Babel-on-the-Bay: Writing Off NAFTA.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is still on the operating table. While it appears that the gurus at Canada’s banks are giving poor odds, that seems to be what banks always do. They do appear to like spreading doom and gloom. Despite their predictions, nobody is willing to announce time of death at ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Surrender of Socialism.

For what began as a socialist dream on the Prairies during the Great Depression, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and its successor New Democratic Party (NDP) have seen little success on the federal sphere in Canada. The party might now be moving into its twilight. Unlike the pattern of the Conservative and Liberal parties, the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Diminished democracy of Justin’s Liberals.

In George Orwell’s 1984, new history was written and old history incinerated. The old think and the new think were not allowed to co-exist. Nowhere is that thinking more obvious today than in Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party of Canada. It is not his father’s Liberal Party. After his overwhelming victory in 1968, Pierre Trudeau felt ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Chuckles’ Canned Conservatism.

In discussing the ebbing strength of the democracy of Canada’s Conservative parties yesterday, we never got to the major problem faced by the federal Conservatives. Their problem is one of leadership. If there ever was a good example of the mediocrity produced by preferential voting, the Conservative party faces that problem today in its leadership. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Diminished democracy of Canada’s Conservatives.

In looking at the major political parties in Canada in their headlong dash for irrelevancy, we might as well start with the Conservatives. Since the end of the 90s and the machinations of Stephen Harper to finally achieve the promise to ‘unite the right’ across Canada, the separated federal and provincial conservative parties have been ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The despotism of First-Past-the-Post?

One of our favourite political bloggers wrote a desperate ‘cri de Coeur’ the other day against what he perceives as the despotism of first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting. He lives on Canada’s Left Coast and writes under the pseudonym ‘The Mound of Sound.’ Rather than simply refuting his assertions, I think it is important to find the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A travesty of travellers.

The dynamic duo of Trump and Trudeau are meeting in south-east Asia this weekend. Neither has the other on their agenda. And neither has a similar agenda. They have different needs and different objectives. U.S. President Donald Trump has the shortest list to match his short memory. His top-of-mind concern is North Korea. He is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The ‘Who’ of colonization?

When struggling through the Interim Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, it became confusing as to who was supposedly doing the colonizing? The confusion was taken even further after watching Chief Commissioner Marion Buller on Vassy Kapelos’ West Block program on Global Television last week. Leaving aside Commissioner ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Hair harasses NAFTA hopefuls.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is still on life support. The end of his first year in office and President Donald Trump has not yet ended the more than US$ one trillion in trade between the three countries. Maybe he was waiting for some help from critics of the Canadian Prime Minister to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: ‘Chuckles’ chooses chaos.

Have you ever wondered at how Member’s of Parliament can keep on speaking while being constantly heckled? It seems it is all part of the theatre that parliament provides and is a big part of the daily question period. There will always be exceptions but the chaos heckling creates can be easily quieted if just ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Fleeing to Florida.

We are in November and many Canadians are contemplating their trip to Florida for the winter. Why, we do not know. Are you not aware that Floridians hate Canadians? They voted for Trump you know. And why Canadians think they have some God-given right to go waste our Canadian loonies on the soft life at ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does Donald Trump even like America?

If President Donald Trump takes any pride in the United States of America, he has a funny way of showing it. Did he run for the presidency as a joke or to get even? Maybe he was tired of being considered a joke? In his ignorance, Trump is giving the bird (as only a New ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Caesar’s wife must be beyond suspicion.

Recently we wrote that federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is in the role of Caesar’s wife. The simple point of that is what Julius Caesar said when he divorced his wife Pompeia: “My wife ought not even be under suspicion.” That statement has meant for centuries that those who seek to be leaders can have ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Curating the consensus of the crowd.

It is most unlikely that Maude Barlow and the membership of the Council of Canadians see Canada’s future as being a pastoral society. It just appears by the collective’s recent policy consensus that this is what they want. What it might be telling us is that Maude’s days as curator for the Council could be ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: There’s more to life than apples.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s main man Finance Minister Bill Morneau is still playing the role of Johnny Appleseed. He seems to have the sole role of a single program like the character in American folk lore who introduced apple horticulture to a large swath of North America. There is nothing wrong with sticking to what ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Joly jilts journalism.

Every government for the past 50 years in Canada has wrung its collective hands over the state of Canadian journalism. We have had studies, expert reports, editorials, analyses, speeches and diatribes over the news media and its state of disrepair. What we have failed to do is come to any answers. We have left it ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The wounded of the wild, wild west.

Got an e-mail from a fellow blogger on Canada’s Left Coast. This guy is a superb writer and progressive but he is feeling less and less friendly these days to Justin Trudeau and the eastern establishment that tries to run this country. He confirms my thoughts that Quebec separatists are less a problem for Canadian ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Bad business at Bombardier.

You sometimes wonder what kind of business people are running Bombardier. They got sucker punched by Boeing in the United States and they ran crying into the arms of Airbus. This was a desperation move and was too soon. Airbus smelled the fear and they ended up owning the Canadian company’s C Series aircraft business. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Morneau mourns mendacity.

Having worked with many politicians over the years, you always have to be aware that the higher you climb the political ladder the more prone to attack you become. It is not whether Finance Minister Bill Morneau deserved to be attacked, his position made it likely. Bear baiting never has been legal in Canada and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Horse Race Journalism and 2019?

It is unlikely that Jaime Watt was talking about Babel-on-the-Bay in a recent op-ed piece. The Conservative political pundit referenced “horse race journalism” as being premature and meaningless in discussing the next federal election. Well, it is too early and he is right about that. But we like the horse race analogy and we know ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Will Singh say something serious?

With a new party leader established and MP Charlie Angus taking over the New Democratic Party house leadership, and Thomas Mulcair retiring, the new leader, Jagmeet Singh, is free to roam the country. He can meet Canadians everywhere and press the flesh at local labour halls. The only question is what the heck he is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trump stands steadfast, Justin.

Prime Minister Trudeau dropped in to the White House to see President Trump the other day. It is likely that two minutes after Trudeau left the Oval Office, Donald Trump had forgotten what they had said. It is not just that the man has a short attention span but he has absolutely no interest in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does the religious model serve the new politics?

Is it religion that we see reflected in the new politics. Maybe it has been there all along. Canadian politics has been slower to wrap itself in vestments but in American politics, religion plays a constant and visceral part in what is happening. Americans speak of their country as “one nation, under God” and God ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Singing Singh’s song.

On Thanksgiving, the Toronto Star devoted several thousand well chosen words to welcoming Jagmeet Singh as leader of the federal New Democratic Party. It was generous, surprisingly inaccurate, hopeful and gracious article. Jagmeet Singh could never be such a wonderful Sir Galahad. Much was made of the firsts Singh’s success represents. As the first turbaned ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who killed Energy East?

There seems to be a lot of blame going around this weekend. The politicians are roasting each other. The environmentalists are giving heart-felt thanks and the rest of Canadians wonder what the noise is about. There are other pipelines still to fight over. Killing TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline solves nothing. It was a bad deal ...