The fallacy of false findings.

June 7th, 2019 by Peter Lowry

If we constantly lie to ourselves, who are we fooling? We lie about our first nations peoples being indigenous. And now we are accusing those whose ancestors came later to this land of the horror of genocide. This is wrong. This is burying our heads in the sands of time

Are we taking the blame for our father’s failings? And his father and his father before him? Does the immigrant stepping off the boat assume the mantle of tyranny that is dispersed willy-nilly to us all?

We should remember that our forefathers were hardly stupid but they dealt with events as they were in their times. Maybe they bought into misconceptions about the natives of their day?

And who the hell gave them license to call themselves ‘indigenous’? They came to this land thousands of years before the first Europeans but they are not from here. Is this just another lie by our politicians to curry favour with the aboriginals?

And the inquiry that just came to its conclusions should be ashamed. The accusation of genocide is evil. It divides us instead of seeking mon cause. Genocide requires a plan. It includes an intent—a mon purpose. We cannot allow Canadians to be pilloried in this manner. If our police cannot protect Canadian women and girls, we had better hire and train better police.

Even though the residential schools were wrong, the intent, at the time, was to help. It was the wrong way to help. It showed a lack of respect. It showed wrong thinking. It set afoot some terrible injustices. Children were mistreated and died. Families were torn apart.

But today we have the technology for distance learning. We can also deliver adequate housing and potable water. Where the aboriginal peoples choose to live is not the problem. Political will is the problem.

We need to put the blame where it belongs. Promises unkept are lies.

Why cannot the people of the north be our wardens of the north. It can be an opportunity, not a banishment. Why can they not be hired to be our first responders and help protect our boreal forests from wildfires and to help to replant and reforest as needed. They can also help to preserve and protect the wild life we are losing.

Our aboriginal peoples, our first nations, need and want our respect. They need the opportunity to earn it. We have to help make it happen.


Copyright 2019 ? Peter Lowry

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“Send in the Clowns.”

June 6th, 2019 by Peter Lowry

“There ought to be clowns – Well, maybe next year” are the haunting words at the end of the Stephen Sondheim song that is a lament using a circus metaphor. We were reminded of the song as we were reading and hearing about the American president’s travels this week. Is this what world politics is being today? Are we replacing our serious need for effective politicians with clowns?

Are there right-wing clowns? Are there populist clowns? Are there bitter and hateful clowns?

Is Donald Trump of the United States one of those scary clowns? And why was he in London? Theresa May needed no farewell tour from him. It is her farewell that is ing. She is toast. She tried the impossible in getting the United Kingdom out of the European Union. She is a scraggy clown.

But the bookies have picked her successor, Boris Johnson. Can you imagine that clown in 10 Downing Street? Here is a guy who needs his own James Boswell and a decent barber. He is a scary clown and Donald Trump likes him.

Donald does not like Sadiq Khan, mayor of London. Donald is an equal-opportunity bigot. He does not like any people with Muslim names. The Brit politicians quickly dumped Donald and Melania on the royals. The royals played the game with him, gave him lots of ceremony but not much love.

Trump is off to the Channel and the beaches of Normandy for the anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. And he will get a chance to scare French President, Emmanuel Macron. Mind you the French are hoping to keep the task of entertaining the Trumps filled with the ceremonies about how America saved France in the Second World War. I guess Trump will not be meeting his French counterpart, Marine Le Pen. Now that is one scary clown.

But after all this ceremony, Trump will be off on a well-earned holiday at another of his golf resorts, this one in Ireland.


Copyright 2019 ? Peter Lowry

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No Intervention for Doug Ford.

June 5th, 2019 by Peter Lowry

Those people who are promoting an intervention for premier Doug Ford’s beer bonanza are missing a few clues. First of all, an intervention is normally conducted by people who give a damn about the person who has strayed. Secondly, we figure that an intervention over beer and wine is for someone who is addicted to beer and wine. Dougie does not drink!

But I do. And I am sick and tired of the stupid, greedy, corrupted politicians of all parties in Ontario who have been playing footsie with the beer barons for more than 90 years. The real addiction is with the unconscionably high alcohol taxes inflicted on beer drinkers that Ontario drinkers have been paying over the century.

And we know that these people proposing an intervention do not give a damn for Dougie. He is simply no kind of lovable bastard. Maybe his wife and kids tolerate him because of the family money but nobody loves a pompous ass. It is just in this case, he has done something right. He has freed the peasants. And that is from the way the prohibition politicians have been treating us.

And why the hell do we only have interventions for something that the blue-stocking crowd thinks is bad for us? Why do they think having a beer at 9 a.m. is a sign of alcoholism? And why does a gentleman never send his lady friend to that smelly, disreputable Beer Store to get him a two-four?

And why does Costco not sell two-fours? The questions roll on.

But one thing for sure is that Doug Ford is not pandering to the alcoholics among us. Hell, Dougie has never cared for anyone else in his life other than maybe his mother and his deceased brother.

His brother Rob taught him that as soon as you are elected, you start campaigning for the next election. It is party time in Ford Nation.


Copyright 2019 ? Peter Lowry

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No party politics for Jane n’ Jody.

June 4th, 2019 by Peter Lowry

It had been puzzling many of us just where former liberals Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould got the crazy idea of running as independent candidates. Neither had shown much political savvy during the SNC-Lavalin fiasco. When they chose to run as independents, all we could do was assume they got some very bad advice and wave bye-bye. It was hardly a smart choice.

But now we have found the source of their problem. The Toronto Star has revealed all. It seems the ladies have been taking advice from a self-styled democracy reformer who does not believe in political parties. It seems this guru knows little about party politics. Maybe he finds it easy to resolve things that he does not understand.

This is a consensus guy. He was involved in last year’s municipal referendums in Cambridge and Kingston that voted in favour of switching to ranked ballots for city elections. It was an excellent example of the goat leading the lambs to slaughter. He seems to be unaware of the point that ranked ballot systems encourage the selection of the mediocre.

But then this is a guy who seems to misunderstand the rationale of political parties. He must think consensus should replace action. And that inaction can be better than progress.

What he does not seem to understand is that most of us politicos cut our baby teeth on municipal politics. When you learn from hard work and experience, you can move up to provincial and federal politics.

But he and Jane Philpott should get their euppance in her riding. The odds in that situation are that Philpott will pull enough votes from the official liberal candidate to elect the conservative candidate.

The situation in Jody Wilson-Raybould’s riding is clouded by what the prime minister intends to do with the Trans Mountain pipeline. If he goes ahead with twinning the pipeline, all bets are off in B.C.

But this so-called democracy advocate who thinks just two independent candidates will have the balance of power in the next parliament is leading those ladies down the garden path.


Copyright 2019 ? Peter Lowry

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Opportunity calling Andrew Scheer.

June 3rd, 2019 by Peter Lowry

For a guy who got his job by surprise, conservative leader Andrew Scheer MP is a happy camper. He can hardly believe it when public opinion polls show him defeating liberal leader Justin Trudeau. ?All he could do two years ago when he got the job of leading the party because of a dumb voting system, was put his head down, try to make peace with the unruly losers in the leadership race and concentrate on the rules of parliament. That was what he knew best.

The Saskatchewan MP was Speaker of the House of mons during the time of Stephen Harper’s majority in parliament. All he had to do was what the prime minister told him to do. No hassle. No trouble. Maybe a bit embarrassing having to contend with the shrill antics of MPs such as Paul Calandra and Pierre Poilievre during that time but the perks of being Speaker soothed his guilt.

But now he is expected to go out on the hustings without a parachute. He has to read speeches about things he is not so sure about. The way his speech writers have him leaning on these people crossing the border to try to get refugee status in Canada has him worried that he might sound like a bigot. It is bad enough that sometimes people wonder if he wants to build a wall along the Canada-U.S. border. There might too many zeroes in that speech for him to count.

He wants to just give friendly ‘Gee-shucks’ speeches to those non-judgemental folks in his riding of Regina—Qu’Appelle. They are hardly about to question any facts or figures that the speech writers have dreamed up.

And he sure as heck wants people to stop calling him ‘Chuckles.’ He can hardly help it if his high cheek bones remind people of the Joker in the Batman ics.

But he sure hopes that people will stop asking him about global warming. He is not as sure as those guys who are helping him, premiers Doug Ford in Ontario and Jason Kenney in Alberta. They know all about that false news promoted by liberals that the world is going to get too hot for humans. Maybe he thinks by then, we will have better air conditioning systems.


Copyright 2019 ? Peter Lowry

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How Justin Trudeau can win.

June 2nd, 2019 by Peter Lowry

There is a summer of barbeque season to go before Canadians get into the cut and thrust of a federal election. And it is certainly to soon to say who might win. It is even to soon to consider the odds for a morning line. What we can do is pontificate on winning strategies for the parties. Today we will address the liberal party.

I was there in 1974 when Pierre Trudeau took our liberals into the same kind of meat grinder as his son is facing in 2019. It seems that the two Trudeaus share the same need for a harsh lesson on the realities of politics. In 1974, Pierre learned to pay attention to his political advisors. The question now is, can Justin learn?

Think of how you would react, for example, if Justin Trudeau invited Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould back into the liberal party and his cabinet? It would be a bold move and would silence some of the strong criticism he faces.

Or what if sometime, out on the barbeque circuit this summer, he detailed a plan, not for a corridor just for pipelines and munications links across Canada, but also for high-speed electrified trains? Since munications and pipelines already use rail corridors, when they can, it would make more sense than the conservative plan.

This next idea needs to be thought through and smoothed out. What Trudeau needs is a more substantial slogan than “Sunny days.” I think it has to be something that captures the imagination more like “Nobody left behind.” While he could woo the middle-class last time, this time he needs something more all-enpassing. I think he has pissed off more than a few of our seniors by ignoring them over the past four years. Not everyone is satisfied with a selfie.

Our aboriginals also need to feel loved. (But damn-it-all, do not put on another feathered headdress.) Justin just needs to roll down his shirt sleeves, burn his tie, put on his jacket and get serious about Canada’s real needs.


Copyright 2019 ? Peter Lowry

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‘None of the Above’ is not an option.

June 1st, 2019 by Peter Lowry

There seems to be some disquiet across this fair land over our lack of good choices in the looming federal election. And whose fault is that? Frankly, Canadians have been encouraging mediocrity in politics for far too long. We have been trashing our political parties. We have been lying to ourselves about supposedly lying politicians. We have been buying into some serious bullshit about how nice Canadians can be.

We are not nice. We have turned the beautiful ballet of hockey into a blood sport. We seriously believe that we can beat the Americans at their own games such as baseball and basketball. (All you have to do is hire better American players.) And we buy into the blather that our foreign affairs people know what they are doing, when all they do is whore for the Americans.

But the truth is that this is a country that has lost its way politically. It has succumbed to mediocre politicians who use political parties as their own and use those who support them as their personal automated teller machines.

New democratic party membership has fallen so low that just the Sikh immigrants in British Columbia and Ontario could swamp the membership and give the party leadership to Jagmeet Singh. The same fall-off of party members in the Ontario progressive conservatives allowed a weasel like Patrick Brown to swamp the membership with Indian sub-continent memberships and take over the party.

And it was Justin Trudeau himself, who ended the membership structure of the federal liberals. While he was still popular, Trudeau ended the party’s independence, its ability to choose candidates and he now uses the party lists solely to raise money for his ongoing financial campaign.

And that leaves us with a liberal government run by an elitist, a conservative party headed by a nobody, an NDP party run by an unknown and a nascent green party run as a one-gal band.

All I can suggest is that each of us take the time to pick out the best candidate in our riding who cares the most about us, the voters. It is our only choice.


Copyright 2019 ? Peter Lowry

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It’s Bullshit over Beer in Ontario.

May 31st, 2019 by Peter Lowry

The international owners of Labatt, Molson and Sleeman breweries have to be sleeping on the job. The Ontario government is seriously planning to expand their business for them and they are talking about suing the government. If I was the judge for that case, I would laugh the idiots out of my court.

What the government is proposing is that beer and wine sales in Ontario be expanded through convenience stores, grocery stores and big box stores. You can think of it as the peasants in Ontario being freed to buy their beer where it is convenient for them instead of where the Brewers’ Warehousing Beer Stores find it convenient to sell beer.

And besides, serving a market of 13 million people takes more that 450 beer stores, 660 liquor control board stores, 150 large grocery stores and some agencies in out of the way parts of the province. Even with another 300 grocery stores to be added, that is not enough distribution to meet the market need.

For parison, Quebec has most of its 8000 convenience stores selling beer to a population of 8 million and Alberta has close to 2000 privately owned alcohol outlets and many hotels with off-premises sales, selling suds to 4.3 million. There is no question but there is a need in Ontario for a greatly expanded retailing of beer and wine.

Some skeptics of the government plan point to a specious agreement signed five years ago by a banker on behalf of the province. In the agreement the brewers promised to spend $100 million per year for four years to upgrade stores and build some new ones. What does not make sense of this is that it is a normal cost of doing business in a business worth many billions. New stores need to be built in growing munities and many of the ill-kept Beer Store properties in Ontario desperately need repair and improvements. Why would this be subject to litigation?

Frankly, Ontario has colluded with and coddled the foreign brewers for long enough. After 90 years of unconscionable profits for the breweries own delivery system, they can no longer expect a monopoly. They can make a lot more money with the expanded distribution of their products. If they do not like what the government is doing, they should remember that it is the government that calls the shots.

A rule of international trade is ‘Never piss off the local politicians.’


Copyright 2019 ? Peter Lowry

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Professionalism in Politics.

May 30th, 2019 by Peter Lowry

Interesting argument the other day with a reader who likes keeping up with the political scene and who supports the liberals. He was stating his objection to professional politicians. Since his major experience with a professional politician was when Patrick Brown was the MP in Barrie and then the leader of the Ontario conservatives, I can understand his objection. Brown just might be one of the worst examples of a professional politician.

But that is why politicos refer to Brown as a retail politician. He knows how politics work and he works the system. Last year in the chaos created by the new Ford government in Queen’s Park, Brown was ricocheting around Peel Region trying to find a place on the dance card for the civic election. He knew he could run somewhere in Peel Region. Ford cut him off from the regional chair position—easy job, good pay. He landed in Brampton instead, where the incumbent mayor was vulnerable.

He had moved to Mississauga because he knew he could not defeat the incumbent mayor in Barrie. It was not his shallow personal connections in Peel but the ethnic mix that attracted him. Multi-culturalism minister for Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, had set Brown up with free trips to India in those years when he was an MP in the Harper government. Brown had not only bee buddies with Indian President Narendra Modi but had bee a key contact with the many people in the very large sub-continent munity in Canada.

Brown had already used these ethnic contacts in the Peel region to swamp the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party membership and delivered him the leadership of that party. (Brampton resident Jagmeet Singh noted that there were thousands of Sikh immigrants involved and obviously used many of the same group to swamp the NDP party membership in the same way as Brown swamped the Tories.)

In as much as the sub-continent munity represents 30 per cent of the population of Brampton, Brown won the mayoralty by the simple promise to the Sikh and Hindu immigrant population in Brampton that there would be more cricket pitches in the city parks. The sub-continent people do love their cricket.

And that is what professional politicians do. They know how to win elections. They bee expert. The professionals are the ones who stick around. The amateurs e and go.

But they can be good people who care about the voters. They can also be users. That is up to the voters to decide.


Copyright 2019 ? Peter Lowry

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Profiling politicians.

May 29th, 2019 by Peter Lowry

It is often amusing in the popular American TV program Criminal Minds when one of the actors, playing the part of an FBI agent, without much script support, out of the blue, says it is time to deliver the profile. They remind me very much of how our political mentators can profile our politicians based on so little evidence.

In all sincerity, I believe that it takes considerable experience and observation to profile politicians. The reason we all fail when it es to someone such as Donald Trump in the U.S.A. or Doug Ford in Ontario is that neither gentleman can be truly described as a politician. They are political wannabes and fail so miserably at the task before them.

But it is also easier to profile the run-of-the-mill politician than profiling political leaders. Leaders require a further set of profiling steps. Would you, for example, have profiled a young Reform M.P. named Steve Harper in the 1990s as potential leadership material?

Let’s look at an abbreviated profile of the three federal leaders of the major political parties in Ottawa and maybe we can see how it works:

Let’s start with the new democrats. Jagmeet Singh profiles well as a politician. Where he falls down is that he is an observant Sikh. Canadians, in general, have little knowledge or experience with Sikhism. It will work against his party. Some bigotry is involved though, in most cases, it is the just that people do not like to vote for a person they do not feel they know.

Andrew Scheer of the conservatives, on the other hand, is your typical white Prairie politician in a suit. He lacks personality and is easily forgettable. He has hardly done anything that would cause people to dislike him. Nor has he done anything to cause people to like him. He could get elected simply because he is a known brand of politician.

This counters liberal leader Justin Trudeau. In some parts of the country people love or hate him simply for his name. He is faced with being considered effete, elitist and ineffective. His signature promise in the last election of voting reform was a mistake and it is going to cost him this time.

Now, if the election was tomorrow, for whom would you vote?


Copyright 2019 ? Peter Lowry

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