Babel-on-the-Bay: “Patrick! Come back!”

In the iconic western, Shane, the gunfighter rides off into the prairie night and the movie ends. I had no idea that Ontario Conservative MPP Patrick Brown would come back. I have written about the reality that running to replace himself is his only road to redemption but why would the damn fool listen to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Righting policy on the right.

Former Tory Leader Patrick Brown thought he had it made last November. He had the policy for the 2018 provincial election nailed down. He had what he thought was a wonderful book that could grace the coffee tables of the province with a great picture of him on the cover. Patrick’s provincial Progressive Conservatives were ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Out of the limelight for Patrick Brown.

Have you heard that old politicos just fade away? Younger ones are noisier. For example, take Barrie’s favourite son, Patrick Brown. If you hitch your horse in front of any of the many saloons on Barrie’s main street, you are welcome inside but you best not say too loudly that Patrick Brown is a putz. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Confidential candidate Caroline.

How much do we really know about Caroline Mulroney? She wants to be a member of the Ontario legislature. She wants to be leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. She even wants to be premier of Ontario. This woman wants all of this and we all know so very little about her. And we ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Measuring mediocrity.

Having been party to writing political rule books in the past, it took little time to find the loopholes and errors in the 2018 Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership rule book. I did not compare them, side by side, but I figure the major change is the date on each page. It makes the same silly ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When the music stops.

The game is called Musical Chairs. You might have played it as a child. If there are ten players, you start with nine chairs together in line, alternating facing in opposite directions. When the music starts the players are lined up and walk around the line of chairs. When the music stops everyone scrambles for ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: And now there are three.

Even in this shortest of all leadership races, it is too early to produce a morning line on the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party contest. How are you expected to consider workouts and past performance for this mixed bag of candidates? And when you only have three—so far—you have to wait until the official cut off. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brown’s fans fight for fairness.

How do you petition public opinion? How many signatures on Facebook would impress the hoi polloi? Would you send the results to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook? Just how do you defend against accusations handled entirely within the court of public opinion? Talking to one of the people behind the Facebook petition on behalf of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: And Wynne sits in the catbird seat.

The ‘catbird seat’ is a wonderful American idiom for that perfect position in politics providing the politician with a position to observe the disarray of his or her foes. As you can imagine, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is currently enjoying that position. Her main opposition, the Ontario Conservatives are totally involved in their own problems. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A house divided.

The Progressive Conservative Party in Ontario is in turmoil. Since last Wednesday, the party has been playing its own Game of Thrones. Slights—real or imagined—are earning retaliation and factions of the party are preparing for the fights to come. The Queen’s Park conservative caucus got behind Vic Fedeli from Nipissing as interim leader but the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Who killed Cock Robin?”

“All the birds of the air fell a-sighing and a-sobbing, when they heard the bell toll for poor Cock Robin.”       (English nursery rhyme, author unknown.)   Former Barrie councillor, former MP and former leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party, Patrick Brown is not an object of sympathy.  It would be difficult to feel sorry for ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brown’s political days are done.

When your entire life is politics, the end of your run can be a tragedy. Like the marathon runner, he is, he felt the eagerness for the starter’s gun and the highs of the final stretch. For the rest of his life, Barrie’s Patrick Brown can only say, ‘If only…” No, there are no regrets ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario votes in June.

While political pundits have obviously thought long and hard on Ontario Premier Wynne’s possible political problems this spring, I doubt her main concern is misogyny. Nobody is mad at her for being a woman and not many voters give a darn about her being in a lesbian relationship. That is not what the provincial vote ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Politics is a numbers racket.

It is time to admit it: I used to be a numbers runner. Different from the numbers racket in the United States, in Canada, it is a political game. I used to announce numbers provided by my political party to see if we could draw out numbers from the other parties. It was usually a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Forget Beyak, dump Canada’s Senate.

Why just dump Senator Lynn Beyak? You do not have to like what she says or posts on the Internet? We have all heard it before. Bigotry is hardly new. The problem is that there is not much you can do about it. She was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Stephen ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A potpourri of New Year wishes.

This writer’s New Year’s resolution is, as always, to never make a resolution. Each year is another adventure. It is an opportunity to discover and to learn. We have a mixed bag of comments to share today as we start our tenth year of this commentary. The ten years means both good and bad. Trying ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Let’s call it Scheer willpower.

You may have been wondering what Andrew Scheer has been doing since winning the leadership lottery run by the Conservative Party of Canada? Our guess is that he has been spending time on his knees thanking the powers above for the gifts he keeps getting from an indulgent Liberal Prime Minister. There are so many ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brought to you by Bollywood?

In reviewing the three leaders of the major political parties in Canada, we came up with what we consider the key question for Jagmeet Singh: Why? What is the new leader of the New Democratic Party out to prove? Was his taking the leadership of the National NDP just a Bollywood production? First of all, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Naughty or Nice: Ontario’s Patrick Brown.

As more and more Ontario voters get to see Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown in action, the more his voting preference plummets. He is just not the type of person people can imagine as premier of Canada’s largest province. And neither can Santa as he keeps Patrick on his “Naughty” list. If we had to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brown plays bad with the big kids.

The first time I met Barrie, Ontario politician Patrick Brown, I wondered what this miserable person was doing in politics? He has no personality. He has little grasp of election issues. What I soon learned was that he is a gamer. And his game is politics. He plays the game of politics as a video ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Denzil decides to do his duty.

Toronto Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong seems to have heard the clarion call of distant trumpets. He tells people that he is challenging for the Progressive Conservative candidacy in York East electoral district. Knowing the voters in that part of Toronto as I do, this is not really exciting news. While Denzil might believe he can leap ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tories try sleight-of-hand with transit.

When we first saw the Ontario Conservative’s proposal for Toronto Transit, we thought it was one of the silliest we had heard for a while. It just made no sense why they thought the provincial government would make less a mess of the job of running the subways and light-rail systems than the city. It ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Chuckles needs to change gears.

It is a rare time that we give serious advice to the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. It is that ‘Chuckles’ Scheer is going to have to learn the difference between legitimate political criticism and harassment. Watching Finance Minister Bill Morneau in the House of Commons it seemed to me that the poor ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does Ontario come with an owner’s manual?

Maybe Patrick Brown forgot to ask. It has been clear that Premier Kathleen Wynne has been playing the job by ear for the past four years. It is just that the former do-nothing back bencher from the Harper government wants Wynne’s job. The Globe and Mail tells us that Brown is a pragmatist on steroids ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Promises and Political Promises.

The magazine style “policy platform” handed out to the Ontario Conservative elite at their get-together last weekend is a style of political literature that was developed many years ago. The glossy magazine is a strong sales style that the voter might keep a bit longer. Adding a full-page guarantee was an idea that popped up ...