Babel-on-the-Bay: The parade of the Conservative losers.

A political movement died out near the Toronto airport yesterday. It was the once powerful Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. The new Conservative Party of Canada, heir to the Reform Party, struggles on. It was a time of bad television and bad politics as the surviving party chose a new leader. By a margin of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: We can blame Cousin Oliver.

It is all Oliver Mowat’s fault. The myopic Father of Confederation had a mainly rural and agrarian Ontario to oversee in the early years of confederation. His picture hangs over our desk today, not as a distant relation but in the form of a preserved and framed, full front-page of a Saturday Globe published in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: With thanks to Rona Ambrose.

Rona Ambrose M.P. is cleaning out her desk. With a new leader to be chosen this weekend, Ms. Ambrose is packing it in and going home to Alberta. It is a smart move for her at the right time. And Canadians owe her special thanks for the job she did as interim leader of the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The infrastructure bank argument.

As a general rule, it seems useless to respond to e-mails from readers that are longer than the original commentary. It also seems useless to try to correct someone’s misconceptions on the subject. Besides, if federal finance minister Bill Morneau is not interested in better explaining his new infrastructure bank to Canadians, why should others ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Why progressive elites are losing.

The disappointment progressives have felt with the New Democratic Party over the last couple decades has been something we have argued about but maybe not understood as well as we should. Maybe Robin V. Sears of the NDP put his finger on it the other day when complaining in print about the ease with which ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: On the road to mediocrity.

Do you know who will be the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada on May 27? With a third of the votes already in and more trickling in every day, it is a very frustrating guessing game to determine who will win. The problem you are facing is that the people who preferred ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The poster boy and the NDP.

Charlie Angus meet Jagmeet Singh. No doubt Charlie Angus MP, candidate for the New Democratic Party leadership has met Jagmeet Singh MPP, the newest candidate for the NDP leadership, before, but not likely as a competitor. The only surprise about this meeting is that both these gentlemen are in the same political party. What is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Infrastructure bank belongs in Toronto.

The good news is that Canada’s new infrastructure bank will be in operation by the end of this year. Despite the complaints of other centres, Toronto is the city where it belongs. The bank will be launched with $35 billion in capital from the federal government and will seek Canadian and foreign investors looking for ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Taking back our civil rights.

You hate to have to remind our Liberal government in Ottawa that one of the basic tenets of liberalism is human rights. It is as though the cabinet members get elected and then forget what party supported their election. It is even worse when the Liberals on the parliamentary committee on public safety have to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Conrad Black on Donald Trump.

“He knows what he wants,” was the message by Conrad Black to a parliamentary committee examining the current situation on trade relations with the United States. The former Canadian and now an ex-convict and Lord Cross-the-Pond or some such title, was telling the committee about his friend Donald Trump who is currently President of the ...

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: Speechwriters and old soldiers never die.

This writer would have serious doubts taking on writing speeches for an old soldier such as Canada’s defence minister Harjit Sajjan. There are a series of problems involved, not the least of them being the mistake of trying to present an apolitical Sikh in the guise of a politician. There is no fit. The first ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Kevin O’Leary was never in.

When TV personality Kevin O’Leary declared himself out of the federal Conservative leadership race the other day, it was a race he had never really been in. He came late to the party and left early. He brought nothing to it, he learned nothing from it and he left nothing behind. It was a was ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Buck Booking’s Blues.

Some wonder how the time of the British Royals to visit the colonies is allocated across the British Commonwealth of Nations and other friendly countries. What if this was all funneled through a call centre at Buckingham Palace in London, England? Imagine a recently recorded call at the North American desk: “Buck Booking, Harry speaking. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The myth of being Liberal.

One of our respected progressive bloggers from British Columbia wrote recently something less than a paean (song of praise) about the Liberals in that province. His thesis is that B.C. Liberals are just Conservatives in sheep’s clothing and now the federal sheep have joined them. He insists that the Liberal ideal has vanished from Canada. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is Justin the adult in the school yard?

Has Prime Minister Trudeau been getting advice from psychologists on how to handle a bully? It is certainly to his credit that he is keeping his cool. Donald Trump continues to lob his ignorant taunts over the longest undefended border in the world and Canada’s prime minister just says, “We can discuss that.” As angry ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trump’s ‘Milk of Human Kindness.’

“Once again unto the breach” (sorry Mr. Shakespeare) President Trump jumps into a situation of which he has absolutely no understanding. He is making a habit of it and this time he is trying to skewer the Canadians. He has pitted the free market, unfettered Wisconsin dairy farmers against what Trump calls the ‘unfair’ position ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The saccharine sweetness of Andrew Scheer.

After watching Conservative Party leadership contender Andrew Scheer M.P. on Global’s West Block program last Sunday, it felt like you were coming down from a sugar high. You wonder if that guy can ever rid himself of that grin. The wife liked him at first but after a full six minutes of it, she had ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: An equal and opposite reaction.

Maybe we are talking about different sciences here but you would think that politics and energy would have some similar characteristics. What we are thinking of here is the tendency of the politics of the left to react to the actions of the politics of the right. For example, if Canada’s right-wing parties split would ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Conservative schism becomes a chasm.

And you used to wonder why Prime Minister Stephen Harper was always flying off with his hairdresser to other parts of the world? It was obvious to many that he was under the constant pressure of keeping his disparate party under some semblance of control. It was during his third term–his first majority—that some of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Conservatives in the back stretch.

At most race tracks today, the race fans are offered television views of the back stretch. It helps them follow the race, recognizing that most of the positioning moves in the back stretch develop the story of the race. It is the same in a political race such as the current Conservative Party of Canada ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Resuscitating Canada’s New Democrats.

You really have to laugh at Ed Broadbent’s attempts at resuscitating the moribund federal New Democratic Party. He seems to be the only person who believes you can do mouth-to-mouth life saving through a microphone. Ed’s modestly named Broadbent Institute had a conference for Canada’s leftists last week in Ottawa. All we learned was that ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: And you want their names spelled right too?

Henceforth it is resolved that we will post our commentaries after our second cup of coffee. Despite how much we try to ignore the Conservative M.P. for our neighbouring electoral district of Simcoe-Grey, we really should spell her name right. And you would think one of our loyal readers would point out the gaff to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Teaching Trump ‘The Art of the Deal.’

The first thing Canadians should do is stop sweating over renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It has never been a really fair deal and it became overly complicated when Mexico joined. Given the opportunity to renegotiate, Canada could improve its position. The only problem is that we would never get to negotiate ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: They are by-elections for goodness sake!

You just love it when the government has to call some by-elections for seats in parliament that have become vacant and people want to analyze the results. Why? We knew the likely results when the by-elections were called. If you want to see hotly contested by-elections, come back when there is something to contest. The ...