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Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair prefers ‘presidential’ powers.

What a bother! That fussy Mr. Mulcair is making trouble for the Hair again. He wants Canada’s Prime Minister to ask parliament for permission to send troops to Iraq. It seems a lot of bother for a matter of just 69 soldiers going to the aid of Canada’s friends in Kurdistan and Iraq. After all, the Hair’s buddy, American President Barack Obama, has the power to send help to the Iraq government without calling Congress together to discuss the plans.

But Canada has a different system of government. The Americans have a republic wherein the President heads the administration and (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Hailing the Hair’s homecoming.

They were all in Ottawa for the opening of parliament. They were the Conservative Commons and Senate parliamentarians, the Prime Minister’s and ministerial staffs, MPs’ and Senators’ staffs, local Conservative Party members and their guests. They were all there to welcome home the Hair.

But they were not in the parliament buildings. The Hair detests parliament. It is a bother for him. People stand in parliament and criticize him. They do not recognize the greatness that the Hair sees in his vision of Canada. They ask long and boring questions. There is the tedium of votes.

The Hair prefers to (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Blowing the whistle on the Fraser Institute.

Fair’s fair. Babel-on-the-Bay would like to file a complaint with the Canada Revenue Agency. The complaint is against the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute and its offices in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. This pseudo think-tank enterprise has been found to be biased and one-sided. It is more of an unthinking-tank as it has a clear bias on its research subjects and seems to only hire researchers prepared to support that bias.

What has brought about this demand for retribution is the outrageous treatment of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The Canada Revenue Agency is harassing the centre with an unnecessary and (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who convinced Trudeau to look democratic?

Wow. When you read the Liberal.ca website now it looks like Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau invented party democracy. It not only says he believes in party democracy but he is working to assure Liberal Party members of open nominations. He seems to not only be recanting his heavy-handed approach in the recent Trinity-Spadina by-election in Toronto but maybe he expects us to pretend it never happened.

But we should not let him off the hook for just some well chosen words. We still have to see some positive action. We still have to get the heavy hand of the (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Conservative Oliver uses gifts not incentives.

Say what you like about Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver but he is certainly proving that he is not the brightest bulb to ever hold that portfolio in Ottawa. In fact, Oliver might just embarrass the Harper government right out of office next year. It was his opening salvo in goodies for next year’s election that showed Canadians that he has no idea of how to motivate business with taxation for job creation. He does not understand that there is a serious difference between a gift and an incentive.

And this is all about a matter of 28 cents. That (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Quebec is not Scotland.

A week from now we will have the results of a close referendum in Scotland. And the ‘No’ side is worried. Sorry guys, it is too late now to recognize the problems. While we still expect a narrow margin for the ‘No’ side, it is emotions that seem to be running away with the day. And as much as the separatists in Quebec would like to equate it with their situation, there is less of a lesson for Quebec than you would think.

We have made the point before that Scotland is a country with thousands of years of sometimes (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair hosts history.

It was like a proud father announcing triplets. It was the wife, who is nowhere to be seen who did the heavy lifting, but here is the Hair, chest busting the buttons on his perfect suit, making the announcement. Yes, Canadians have found one of the famed Franklin ships that disappeared in Canada’s frigid Arctic waters over 150 years ago. In failing to find the fabled North West Passage Franklin went down in British sea annals like Lord Nelson at Trafalgar. ‘Jolly good show old chap. Tough luck, it killed you.’

While we deride the Hair for his late (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Bobbsey Baird’s baffling bombast.

Keeping Canadians in a constant state of embarrassment, Foreign Minister John Baird continues to rack up frequent flier miles and drag Canada’s reputation deeper into disarray. What is diplomatic about baiting the Russian bear? Why does he have to take opposition politicians into harms way in Northern Iraq? Is he really persona non grata for insulting the United Nations in New York?

John Baird is an unusual gentleman. From his quite ordinary beginnings in Nepean, which was then a suburb of Ottawa, Ontario and graduating from Queen’s University down the road in Kingston, he embarked on a career in (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Our democracy is bent, not broken.

It is like a whack-a-mole game. Every time you think you have settled the ignorance of one person proposing proportional representation, another pops up like an unwelcome termite in your house. You would think that more of us would want to protect our democracy. It sometimes feels like apathy is winning over democracy.

And where do these foolish people get off saying that proportional representation is more democratic? That is ridiculous. And what special knowledge do these people have to suggest that our first-past-the-post voting is a bankrupt system?

We should always remember that proportional representation is mainly used in (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair is off to war again. Ta-ta.

How do you do a trumpet fanfare in a headline? The Hair going to war again certainly deserves a fanfare. The poor schmuck was had. He was alternately included and ignored by the big boys and girls at the NATO meeting in Wales last week. It was Brit David Cameron, France’s François Hollande and Yankee Barack Obama who made the decisions and waved the flags. They hardly want to go to war with Vladimir Putin so they are going to beat up on the ISIS jihadist fanatics in Iraq and Syria instead.

The way that the Hair and his silly (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Are Hong Kong activists smarter than Canadians?

Pay attention politically smart Canadians. The activists in Hong Kong are showing you up. And what makes you think Canada is more democratic than Hong Kong? All the activists in Hong Kong want is open nominations. When was the last time Canadians were allowed open nominations?

Here in Babel the Conservative’s central committee in Ottawa has just announced our Conservative candidate for the election next year in the new Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte electoral district. In Hong Kong such an announcement would be greeted with protests, rallies and sit-ins. In Babel, nobody particularly cared. The local Conservatives are hardly used to having a (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The shifting sands of Quebec federal politics.

It is important to listen when the Toronto Star’s Chantal Hébert discusses what is happening politically in Quebec. You sometimes get the impression that she is so caught up with the nuances of the Quebec angst that she fails to open her mind to possible results. Take the demise of the Bloc Québécois for example. The writer frets over who will inherit the votes if there is no acceptable separatist option available.

Has Ms. Hébert considered that the first option this small group of malcontents might contemplate is to vote for the Conservatives? They would achieve as much as voting (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Why would you force people to vote?

It is one of those silly ideas that surface every once in a while. Someone notices how low the turnout of voters is at elections. They get all concerned and say, “We must get more people to vote.” Why?

Some even suggest that there should be fines for people who do not make it to the polls. Do you really want people to go and take their pique out on the politicians? ‘Leave sleeping dogs lie’ is more than just an aphorism. It is good advice. It can save people from being bitten.

There is the story from many (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Considering the alternatives to Trudeau.

Will Justin Trudeau make a great prime minister? Not likely. Is he better than the alternatives? You bet. There is something of a debate in the household these days about a forthcoming event for Mr. Trudeau in September. We might just use the $300 it would cost for two of us to attend to stock up on Kraft Dinner. There is a long cold winter coming.

You would think at her age, the wife would hardly be gaga about Justin’s good looks. She liked the father too. While Pierre Trudeau was hardly as good looking, he was certainly a lot (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair’s annual northern holiday.

We Canadians seem to enjoy our regular getaways but the Hair beats us all. How many times is this now that the Hair and his hairdresser and his wife have headed for the Arctic during the dog days of the Ottawa summer? Sure, it guarantees full coverage by the servile news media—that has nothing else to report on. It also saves the Hair the tedium of talking to other dull Conservatives on the political barbeque circuit.

Just think of how much money Canadians could save if those scenic sets he goes to could just be blown up pictures in the (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Michael Chong, the MP from naϊveté.

No, Naϊveté is not an electoral district in Quebec. The Hon. Michael Chong is the Member of Parliament for the Ontario riding of Wellington-Halton Hills. What Mr. Chong has not done is endear himself to his Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper. He left Mr. Harper’s cabinet over what he likely perceived as its pandering to Quebec separatists. He has further distanced himself from his leader by promoting a private member’s bill to give MPs the power to remove the leader of their party. What Michael Chong has really done is annoy members of all three major political parties in Canada.

(Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Premier Wynne should not toy with Quebec.

It seemed an unfortunate heading given to a story in The Toronto Star the other day. The heading was “Wynne toys with buying more Quebec electricity.” The headline editor must have been very impressed that the two lines of the headline were balanced but the connotation was unfortunate. This is not a question with which anyone wants to ‘toy.’

And the absolutely worst basis for this discussion is as a customer. To approach Hydro Quebec, hat in hand, as a customer is entirely wrong. Ontario and Quebec are the two oldest and largest members of the Canadian confederation. (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Liberals playing stupid numbers game.

It makes sense that you would not waste your good ideas a year before the election but nobody wants to play the numbers game. It is just that the last thing that voters care about is how many seats you might win a year from now. And it sounds very naïve to tell reporters that Canadians want a stable, strong government. It was with that banality that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wrapped up the Liberal’s Edmonton caucus meeting this past week.

It seems like a terrible waste of time and money to put the caucus on display in not so (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Do nothing, deny everything.

One of the less endearing qualities of Conservatives is that they are never responsible for anything. To a lesser extent, Liberals often follow suit. Luckily for New Democrats, they get few opportunities to show their incompetence. The only reason the Conservatives are best at being irresponsible is that, with them, it is an ideological trait.

Take the scene the other day when Transport Minister Lisa Rait blamed everyone except the government for the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster last year. The Transportation Safety Board reported that there were 18 different factors that came together to cause the deaths of 47 people. The (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Finding fair and impartial Conservatives.

We have discovered why the federal government cannot find enough people to adjudicate on its Social Security Tribunal. Murielle Brazeau, Chair of the tribunal, explains on its web site that the tribunal is fair, transparent and impartial. That must be why the Conservatives cannot find more people. There must be a limited supply of fair and impartial people among Canada’s Conservatives. There used to be about 1000 people working part time for Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security. The new tribunal serving the three agencies is trying to do the job with less than 70 people.

And (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The political expendables also serve.

While it is never wise to disagree with a judge, we hope the superior court justice who tried the case goes easy on the kid blamed for the Guelph Robocalls. As much as you agree with how reprehensible the act might be, letting the perpetrators of the crime pick the scapegoat is not justice.

When the Prime Minister can throw his chief of staff under the bus at the hint of possible legal action, you know that nobody is safe in politics. It is the way the system works and nobody should be proud of it. It leaves us without (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is Justin Trudeau peaking too soon?

With at least 14 months to go before the expected federal election, you would be wise to hold off placing bets. And it has little to do with the pollsters who see Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau leapfrogging his way ahead of both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair. It is the people running the Liberal campaign that have us worried.

The one thing you can count on over the next year is that the strategic plan necessary for the Liberals to win is going to have to change at least three times. The first change will (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Fraser Institute spreads alarm on taxes.

There was a news flash from the Calgary based Fraser Institute the other day. Researchers there found that the tax portion of the income of an average Canadian family had gone up more than any other necessary expenditure since 1961. As the Fraser Institute only sends out tax information to convince people they are overtaxed, they left out some of the most interesting information.

When you consider what we got for our tax money in 1961, there is no surprise that we are paying more today. The Canada Pension Plan and Medicare are just two very major components of today’s (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Bad math trumps bad science in bitumen battles.

Following the battle over bitumen is like following a small car full of clowns. You never know what will happen next. The latest on bitumen is that a study published in the U.S. science journal Nature Climate Change has claimed that the U.S. State Department figures on greenhouse gasses from the Keystone XL pipeline are wrong. The authors are saying that greenhouse gasses emissions estimated by the State Department were underestimated by a factor of about four times.

What you might remember is that we humans are pumping some billions of metric tonnes of carbon into the earth’s (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair that roared.

For Prime Minister Harper is the Hair. Hear him roar! Can the Hair not roar at the Russian bear? Can the Hair not send a token planeload of supplies to aid the Ukraine in its efforts to assert control over its own country? Can the Hair not stand foursquare behind Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as children and non-combatants continue to die in Gaza? It says it all when the American president calls responsible countries together to resolve world problems and nobody thinks to invite Canada.

The difference is that the American President is doing his job while the Canadian Prime (Read more…)