Babel-on-the-Bay: Devolving Deception.

When responsibilities are passed to a lower level (devolved), it helps to have a glossary of terms available so that the lesser levels will get their words right. It seems that Toronto Star writer David Olive has stuck carefully to this glossary in his story on the weekend touting the Trans Mountain pipeline. Olive hits ...

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 Confrontation of Confederation.

Even on a government VIP  Airbus, a flight from Lima, Peru to Ottawa is over 11 hours. I did that type of flight more than once and they were always an awful experience. I was able to reset my watch and I knew what time it was. My problem was that for a week, I ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Please come back Patrick Brown.

We will have to take back some of those nasty names we have called Barrie’s Patrick Brown. Sure, he is a sleazebag but he is hardly as ignorant or as frightening as Doug Ford. If we could just have our choice of sleazebag, I guess we would prefer the one we know. The main difference ...

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: Standing with BC’s John Horgan.

It is a memory from many years ago that sticks with you. It is this time of year. After being awakened by the sweeps rowers training on the harbour, you walk to downtown Vancouver from the Bayshore Inn, along streets lined with cherry blossoms in full bloom. You drink in the wonderful freshness of the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Has anybody seen Jagmeet?

This is becoming ridiculous. The New Democratic Party of Canada has to have some leadership. Without leadership, it is going to become the forgotten party and the efforts of many fine people over the last 80 years will be wasted. The party can hardly continue as present with no leadership, no direction and no clear ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Failed Philanthropy.

It was intriguing going through David Callahan’s book The Givers: Wealth, power, and philanthropy in a new gilded age. There has rarely been that much understanding of the failures of North American society. As president of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada back in the 1970s, I could never have written so forcefully of my ...

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: Trump-lite is not Trump.

Have you been reading the media pontificators who are comparing Ontario conservative leader Doug Ford with U.S. President Donald Trump? It is a sad comparison. It would annoy Donald Trump, if he cared. Doug Ford is a wannabe. He would dearly love to have as much money as Trump and to have ripped off so ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ceding Civility in Canada.

Writing about civility in politics the other day, we never got to the situation here in Canada. Despite our Canadian reputation for civility, things have lately gone to hell in a basket. Federal and provincial politics in Canada have become noisy arguments between spoiled children. Our politicians are not working together to meet the needs ...

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: Wynne: Caring or Condescending?

Never having been much of a fan of Ontario Premier Wynne, I suspected that the recently revealed Ontario budget was more of a deathbed repentance than a bold plea for more time as premier. It was when listening to the objections of Doug Ford for the conservatives and Andrea Horwath for the New Democrats, Wynne’s ...

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 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Keep to the left Ms. Wynne.

Not that she would necessarily listen to this writer but Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne needs advice on dealing with Doug Ford. There is always the hope that someone who reads Babel-on-the-Bay will mention it to her. We, of course, are expecting her and her Liberal government to continue to discuss left-of-centre initiatives in the run-up ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In defence of populism.

From the first time I met John George Diefenbaker, I have admired populist politicians. For the benefit of our younger folk, John Diefenbaker was a Prairie populist politician who served as prime minister of Canada from 1957 to 1963. As a young liberal, I did not agree with much of ‘Dief the Chief’s politics but ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Doug Ford is just Trump Lite.

It was made clear when we announced the winner that the new Conservative leader in Ontario was just Trump Lite. There are some interesting similarities between the two men and their many failings but there the similarity ends. To start with both men came into their wealth the old-fashioned way: they inherited it. They have ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: See what preferential voting gets you?

Will they ever learn? The Ontario conservatives used preferential voting in their recent leadership race. Yes, they were rushed and used the same foolish system that gave them Patrick Brown as leader two years before. They used a system that fails to produce a leader. They end up with the lowest common denominator. And those ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Donald Trump Lite and the Ontario PCs.

After spending Saturday afternoon watching Rosemary Barton and CBC News struggling with the Ontario Conservative fiasco, I was not sure whether the party or the news media did the worst job. It was embarrassing. I actually paid the CBC $6.85 plus GST for the right to watch that screw-up on streaming video. And I want ...