Babel-on-the-Bay: Repeating Ontario’s Train Wreck.

You sometimes wonder about politicians who get in trouble and keep going back to the guru’s who helped get them into trouble in the first place. It is like having a train wreck and continuing to send locomotives down that same track, hoping one of the locomotives will make it. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trumping the News Media.

The other day one of our American relatives asked: “Why are you writing so much about Trump?” The simple answer is that President Donald Trump is an ongoing saga of the worst of things that can happen in politics. There are also the greatly increased readership statistics when writing about the political failures of Donald ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is that Mainstreet or Elm Street?

Having started out as a young man writing scripts for telephone co-incidental research, we are not about to easily buy into Interactive Voice Response (IVR) polling. This is mentioned in that some recent political polls in Alberta and B.C. have the politicos excited. The polls were done with IVR by Mainstreet Research. What we have ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Nobody gives a damn about English.

It is only when you note the time and money devoted to preserving the French language in different parts of the world, that you start to wonder. Is the English language so pervasive that nobody worries about it? Only the dictionary publishers seem to have a vested interest so they can produce new editions periodically. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does President Trump have an agenda?

It is hard to get your mind around this one. There was an opinion piece in a major Canadian newspaper by a political science professor who posited that President Donald Trump and his henchman Steve Bannon have a plan to split the world with Vladimir Putin. You would have a hard time imagining this plot. ...

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: That political instinct.

One of the key measurements of budding politicians is their political instinct. You measure this in how these people interact with voters, fellow politicians, the news media and with the apparatchiks who work with them. At the same time, it would be an asset if they are articulate, charming, intelligent, personable, rich and have an ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does anyone trust Trump?

It seems that the only thing we can count on U.S. President Trump to do is the wrong thing. Some people accuse his supporters of believing what he tells them. Yet the only thing they seem to believe is that he will annoy everybody else. It is something like taking an angry rattlesnake to a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: One man’s tweak.

Maybe we can just tweak this situation while discussing the twits who Twitter. And why does Donald Trump’s White House menagerie remind us of that awful daytime TV serial, The Young and the Restless? Quickly though, before the next episode in this ongoing saga, did you cotton on to Donald Trump’s strategy with Prime Minister ...

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: Where are Ontario politics headed?

There have been some political polls in Ontario recently that have caused a buzz in the news media. If the media had just checked back to before the last provincial election, they would have seen a similar pattern in the public preferences a year before that election. It certainly supports the claim that the only ...

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: Pride Falls.

Torontonians of all stripes and types have always been proud of their Pride Parade. Originating in 1981, the parade has cheerfully acknowledged the growing acceptance of diversity in a polyglot city. Today it is one of the largest events of its kind in the world and brings more than a million visitors to the city ...

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: Docs are rabblerousing with Patrick Brown.

Conservative Leader Patrick Brown will do anything to get himself elected premier in the next Ontario election. Making blatant use of Ontario’s doctors is just another sleazy tactic for an unprincipled political manipulator. And he is appealing to their greed. Truth and honesty be damned. Brown wants to use a radicalized Ontario Medical Association (OMA) ...

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: Hand-wringing in academia.

You would have thought that Edward Greenspon had covered the subject. He released his Public Policy Forum report on Canada’s news media recently and we thought that was it. We all hung some crepe for a dying industry, maybe shed a tear and the report was consigned to the recycle bin for things we will ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Donald Trump is not funny anymore.

The presidential oath of office in the United States needs to borrow a clause from the Hippocratic Oath of doctors: to do no harm. Come the time for an accounting, let us hope that the damn fool who told Trump about presidential directives gets his or her deserts. Trump is not only abusing his executive ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: For whom the Tolls Toll.

The premier’s office at Queen’s Park in Toronto has many roles. One of those is as a woodshed wherein one disciplines recalcitrant municipal minions who fail to realize that the provincial party in power makes all the rules. There was an awkward bit on a news clip last week of the Premier of Ontario and ...

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: The more things change…

There has been a reluctance here to comment on the current leadership race for the Alberta Conservatives. It is not as though the outcome does not seem obvious but our best insight into Alberta Conservatism died last year and she is irreplaceable. It has left a serious sinkhole in our understanding of the Alberta political ...