Babel-on-the-Bay: First-past-the-post vote still wins.

For all the arguments that people put up, you would suspect that first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting was on its last legs. It is not. It survives not because so many of us love it. It survives because there is no adequate alternative. What seems most annoying about the effort put into our switching to some form ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Forget Beyak, dump Canada’s Senate.

Why just dump Senator Lynn Beyak? You do not have to like what she says or posts on the Internet? We have all heard it before. Bigotry is hardly new. The problem is that there is not much you can do about it. She was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Stephen ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: We will call that a Wynne Win.

Did nobody at the Tim Horton’s head office know about the change in minimum wage for Ontario scheduled for the first of January? Did all those franchisees fail to tell them? And would you not wonder about a major franchiser who dominates the product line in Ontario, not being in control of the situation? Somebody ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Democracy denied.

To many people, democracy is too much bother. Can you just imagine how much it annoys Donald Trump? Democracy requires openness and honesty, effort and consideration, rights and freedoms. And democracy continues to grow and evolve and expand. It recognizes the equality of the sexes. It recognizes our shared responsibility for our country, our environment, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tales of the Trump White House.

The Brits have a saying that no gentleman is a hero to his valet. And in politics, all the apparatchik insiders are a form of valet. The politician has to hire carefully and fire even more carefully. We all have a book in us. As Donald Trump has none of the instincts of a politician, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Democracy destroyed.

The years of Pierre Trudeau’s leadership seem to be backing into the mists of time. It was the strength of a democratic Liberal Party in Canada that back stopped him in those years. He thought of the party at first as similar to the top-down managed situation in Quebec. He almost lost the 1972 election ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trump’s Terrific Triumph?

We have been told that U.S. President Donald Trump wants to have another inauguration this month. This time he wants a proper count of all his supporters out in the cold of Washington and a second chance to do things right. This is despite all those writers who have summed Mr. Trump’s first year as ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Defending Democracy.

You would think in all the many years of human social development that democracy should have gained support and growing wide-spread usage around the world. We certainly agree that it is not perfect but we do agree that it is better than any alternatives. Yet tell it to the Russians and they want the oligarchy ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A potpourri of New Year wishes.

This writer’s New Year’s resolution is, as always, to never make a resolution. Each year is another adventure. It is an opportunity to discover and to learn. We have a mixed bag of comments to share today as we start our tenth year of this commentary. The ten years means both good and bad. Trying ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A New Year rich in political opportunity.

This political junkie is looking forward to 2018. Starting with the Ontario election in June, Quebec scheduled for October 1 and then the American mid-term elections in November, there will be much on which to comment. The only recommendation we can make at this stage is to ignore the pollsters. And one other suggestion at ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The trying times of Trump.

Canada’s prime minister told Global News the other day that there is “a level of unpredictability” to the current trade talks with the Americans and Mexicans. What is really amazing is that one man, on a whim, can be allowed to jeopardize US$17 trillion in annual trade between the three countries. And yet, he might. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Isn’t it supposed to get easier?

With two years in office behind him, you would expect Justin Trudeau to be getting more adept at his job. He is not. This has been a year for criticisms, errors, lectures, let-downs and too many apologies. Were he with us, Justin’s father would not be pleased with his son’s performance. He would likely agree ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Let’s call it Scheer willpower.

You may have been wondering what Andrew Scheer has been doing since winning the leadership lottery run by the Conservative Party of Canada? Our guess is that he has been spending time on his knees thanking the powers above for the gifts he keeps getting from an indulgent Liberal Prime Minister. There are so many ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brought to you by Bollywood?

In reviewing the three leaders of the major political parties in Canada, we came up with what we consider the key question for Jagmeet Singh: Why? What is the new leader of the New Democratic Party out to prove? Was his taking the leadership of the National NDP just a Bollywood production? First of all, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trump trends to tyranny.

No American President in living history has earned the thoroughness of study and the resulting derision as has Donald Trump. Soon to celebrate his first year in office, he has earned the enmity that he himself heaped on his opponents for that high office. He has let down the American people. He has lost the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: What Santa left under the tree.

Whether you believe in Santa Claus or not, the Province of Ontario and the rest of Canada have been treated pretty well by the cheery old elf. Before we dig into a sumptuous Christmas dinner later on today, we will raise a glass to our bounty and the quality of life in this country. We ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Naughty or Nice: Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne.

It is hard to say where Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne would be on Santa Claus’ ‘naughty or nice’ list. I expect Santa to give her a pass into the ‘nice’ category but he should be warned that this person is one tough cookie! If he does not bring her something she asked for, he might ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Naughty or Nice: Ontario’s Patrick Brown.

As more and more Ontario voters get to see Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown in action, the more his voting preference plummets. He is just not the type of person people can imagine as premier of Canada’s largest province. And neither can Santa as he keeps Patrick on his “Naughty” list. If we had to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Naughty or Nice: Ontario’s Andrea Horwath.

Not many of us in Ontario feel we know Andrea Horwath. After 12 years in the Ontario Legislature, eight-years as leader of the Ontario New Democrats and through two general elections since becoming leader, you would expect to know her better. It is a sign of the ennui of the NDP that she has not ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: By jingo, Trump’s a xenophobe.

In an era of social media on the Internet, people are having a hard time deciding what is suitable for private conversations and what is suitable for public discussions. Nobody illustrates the problem more effectively than the American President. Donald Trump seems to have it all backward. Certainly, the most frightening aspect of Trump is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Fake News, Fake President and the FBI.

From 1924 to 1972, J. Edgar Hoover organized and controlled the federal law enforcement of the United States of America. He built a flawed and highly politicized organization into the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The mistakes Hoover made came built in with the headquarters Hoover Building in Washington today. It is still flawed and highly ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The bollocks of Brexit.

“It is not as simple as we were told.” We assume that comment has been made many times as the United Kingdom heads towards its divorce from Europe. For Prime Minister Theresa May her position is that of a naked lion tamer—no chair, no gun, no whip—facing unfed and fractious lions on behalf of a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Now our daily National snore.

As a news junkie, it has been important over the years to end the day with a regular dose of CBC National News. It also might now have become an excellent cure for insomnia. Lately I have been finding that even my favourite At Issue panel can put me to sleep. Because the topics were ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: This Lone Ranger wears a skirt.

You have to admit the lady has guts. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has the nerve and verve that denies her gender. She is tough and even when she is wrong she is unwavering. She does Alberta proud but rides the range alone. The daughter of a former New Democratic Party leader, Ms. Notley defies the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Political Instincts of a Tomcat.

Political pundits have pondered on American President Trump for quite some time now and they still cannot get him right. The reason they fail to read him and his moves and moods is that he is not a political animal. If we accept that, we can see him for what he is. It is easiest ...