particular classes is that you have to be a registered liberal to even get an invitation. When running the ground game in a municipal campaign a few years back, I found I had the conflict of teaching local conservatives and NDPers as well liberals. In the 2015 federal campaign, the ground game for the conservative in the next riding was being run by one of my keener students. She actually phoned during the campaign to thank me for the training. Oh well, I liked the liberal she helped defeat, but he never listened to me anyway.

But memories in politics are short. I would not be of much help as a trainer today. Yet I miss it. I might be critical. Small things can annoy me.  For example, they say ‘Team Trudeau’ in the logo and do not mention ‘Liberal.’ What is funnier is the stylized pencil the artist has drawn under the name ‘Trudeau.’ The pencil is designed to represent voting. The only problem is that a pencil such as that would never be used in a polling place. It has an eraser on it—which might just turn out to be a metaphor for the coming election.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Trudeau cannot un-fumble this ball.

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

A chick does not spring new-born from the egg knowing which worms are the tastiest. Life can be a game of trial and error and nowhere is it more treacherous than in the game of politics. Politicos, the hangers-on of the political scene have much to learn but are a dime a dozen and easily disposable. To survive the years I did, as one of those groupies, took the ability to learn fast, build lasting relationships and be useful. Now that I am no longer considered useful, I guess I might as well tell you which worms will give you a tummy ache.

One of the more serious lessons is about recording someone who might be embarrassing him or herself. Nothing can throw a meeting into a tizzy better than to put a recorder on the table and ask someone to repeat what they last said. Not being a lawyer, I cannot say what the rules are about recording telephone conversations without both parties being aware, but it is not a way to make friends or earn trust.

In the case of Jody Wilson-Raybould, the MP has probably guaranteed her expulsion from the liberal caucus by recording the conversation between the clerk of the privy council and herself. The release of that recording will certainly have serious ramifications for the prime minister but it was also the former justice minister’s swan song.

While her career in politics might be over, her suicide mission could be taking Justin Trudeau out of politics with her.

One of the things you always watch for in arranging media opportunities for politicians is that nothing happens to make your politician look awkward. Like Robert Stanfield showing a lack of skill with a football in 1974, Justin Trudeau’s less than sincere ‘thank you’ to a Grassy Narrows protestor the other day was his fumble for 2019.

But you cannot un-fumble a ball. And Canada’s aboriginal peoples will be haunting Justin Trudeau throughout the coming campaign—for his failure at reconciliation, for his treatment of the first aboriginal woman in the cabinet and for his ignorance in dealing with the Grassy Narrows protestor.

He would hardly listen to this old apparatchik, but if he asked, I would tell him; he still has time to resign.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

‘Scheer’ Foolishness.

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

It is to be hoped that someone in the Scheer family is keeping a scrapbook of the positive commentaries on Chuckles’ prospects in the federal election in October? It is a shame to get the poor guy’s hopes up. The scrapbook will help prove to his grandchildren that he really thought he was a contender.

But is it really fair? Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer was the thirteenth choice out of thirteen contenders in the last confused conservative leadership contest. The second-place loser, Maxime Bernier, lost by so few percentage points, that he went off to form his own Peoples’ Party.

Not that the choice of Chuckles was all that popular. All his previous reign as Speaker of the Commons proved is that he is a conservative. He is dull, predictable and will lead the party nowhere. In a recent speech to a conservative audience, he hit all the hot buttons such as deficit reduction, building more pipelines and more free trade deals.

But, when it is time for leadership, Chuckles clocks out. We are not getting any sense of where he might be headed—besides some conservative Valhalla. In that speech, he also talked about dumping a couple of the liberals’ investment programs. These are the Canada infrastructure bank and the Asian development bank. Both of these programs are more conservative than liberal in origin and both have been slow at getting off the ground. Why Chuckles would want to dump them is not clear.

The one thing that is clear for Chuckles is that he cannot wing it in the election campaign in the same was as Doug Ford did in Ontario last year. While there is some disquiet about Trudeau and the liberals, there are not enough people mad at them to affect a change of government. For every pissed off liberal who thinks supporting Chuckles is the answer, two more new democrats will switch from Jagmeet Singh to Justin Trudeau. The pollsters can speculate as much as they like, but when push comes to shove in October, Trudeau will still be prime minister.

And even if it is a minority, do you really think a corporal’s guard of new democrats or greens would be crazy enough to support Chuckles?

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Trudeau trashes his flight of fancy.

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

It was nine years ago that I met Justin Trudeau. Working through liberal party friends in Ottawa, I had invited him to a party fund-raising dinner in Barrie. While we raised enough to get the party out of debt in Barrie, the conversation I had at the time with Justin was disquieting. This is a man who can easily turn himself on and off.

And he does not appear to be a guy who likes heavy thinking. He prefers the route of the selfies and the simple keywords. He had a well-practiced warm and fuzzy stock liberal-sounding speech that evening in Barrie. It lacked a single memorable word. It also caused me to miss some of the bad habits he now shows in his extemporaneous speaking.

It seems most pundits agree now that Justin is more like his mother than his father. If he could just live with some wiser advisors in the PMO, he would sail through. His buddy Gerry Butts was too much like him and that was a deadly combination. They created a mutual admiration society that got them nowhere.

There is no question that the PMO needs a couple people over 50 and, preferably, with some experience in crisis management. It is really too bad that Trudeau had so little experience in the House of Commons before he became prime minister. The opposition will eventually stop bringing up a subject if you get everyone laughing at it.

Trudeau needs to turn on his ‘man with a mission’ persona for the coming election and he can hardly do that if the SNC-Lavalin mess keeps sucking the oxygen out of the political air. He needs to get together with the liberals from the justice committee and ask them nicely to stop blocking things at that level. And do not send a flunky to tell them or you can count on it not coming out right.

In a few months, Justin needs to be on the barbeque circuit talking about Canada’s future and not boring subjects like Quebec engineering firms. He needs to define the dialogue, and ignore the opposition.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

The pundit’s putsch.

Monday, March 25th, 2019

It is fun to forecast chaos in these frightful times but we have to compete with some very convincing pundits of the news media. Just the other day Chantal Hébert of the CBC and Toronto Star tells us that Jody Wilson-Raybould MP and Jane Philpott MP are planning a putsch against Justin Trudeau. Other pundits are quickly on her heels, almost down to telling us the colour of the dress each woman will wear to the prime minister’s cashiering ceremony.

It is not that I think it is such a bad idea but neither of these women has the experience with liberals across Canada to pull this off. They need help. And not the kind of help pundit Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star reported on the CBC the other day. Susan said there were card-carrying liberals ready to take up arms for the two women. The only problem is that Justin canceled all our liberal party cards three years ago at the Winnipeg meeting of the party.

It was always assumed on my part that liberal party membership card, number 1054910, was dishonourably discharged from the liberal lists when I, in turn, canceled my monthly five-dollar donation to the party. I figured if they did not want me as a member, I no longer had an obligation to help keep the party solvent.

The point is, I really am a liberal. And in my humble opinion, Justin Trudeau is not a liberal. Not only that but I think he is more like his mother than his father. He still has to prove that he is anything other than an elitist, who plays at being liberal.

I will give Jody Wilson Raybould and Jane Philpott the benefit of the doubt but I have been waiting for a chance to ask both women why they screwed up the legislation for doctor-assisted suicide. That piece of legislation embarrassed real liberals across the country. They both have a lot to explain.

Neither of the former cabinet members has demonstrated much in the way of political smarts. When sitting in those lofty seats of parliament, you really need to remember one thing: It is not all about you!

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Ford Forestalls Hillier’s Hussars.

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

It might not be up to the standards of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Charge of the Light Brigade but somebody should have warned Ontario premier Doug Ford before he got into a squabble with the caucus bad boy of the Ontario Tories. Oh well, Ford is due for a drubbing anyway.

Ford and his lackies have no idea of what kind of a fight they are in for when they get Randy Hellier pissed. Randy is to the extreme of the right wing of the Tory caucus at Queen’s Park. Hell, this is the guy who launched the Ontario Landowners. And any MPP from Queen’s Park who does not know the Landowners, had better not turn their back when those people start tearing down Ontario’s wind turbines. And they think Randy is irrational?

Ford’s problem with Hillier is that most of the people who know them both are betting on Randy. Compared to Ford, the Eastern Ontario MPP from Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston is a staunch conservative. The premier is just a conservative when it benefits him. He is a populist who colours way outside the party line.

And Randy does not like it that he and the rest of the back-bench sheep are supposed to stand and applaud every time Ford or one of his cabinet ministers makes a statement in the House. Why would you applaud someone who just proved they can read simple and probably less than truthful words?

Ford is also furious with Randy for telling people that his friends and advisers are lobbying illegally. This has caused the hopeless NDP caucus to ask for the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate.

It is also likely, but unproven, that Hillier was turfed from caucus for not showing the right attitude in caucus meetings. It seems that the time-honoured tradition of MPPs telling their leader what constituents’ really think of the government’s efforts is not welcomed by Mr. Ford.

But for all of Randy’s failings, nobody should have accused him of saying ‘Yada, yada, yada,’ to parents of Autistic children. He is something of a trouble maker but he is not unfeeling. With the way the NDP do go on about their concerns, he would be much more likely to say it to their members.

I always liked Pierre Trudeau’s solution to some of the trouble makers in caucus. He would put them in cabinet.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

Something for everyone; Nothing for all.

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

There is supposed to be a little something for everybody and it turns out there is nothing overly impressive for anybody. It is a strange feeling going over this federal budget. Nothing is particularly surprising. Nothing impresses.

What is with these Liberals? They are a big tent of neoliberals, right-wing liberals, condescending liberals, lying liberals and honest liberals, do-gooders and progressives. I am a liberal and they make me want to have another shower. It makes me wonder what, if anything, these cynical people believe in?

Where are the big ideas? Pharmacare is coming, or is it on hold? At least adding that key step to Medicare would have been something to hold on to. I have always believed that if you were going into debt for something, make sure it is worthwhile.

This is a country that was created on a ribbon of steel for trains that ran from coast to coast. Was John A. Macdonald the last visionary? Where are the high-speed electric trains that this country needs today?

Sure, our cities need infrastructure help. That might sound like a lot of money to help the cities but we know they need far more. It is like the nickel-diming of skills training. Cheapskates!

Look, I am glad that we have pulled more than a quarter million children out of child poverty. Do we now have to drive a million seniors into poverty to pay for it?

I am not saying that this is a Morneau budget. That finance minister is a neoliberal and this is what he thought people wanted. If I had been in the House for the reading, I would have helped the opposition shout him down.

It reminds me of the last will and testament from the Ontario finance minister last year before the Wynne government fell to the Huns.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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

The perils of punditry.

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

Despite putting the idea aside a number of times, I have made the effort to stay away from comparing Pierre Trudeau in 1972 to Justin Trudeau in 2019. I was sitting in the boardroom of the principal advertising agency for the liberal party that evening in 1972 when Pierre announced that the writ of election would be dropped. When he also announced his campaign slogan, “The Land is Strong” many of us threw up our hands and went home.

It was only the herculean efforts of then Senator Keith Davey that brought many of us liberals back to the campaign trenches and to rescue what we could of a bad campaign. Oddly enough, Justin Trudeau gets a credit also in that campaign. Born the Christmas before, the pictures of him with his father and mother helped soften the image of an arrogant Pierre Trudeau.

A big part of Keith Davey’s job through the 70s was to convince Pierre Trudeau that arrogance does not work. Who there is who can convince the younger Trudeau to be less arrogant is concerning?

At least we had a good laugh the other day when NDP guru Val Sears pontificated that voters respected the 1972 conservative leader Robert Stanfield who won 107 seats to the liberal’s 109. Sears suggested that David Lewis, the then leader of the NDP, was ‘yesterday’s man.’ Au contraire, it was Lewis who was highly regarded and who supported the weakened liberals.

The changes in the Prime Minister’s Office after the 1972 election were dramatic. Politically astute people could find work there. And there was a ‘Chinese Wall’ created between the Privy Council Office and the PMO that had not been observed between ’68 and ’72. (It is something Michael Wernick, current Secretary of the Privy Council, should make an effort to maintain.)

I always admired Pierre Trudeau for admitting his mistakes from 1968 to 1972. He brought about a sea change in Canadian politics and it was not just “fuddle-duddle.”

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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