Babel-on-the-Bay: Did the Lion roar or snore?

Since the name ‘Singh’ for Sikhs means ‘lion,’ it makes you wonder about New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh. Is he just a cowardly lion, looking for a political Wizard of Oz to give him the courage to address the real needs of his party? He certainly failed to deal with any of the real ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A tag day for journalism.

It should be admitted up front that this writer is a news junky. With a career in public relations and politics, I believe in the independence of CBC/Radio Canada and I have been known to pester the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). A strong, independent news media makes for a strong nation. But I am ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Jagmeet’s first challenge.

The new leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) has been busier than you think. Taking his party’s leadership was Jagmeet Singh’s easiest task. His journeys around Canada since then have been to convince the party members that an observant Sikh does not have two heads and can also be an effective politician. Now he ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin in the pipeline pretzel position.

It is new to yoga. Among the latest postures for the ancient health and fitness practice is the pipeline pretzel position. It is for those who believe they can make money from the tar sands while reducing the carbon we are spewing into our environment. While we might all look silly in the downward dog ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The NDP and the LEAP liability.

This is unbelievable. The New Democratic Party is having a convention in mid February and we hear the LEAP Manifesto seems to be the selected song book. Not only is the document two years older but it was out of date when introduced in Edmonton to the consternation of the Alberta NDP. It was not ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Our leaders need to ‘man up.’

It is unlikely that in this era of #MeToo that we can find many men willing to stick their neck out—or any other body part, for that matter. It is just that the we are getting into the realms of ridiculousness with some of today’s witch (or more accurately, warlock) hunts. Our political leaders are ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin’s dad had no rule book.

Frankly, I am getting tired of this schmaltzy feminist dialogue from the prime minister. Enough is enough. He needs a new playbook. This business reminds me of the time his father gave a feminist speech to a dinner in Toronto at the Royal York Hotel. I had a table with the key media people and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Political parties are not private.

There was an interesting question raised last week by Toronto Star columnist Susan Delacourt about political parties. She was questioning whether political parties are public or private entities. Before we get legal minds involved in determining this, it is important to stress that a political party is created by and owned by its membership. It ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Walls of NAFTA.

There is more than one wall to consider when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiators meet in Montreal this week. The wall that the negotiations is creating between Canada and the United States of America is just as serious as the wall of ignorance President Trump wants to build against Mexico. The difference ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Lion proposes to his Princess.

We read that it was the Tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, who determined that Sikh men could identify as Singh (lion) and Sikh women as Kaur (princess). This happened more than 300 years ago and was all in aid of getting rid of the caste system for Sikhs and asserting the equality of women. It ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Democracy, behind closed doors?

There is some puzzlement here with Canada’s democratic institutions minister. She asks for public input on political leaders’ debates for the next federal election but meets with those her department chooses to talk with behind closed doors. For all the problems we experienced with Maryam Monsef, the first minister of democratic institutions, she was at ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: If there is a wrong way?

The Trudeau government seems to be fated to find the wrong way to do things. Whether it is just a contrariness or a strange quirk is still something we have not figured out. It is probably the reason that we say so little about the coming legalization of marijuana in Canada. Legal or illegal, whatever ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Shilling for the politicos.

Full disclosure requires me to admit that I was a political spin doctor before I knew what a spin doctor was. I am not as proud of it as I should be. Maybe it is because I always felt embarrassed for people who claimed such expertise. Case in point is Barbara and Murray Frum’s son ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: You can vote if you want.

There is nothing more annoying in politics than listening to some chowder-head radio disc jockey on election day admonishing people to get out and vote. I always want to append that with the qualifier ‘If you know what you are doing, get out and vote.” And add to that, ‘If you do not know what ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Change Canada’s Senate: ‘There’s the rub.’

Some of our readers thought that was a got-cha. “Aha,” they exclaimed in their e-mails, “How do you think we are going to get rid of the senate?” Obviously, they have never heard of my idea of a constitutional conference. I suggested it once in a conversation with Justin Trudeau. His eyes rolled in his ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In a land where greed beats need.

The last time Canada took a systematic look into its tax system was at the instigation of a Prairie populist, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. The royal commission headed by Bay Street accountant Kenneth Carter was famous for determining “A buck is a buck.” Here we are more than 50 years later and no finance minister ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: First-past-the-post vote still wins.

For all the arguments that people put up, you would suspect that first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting was on its last legs. It is not. It survives not because so many of us love it. It survives because there is no adequate alternative. What seems most annoying about the effort put into our switching to some form ...

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: Democracy denied.

To many people, democracy is too much bother. Can you just imagine how much it annoys Donald Trump? Democracy requires openness and honesty, effort and consideration, rights and freedoms. And democracy continues to grow and evolve and expand. It recognizes the equality of the sexes. It recognizes our shared responsibility for our country, our environment, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Democracy destroyed.

The years of Pierre Trudeau’s leadership seem to be backing into the mists of time. It was the strength of a democratic Liberal Party in Canada that back stopped him in those years. He thought of the party at first as similar to the top-down managed situation in Quebec. He almost lost the 1972 election ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Defending Democracy.

You would think in all the many years of human social development that democracy should have gained support and growing wide-spread usage around the world. We certainly agree that it is not perfect but we do agree that it is better than any alternatives. Yet tell it to the Russians and they want the oligarchy ...

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: Isn’t it supposed to get easier?

With two years in office behind him, you would expect Justin Trudeau to be getting more adept at his job. He is not. This has been a year for criticisms, errors, lectures, let-downs and too many apologies. Were he with us, Justin’s father would not be pleased with his son’s performance. He would likely agree ...

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, ...