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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: If Canadians had their druthers on the Senate…

The delays are over on the government’s Bill C-14 on assisted dying. The Senate showed its true colours: cowardice. After one effort to help fix the flawed bill from the Commons, the senators surrendered. It is disappointing to report that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s solution to the senate seems to be working. When he was […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: If Canadians had their druthers on the Senate…

Alberta Politics: Appalling gun lobby press release begs Canadians not to blame the gun used in massacre

PHOTOS: Retired Quebec Liberal Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette (Alchetron.com), whose Senate bill would make a sensible model for government gun-control legislation. Below: Conservative British Columbia MP Bob Zimmer, an advocate of lifting all Canadi… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Appalling gun lobby press release begs Canadians not to blame the gun used in massacre

Babel-on-the-Bay: The braggadocio of the blogger!

That is one way to describe it. There is a hollowness in the endeavour. It is not just a hobby or an interesting way to waste away a few hours in your day. A daily commentary develops a life of its own. It is not like a Facebook page that you tend like a garden […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The braggadocio of the blogger!

Babel-on-the-Bay: He wanted an independent Senate; he got it.

We told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that this independent Senate of his would bite him on the ass. And it happened sooner than anyone expected. But to make the point on the assisted dying bill was pure justice. The Senate has challenged Justin on a key provision of this ill-considered bill. It is the very […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: He wanted an independent Senate; he got it.

The Disaffected Lib: The Senate of Canada – Back on the Job.

To some they’re still unelected meddlers who should just sit down and rubber stamp the government’s assisted dying law, just as they would have done during the Harper “shut up and do what I say, when I say it” era.That’s not their job. Freed from the y… . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The Senate of Canada – Back on the Job.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Harper goes “quietly into the night.”

That line from Shakespeare’s Henry V is a haunting phrase that can give deep meaning to a legacy. The only problem for Canada’s failed and former Prime Minister Stephen Harper is his lack of a legacy. He united the right and rode that tiger into power. Yet he could never dismount. He ruled firmly from […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Harper goes “quietly into the night.”

Babel-on-the-Bay: An appropriate salute to Queen Victoria.

The following is a repeat of our 2013 salute to Queen Victoria. Nothing has changed. Enjoy your long weekend. Happy birthday Your Majesty! As children in Ontario, we used to set off fireworks to celebrate your birthday. It was a joyous occasion. It was wonderful to know that the sun never set on your empire. […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: An appropriate salute to Queen Victoria.

Babel-on-the-Bay: All the Honourable Persons.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must be looking at the Senate of Canada and wishing he had taken a different approach. There is no guarantee that the honourable persons that he appoints to the Senate will have any more restraint than the returning Senator Mike Duffy. A judge has declared that Duffy’s sense of entitlement was […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: All the Honourable Persons.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Rainy days on those Sunny Ways.

You hate to tell this to our optimistic Prime Minister but occasionally it rains. We were thinking of that when we noted that in the past week, few people really appreciated the government’s feeble, last-minute attempt to manage assisted dying and the Senate was having trouble making the PM’s silly Senate solution functional. The combination […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Rainy days on those Sunny Ways.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is Justin Trudeau’s senate legitimate?

When a leading Liberal thinker such as Pierre Trudeau’s former Principal Secretary Thomas Axworthy challenges us on how to make the new independent(?) Senate of Canada legitimate, workable and effective, we need to pay attention. The only problem is that in a think piece for the Toronto Star on March 26, Tom writes that Justin […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Is Justin Trudeau’s senate legitimate?

Babel-on-the-Bay: A guaranteed income for Canadian elites?

That was a firm step backward in time for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday. He gave jobs to people who had no need for another job. He gave the title of senator to people who had no need for further titles. He made a mockery of much needed reform. This is elitism at its worst. […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: A guaranteed income for Canadian elites?

Babel-on-the-Bay: Honourable Members All!

A reader brought up what he considers a serious weakness in first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting yesterday. It is the assumption that we elect “honourable members’ to our legislatures and the House of Commons and select the same for our Senate. The member we elect with at least a plurality is assumed capable of representing all voters […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Honourable Members All!

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin: On electoral versus constitutional reform.

In a sit-down conversation with Justin Trudeau about six years ago, it was immediately obvious that he is an emotional person and as easy to read as an open book. Other than being eager to get him into a poker game, it was interesting to test his reaction to some basic political propositions. While he […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin: On electoral versus constitutional reform.

Alberta Politics: Tories’ Senate gambit shows Harper still runs the party and the party still holds Parliament in contempt

PHOTOS: The Senate chamber, empty, as it should be. Below: Stephen Harper, apparently still the de facto leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Conservative Opposition… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Tories’ Senate gambit shows Harper still runs the party and the party still holds Parliament in contempt

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau takes strike one on Senate solution.

He has to admit he was warned. The only people cheering the current dumb idea are the sycophants around him. Prime Minister Trudeau cannot use elitism to choose elites. Canadian senators need to be reasonably experienced politicos. And who knows politicos best but their own political parties. That is why the prime minister of the […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau takes strike one on Senate solution.

Babel-on-the-Bay: A simple solution for Canada’s Senate.

During the honeymoon that our new Prime Minister Trudeau deserves, we should all try to be helpful. It is in this spirit of cooperation that Babel-on-the-Bay would like to extend a helping hand in resolving what to do about the Senate of Canada. And in as much as Justin has already told us what to . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: A simple solution for Canada’s Senate.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Mulcair flogs a dead plan for the Senate.

When you know that you cannot possibly achieve your objective, why try to sell it? Obviously New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair is no salesman. A good sales person knows that when something is impossible, you start investigating possible work-arounds to address the issue. Mulcair is lying to Canadians that he has a solution for the . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Mulcair flogs a dead plan for the Senate.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Are they damning democracy?

It is appalling the number of Canadians who say they want voter reform without bothering to research or understand the subject. Sitting in an audience recently with apparently a high percentage of New Democrat supporters, it was surprising how eager they are to reform how we vote. The speaker made an inane claim for proportional . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Are they damning democracy?

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau’s stop-gap Senate solution.

Babel-on-the-Bay is only giving Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau a conditional pass on his proposed Senate solution. The truth is that Trudeau just does not want the constitutional problems that the Stephen Harper or Thomas Mulcair solutions will cause. He is not his father’s son in that regard. Pierre Trudeau was always ready to fight for . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau’s stop-gap Senate solution.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Will we let Mulcair destroy Canada?

It has been assumed for the last while that there are voters parking their votes with the New Democratic Party. That just means if anyone asks, they say they will vote for the NDP. And if they actually did that, this country would never be the same again.

Sure, most of us want to get . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Will we let Mulcair destroy Canada?

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tommy trudges to the wrong tune.

It is very funny reading the apologists for New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair. They claim he has Quebec in hand and now needs to win the rest of the country. That could be helpful if he could really rely on holding on to the Quebec seats won in Jack Layton’s Orange Wave. Tommy Mulcair is . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Tommy trudges to the wrong tune.

Alberta Politics: Liberal dissenter says Conservative Senators ignored advice from police in report on preventing terrorism

PHOTO: Alberta Senator Grant Mitchell with the Senate Chamber in the background (from his website). Conservative Senators on the Upper Chamber’s Standing Committee on National Security and Defence were not interested in the strongest recommendation by police and security experts who testified before the panel, its Liberal Deputy Chair told AlbertaPolitics.ca yesterday. “We heard over . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Liberal dissenter says Conservative Senators ignored advice from police in report on preventing terrorism

Alberta Politics: Was the Senate report on ‘countering’ the threat of terrorism intended to incite hatred for political gain?

PHOTOS: Conservative members of the Senate of Canada answer questions about their “interim report” on countering terrorist threats to Canada. Actual Conservative Senators may not appear exactly as illustrated – but close enough, unfortunately. Below: Liberal senator Grant Mitchell of Alberta, who dissented from the report; former British MP George Galloway, banned from Canada after . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Was the Senate report on ‘countering’ the threat of terrorism intended to incite hatred for political gain?

Alberta Politics: Why stop with just one religion? Shouldn’t Ottawa certify clerics for all religions, plus martial arts instructors?

PHOTOS: The Senate of Canada, also known as “the Red Chamber,” possibly for its adoption of tactics for dealing with religion reminiscent of two large communist countries. Actual Canadian Senators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Andrew P.W. Bennett, Canada’s first “Ambassador for Religious Freedom” and a cantor at the St. John the Baptist . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Why stop with just one religion? Shouldn’t Ottawa certify clerics for all religions, plus martial arts instructors?