Babel-on-the-Bay: Mother’s magic money.

Listening to Ontario conservative leader Doug Ford recently reminded me of my early childhood in Toronto. Doug Ford never seems to worry about where the money for his promises will come from. Neither did I—as a child. I remember during the Second World War and my mother was sole support for those of her six ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Three-ring circus versus horse race.

Whatever you want to say about the Ontario election that is going on now, it could never have been a three-ring circus production by P.T. Barnum or his partner James Bailey. The simplest explanation is that if you consider the performer who keeps multiple plates spinning atop long sticks, you realize that the act requires ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Opera ain’t over.

First off today, we want to apologize. We have been thoroughly castigated by family and readers for being rude to Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath the other day. I sincerely apologize to her for my comments on her weight. That was inappropriate. At the same time, I stand by my comments on her outfit. She ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Meet the Northern Mockingbird.

While the Northern Mockingbird has a smaller head and a longer tail than others of its specie, it uses the same tricks as other mockingbirds. It can fool you by using the song styling of different birds and even a dog’s bark. It is like Ontario conservative leader Doug Ford who is trying to trumpet ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Picking politicians.

We now have our main candidates here in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. No, nothing exciting. The local liberals had an acclamation. Only one candidate came forward. The conservatives appointed their candidate when Doug Ford got impatient. So much for democracy in the electoral district! Ford appointed a loser. He is a former Orillia councillor who ran against Jill ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: On the street of broken hearts.

There are questions we need to ask of candidates in the coming provincial election in Ontario. This is not to embarrass anyone. It is to challenge their thinking. It is about what they hope to do for those trapped on the margins of our society? It is a simple question. Through no fault of their ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Alex Himelfarb warns about the dangers of participating in Donald Trump’s race to the bottom for public revenues – and the importance of highlighting the value of collective funding for social priorities: Sure, our tax revenues as a share of the overall economy are lower than they’ve been ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A legislature of eunuchs.

Listening to voters and to people at Queen’s Park, there seems to be a general opinion that there should be a sign from Dante’s Inferno over the legislature entrance “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” All power and importance are vested in the premier and less and less is shared, even with cabinet members. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The malice that made the megacity.

Toronto as a megacity turns 20 this year. Canada’s largest city has once again opened the nominations for its city council to be elected in October. It will be another lost opportunity. It will produce another council of dilettantes and wannabes to argue over meaningless issues. Former conservative premier Mike Harris can continue to enjoy ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A vote Granic Allen won’t get.

Checking out Mississauga Centre electoral district for the coming provincial election, I see I have an old friend voting there. She is 97-year old former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion. Hazel claims no political affiliation but conservative Tanya Granic Allen is just not likely Hazel’s cup of tea. Hazel is the only politician I have ever ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Dark days descending on Ontario.

It is frightening. We have been studying the mood of voters across Ontario and we do not like what we are seeing and hearing. We are not even into the writ period of the coming election. We are hardly ready to prepare our Morning Line this far ahead but some of what we are seeing ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “The Long Goodbye.”

Not to give it the suspense of mystery writer Raymond Chandler’s character Philip Marlowe, but Patrick Brown has taken far too long to say goodbye. It has been two months since he called a hasty news conference at Queen’s Park. Within the day, he was gone from being party leader and poster boy for the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Fraser Institute starts with conclusions.

As any experienced writer can tell you, the toughest challenge is to write a report to a predetermined conclusion. This is also why knowledgeable readers are often skeptical of Fraser Institute reports. It seems as though the institute only pays for reports that favour its right-wing stance. There was therefore new hope the other day ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Horwath has been heard from.

News from the front lines of the pre-election election campaign in Ontario: The New Democratic Party does exist. As irrelevant as the NDP might be in this pre-election period, it was nice to see what might be the entire membership of the party forming a human wall for their leader. And there was their cherubic ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Stapling, spindling and folding Ford.

Millennials might not be as familiar with the admonition we used to read on our household bills. Before the Internet, our bills were often delivered to us as data processing punch cards. We dutifully mailed these cards back to the supplier, along with our cheques. It was considered a no-no to mangle the punch card ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ford’s flock is fleeting.

In analyzing a political situation, you have to weigh many factors. According to the public pollsters, the upcoming Ontario voting seems to be decided. I hate to poop on the pollsters’ parade but you should always check some very pertinent points before buying into the B.S. The questions start with survey technique, sample size, completed ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A Truth Squad for Doug Ford?

Here is a million-dollar idea for the Ontario liberals. It came to me as I read the news that the party was going to waste a million dollars on television advertisements to tell Ontario voters that Doug Ford tells lies. I suppose I should charge them, but it was not my idea. It belonged to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The end of the gas plant affair.

The Ontario gas plant affair has ended badly. There are no good guys in the story. It was a sorry tale of misinformation and harangue. It was public participation gone rotten. It was political perfidy. It cost us all. And David Livingston is the fall guy. He was premier McGuinty’s right-hand man. Nobody should be ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Getting to know Doug Ford.

It takes time. Over the next six to eight weeks, more and more Ontario voters will start to think seriously about the June 7 provincial election. To many, it will just be a bit of a bother, a minor blip in an otherwise busy life. The actual turnout at the polls will just be a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Premier Wynne’s nemesis.

If Premier Wynne really wants to keep her job in Ontario, I would suggest that she should make amends by first firing Ed Clarke as chair of the Liquor Control Board and of the Ontario Cannabis stores. Even at the price of one dollar per year, he is not worth it. She has given a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Wait until they are ‘At Post.’

Ontario is in the midst of a ‘phony war.’ People are getting excited about public opinion polls that are meaningless. Babel-on-the-Bay is more than a month away from offering its Morning Line on the coming provincial election. At least wait until then to place your bets on the outcome. You have to remember that not ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ford isn’t fast with his math.

It was really very funny last Thursday when conservative leader Doug Ford got pompously to his feet to harangue the liberal government for their election budget. It seems that towards the back of the budget book there is a tax increase for the top 17 per cent of wage earners. The effect of this tax, ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Would you buy a used Ford from Ford?

We have a good thing going in Ontario. Our economy is healthy. Unemployment is down. We have a government in place that is doing the right things about the environment, raising our standard of living without undue pressure on inflation and is looking at people’s needs in a relatively progressive manner. This needs to be ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Choosing champions.

One of the aspects of populism that confuses people is that they can come from the left or the right or any other part of the political spectrum. Typically, the populist rises from the environment that generated the specific populist movement. This is why Donald Trump in the United States is not considered a populist. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Can you put it on a hat?

We used to use bumper stickers but cars do not have bumpers any more. Now we are running campaigns that you can put on a hat. We are producing hats that say “Ontario drives with Ford” or “Win with Wynne” or “Horwath or horror.” That is the general view of political campaigns these days. Just ...