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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: Hating the Hair is not enough Mel Hurtig.

It was 22 years ago when this writer almost ran as one of Hurtig’s Hooligans. Do you remember when the Edmonton book seller, publisher and Canadian nationalist formed the National Party? A bunch of us Toronto politicos immediately started calling it the National Socialist Party. Mel was horrified but it was too late to change the name.

Mel is a very fine fellow but he knows squat about leading, motivating or running a political party. We would have been much better off if he had convinced Maude Barlow to be party leader. She has the sense to know what she (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Candidate: KISS the web site.

Part 5 of our series for Canada’s federal candidates.

Yes, you have to have a web site. Yes, it better look like the party web site. Yes, you have to Keep It Simple Stupid.

What you do not need is a web site that only a systems programmer can love. The more sophisticated, the more complex, the more clicks to take you where you can read what is promised and the more readers you will lose because you have wasted their time. You can hardly afford to lose the people you have brought to your web site. It cost you (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: It’s just not that funny.

The Ottawa Press Gallery felt that Elizabeth May let them down at their annual dinner. They usually just throw stale dinner rolls at the poor performers. They tend to get too many who try but do not measure up. They think the politicians are going to entertain them by being funny.

Elizabeth was sick with a flu. She was exhausted and so would you be if you tried to match her schedule. She is trying so hard to hold things together as the only sitting member for her party in Ottawa. And she could not think of a Goddamn thing (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Get your program here for Barrie-Innisfil!

You hear the hawkers when going into any major sports event: Get your program here. How else would you know about the players and their statistics? We need the same for political events. The federal Liberals in Barrie-Innisfil electoral district have finally been allowed to call for nominations and the date is set for Saturday, May 30.

The first pages in the program would deal with the creation of Barrie-Innisfil riding from the south half of the city of Barrie and the Town of Innisfil. The riding had been held open by the Conservative Party for MP Patrick Brown who (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: Who, What and Why a Liberal?

If there needs to be one more reason to keep Justin Trudeau from interfering in local party nominations, his choices tell the story. MP Eve Adams? When that woman crossed the floor of the House of Commons, her 15 minutes of fame were already over. Police Chief Bill Blair? The Toronto Police Services Board no longer wanted him. Why should the Liberal Party? And that is just in Toronto. The Liberal Party leadership has to stop welcoming these rejects!

Liberals have the opportunity in this election year to build a stronger party: a party of change. And we saw in (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Lessons learned in Alberta

Nobody trusted the pollsters. They were the only ones who saw what would happen to the Alberta Conservative dynasty in Tuesday’s election. Babel-on-the-Bay failed to judge the extent of the anger. Everyone conceded that NDP Leader Rachel Notley was coming on strong. Who knew that Albertans were so mad at Jim Prentice and his Tories that the party would end up a poor third?

But there are only two lessons to be learned. Lesson one is that it is enormously stupid for a politician to tell the voters to look in the mirror if they want to know what has (Read more…)

Maple-Flavoured Politics: The Alberta Election’s Federal Implications

As I look at my Twitter feed today, May 6, 2015, the day after the Alberta provincial election, I see that some federal Conservatives are saying that the results of the Alberta election don’t worry them. I’m not surprised they are saying that. After all, it is literally the politically correct thing to say. Never … Continue Reading

Babel-on-the-Bay: Harper endangers Canadians at home.

There was some interesting story positioning in the Toronto Star on Monday. The top story on page two was that the federal government will block any attempt to procure bail for prisoner Omar Khadr. The top story on page three was a full width picture of the prime minister being greeted by military personnel at an airbase in Kuwait. Under the picture was the headline: Harper pledges ‘unconditional support’ and a story about his speech to the troops.

What Harper said to the troops was that “By fighting this enemy you are protecting Canadians at home.” Not only was (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Candidate: The importance of social media.

Part 4 of our series for Canada’s federal candidates.

This is a serious subject. Handle it with laughter and you will get the laughs from your opponents. If you think social media is free, you have no idea what you are doing. If you think the candidate creates his own twits, you should not be a candidate. All we can tell you is that social media works if you use it well. It will bite you in the rear if you do not use it properly.

Start with the simplest of social media. It seems to have been developed for (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: But who will pay for his hairdresser?

Seeing the Prime Minister striding arrogantly down the Hall of Honour with King Abdullah II of Jordan the other day gave us second thoughts on Stephen Harper’s future plans. He has run out of time to flee. With just days more than five months until the statutory call for a federal election, there is no time to choose his successor. And, if he quits, who will pay for his hairdresser?

This is an important question. It is also why he will fight so hard to stay in power. As long as he can maintain a steel grip on the reins (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Building a better Bill Blair?

It seems that Bill Blair hopes to be forgiven almost everything. The former Toronto police chief is now a politician. And federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has officially welcomed Blair to the Liberal fold. Trudeau was actually reported by the media as saying: “I’m not going to Monday-morning-quarterback decisions made five years ago by the chief of police.”

It makes you wonder how time has relieved Chief Bill Blair of responsibility for his failure in leadership, control and responsibility on that infamous G-20 weekend?

And just how does the racist carding by his police qualify him for Canada’s (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: With Patrick Brown you get bupkis.

It seems we are supposed to do some sort of mea culpa in regards to Barrie’s MP Patrick Brown. Yes Babel-on-the-Bay originates in Barrie but we thought we had that covered by calling the place Babel. It just would not remain hidden.

In writing the other day about the relative voting strength of the two remaining Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership candidates, we used only the raw figures. How those votes are going to be counted by the provincial Tories is the only reason Christine Elliott MPP for Oshawa is still in the race. Barrie’s Brown might be ahead by more (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Two Tory budgets for the price of one.

It was Ontario’s turn this past week. How often do we get two Tory budgets at a time? On Tuesday, we had a laugh at federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s expense. And then, right on the heels, Thursday we had a budget redux from Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa. There was a new beer tax in Charles’ budget so he must be one of those tax-and-spend Liberals we hear about. Frankly, this liberal would not give you two cents for either budget.

Sousa betrayed Ontario Liberals when he agreed with Ed Clark of TD Bank to raise money on Hydro (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: The Candidate: Pre-writ canvassing.

Part 3 of our series for Canada’s federal candidates.

These spring days are golden times for canvassing. No political candidate worth the name can ever waste a single day without seeking out the opportunity to knock on doors. You can be relaxed, chatty and, above all, listening. This is when you learn what people are thinking, what is going to influence their vote when the election is held and what they think their neighbours will do. They might be reluctant to tell you their thoughts but you will often find what they attribute to neighbours are their own thoughts.

What (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…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Legislating Ideology.

It is when you listen to the federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver that you realize what a breath of fresh air the late Finance Minister Jim Flaherty must have been in Mr. Harper’s Cabinet of Inadequate Ideologues. You can also imagine how he would have laughed at Joe Oliver’s suggestion that there be a law passed against deficit budgets. That would be like passing a law that says Canadians cannot have a mortgage or an auto loan.

The ability for a country to borrow is just one of the many strategies available to a finance minister to level out the (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Candidate: That pre-writ lit.

Part 2 of our series for Canada’s federal candidates.

There are many arguments about the literature required by candidates in the pre-writ period (the time between being chosen as the candidate and the election call being official). If the Prime Minister decides to wait for the chosen date of October 19, you can expect the writ to be issued, at the latest, shortly after Labour Day, allowing at least 36 days for the election period. There will be new rules in play for this writ period.

Since the rules are lax in the pre-writ period, some people spend a lot (Read more…)