Babel-on-the-Bay: Labouring against logic.

Pundits are asking if the New Democratic Party is a labour party? Frankly folks, if you do not know the answer, nobody in the party is ready to answer it either. Even an authority such as left-wing writer Thomas Walkom of the Toronto Star is wondering where the party is headed. In a recent op-ed ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Leitch and Brown Trump Ontario.

It is the unwise politician who adds to the silences of their eulogy. The silences are caused by those things you said or were said on your behalf for which apologies were demanded, delivered or denied. The smart politician knows where the line is drawn and keeps away from it. Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Watching the Prime Minister suck and blow.

One of these days, our dear prime minister is going to have to make some decisions. Watching him doing selfies while trying for an even higher approval rating is getting boring. Some time, soon, he will have to take a stand. There are too many moves on hold. It is best exemplified by the pipelines ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Powering pipeline protestors.

Are you sitting and scratching your head over the pipeline protests in Montreal? The National Energy Board (NEB) hearings seemed to be planned to fail. Three years ago the Toronto hearings on Enbridge’s Line 9 shut down because of protests. And if you noticed that, why would you want the same outcome for TransCanada’s Energy ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In the refuge of electoral reform.

There appears to be no relief for the confused in the hearings of the special commons committee on electoral reform. It has been heavy going to just watch the recorded sessions and read transcripts of those sessions not televised. Even in the odd bit of wisdom among the chaff of the academic opinions so far, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Mr. Harper, we hardly knew you.

As we read and listen to the various obligatory farewells to Canada’s former prime minister, there seems to be lots of hypocrisy going around. The Hair and his hairpiece have left the building in Ottawa and that is that. He was not liked while he was there and he left with no wisdom to share ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: FPTP: What if it is not broken?

As the first witness before the special commons committee on electoral reform Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef gave the committee eight principles for their task. These principles might be conflicting in some ways but they are definitely in conflict with the path the committee is taking. The first principle promoted by the minister is to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Leaping nation building at a single bound.

In analyzing where Canada’s New Democrats are headed, we took another look at the LEAP Manifesto. Frankly LEAP stumbles on the first hurdle. It reads like the Regina Manifesto without the socialist ranting. It fails us. And where does this document get off treating Canada’s first peoples as some sort of pathetic wards of the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin Trudeau has his Angels.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau certainly has his angels. We are talking the kind of angels that Charlie had in the old television series about Charlie’s Angels. Those were flesh and blood actors who supposedly made a living solving problems. While the fictional problems often involved murder and mayhem, Justin Trudeau’s angels are just supposed to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A federal failure of FPTP.

It has been noted occasionally that first-past-the-post voting is not perfect. You get failures in the system such as has happened to the voters in the federal electoral district of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. Our elected member of parliament is an embarrassment. We like to think of him as a failure in strategic voting. Our MP is proof ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Elizabeth May, please step forward.

It has always been our opinion that Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is far smarter than anyone else in the Green Party. And she has certainly carried all those folks on her back for far too long. It is time now for Elizabeth to take on a real challenge. Surely it is obvious to her ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The bother of bloody bitumen.

It sure makes you wonder when two cities in Saskatchewan have to import clean water because of what the media consider a small spill of something they call ‘Heavy Oil’ but is really bitumen and a diluent. Citizens of North Battleford and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan have been finding out the difference between ‘Heavy Oil’ and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Dark side of proportional representation.

It has been tiring over the years listening to people such as University of Toronto Professor Peter Russell selling proportional representation as the only voting system for Canada. The only good news about his ideas are that they are based on logical argument and not some of the outrageous claims made by organizations such as ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: How Canadians vote.

There must be a better way to spend a hot summer than arguing about how we vote for our federal government in Canada. Reading the transcripts or watching recorded hearings of the commons special committee on electoral reform, it is hard to tell if anyone appearing before the committee really knows how Canadians vote and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who owns this party anyway?

It has always seemed a Canute-like task of denying the tides to defend the Liberal Party. There just seem to be too many of the elements aligned against us. A party leader can work at destroying his or her party on whims and the rest of us are left with the pieces on which to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Making sense on vote reform.

It was a delight the other day to sit and read a presentation to the special house of commons committee on electoral reform that made sense. The committee has been struggling along, wasting a perfectly fine summer, listening to mainly academics who have been touting a variety of proportional voting systems ad nausea. While reading ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Remembering Mel Hurtig.

It might be the dog days of summer but we have some catching up to do. We were out of town recently and while you might think we write a new commentary every day for this web site, we sometimes have as much as a week ahead set to automatically roll out each day. Even ...

Mind Bending Politics: China’s Economic Espionage Against Canada Refuses To Be Dealt With By Government

(China’s Artificially Created Housing Bubble In Canada Set To Burst Warnings Suggest) It’s been no surprise that Canada has long been in a housing bubble.  Foreign investors from China have been buying up property in Canadian cities for years, and reselling them to Canadians for way more than the property is worth.  China seems to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: If it’s democracy, it must be a ghost.

It always seems strange to hear people talking about our democracy in Canada. You get the impression that our democracy is some sort of spectre. We talk about it but nobody has ever really seen it. And democracy is such a simple concept. It is based on recognizing the value of the human being. It ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brokering Political Power.

During one of the presentations to the special parliamentary committee on vote reform, there was an interesting remark on brokering power under different forms of voting. The speaker, an academic from Queen’s University, explained that in our first-past-the-post governments, the power brokering is usually done before the election, and, in a proportionally elected—which usually produces ...

Mind Bending Politics: Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Explained Perfectly

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement mostly negotiated in secret by quite a few governments bordering the pacific ocean.  Canada has been a part of these negotiations and is committed to ratifying the treaty.  Both US presidential candidates are now on the record against this treaty, while current US president Barack Obama has ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A ‘better way’ than what?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is changing how we select candidates for Canada’s supreme court. The Toronto Star gave the official announcement sufficient column space to explain the idea and then devoted much more space on the editorial page to extolling what might be the virtues of this ‘Better Way.” Frankly, the editorial would have been ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Jason Kenney’s double duty summer.

Do super heroes ever rest? Not super heroes such as Calgary’s Honourable Jason Kenney MP. He is doing double duty this summer with the challenges to save Ottawa for democracy and to save Alberta for right-wing politicos. The work of a super hero is obviously never done. In Ottawa this summer the fat and 48-year ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Vote reform is not everyone’s cup of tea.

The Canadian government’s special parliamentary committee on electoral reform has now had a number of hearings. You can see some of them on computer at the cpac.ca website. While these hearings are engrossing for the Members of Parliament on the committee, the rest of the country can continue to enjoy the summer months. What is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Betrayal by news media.

This is the “unkindest cut of all.” Luckily for William Shakespeare, he did not have to contend with the unkind vagaries of modern news media. Slipshod reporting and careless editing are feeding the problem but they are also helping the oil and gas industry to side-step the critics of shipping diluted bitumen through pipelines. The ...