Babel-on-the-Bay: The rocky road to electoral reform.

It seems obvious at this stage that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has still not gained any conviction on electoral reform. He hardly understood what he was promising when he said that the 2015 election would be the last federal election using first-past-the-post. He seemed to have no understanding of the alternatives. As the expression goes, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: You told a pollster the truth?

It seems that the privacy watchdog in Ottawa is investigating the Liberal government’s survey on electoral reform. The privacy commissioner’s office is concerned that the Liberals should not have included collecting demographic information in the survey. It might be an invasion of privacy. But since you decided not to give them accurate information, what is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who chose who?

It is grating when we read about Ontario politics and a careless reporter refers to Patrick Brown as ‘winning’ the leadership of Ontario’s Conservatives. He hardly won it. It would be the same as saying Donald Trump won the most votes on November 8, 2016. He did not win the most votes; he won the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: You only know what Donald Trump is not.

You can never accuse President-Elect Donald Trump of being a politician. He is the antithesis of that. He despises politicians. You saw how he treats both Democrats and Republicans. He is neither. At best, he is an oligarchist. It is a system he knows from business. It would suit a despot. But he will continue ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The empty chair of Tom Mulcair.

In a much condemned political schtick by actor-director Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention in 2012, he talked to an empty chair. The chair was supposed to represent President Barack Obama. We always thought it helped get Obama elected to his second term. We were reminded of it recently when reading an op-ed piece ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Forecasting what President Trump will do.

It was Franklin Roosevelt who showed us how a politician can get around the news media. His fireside chats on radio were his direct connection with the American voters and they loved him for it. It was a lesson we noted early in our career as a political apparatchik. Some of our most successful campaigns ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Andrea Horwath, where are you?

We were starting to think of our naughty or nice list for the holiday and realized that we had written nothing about Andrea Horwath for many months. We are talking about the leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party. She has simply been missing from the news. How do you decide if she is naughty ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The impoverishment of Sir John, eh?

There is a very old saying that people who forget the past will probably screw up the future. It has always been very annoying to us that Canadians can be disinterested in the past. They fail to be aware of or appreciate the people who have given so much of themselves to create and build ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Joe Biden: Lame duck or solution?

Before the U.S. Vice President’s visit, Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion explained Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Ottawa last week as routine. While some people might see it as a stick in the eye of incoming U.S. President Donald Trump, Dion treated the visit as routine. There was nothing routine about it. To have the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Spreading stupid stuff on the Internet.

You have got to be kidding! Are there that many people who actually believe what they read on the Internet? As someone who was accessing databases on remote computers before the Internet became a reality, you learned to never accept any information without considering the source and why they posted the information. And if Donald ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The worst fears of Justin Trudeau.

It is hardly the spectre of Stephen Harper that keeps Prime Minister Justin Trudeau awake nights. It is the spectre of a democratic Liberal Party of Canada. It was something that was very real and credible to his father but for some reason haunts the son. From day one of his winning the leadership of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The grandstanding of Patrick Brown.

People who prefer to grandstand in politics can be a pain in the ass. There are times when a politician should to take a stand on an issue but that is when you can reason and suggest alternatives to help solve the problem. Our Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in Ontario does not believe in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In defence of Internet voting.

After more than five decades of working with computers, you would think the writer would know a bit about computers. The truth is that we have never programmed a line of code. Our expertise was always in being able to listen to experts and then interpret what they said for the public. Yet we have ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In the steps of the Hair or of Trump?

There could be as many as 14 contenders for the upcoming Conservative leadership contest on-stage in Moncton tonight. Which candidates will take their cue from the Hair (Stephen Harper) and who will want to try the President-Elect Donald Trump style is the question? The Moncton event is our first chance to hear from some of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The slippery slide to sophistry.

Not all communications from readers are complimentary. There was a reader the other day who accused us of the dastardly use of comma splices. It was only by Googling ‘comma splice’ that we found out the nature of the problem. It seems we were being pilloried for using commas where you really need a colon ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A trumpeted win for Trump in Indiana?

You have never heard so much BS from so many supposedly knowledgeable writers. Why would anyone think that Donald Trump’s grandstanding in the Indianapolis Carrier plant was a win? It was a farce that cannot survive an Indiana winter. For President-Elect Donald Trump to show up at that plant with his Vice-President Elect in tow ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Well here’s another nice mess, Ollie!”

Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are probably too young to remember the 1920s to 1950s Hollywood comedy team of Laurel and Hardy but they seem to have a comparable act. It was Monsef’s turn on Thursday to dismiss the work of her own committee on electoral reform. She had given ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brassard’s charges without answers.

It is interesting reading knee-jerk conservatism these days. The local Sun Media newspaper here in Barrie gets a glance when an occasional free copy comes our way. We particularly like checking on the editorial page where you can read Libertarian, Green or Conservative political views but apparently never Liberal. Last week it was the turn ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The bias of Toronto Star’s Paul Wells.

What is a writer such as Paul Well’s doing at the Toronto Star? Does he provide insight you wonder? Is his writing progressive? Does he know the Ottawa scene as he tries to explain it? We have given him more than enough time to get comfortable. He has been found wanting. The final straw was ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justin Trudeau betrays the environment.

Babel-on-the-Bay intended to run a very sincere support today of Justin Trudeau’s eulogy for the late Cuban Leader Fidel Castro. It was ready for posting. And then we learned that the damn fool had announced approval of twinning the American-owned Kinder-Morgan TransMountain pipeline. All the kind words are off the table. Justin Trudeau’s timing is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Lord Black lauds buddy Trump.

You get the feeling that there could be another boring book by Lord ‘Cross-the-Pond’ in this. Yes, Conrad Black came out of seclusion on his Toronto estate the other day to promote another book that will look good on your coffee table. He told the news media that his raison d’etre for the lordly appearance ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: That Tory Leprechaun Leitch.

You would swear that woman was a graduate of Trump University rather than a medical specialist. We are talking about Kellie Leitch M.P. here. She is the Conservative member for the next door electoral district of Simcoe-Grey. It is a rural riding of farms and small towns, including Utopia. (We bet you did not know ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A failure to communicate.

After a lifetime of communicating with government, we blew it. We really wanted to help the Trudeau government solve its problems with the leader’s promise that 2015 would be the last federal election using first-past-the-post voting. And dammit all we tried. When we knew that the MP for Peterborough would be holding that portfolio, we ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Will Toronto charge for parking on the DVP?

Did you hear that Toronto Council are now considering making the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway toll roads? This is hardly the first time the suggestion has been made and it is probably not the last. It shows you how desperate the city is for revenue other than taxing businesses and homes. When ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Waiting for your train.

Ontario’s MetroLinx people came to Barrie the other day to talk about planning for the future of the GO Train commuter line to Toronto. The good news is that it is the intent to electrify and twin the line by 2025. The bad news is that it will take that long. And there are many ...