Babel-on-the-Bay: In the Senate: “Some are more equal.”

In George Orwell’s Animal Farm we were told that some animals are more equal than others. This makes it an appropriate analogy for the institution in Canada known as the senate. The senate was created 150 years ago as a chamber of sober second thought to rein in any excesses of the citizens elected to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Alibiing elitism 150 years later.

If there was just one institution in Canada that could be changed this year, many Canadians would choose the Senate. They are tired of the elitism shown by the prime minister and his elitist friends in choosing Canadians to serve in this anachronistic reminder of Canada’s British beginnings. The Senate of Canada is this country’s ...

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: 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 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Queen advises: “Take a deep breath.”

We can all buy into that advice. It was directed mainly to Great Britain in Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas message to the Commonwealth. It was obviously related to the surprise Brexit vote by Britain earlier in 2016. It is also excellent advice for the rest of the world judging by the recent antics of the American ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Without it, how do you reform democracy?

Minister Maryam Monsef has been heard from. The maybe minister of democratic institutions has announced a committee of MPs will spend their summer studying changes to Canada’s election system. What the minister does not seem to understand is that changes in our democracy have to be done democratically. This is not a democratic committee. It ...

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 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Impatient for democratic reform?

The federal Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef must have the easiest job in Ottawa. Sure, she is new to the job and has lots to learn but so far, she has had it easy. Even her announcement of the Senate of Canada appointment process was made easy. She made it last December along with ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Did Le Pen expect rose petals?

What did Marine Le Pen president of France’s Front National Party expect? Canadians are hardly about to strew rose petals in her path when she decides to come here and tell us what we are doing wrong. We are open-minded people but we are not particularly interested in people who spread bigotry and fear. Who ...

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. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In the doldrums of a Canadian winter.

Not even Bonhomme Carnaval can cure the January-February blahs this year. Eating and drinking too much in Quebec City might be a popular pastime at this time of year but you also used to have the option of heading south soon afterward. Sure you can. If you can find a warm spot where our 70-cent ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...