Babel-on-the-Bay: Canada’s Conservative Conundrum.

It is fascinating studying the 14 aspirants in the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. It is also hard to believe. Just where would any of these people lead the party? There is certainly no John George Diefenbaker in this baker’s dozen. Yes, a baker’s dozen is really 12 plus one ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ralph Goodale: The Great Obfuscator.

One of the secrets of individual longevity in politics in Saskatchewan is that nobody in the province can tell a Conservative from a Liberal. This came to mind last weekend watching Global Television’s program The West Block. The new program host, Vassy Kapelos, asked Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale a couple questions and virtually turned ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Of politicians and sleeping dogs.

It is hard to believe that anyone would want former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to be brought out of retirement—even just to sing an Irish ballad! And for those of us who have always considered Mulroney the epitome of sleaze in Canadian politics, he should be right at home in the loving arms of his ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is the political middle just one?

Nobody seems to be able to nail down this middle ground in politics. It is like the middle class that Justin Trudeau chased in the last federal election. Did Trudeau even suspect that they would add up to almost 40 per cent of the voters?  And were they all centre-right voters or was there a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Watch out, the bigots are out.

The problem for the pundits today is the presence of bigots in the Conservative Party. They are not the majority. They are barely a faction. They exist. They hurt the cause. They are something of a wild card. But some of the candidates for the Conservative Party leadership will cater to this faction. It hardly ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: More fallout from voting reform.

This subject would have been ignored if another commentary on it had not run in the Washington Post. The writer accused the Canadian prime minister of looking “both incompetent and cynical in abandoning the promise of (voting) reform.” It would have become an international incident but we have reason to think the writer is Canadian. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Wasted hours in Washington.

Did you think President Trump was going to slice and dice our prime minister for lunch the other day? First of all, Donald Trump seemed to like Justin Trudeau. He would think of Trudeau as a younger version of himself. This young guy was manor born. It is all so easy for him. He was ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A cri de coeur for Canada’s Conservatives.

For the benefit of M.P. Kelly Leitch and that O’Leary person we should translate: a ‘cri de coeur’ is an impassioned plea from the heart. And that is what this is. Sometime in the next month, Babel-on-the-Bay will publish its morning line on the current Conservative Party of Canada leadership contest. This is a public ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: We all need editors.

Wandering through the web site called Progressive Bloggers the other day, we found a writer who inadvertently referred to a clique as a ‘click.’ That is one way to get noticed! It happens to all of us though as we keyboard our frustrations without the aid of that second look. That particular blog needed more ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Waiting for Mr. Trump.

The reporters and pundits are causing unnecessary concerns. Does anyone really believe that Justin Trudeau cannot handle a meeting with Donald Trump? What is to worry about? Trudeau meets Trump; each takes a couple selfies; they ask about the respective families; tell each other, we’ve got to get together for a state dinner sometime and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A better role for NDP’s Nate Cullen.

Frankly, it has been disappointing. Nate Cullen MP from British Columbia has been so busy bitching and whining, he is missing the real opportunity. He has the right to complain about what seemed like a wasted summer of 2016 studying vote reform. It was no waste of time; it was the best exposure he has ...

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: Which truth matters?

Yet another report has been written on the train wreck of Canadian news media. Frankly, the Library of Parliament is already overloaded with such studies. There is always lots of hand-wringing and consoling for each new version but this new one can be guaranteed to gather dust as the many written before. It seems to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The fix in foreign affairs.

When Stéphane Dion was so unceremoniously dumped from foreign affairs by Prime Minister Trudeau, all most people could say was they hoped it worked. How would you feel if you were the new foreign affairs minister and the PM kept casting about for the advice needed to handle the situation in Washington? And how does ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Orwell Observed.

There must be a dearth of honest work for lawyers these days. It seems more and more of them are devoting billable hours to being published. It must be part of their contract to get their firm noticed and to attract real lawyering work. One such example of this phenomenon is the recent op-ed in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: As the world wearies of Trump.

This is a bad sign. A world becoming wearied of President Trump already? It signifies an acceptance of something abnormal and dangerous. When the king seats his fool on the throne, is the fool now king? And if you accept the largess of the fool while the fool sits on the throne, are you not ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When a leader betrays a Canadian legacy.

There was a time back in the Pearson-Trudeau era when tensions ran through English-French relations at the usual flash points in Montreal and Ottawa. And those of us not fully bilingual were the bruised. It is sad to tell of the disappointments suffered from those you had supported so fiercely. That is why so many ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Even an elite Senate needs direction.

It seems you cannot keep a newspaper person from writing. Even with a sinecure such as a guaranteed salary for sitting in the Senate (until age 75) former La Presse editor André Pratte keeps writing. The past week it was a piece he wrote for the Toronto Star on why an evolving Senate must adapt. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When a friend gives a friend a lift.

This is not the prime minister’s problem. It must be the ethics and conflict of interest commissioner’s problem. This commissioner acts independently and reports to parliament on those issues that might involve the ethics or any conflict of interest on the part of federally elected persons. We hear that she is currently looking into a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Put in a word for us when you see the PM.

So, what are you going to tell the prime minister? He’s coming to see you. You just need to contact your Liberal M.P. to get an invitation. He is not coming to our riding. We lost to the Conservatives by 86 votes. And please do not ask the PM if it is cold enough for ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Concern for Canada’s Conservatives.

If we did not have Canadian Conservatives, we would have to import some from the U.S.A. Admittedly these are not the best of times for Canada’s Conservatives. This coming week we will watch their federal leadership contestants mangle the French language trying to measure up to Maxime Bernier and Steven Blaney in a French language ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Culling Canada’s Cabinet.

Cabinet making and cabinet tending are different requirements of a prime minister. Those were sunny days in late 2015 when Prime Minister Trudeau chose his first cabinet. Change can come quickly at busy times. What we have to realize is that his perspective on the need for change is quite different from our perspectives. Trudeau ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Let’s march to our own drummer.

It was hardly a surprise when the Prime Minister’s Office said he was not attending Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington next week. Frankly, the Canadian prime minister would just be in the way. It was more of a surprise that he would not be attending the concurrent world economic conference in Davos, Switzerland. It seems ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Meet the Elites: The Politicians.

Sociologists would probably not include this group among the elites but from a political perspective it is hard to deny them. While the elected at the provincial and federal level have obvious influence on our lives when serving in cabinet as prime minister, premier or in a cabinet position, their position as an elite can ...

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 ...