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The Silly Season Has Arrived

The silly season has arrived. Normally I would reserve that for the so called “news reports” we receive over the summer, but there is an election on October 19th.

Party war rooms are already hard at work, with coffee drenched staffers pouring out hundreds of Twitter tweets, smack downs and stupid comments daily.

Gone are the days when MPs of different political stripes could go after each other in Question Period and then sit down for a quiet chat together minutes later. For instance, in the mid 1980’s Dan Heap was the NDP immigration critic and while a very tough opponent, I often sat with his staff to look at immigration cases that they were involved with on behalf of constituents. On quite a few occasions we were able to help.

A lot of this change in tone was triggered by the attacks of the Liberal “Rat Pack” on the Mulroney government which garnered them many headlines, often undeserved. Who remembers Shelia Copps crawling over a table top to get at Conservative minister Sinclair Stevens?

The hard shift from friendly antagonists to the other side is the enemy accelerated in the 1990s and became the norm after 2003.

Over the year’s technology has enabled the attacks, drive by smears and innuendo to be delivered quicker and even nastier in tone as people can now hide behind their computer screen and deliver them anonymously. You only have to spend a few minutes on Twitter to see this in action.

It was former Liberal leader Michael Ignatief who summed it up best:

“There is no doubt that the way politics is practiced now is much different than it was in the past. Today it is meaner and nastier and you are either on side and "right" or opposed and "wrong." You are my brother or my enemy. There is no room for compromise and no middle ground exists.”

Ignatief also said that today "it is more like war, with words as weapons."

Quotes worth remembering as we move towards October 19th.

The silly season, attack ads, fake news and everything else that goes with modern day elections has arrived.


Lots Of Mock Outrage!

So, the Liberals shut down the ethics committee- what else is new?

Did anyone actually expect the Liberals to allow the opposition to investigate Trudeau’s conduct just weeks before an election?

Let us get serious- there isn’t a party out there that would allow this to happen- it would be political suicide.

Time to cool the mock outrage from the Conservatives (who actually thinks they wouldn’t have done the same thing in the Harper years) and well the NDP can moan and groan, but they aren’t serious contenders anyway. The Greens can pontificate, but they have never been in a similar position to the Liberals at the federal level.

Should they ever win and end up in a similar position to the Liberals, lots of research staff will be throwing May’s comments at them.

Just another regular day in Canadian politics. This is not to say it is right, but until politics change in this Ccuntry tis is what you get.


The Greens Want A Public Inquiry. Have They Thought it Through?

Ever since the Ethics Commissioners Report landed with a bang on Trudeau’s desk, the opposition parties have been hard at work attacking the Liberals over the SNC Lavalin scandal.

This is what opposition parties are supposed to do, but with an election so close this issue takes on even more importance.

For instance, the Leader of the Green Party has been calling for a full public inquiry into this mess. It makes for an attractive sound bite, but has she thought it through?

There is a real possibility that on October 19th, Canadians will elect a minority Liberal government.

If Elizabeth May believes that Trudeau and his cronies acted so poorly that a full public inquiry is needed into what went on, how can she then support a minority government led by the same Liberal PM who she wants investigated?

The same goes for the NDP. If it is a minority Liberal government led by Trudeau. Will they support it to keep the Liberals in power?

The Greens and the NDP are the only parties likely to try to keep the Liberals in power. They need to be clear prior to the election if their support will be contingent on Trudeau stepping aside or not.

Otherwise for parties (who claim they are doing politics differently to the Liberals and Conservatives) are just blowing smoke. They will be no different than the parties they attack for old school politics.


Where Do We Go from Here?

Canadians should be worried when a Prime Minister thinks he is above the law. In this case Trudeau has once again been nailed for ethics violations. His defense was that he was trying to save jobs. With Trudeau we can always be guaranteed some excuse and while they vary, they are his thinly disguised contempt for being expected to comply and obey- in this latest case the ethics code. He is now the only Canadian Prime Minister to have broken the ethics code, not once, but twice.

The latest Ethics Commissioner report is scathing. Let us not forget that Trudeau even blocked the commissioner from seeing some documents-why? What do these paper reveal? That now becomes the issue.

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, has called for a public inquiry and while that sounds nice in media clips, she should know that it is more smoke and mirrors. If Trudeau wins another majority, he will never call an inquiry into himself. If he wins a minority- he will be propped up most likely by the Green Party as the NDP is fading fast as a viable alternative.

If May sees this issue as so important that a public inquiry is necessary- let her state before the election starts that she will not support a Liberal minority government unless a full public inquiry is called within one month of the election being decided.

Now that would be a fresh breath of air in Canadian politics!


War Over The Canada Food Guide

The Canada Food Guide is a strange hill for Scheer to plant his flag on going into the next election.

Really what is the point? Until this latest squabble between the Liberals and the Conservatives erupted did you even know there was such a thing as “A Canada Food Guide”?

If you did know it existed, did you care? Could you tell us the details of what was in the old versus the new guide?

Did you ever look it up?

Did you follow it?  

Besides pandering to certain lobby groups to get votes, especially those elusive Quebec ones – I ask again what was the point?

It will take a lot more than backing the dairy cartel to win votes in Quebec-starting with some progressive policies for starters.

With all of the available options and sources of information available to the modern consumer making a fighting issue of the Canada Food guide was just plain dumb.