This is disgraceful. Canada’s foreign affairs seem to be in the hands of the Three Stooges. Recent events in Jerusalem, Kyiv and Hollywood appear to be making the point.
First of all, Prime Minister Harper leads an invasion of Israel. That is a small country and they hardly need more gawkers, self-serving politicians and rabbis cluttering the landscape. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu obviously wondered at what they wanted, it was low tourist season in Israel and “Bibi” appreciated the hotel room bookings and restaurant revenue. And, not many people are satisfied with having a bird sanctuary named for them. (Read more…)
The faster you try to do something, the longer you will have to regret it. There are too many stupid things we do that seem like a good idea at the time.
Take the latest ill-considered suggestions at Queen’s Park to change the way people vote in Toronto elections. The proponents seem to think it will keep the city from electing another Rob Ford. It could also keep them from electing anyone who might be really good at the job.
What is happening is that both a Liberal Member and a New Democrat Member are proposing private member’s bills that (Read more…)
In more than 30 years of dealing with the news media, you find that you can make all the mistakes you will ever need to make in the first week. If you do not clue in during that first week that the news media are not your friends, all is lost. And that is why Toronto mayoralty candidate John Tory’s little elves need to get him to button-up.
John is no longer a radio host able to prattle on as he wishes. We all know he is erudite and knowledgeable. Now he can shut up. He is leaving too many (Read more…)
If it were not for the egos involved, political campaigns would be far more fun. Most political apparatchiks get their comeuppance early in the game and learn the hard way that the candidate is always the star, not the hangers-on. It is like the old ventriloquist Edgar Bergen was always the politely bland chap in the background. It was the dummy on his lap who made it all work.
Another lesson learned early in politics is the need to assess the strengths and weaknesses of an opponent’s support team. What types of campaigns have they run? What are their favourite (Read more…)
The endurance contest in Ontario that has replaced municipal election races has its own challenges and strategies. The Toronto mayoralty race can be considered launched Monday with the official entry of Councillor Karen Stintz and former provincial Conservative Leader John Tory. And like the period from September 1939 to April 1940, it can be described as a “Phoney War.”
But there were many casualties on land and sea in that period of the Second World War and there will be casualties by the time the Toronto mayoralty contest comes down to the basic three. By the end of the (Read more…)
Tuesday, Council got a combined debt-and-budget presentation that set the stage for the upcoming, fuller 2014 budget deliberations starting next week. CAO John Brown gave us a recap of a report (produced by BMA Management Consulting) about the town’s debt situation and financial wellbeing. It was a mix of good news/bad news. The good is […]
On #RobFord’s Critics: “You know why Rob Ford still wins and will keep on winning? All these people in the newspapers, writing blogs and rushing to criticize him are upper-middle […]
In an earlier post, I wrote that Collingwood’s Integrity Commissioner, Robert Swayze, proposed two changes to the town’s Procedural Bylaw: amending section 13.7 and deleting section 13.8. Last post I dealt with the former; here I will explain my concerns about the latter. Section 13.8 currently reads: 13.8 No vote – deemed negative – exception […]
In May, 2013, I wrote my thoughts about Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and the effect it had on the governance and procedural behaviour of municipal councillors. Back then, I wrote, The Act allows no grey areas: there are no “perceived” conflicts in law, only clearly defined legal ones. This is obviously intended by […]
It is now obvious that broadcaster John Tory is going to jump into the Toronto mayoralty. He gave up the news on Global Television’s Focus Ontario over the weekend. And he had no need to answer host Alan Carter’s snide introduction as “Soon to announce for the Toronto mayoralty, John Tory.” In fact, one of the benefits of running for mayor will be an excuse for Tory to stay off that show with its amateur and biased host.
And he might as well run for the mayor’s job. Someone has to do the healing after the Rob Ford years (Read more…)
Earlier this month, I filed my nomination papers for municipal council. I am running for a fourth term as Collingwood councillor. I will post a new election website with updated information and campaign content later this winter. I would appreciate your support, your trust and your vote. I believe I have earned them during my […]
Francis Bula, Vancouver pundit, introduced a debate on wasting public resources to open up a debate that would have resulted in the same decision: Does public participation slow down cities’ […]
My third book for Municipal World, Brands, Buzz & Going Viral, has just been published as part of the Municipal Information Series. I received my author’s copies yesterday. I am very proud of this book; it took a lot of work to research and write. I enjoyed writing it. I hope readers find it both informative […]
It really is foolish. There was a commentary the other day by Bob Hepburn of the Toronto Star that Toronto liberals are in a quandary about this year’s mayoralty race in their city. Bob is a bit early in suggesting that liberals need to make any decision. The problem for them is not to jump into this or that campaign. Their challenge is to find the right candidate for liberal-minded voters to support.
There is not one of the present or suspected candidates at this time who could meet any criteria for liberal support. Liberals might be losing organizational and (Read more…)
In the 1977 Richard Brooks movie Looking for Mr. Goodbar, the character played by Diane Keaton might as well have been looking for a mayoralty candidate as for someone to share her bed. Either way, it seems to be a self-destructive quest. In looking for a mayor for the city of Toronto, people are spending more time on resurrecting past fantasies than dealing with the hard reality of what the city needs.
Frankly, as presently structured, Toronto needs a referee not a mayor. The current and future city council are a ragtag group of misfits that no degree of (Read more…)
If you attended the Mayor’s Levee, Jan. 5, you received a small brochure that listed some of this council’s accomplishments to date, as well as our collective plans and priorities for the remaining year of our term. It’s worth reiterating some of those notes. Keeping the public informed was identified by this council as a […]
I spent a busy weekend copying posts from my previous blog (hundreds of posts, currently archived on another server awaiting my resolution) onto my hard drive. I plan to resurrect some of these posts – maybe with a bit of updating or editing – in a WordPress archive site here so I can keep them […]
The most daunting marathon in the New Year is the long-running campaigns for mayors and other municipal candidates in Ontario cities. Technically, your campaign cannot start before registration, which opened January 2. It ends on election day, October 27. There are those such as Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford who are always campaigning anyway and registered early. Others can register as late as September and still be there to lose in October. It is just a question of strategy.
(And, an aside for political neophytes, do not get your strategy mixed up with tactics. Tactics are what you use to carry (Read more…)
I had one of those odd dreams recently; a crazy mix of future and past, where rotary dial phones and smart phones co-existed, where past and future intersected. A retro-future dream. I was in Collingwood, an odd Collingwood, but it was still my home town: recognizable,familiar, but also changed. Modernized in striking ways, old-fashioned in […]
You don’t need a crystal ball to guess,
That 2014’s gonna be a political mess.
Those city, province, federal hopefuls,
Will make promises by the bucketfuls.
Years of campaigns don’t reveal it all,
You never know who will win or fall.
Nor do we come last amongst fallible.
Pollsters we find are far more gullible.
There’s an election coming in Ontario,
Watch for Horwath trying for her solo.
Quebec’s Marois will be beating pans,
For votes by bigots and péquistes fans.
Ontario cities get their votes in the fall,
Dogooders wait so eagerly for the call.
Also (Read more…)
It’s been quite a year, both personally and politically. The best of times, the worst of times, to paraphrase Dickens. Looking back on 2103, it was a busy, eventful, successful, and yet often challenging year. I accomplished many things on different levels – personal and professional – and, I believe, overcame some of the challenges I […]
This is a look at political baggage Canadians are dragging into the New Year. And none is more fascinating than Nigel Wright. The former chief of staff to the prime minister has been keeping his own counsel long enough. Is there a six figure book deal in the offing? Could there be vindication for Stephen Harper? Was the prime minister really clueless about the deal Wright cut for poor Senator Duffy? We need Nigel’s testimony (under oath) to hopefully clear the air.
And then there is that gross friend of the prime minister and finance minister who is now one (Read more…)