Babel-on-the-Bay: Is the political middle just one?

Nobody seems to be able to nail down this middle ground in politics. It is like the middle class that Justin Trudeau chased in the last federal election. Did Trudeau even suspect that they would add up to almost 40 per cent of the voters?  And were they all centre-right voters or was there a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: More fallout from voting reform.

This subject would have been ignored if another commentary on it had not run in the Washington Post. The writer accused the Canadian prime minister of looking “both incompetent and cynical in abandoning the promise of (voting) reform.” It would have become an international incident but we have reason to think the writer is Canadian. ...

Michal Rozworski: No, Canada’s economy will not collapse if Trudeau stands up to Trump

Trudeau met Trump on Monday but voiced no criticism. He stayed mum on Trump’s racist travel bans for Muslims and refugees—silent even about Canadian Muslims being arbitrarily denied entry at the US border. Many commentators in the media were quick to jump to Trudeau’s defense, excusing his total lack of spine with considerations of real economik: Canada’s trading relationship ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Wasted hours in Washington.

Did you think President Trump was going to slice and dice our prime minister for lunch the other day? First of all, Donald Trump seemed to like Justin Trudeau. He would think of Trudeau as a younger version of himself. This young guy was manor born. It is all so easy for him. He was ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Waiting for Mr. Trump.

The reporters and pundits are causing unnecessary concerns. Does anyone really believe that Justin Trudeau cannot handle a meeting with Donald Trump? What is to worry about? Trudeau meets Trump; each takes a couple selfies; they ask about the respective families; tell each other, we’ve got to get together for a state dinner sometime and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Weep not for vote reform.

Among each successive generation there are those who seek to change how we elect our representatives to run our cities, our provinces and our country. Good for them. It is important that we think about it. We need to be sure we have the best system possible. And we do. Now that we have completed ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The fix in foreign affairs.

When Stéphane Dion was so unceremoniously dumped from foreign affairs by Prime Minister Trudeau, all most people could say was they hoped it worked. How would you feel if you were the new foreign affairs minister and the PM kept casting about for the advice needed to handle the situation in Washington? And how does ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: As the world wearies of Trump.

This is a bad sign. A world becoming wearied of President Trump already? It signifies an acceptance of something abnormal and dangerous. When the king seats his fool on the throne, is the fool now king? And if you accept the largess of the fool while the fool sits on the throne, are you not ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When a leader betrays a Canadian legacy.

There was a time back in the Pearson-Trudeau era when tensions ran through English-French relations at the usual flash points in Montreal and Ottawa. And those of us not fully bilingual were the bruised. It is sad to tell of the disappointments suffered from those you had supported so fiercely. That is why so many ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Even an elite Senate needs direction.

It seems you cannot keep a newspaper person from writing. Even with a sinecure such as a guaranteed salary for sitting in the Senate (until age 75) former La Presse editor André Pratte keeps writing. The past week it was a piece he wrote for the Toronto Star on why an evolving Senate must adapt. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When a friend gives a friend a lift.

This is not the prime minister’s problem. It must be the ethics and conflict of interest commissioner’s problem. This commissioner acts independently and reports to parliament on those issues that might involve the ethics or any conflict of interest on the part of federally elected persons. We hear that she is currently looking into a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Put in a word for us when you see the PM.

So, what are you going to tell the prime minister? He’s coming to see you. You just need to contact your Liberal M.P. to get an invitation. He is not coming to our riding. We lost to the Conservatives by 86 votes. And please do not ask the PM if it is cold enough for ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Culling Canada’s Cabinet.

Cabinet making and cabinet tending are different requirements of a prime minister. Those were sunny days in late 2015 when Prime Minister Trudeau chose his first cabinet. Change can come quickly at busy times. What we have to realize is that his perspective on the need for change is quite different from our perspectives. Trudeau ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Let’s march to our own drummer.

It was hardly a surprise when the Prime Minister’s Office said he was not attending Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington next week. Frankly, the Canadian prime minister would just be in the way. It was more of a surprise that he would not be attending the concurrent world economic conference in Davos, Switzerland. It seems ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Not everyone hates Premier Wynne.

It is too bad that Ontario Premier Wynne has no politically smart advisors or staff. Here it is the first week of 2017 and the foolish lady is deep in the do-do of her own making. By selecting the beginning of January to launch her ill-fated cap and trade program, she has been ripped off ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In the quiet before the storm.

It is the ho-hum time between New Year’s and the real reasons for having a January. In our area, that just means more damn snow. At least the ski hills are buzzing. But we want to talk about how we vote and who we vote for and what’s wrong with our constitution. For a political ...

The Disaffected Lib: Who Will Decide Canada’s Policy on Israel, Barack Obama or Donald Trump?

When US secretary of state, John Kerry, proclaimed that Israel had to choose – it could be a Jewish state or a democracy, just not both, Washington’s abrupt epiphany must have caught Justin Trudeau and Steffie Dion with their short pants down. If Washington can say the emperor has no clothes, where does that leave ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ottawa’s Ghost of Christmas Future.

When Marley’s Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come came to see Canada’s Prime Minister, the ghost looked a lot like American President Elect Donald Trump. Justin Trudeau had many questions for him but the ghost never spoke a word. He just kept on twitting. The ghost took the Prime Minister to breakfast with the Calgary ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The arrogance of Justin Trudeau.

Weighing the pluses and minuses of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first year in office was a tough job. He got off to a good start. How many refugees can claim they were welcomed to their new country by its Prime Minister? In person! And he kept his promise to fix what we used to call ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The rocky road to electoral reform.

It seems obvious at this stage that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has still not gained any conviction on electoral reform. He hardly understood what he was promising when he said that the 2015 election would be the last federal election using first-past-the-post. He seemed to have no understanding of the alternatives. As the expression goes, ...

The Disaffected Lib: A Primer for a Prime Minister

It’s almost impossible to discern how much our prime minister really understands about globalism and the neoliberal order. He claims he gets it but that’s far from clear. The prime ministerial confusion was manifest in his interview today in The Guardian.It was with some relief that I came upon a helpful treatise on neoliberalism by ...

The Disaffected Lib: Relax. We’re a "Post-National State" Now. We Have No Core Values.

Sheesh, didn’t this guy get the memo from our first post-national prime minister, Justin the Liberated? I refer to Michael Doucet, executive director of Canada’s Security Intelligence Review Committee, the outfit that oversees our country’s spy apparatus and operations. Doucet questions whether Donald Trump’s espoused support for torture means Canada should rein in the flow ...

The Disaffected Lib: Oh Yeah, About that "Post-National" Business

Justin Trudeau has proclaimed Canada the “first post-national state.” In fact, we’re not the first country to be smeared with that label. In fact we may be the last. Justin’s world view is hopelessly outdated. …one of the paradoxes of globalization has been that, as cross-border travel, migration, and trade have increased, attachment to national ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Well here’s another nice mess, Ollie!”

Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are probably too young to remember the 1920s to 1950s Hollywood comedy team of Laurel and Hardy but they seem to have a comparable act. It was Monsef’s turn on Thursday to dismiss the work of her own committee on electoral reform. She had given ...

The Disaffected Lib: An Impassioned Plea to Tear Down the Walls of Inequality from Stephen Hawking.

The neoliberals who have driven the western world into the ditch over the past three decades need to decide whether to rehabilitate liberal democracy or allow themselves to be erased from memory by generations of strongman rule. Yeah, Justin – you too. First up, theoretical physicist extraordinaire, Stephen Hawking. In an opinion piece in The Guardian, ...