Posts Tagged ‘Wynne’

“What fools these mortals be…”

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Just to show how consistent we humans are, we can use the words of William Shakespeare to describe more recent events. What brings this to mind was a recent Ryerson University democracy forum. Chaired by Martin Regg Cohn of the Toronto Star, the debaters were campaign heads for the three major parties in June’s Ontario election. Regg Cohn’s report on the forum struck us as the most political self-aggrandizement, self-pity and foolishness we have heard for a long time.

And the winner was… surprise, surprise, Kory Teneycke of the progressive conservatives. It is just that we do not agree with what he is bragging about. We could have told him he had won before the campaign even started.

But Teneycke (and I still cannot pronounce that name) gives the credit to his supposedly brilliant digital campaign for the conservatives. And, he uses all the current buzz words such as “curating” messages with the right “algorithms” for “target” audiences.

To have a winner, it is also necessary to have a loser and David Herle of the liberal party makes the perfect goat. The only thing I will not criticize him for was the decision by Premier Wynne to forfeit the election before it was over. That was the stupidest act I had seen in an election in more than 50 years of campaigns.

But David was not above reproach for how he handled the campaign. He actually admits that he had no idea how to handle the negatives on social media about Wynne. He said the liberals did not know how to fight it. He also said he was of the impression that digital advertising was “unpersuasive.”

I will quote my favourite campaign slogan for David: If you cannot push, pull. And if you cannot pull, you best get out of the way.

Bringing up the rear, as usual, was the NDP campaign, headed by Michael Balagus. I would not know him, if I tripped over him. He was certainly complimentary about the conservative use of social media and their own news. It is really too bad that his campaign had no focus, no theme and no hope until Ms. Wynne quit and people who hated Ford were conflicted by being told to vote for Ms. Horwath—who ran her own do-nothing campaign.

But what was unimpressive about the report was Teneycke’s insistence that campaigns would soon be 99 per cent digital. That was the attitude of a loser who did not understand people. It sounds more like some of the worried clergy in the middle ages who did not understand that it would take centuries for the anticipated impact of Herr Gutenberg’s invention. We move faster with technology today but not overnight.


Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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The drip torture by the Wynne government.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Maybe they think they are too classy for simple water torture or boarding. The Ontario Liberals are inflicting an alcohol torture on the poor consumer. First, you have to find out which super grocery stores have just beer and cider or wine and beer or just a kiosk for plonk. There are now 67 out of about 1500 larger grocery stores selling both beer and some real wine.

But do not get these new stores confused with those older kiosks that sell Ontario wines and wines made from foreign concentrate. Those wines are for when you are desperate and do not have time to go to a real liquor store.

This booze roll out by the province has been undertaken with constant news media ballyhoo and the poorest results we have ever seen. After a career in public and government relations with a side interest in politics, this is the stupidest travesty we have ever seen a sitting government inflict on itself.

These foolish people are going to be forced to add more stores so that it can find some new communities in which to hold beer, wine and cider announcements. In an announcement that must have been in the provincial electoral district of York Centre, they even rolled out their recuperating(?) MPP Monte Kwinter (who is 85) in a wheel chair for him to be cheered by his happy constituents.

But the silliest part of this is that in the stores where the province is getting its share of the revenue from alcohol sales, the sales hours for these products are determined by the hours of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

Some convenience! If the idea behind this ridiculous roll out is to provide convenience for the consumer, why have the inconvenience of saying ‘no’ at certain hours. If you have ever noticed, grocery stores try to be open at hours convenient to the public. These are people who understand what their customers want. The LCBO is run by bureaucrats. They are not paid to care what the customer wants.

What also strikes us as odd is that in no time during this forever rollout of booze sales has there been a single grocery store selected in the City of Barrie. This city has a population of over 140,000 thirsty souls and we do have some very nice (and large) grocery stores. We do not feel personally slighted but you might wonder if it is because Barrie is where the cranky leader of the opposition, Conservative Patrick Brown, will be running in the next election?


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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Timmy can smell the fear.

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

While we can all appreciate the need to quickly get the Ontario legislature back in business, a little more time to consider the throne speech would have helped. NDP leader Andrea Horwath gave the speech guarded approval yesterday but Conservative leader Tiny Tim Hudak rejected it. There was little to please either leader. Worse, there was little to capture the imagination of the voters. And Tiny Tim could smell the fear.

The throne speech was long on rhetoric and short on facts. It was supposed to be a feel good speech and all it did was give the impatient among us cramps in our buttocks. And it should be pointed out to the Wynne government that the only people who give a damn about when Ontario gets rid of its deficit is the bond rating service of Standard and Poors.

Throne speeches have changed a bit over the years. They started out as a dull detailing of the legislation to be put forward by the government during a session of parliament. Today, the speech is written to reach the voters and to provide them with an appreciation of what this wonderful, fearless government is going to present during the session and the opposition can only oppose at their peril.

With what we heard yesterday, it was a darn good thing that Andrea Horwath had already promised to support it. No real liberal could support such bilge.

The throne speech was a melange of old and new, the forgotten and the forlorn. Who does not want to help our youth find jobs, improve the skills of our workforce, fix social assistance programs, aid people with disabilities to find employment and build a strong, prosperous province. Now how many times have we heard that?

There was nothing new in what took about 3800 words. Oh yes, there were the usual curtsies in the direction of putting aboriginal communities to work, trotting out more all-day kindergarten and continuing the tutition grants for undergraduates, home care for the elderly, better access to mental health services and home renovation tax credits. The list was interminable and, in case anyone was left out, they promised they are going to create opportunities for everyone.

But what the silly speech failed to do was to provide leadership, to surprise, please, thrill, innovate, wow, challenge, build or propose a future for Ontario on which we could sign-on and work together for a better future for all.


Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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Wynne wins; Liberals lose.

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

It is no surprise that hard work pays off. Kathleen Wynne won and she deserved the win. When she came second in the electoral district races, she kept on working. She came to Babel in heavy snow squalls to shore up her support. She intensified her e-mail campaign. She did everything that an undemocratic selection system demanded of her, and more. The only unanswered question is whether her selection as leader is best for the Ontario Liberal Party.

Most politicos agree that this was probably the last delegated leadership convention by a major political party in Canada. (It was traditional right down to the paper ballots.) Saturday at the convention was hours of excruciating boredom interspersed with a few minutes of surprise and bad theatre. The early morning speeches with the obligatory demonstrations were as expected with the notable exception of that by Kathleen Wynne.  It was claimed that she wrote the speech herself. If she did, she missed her calling.

Those who had heard Wynne speak before were the most surprised. A person who often is more impressed with herself, opened up and spoke with a surprising honesty and lightness. She lost the teleprompter occasionally but recaptured her words with humour. It was a speech she will never regret or forget.

And nobody knows the work behind the scenes. MPP’s Glenn Murray, Eric Hoskins and Charles Souza were expected to support her and they did. It was the support at the end by Gerard Kennedy that put Wynne over the top. These were two people who had worked together in the early days of the McGuinty government and outsiders had no understanding of the relationship.

But where does this leave the Ontario Liberal Party? It has just proved at this delegated convention that democracy is not on its agenda. It is a top-down political party that operates as a propaganda machine for the Premier. It has chosen a new leader who is beholden to party bosses across Ontario for her ascent to the Premier’s job. The one leadership candidate who recognized the weakness of this was Gerard Kennedy, who is not even in the Ontario Legislature. The party has no advocate.

Delegates have returned to their electoral districts and to their increasingly irrelevant role in the Ontario Liberal Party. The party only wants them as troops for elections. They have no say in the creation, setting or reviewing of party policy. They do not even set their own rules of procedure. They have no say in who will be their candidate or when the candidate will be chosen. They are just supposed to do what they are told.


Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to