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Babel-on-the-Bay: Oh, what wimps these Liberals be!

This would have run sooner if we had not written the weekend’s commentaries earlier last week. Have these Liberals learned nothing from watching former Prime Minister Harper over the years? Those hypocrites on the Conservative benches ridiculed the new and experimental House Leader who gamely tried to stick her fingers in the dike. The neophyte […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Oh, what wimps these Liberals be!

Babel-on-the-Bay: Dullness Reigns.

It was during one of the overly warm days in this past August that are often referred to as the dog days of summer. It had to be a dog day because a reporter with a major Canadian newspaper got away with comparing the royal offspring of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to pedigree […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Dullness Reigns.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Selling Canada or just selling PR?

Found in the pile on the desk today was an op-ed written a few weeks ago by a former communications director for Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. A quick re-read had us smiling. It reminded us too much of being a young public relations person almost 50 years ago. Back then Hill + Knowlton Canada did […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Selling Canada or just selling PR?

Babel-on-the-Bay: The pride in losing.

The submission by Fair Vote Canada to the special parliamentary committee on electoral reform recently claimed that 9 million voters in the 2015 federal election were unable to make their votes count. This assumption was made because they voted for losing candidates. And they did not even get a lollipop for their trouble. That is […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The pride in losing.

Babel-on-the-Bay: What does electoral reform solve?

With one of the least experienced ministers in the government responsible for democratic institutions, you sometimes wonder what this special committee on electoral reform is supposed to solve. It seems to be a distraction. If there was a list prepared of the 100 most serious problems facing Canada’s democracy, it is likely that how we […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: What does electoral reform solve?

Babel-on-the-Bay: A rocky road for Trudeau.

Into every life a little rain must fall. And there might not be many sunny days this fall for the Trudeau government. After almost a year in office, it is time for some tough decisions. You can hardly please all of the people all of the time. And most of these decisions are landing with […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: A rocky road for Trudeau.

Babel-on-the-Bay: The School Mistress’ Lesson.

This lady does not beat around the bush about to-day’s lesson. She is from an organization called Leadnow.ca and she and her organization think that our present voting system is broken. That seems to be a common theme among the do-gooders who come out to talk about electoral reform across Canada. But fear not folks, […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The School Mistress’ Lesson.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Update on Electoral Reform.

These electoral reform committee meetings are more and more boring. The special commons committee sitting over the summer was supposed to give us commentators something to write about. The only problem is that with the usual slump in readership over the summer, this has proved to be a yawn. It provides nowhere need the entertainment […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Update on Electoral Reform.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Labouring against logic.

Pundits are asking if the New Democratic Party is a labour party? Frankly folks, if you do not know the answer, nobody in the party is ready to answer it either. Even an authority such as left-wing writer Thomas Walkom of the Toronto Star is wondering where the party is headed. In a recent op-ed […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Labouring against logic.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Leitch and Brown Trump Ontario.

It is the unwise politician who adds to the silences of their eulogy. The silences are caused by those things you said or were said on your behalf for which apologies were demanded, delivered or denied. The smart politician knows where the line is drawn and keeps away from it. Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Leitch and Brown Trump Ontario.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Watching the Prime Minister suck and blow.

One of these days, our dear prime minister is going to have to make some decisions. Watching him doing selfies while trying for an even higher approval rating is getting boring. Some time, soon, he will have to take a stand. There are too many moves on hold. It is best exemplified by the pipelines […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Watching the Prime Minister suck and blow.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Powering pipeline protestors.

Are you sitting and scratching your head over the pipeline protests in Montreal? The National Energy Board (NEB) hearings seemed to be planned to fail. Three years ago the Toronto hearings on Enbridge’s Line 9 shut down because of protests. And if you noticed that, why would you want the same outcome for TransCanada’s Energy […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Powering pipeline protestors.

Babel-on-the-Bay: In the refuge of electoral reform.

There appears to be no relief for the confused in the hearings of the special commons committee on electoral reform. It has been heavy going to just watch the recorded sessions and read transcripts of those sessions not televised. Even in the odd bit of wisdom among the chaff of the academic opinions so far, […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: In the refuge of electoral reform.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Mr. Harper, we hardly knew you.

As we read and listen to the various obligatory farewells to Canada’s former prime minister, there seems to be lots of hypocrisy going around. The Hair and his hairpiece have left the building in Ottawa and that is that. He was not liked while he was there and he left with no wisdom to share […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Mr. Harper, we hardly knew you.

Babel-on-the-Bay: FPTP: What if it is not broken?

As the first witness before the special commons committee on electoral reform Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef gave the committee eight principles for their task. These principles might be conflicting in some ways but they are definitely in conflict with the path the committee is taking. The first principle promoted by the minister is to […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: FPTP: What if it is not broken?

Babel-on-the-Bay: Leaping nation building at a single bound.

In analyzing where Canada’s New Democrats are headed, we took another look at the LEAP Manifesto. Frankly LEAP stumbles on the first hurdle. It reads like the Regina Manifesto without the socialist ranting. It fails us. And where does this document get off treating Canada’s first peoples as some sort of pathetic wards of the […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Leaping nation building at a single bound.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin Trudeau has his Angels.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau certainly has his angels. We are talking the kind of angels that Charlie had in the old television series about Charlie’s Angels. Those were flesh and blood actors who supposedly made a living solving problems. While the fictional problems often involved murder and mayhem, Justin Trudeau’s angels are just supposed to […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin Trudeau has his Angels.

Babel-on-the-Bay: A federal failure of FPTP.

It has been noted occasionally that first-past-the-post voting is not perfect. You get failures in the system such as has happened to the voters in the federal electoral district of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. Our elected member of parliament is an embarrassment. We like to think of him as a failure in strategic voting. Our MP is proof […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: A federal failure of FPTP.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Elizabeth May, please step forward.

It has always been our opinion that Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is far smarter than anyone else in the Green Party. And she has certainly carried all those folks on her back for far too long. It is time now for Elizabeth to take on a real challenge. Surely it is obvious to her […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Elizabeth May, please step forward.

Babel-on-the-Bay: The bother of bloody bitumen.

It sure makes you wonder when two cities in Saskatchewan have to import clean water because of what the media consider a small spill of something they call ‘Heavy Oil’ but is really bitumen and a diluent. Citizens of North Battleford and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan have been finding out the difference between ‘Heavy Oil’ and […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The bother of bloody bitumen.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Dark side of proportional representation.

It has been tiring over the years listening to people such as University of Toronto Professor Peter Russell selling proportional representation as the only voting system for Canada. The only good news about his ideas are that they are based on logical argument and not some of the outrageous claims made by organizations such as […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Dark side of proportional representation.

Babel-on-the-Bay: How Canadians vote.

There must be a better way to spend a hot summer than arguing about how we vote for our federal government in Canada. Reading the transcripts or watching recorded hearings of the commons special committee on electoral reform, it is hard to tell if anyone appearing before the committee really knows how Canadians vote and […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: How Canadians vote.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who owns this party anyway?

It has always seemed a Canute-like task of denying the tides to defend the Liberal Party. There just seem to be too many of the elements aligned against us. A party leader can work at destroying his or her party on whims and the rest of us are left with the pieces on which to […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Who owns this party anyway?

Babel-on-the-Bay: Making sense on vote reform.

It was a delight the other day to sit and read a presentation to the special house of commons committee on electoral reform that made sense. The committee has been struggling along, wasting a perfectly fine summer, listening to mainly academics who have been touting a variety of proportional voting systems ad nausea. While reading […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Making sense on vote reform.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Remembering Mel Hurtig.

It might be the dog days of summer but we have some catching up to do. We were out of town recently and while you might think we write a new commentary every day for this web site, we sometimes have as much as a week ahead set to automatically roll out each day. Even […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Remembering Mel Hurtig.