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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 do with suggestions that involve constitutional change, we will stay away from that pitfall.

As matters stand the Senate is a constitutional commitment that involves so many appointees from each province or territory and that the senators should represent their home province or territory by (Read more…)

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 Senate and he does not seem to care that the one lie taints his other promises.

What Mulcair fully understands is that Quebec will never agree to simply abolishing the Senate. Quebec and Ontario are each guaranteed 24 seats in the Senate and any change (Read more…)

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 voting and they applauded wildly.

What these enthusiasts do not understand is that to adopt proportional representation in this country is to give up on democracy. We have this tradition of electing our best and brightest to our provincial capitols and our nation’s capitol. It (Read more…)

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 Canada.

But Justin does not believe that the Senate is worth fighting over. His is an elitist solution but he feels it can solve the problem on a short-term basis. What he wants to do is create a bi-partisan committee to recommend appointments and that (Read more…)

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 rid of Prime Minister Stephen Harper but do we also want to say au revoir to Quebec at the same time? New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair has been playing footsie with the separatists and promising them an easy separation from the rest of Canada. As (Read more…)

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 not Jack Layton.

Yet the New Democrat brain-trust tells Tom to paste a smile on his mug and go wow Ontario voters. It does not work that way. They forget that Mulcair is a born-again Quebec Liberal. That means he is much farther to the (Read more…)

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 yesterday. “We heard over […]

The post Liberal dissenter says Conservative Senators ignored advice from police in report on preventing terrorism appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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 […]

The post Was the Senate report on ‘countering’ the threat of terrorism intended to incite hatred for political gain? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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 […]

The post Why stop with just one religion? Shouldn’t Ottawa certify clerics for all religions, plus martial arts instructors? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Canadians are owed answers on the Senate.

Do you have a mental image of the three major party leaders cowering in their campaign bunkers this year afraid of questions on the Senate? They will all tell you that they are in favour of Senate reform and just what that reform might entail and how they will accomplish the task are the questions they are afraid to answer.

Stephen Harper had been stiff arming questions about the Senate since his record of 27 appointments to the chamber in 2009. Yet the other day in Kiev, he said that the Senate was an independent body. And if you believe (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: What’s the Senate all about Hair?

There is something of a contest going on. The Hair might draw the line at taking off his stuffed shirt and streaking the tourists gaping at Ottawa’s Confusion Square but no holds are barred in distracting Canadians from the Duffy Trial.

The Duffy Trial is the big show in Ottawa now and it’s getting the news media all a twitter. It is where the chubby one-time spokesman for the Hair Senator Mike Duffy is on trial for accepting a bribe.

But just a minute: maybe the Hair can explain to us why the person accepting the bribe is charged and (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Ex-Conservative Senator Wallin committed “breach of trust and fraud”: RCMP

The RCMP announced Monday that ex-Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin, a Harper appointee, “committed the offences of breach of trust and fraud.”

The post Ex-Conservative Senator Wallin committed “breach of trust and fraud”: RCMP appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Disaffected Lib: What’s Going On with the Senate?

It seems there are a good many senators anxious about the already overdue audit reports into their expenses.  Complicating matters is the letter they were cajoled into signing that waives all privilege, both Parliamentary and solicitor-client.

Suddenly we seem to have a Senate packed full of Mike Duffys in waiting. From what I’m hearing they’re bringing in sawdust by the truckload to cover the floor of the Red Chamber.

The trick now is to figure how this is going to play out in Stephen Harper’s election planning.  He’s got that place heavily larded with his own appointees. 52 Conservatives versus (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The most important Duffy trial must be held in the court of public opinion

Mike Duffy, back in pre-Senatorial days, but already feeling the heat. Below: A more recent shot of Senator Duffy; former prime ministerial chief of staff Nigel Wright.

How could the handoff of a $90,000 cheque to Senator Mike Duffy by the prime minister’s chief of staff not be worthy of prosecution while the acceptance of the same piece of paper by the senator is?

Wherever the trial of Mr. Duffy leads us in the months and years to come, this is the question ordinary Canadians are scratching their heads about today as they pick up a whiff of something not (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Hair today, gone tomorrow.

It seems the Hair is out of step with Canadians. He is constantly rebuked by the Supreme Court, abused by his friends in the Senate, let down by his caucus, betrayed by underlings and his cabinet might all be vying for his job. As he said at Jim Flaherty’s funeral, not even his friends like him. It is so bad that the Hair is again contemplating his future. Does he even have one?

The Hair has reason to be deeply troubled. Someone needs to take this boy in hand and show him the difference between love and reality. He has (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Payment of $45,000 travel bill by Alberta Premier raises as many questions as it answers

There will be no more scenes like this aboard Government of Alberta aircraft, thank you very much! Actual Alberta cabinet ministers and cabin crew may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: a screenshot of Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s news conference yesterday.

Fresh from her public relations triumph in Edmonton’s Churchill LRT station Tuesday, Alberta Premier Alison Redford announced yesterday she has personally paid back the $45,000 cost of her trip to South Africa in December, and that of the young aide who went along with her.

“My hope is that we can now get back to the work Albertans asked (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Duffy’s Shadow Looms Over Harper’s Future

We won’t have long to wait for the release of the tell-all book on Mike Duffy, penned by his old journalism colleague, Dan Leger.

The book, Duffy: Stardom to Senate to Scandal,  is said to revisit the good old days when Leger met Duffy in Ottawa (1984-1990) and traces Duffy’s television career, his pursuit of a seat in the Senate and the scandal that brought him down and continues to plague Stephen Harper.

According to Leger, he and Duffy spent hours on the deck of the senator’s Cavendish cottage as Duffy spilled the beans.  Duffy maintained, as he (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: It’s Not the Senate, But Close

Disgraced, ex-Tory senator Patrick Brazeau has found work apparently almost in the shadow of Parliament Hill.  Brazeau is the new day manager at the Bare Fax Gentlemen’s Club.

A visitor from Lanham, U.S.A. left this review on Yelp:

Coming from the US for a business trip in Ottawa. I have to say Barefax is the best strip club I’ve been to. All of my previous experience has been in the US. The girls are  a lot more friendly, not pushy at all. They’re more beautiful as well. The only place in the US that has equivalent quality (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Five ways to save the Senate of Canada

Tweet Is the Senate of Canada broken? And if so, is it worth saving? Here are the positions held by Canada’s federal political parties: 1) Abolish the Senate The New Democratic Party of Canada, the official opposition since 2011, are staunchly in favour of entirely abolishing the Senate of Canada. “Unelected party hacks have no […]

Alberta Diary: Stephen Harper to Canada: ‘It’s not my fault! Now shut up and vote for me’

Trying to change the channel: Unfortunately for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the remote seems to have disappeared under a pillow and the movie stuck on the TV screen stars Mike Duffy, shown above moving toward the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary Friday night. Actual Canadian Senators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Andrew Nikiforuk and David Suzuki.


So it all comes down to this, then? It’s not my fault. Now shut up and vote for me!

What else can we take away from Stephen Harper’s first campaign speech of the 2015 election season, made to the nervously shuffling (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Settling the Senate problem is only a start.

Reading the rambling discourses of the pundits, you would think that the current outcry against the Senate is easy to solve by simply abolishing the place. If it was that simple, we would have been quit of the foolish waste of money in the last century. What all these pundits are missing is that we also have to replace the Senate with something that would bring balance back to our system of government.

If the Senate is not working as a safeguard in our parliamentary system, it needs to be replaced. Canada has to have protections to preserve its democracy. (Read more…)