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Babel-on-the-Bay: The media feel the excitement.

Just about four months to the federal election and the news media can barely contain their excitement. Not since John Diefenbaker came out of the West like an avenging angel has an election been so fraught with possibilities. They have so many scenarios to write about. Change is in the air. Change is in all the Liberal and New Democrat speaking notes. The Conservatives just look worried.

And well they should. With two serious and challenging opposition parties poised to unseat them, the Conservatives should be questioning their strategy. They know that if the balance is maintained between the opposition (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: One of Justin Trudeau’s better moves.

It makes sense to make nice with the United States. It is surprising for many Canadians when that becomes necessary. Not since Prime Minister John Diefenbaker pissed off President John Kennedy have relations with the Americans been more in the dumpster. Not only has Prime Minister Stephen Harper been a nag about the Keystone XL pipeline but his open admiration for President Obama’s Republican opponents in Congress has hardly gone unnoticed.

The phony bonhomie played out between Harper and Obama at G-8/G-7 meetings has been shallow and forced for some time. Sure there have been other tiffs between the two (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair’s Farewell Tour?

You can hardly blame the Hair for not wanting to hurry home. He and his hairdresser are touring Europe in style—and Bavaria is so beautiful this time of year. There is nothing good waiting for him in Ottawa. With the daily bombardment from the Senate, poison pen memos from the Supreme Court, the tanking of the economy and the bad-news polls, he should stay in Europe.

Not that his G7 meetings were all that much fun either. He might be one of the senior citizens of that little club but they were not all that nice to him. President Obama (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Canadians are owed answers on the Senate.

Do you have a mental image of the three major party leaders cowering in their campaign bunkers this year afraid of questions on the Senate? They will all tell you that they are in favour of Senate reform and just what that reform might entail and how they will accomplish the task are the questions they are afraid to answer.

Stephen Harper had been stiff arming questions about the Senate since his record of 27 appointments to the chamber in 2009. Yet the other day in Kiev, he said that the Senate was an independent body. And if you believe (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin Trudeau brought his perfect game.

When somebody bowls a perfect game, you have to admire it. In politics a perfect game is a rare event. You have to remember that in politics there are people out there who are lurking to ridicule, there are professional scoffers and there are the people paid to deride any and all suggestions from the opposition parties. And then you are treated worse by our news media.

All these people will attempt to ridicule, scoff, and laugh off Liberal suggestions but this time they will fail. They will have to fall back on commenting that the Liberal leader’s hair was (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: How history harries the Hair.

The Hair seems to be trying so hard to remake Canada into an image only understood by the Prime Minister and a few of his friends in Calgary. It seems to be an image something like that of 19th Century Dodge City, Kansas without the dust. It is a vision of a country of rugged men, petticoated ladies and indolent Indians. It is a country where every man is a king on his own land and he does with it as he wishes.

The Hair might have had to at one time make an apology over the treatment of (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: Global: Conservative groups repeal Bill C-51 in open letter to Harper

Nearly 100 traditionally libertarian and conservative organizations like the National Firearms Association and Free Dominion, have signed a letter circulated by your OpenMedia team asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to kill Bill C-51.

Groups and individuals can continue to sign on at: https://stopc51.ca/conservative

Article by Vassy Kapelos for Global News

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Babel-on-the-Bay: Elmer is the politician, Peter is the son.

While the name MacKay might be prominent in Nova Scotia, it is not held in as high esteem today in Canada’s House of Commons. Peter MacKay is leaving the building. With his political career finished as of the federal election, Peter MacKay is taking his family home. Looking back over that career, it is hard to believe that he is Elmer MacKay’s son.

It is hard to tell whether Peter MacKay’s has had a career or a careening. He was given Canada’s Progressive Conservative Party as a trust and he handed it off to Stephen Harper. He borrowed on his (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair’s hopes in Quebec are fading.

The pundits are catching on. There are a paucity of votes for the Hair and his party among voters in Quebec. Mind you, there are even fewer for the Bloc. This fall in Quebec, it will be a head to head contest between the Liberals and New Democrats. The other votes are just spoilers. And do you think Quebec voters are not conscious of the position they are in?

Quebec, more than any other province in Canada, wants change. The province wants to get out of the Conservative yoke that it put on when it voted for the Orange Wave (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: It’s the Third Law of Politics too.

Not all of us are trained in physical sciences but we seem to easily grasp Newton’s third law of physics. It simply makes sense that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It should come as no surprise that it also applies to other aspects of life. We have become used to it in politics. We expect it.

The difference in politics and human relations is that the reaction to a given force is not necessarily immediate. The energy expended in a slight or perceived grievance, can be stored and accumulated over time. In that time of (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: It’s not in the cards for Tom Mulcair.

Whether you prefer to use a crystal ball, tarot cards, automated telephone calls or the entrails of a sheep, forecasting the results of the fall federal election in Canada at this early stage is a waste of time. And making up stories about New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair being the likely game changer is a joke. The recent win by the Alberta NDP was nothing other than good news for Albertans.

The pundits should remember that the Alberta Liberals all but bowed out of the provincial election. Albertans, desperate for a second opinion had no other option. The NDP offered (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Why is the Hair laughing at the TV Networks?

Do you really think the Hair is going to debate any of his opponents in this fall’s election? Not if he can help it! It just is not in the Hair’s DNA. After three national elections with debates staged on the major television networks, you have got to understand how the Hair feels. He now knows that he does not have to do it.

Instead of negotiating, the Hair is letting the kids in short pants in his office screw the networks around. He knows that he can let his people dick the television people around until September and he (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: It’s the icing for the ignorant.

Canadians do not have to be told how many millions of taxpayer dollars the Conservatives are spending on promoting themselves for re-election this fall. And they are doing it because they can. The same unethical, foolish waste of taxpayer money was going on during previous Liberal governments in Ottawa. Maybe not as well, nor as studied, nor as blatant but only the Conservatives and New Democrats were complaining about it back then.

But you have to face the fact that there is nobody more short-sighted than a politician. What works for you today is what counts. All the rest is (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Are your 15 minutes of fame finished Mr. Brown?

The new leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives must have been saving money on speech writing when he talked to the Ontario Legislature on Monday. If there was ever a time for Patrick Brown to be gracious that was it. It was a courtesy that he was asked to address the members of the legislative assembly. They had Quebec Premier Phillippe Couillard giving a statesman-like address to the legislature and, in a non-partisan gesture, the Liberal government invited Patrick Brown, as a new party leader, to say something.

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s people must have known he would blow it. His (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The high hopes of the Hair.

The Hair is on a mission. The Prime Minister thinks he can pull off a miracle in October and win a second straight parliamentary majority. While his strategy makes sense, his assumptions are faulty and his tactics are far too heavy handed.

Strategically it is vital that he keep his opponents divided. The more the Liberals and New Democrats attack each other, the easier his work becomes. As it is, he is concentrating his attacks on the Liberals. With nowhere to go in Quebec but down in numbers, the New Democrats have been looking hard for signs of gains. They (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Author, Author”

Having written many political speeches over the years, it would have been a pleasant surprise to hear the shout for the author to take a bow among the applause at the end of many a speech. Having listened to MP Patrick Brown on Saturday when he accepted the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, that call would have been deserved. The speech was a good balance for the occasion.

Brown was gracious to his opponents and a bit obsequious to his friend MPP Monte McNaughton. McNaughton was the only candidate to quit the race and bring his socially conservative supporters (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Do Ontario Tories need a leader?

The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party will announce its new leader tomorrow. Will anyone care? Is it going to make a difference? With three years to go before an election in Ontario, will the voters notice the change? When you hear that timing is everything in politics, you get the idea that this is lousy timing.

And what possible difference in leadership potential is there between MPP Christine Elliott and MP Patrick Brown. Has either ever shown any? Has either one suggested in any concrete way how they would make life better in this province? Is either in demand as a (Read more…)

Left Over: Harper, You’ve Been Served…

“Woke up this mornin’ feelin’ fine…”

Despite every contrary act of the Harperoids, have to say that today is a good day..yes, C-51 passed, and, notably, with the self-destructive Junior Trudeau’s tacit approval…Omar Khadr may get bail, and, realizing how mean-tempered and petty Harper can be, I’m sure he’s doing everything he can, legitimate and otherwise, to prevent it…there is news today that the Cons managed to somehow neglect to spend 97 million earmarked for social services…Duffy’s lawyer is making mincemeat of the prosecution, while simultaneously holding up the Senate and its non-rules for public vilification..

Oh, yeah, and (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Lessons to be learned in Alberta.

The May 5 provincial election in Alberta is unfolding as anticipated. With pundits panicking, reporters rebelling, it will only be the final poll next Tuesday that will tell the real story. And in this cautionary tale of political progress there are entrails to be read that can foretell the political future of other provinces if not the country.

The funniest stories of the current campaign are the ones that have editors’ lower jaws hitting their desks as they read of the possibility of a New Democrat majority in the Alberta Legislature. Before there is a serious up-tic in heart failure (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Bearing bad news for NDP’s Tom Mulcair.

George Lakoff is an American who thinks. The UCLA Berkeley professor was in Toronto last week. We missed a chance to meet him. He is reported to have told his audience there is no such thing as the political centre. That must have been bad news for the New Democrats who came to see him. Their federal Leader Tom Mulcair has been busy trying to find the political centre and in the process he has lost touch with the left. Lakoff could have told him that the centre is just a hypothetical point on a bell curve, drawn by statisticians.

(Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Discovering Barrie’s Patrick Brown.

It has taken on all the elements of a farce. The Ontario news media are discovering Patrick Brown MP for Barrie. They are running lengthy, laudatory articles about him with flattering pictures. (And getting a flattering picture of Brown is no easy task.) The media think he has a lock on the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leadership.

This is not good news for the Ontario Tories. Turning a ward healer into a party leader is a tough challenge. It has all the earmarks of changing a toad into a prince. Nobody has the stomach to kiss the toad.

Brown (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Morning Line: Alberta 2015.

The May 7 provincial election in Alberta is something of a wake up call as Albertans shake themselves from the Tar Sands dream. It was probably the recent Prentice austerity budget more than anything else that told people that times are changing. There is no question but Albertans need to adapt to reality. There is just is no way they will like it.

In producing a Morning Line for this election you start by ignoring all the polls. Albertans lie to pollsters. They have been lying to them since the days of Bible Bill Aberhart. And if you had voted (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Back to the Future with Joe Oliver

Finance Minister Joe Oliver brought Canadians his first budget yesterday. Instead of it being a budget for the coming fiscal year of our government, he tried to line things up for the next ten years. It was a very Conservative view of our future. And we can only hope that it is Joe Oliver’s final budget and the final Conservative budget.

It was more of a manifesto than a budget. Yet, it lacked a clear direction. It lacked compassion. It was in many cases blatant bribery. The continuing reductions in business taxes makes you wonder when it will cost more (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair’s ‘Politics of Division’

Asking a voter why s/he is going to vote for the Conservatives this fall can cause a rising anger. The anger is hardly directed at the voter. This person has been had. They have been duped. The anger can only be directed at the Prime Minister—he of the Hair!

And we watch in this land of inclusion, tolerance, sharing and openness, as the Hair spreads his politics of division.

It was just last week when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Toronto, we saw how easily the Hair moved into the mode of pandering to the Indo-Canadian vote. It (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: ‘Diplomat’ Brown and his friend Narendra Modi.

What is wrong with Canada’s foreign relations is more than explained by the friendship of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Patrick Brown MP. Yes, that is Patrick Brown, the most useless member of the Conservative back bench and the candidate for the leadership of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party. With probably less than 50 people in his electoral district from India, Patrick Brown must have been left among the final MP draftees for a country on the friendship committee.

Brown got India. The air flights there are gruelling. The food there is, well, foreign. You can imagine that India was (Read more…)