Author Archives: Jay Currie

Interesting Day

#1 UK Election. Polling puts Boris 9.5 points up. But “polling” ain’t what it used to be and national polls in a 600+ seat race are more than a little useless. Boris is counting on voters a) wanting the end of the waffling on Brexit, b) not wanting Corbyn anywhere near Number 10. I think he is right on Brexit but I am less convinced that Corbyn is that toxic. Corbyn is certainly anathema to the old-time conservative voter, but to the kids, the ethnics and the tribal, Corbyn is not so scary. In fact, his old school Marxism and refusal to condemn terrorists, whether Irish or Islamic, puts him in stark contrast to the smoother, Blairite, Labourites. Corbyn is not a moderate and there is a sizable fraction of the voting population who will see that as a good thing. We’ll know soon.

#2 The Impeachment Follies. The Democrat’s lame attempt to impeach President Trump has dropped any pretence of bi-partisanship or basic procedural fairness. The articles themselves disclose no crimes, high or low, and are being torn apart in Committee. This weekend I suspect the GOP will be aggressive in attempts to get more moderate Democratic Representatives to either vote against or abstain when the Articles come before the full House. Given that the chances of the Senate convicting, never very good to begin with, collapse with these weak accusations, smart Democrats are surely looking for a way out. Censure is one alternative. Another is to actually defeat the Articles as they stand.

The biggest problem the Democrats have is that Trump is absolutely sure he did nothing wrong and nothing that the Democrats have managed to come up with shakes that position. Worse, the eternally combative Trump actually seems to be enjoying the process. He always knew he would be impeached if the Dems got control of the House and so he is well prepared to counter punch. The GOP may find Trump distasteful but they have rallied round and there is no appetite, on the Articles at least, to impeach a sitting President eleven months from an election.

It is great fun, however, watching the Republicans on the Committee bringing up Hunter Biden’s coke habits and uttering the taboo name of the “whistleblower” who wasn’t. Apparently, the betting is that Mitch McConnell wants any trial in the Senate to be short and sweet with very little investigation or exposure of the Democrats or the deep state they represent. However, the Congressional Republicans are having a grand time smearing the Bidens and underscoring the Democrat’s arrogant disregard for even the minimum procedural fairness. I can imagine Nancy Pelosi hoping that toad Nadler will get this over with quickly.

#3 Andrew Scheer. I didn’t vote for Scheer and I have no interest in the man. His resignation from the CPC leadership for whatever reason is a reasonable outcome of a disastrous campaign. His unfitness to lead was underscored by his willingness to hire Warren “Lying Jackal” Kinsella to go after Bernier with a bogus PPC=Racist campaign.

The CPC will now go through a year or two of trying to figure out how to “move to the center”. How to win the hearts and minds of assorted urban ethnic groups and how to appeal to women. They have plenty of mushy, urban, centerists – of both sexes and all genders – to choose from.

Unfortunately, the likely criteria for winning the CPC leadership will be a) can beat Trudeau, b) will not scare the ethnics, gays, ladies and the easily spooked Millenials. The idea that there might actually be conservative principles such as balanced budgets, limits on immigration, respect for provincial rights and support for a growing Canadian economy, will be largely absent from the CPC beauty contest coming to a city near you.

This is, frankly, a huge opportunity for the Peoples Party and Max Bernier. The brain trust at the CPC, fresh from its success in hiring Warren Kinsella, is going to go all in for the reddest, most inclusive, most climate friendly leader it can possibly find. The logic will be that you have to win in Toronto and places like Alberta and Saskatchewan are always going to be safe CPC territory.

Max needs to present a principled, conservative, platform and start rallying the real conservatives on the Prairies, in the interior of British Columbia and in the many parts of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes where Liberals and Liberals-lite are unwelcome options.

Could have had Max…and there is no reason why we can’t.

Update: So Boris won bigly. A working majority, many seats taken from Labour. Corbynism rejected and the pound went parabolic. Corbyn manage to lose bigger than Michael Foot – who was a lot smarter and far more fun, though deeply on the left. Momentum is saying it was a “Brexit” election and they are not wrong. But it was a rejection of Corbyn’s waffle on Brexit and his radical leftist positions and the base anti-Semitism the Labour party has fallen victim to. It was also an embrace of the intelligence and wit of Boris. Now he has his own mandate. He can get Brexit done and move on to the real issues facing the United Kingdom.

Andrew Scheer remains “resigned” (eventually). The red and pink Tories are lining up to take the position. The possible candidates are all of pinkish hue and interest me not a bit. I don’t think you beat the Liberals by being a slo-mo Liberal. Max has a huge opportunity.

But the winner of the interesting day was Jerry Nadler adjourning the Judiciary Committee without a vote on the Articles of Impeachment. The scuttlebutt is that he did this to ensure he gets on TV when the Committee passes those Articles.

Perhaps.

Or perhaps Nancy Pelosi has been counting votes and realizes that those Articles enjoy a bare majority of votes in the House. Or worse. They are remarkably dumb and Pelosi has noticed that Trump seems to be saying, “Oh please, Mr. Fox, don’t throw me into the brambles.”

Trump, along with Boris, likes jokes. He enjoys making fun and he has a fabulous sense of humour. It is one of the things which distinguishes the happy warriors on the right from the earnest, po-faced, scolds of the left.

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Kinsella and the CPC

Warren Kinsella, Lying Jackal, CPC, PPC, Max Bernier, Andrew Scheer
Jackal taking down a Scheer

Last week the CBC released a tape recording (well I have to bet phone actually) of Warren Kinsella coaching his troops at his company Daisy. He pointed out that he had painted various conservative politicians as racists in the past and that he would do the same thing with a real racist in the form of Maxime Bernier. He counselled hatred as a communications strategy. And so on. I am neither shocked or surprised at the tape’s contents. Kinsella has been practising this sort of “kick-ass politics” for decades. Anyone who follows Canadian politics knows exactly what sort of slime Kinsella and those associated with him are.

Which means Andrew Scheer, his campaign staff and the cheque writers at the CPC knew exactly what they were getting when they hired the Jackal to dirty up Max Bernier and the PPC. They wanted Kinsella’s brand of nasty, deceitful, underhanded political hackery and, apparently, they got it.

The sheer lack of ethics and paranoia hiring the Jackal demonstrates pretty much proves that Scheer is not fit to lead the CPC or to be Prime Minister. A fact which is dawning on the CPC itself as it struggles to figure out what to do with their present leader. Before Kinsellagate it was possible to say that Scheer was a decent, if uninspiring, leader. Now? It is indecent to hire a political mobster to beat up your opponents. Which leaves Scheer as merely uninspiring. I would be astonished if he survives a leadership review.

The revelation of Kinsella’s filth may sink Scheer but it burnishes Bernier’s reputation. Virtually all the accusations of “racism” levelled against the PPC and Max personally either were manufactured by Kinsella or occurred in a climate of hate created by the Jackal. I have never seen a credible accusation and now we have a pretty good idea why.

The PPC, even with Kinsella’s disinformation campaign, secured over 300,000 votes from a standing start a year before the election. If the CPC tears itself apart with a red/blue fight, a lot of thoughtful, conservative, people will give the PPC a second look. Conservative MPs looking for an alternative to the nastiness and vindictiveness of the Scheer people might well be tempted to join the PPC. Max had a lot of caucus support for his CPC leadership run. He was careful not to unfairly attack conservative positions, rather, during the campaign, he attacked CPC positions which were, in fact, Liberal-lite positions.

Political pundits, as they do after every election in which the Conservatives fail to win government, solemnly inform us that it was because the Conservatives failed to move towards the middle. The fact that only 30-35% of Canadians are even a bit right-leaning is trotted out to show how impossible it is for the Conservatives to win government unless they move left. I think this analysis is entirely incorrect. A solid, right of center party which had libertarian social views would hold that 30-35%. From there it is simply a matter of finding 3-5% in carefully targetted ridings. To do that a party would have to come up with policies which, while conservative, do not alienate middle-class voters, immigrant communities and women.

I don’t think there is a chance the CPC will manage that simply because they are too tied to establishment politics in Canada. Yeah multi-culti, boo climate change only echos the Liberal Party’s bland formula for success.

Proposing a real energy policy with the objective of reducing families’ energy costs would be a real differentiator. Taking a harder line on illegal immigration and fraudulent refugee claims could win a lot of votes. Especially if Scheer or his successor continue down the Liberal-lite path.

Most importantly, Scheer hiring Kinsella gives the PPC an ethical stick to whack the CPC with. It is always easy to attack the Liberals’ ethics, but now Scheer has proven that the CPC is really no better. The PPC should be talking about bringing ethics, trust and the rule of law back into politics. Max should just hammer Scheer and his gunsel Kinsella.

300,000 votes, candidates in every riding, was an amazing start. Now Scheer has handed Max a huge opportunity. I am hoping he takes full advantage and, in the process, kills off the Frankenstein creation which is the CPC.

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Losing Touch

I have been paying a bit of attention to the impeachment hearings conducted by the Intelligence Committee of the US House of Representatives. I was politically aware when the Nixon hearings occurred and followed the Clinton impeachment. In both cases the public was engaged and, while there were obviously partisan considerations, the elected officials seemed to take their responsibilities seriously.

Taking responsibilities seriously means a number of things: first and foremost, due process and a respect for evidence. Second, being clear about what is being alleged. Third, looking for a measure of bi-partisan support for the process. Fourth, a sense of fairness.

There is no legal requirement for any of these things. After all, impeachment we are endlessly told, is a political not a legal process. However, because the process is so deeply political it is unlikely to succeed without a political consensus supporting it. At the moment it looks very much as if the parade of witnesses in front of the Schiff committee have failed to create a strong, or even partial consensus in favour of impeachment.

Polling on fairly complicated questions is equivocal but it can give a sense of where the country is comfortable. For there to be any chance that sufficient Republicans in the Senate will vote for impeachment, the polls would have had to turn in favour of impeachment. Probably by a large margin. This has not happened and the fantastically one sided hearings under Chairman Schiff have not helped.

Which raises a huge problem for the Democrat party. To dyed in the wool Democrats the fact Trump is in office at all is an abuse of that office and impeachment on any grounds whatsoever makes total sense. They cannot imagine how this could be anything but self-evident. Which has meant that they were deeply careless in constructing their impeachment case. They paid no attention to what actually was the “impeachable offence” they were going after. They rigged the rules so that only their witnesses were heard and rigged them even further by creating a procedure designed to put the minority at a significant disadvantage cross examining those witnesses. They were blatant about this rigging.

The perception of unfairness, once established, is difficult to deal with but this was not the worst error the Democrats made. The worst error was believing that a startlingly insignificant bit of Presidential action (or inaction) the proof of which was ambiguous at best would galvanize the American People to demand Trump’s removal. There is no coming back from this misjudgment. All the more so because the action was so boring.

No one outside bureaucratic circles in Washington is the least bit interested in what Trump may have said or implied to some guy with an unpronounceable name who is the President of Ukraine which most Americans could not find on a map. There is no “blue dress”, no “18 minute gap” – there are just assorted, rather self-important, bureaucrats who overheard or heard from a colleague that the American President behaved inappropriately.

Of course, the President in question, has a talent for cutting to the chase and when he released the transcript of his call with the President of Ukraine, the air went out of the Democrats’ impeachment balloon.

The House of Representatives is on its Thanksgiving recess which means that the Representatives will be back in their districts. The media frenzy will die down and Congressmen and women are going to be talking to their constituents. If the impeachment hearings had been successful they would be hearing support for a vote on articles of impeachment. However, given the shambles of Schiff’s show, the best the Democrats can hope for is indifference, the worst will be independents telling them to forget impeachment and to get on with the business of the nation.

At a guess, following Thanksgiving, Nancy Pelosi will be looking for a way to end the whole impeachment show. She has very few good alternatives. She might well lose a vote on articles of impeachment. She could likely win a censure motion but that will not satisfy the rabid base. Perhaps her best bet would be to allow a low key report from the Intelligence committee to go to the Judiciary committee and then sit on it for a couple of months before announcing that it was up to the American people to throw Trump out in the next election.

No matter which way Pelosi jumps, losing touch with the American people on the question of impeachment is going to hurt the Democrats politically. It has solidified Trump’s base, annoyed independents and called into question the Democrats’ judgement which could cost them seats in Congress and the Senate. Plus, though this will only become clear in the next few weeks, it has fatally compromised Democratic front runner Joe Bidden.

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OK, Boomer

My Millennial son, not wanting to be out of step with his generation, referred to his dear father at an “old white boomer” in a chat we were having today. Absolutely accurate. I am an old white boomer and delighted to be one. But for the ageist Millennials this is supposed to be a real slag. And for real ironic cred, the phase, “OK, boomer” is a great comeback when a boomer says something the Millennial has no answer for.

However, it is always fun to shoot back and I tried, Mill – epic fail.

However, pensées d’escalier, I realized I had been close. What Mill lacked was a useful sense of faint derision.

What could do that job?

“Millie”. Just the right note of soy-boi, effeminate, dimness combined with a dash of condescension. And for a hint of Edwardian neo-colonial hauteur in the face of imbecility, “Righty-O, Millie”.

Done.

#Wexit + Max

This is interesting:

Meeting the Unity Challenge: An Agenda for Canada

Lots of names, lots of climate skeptics, lots of scholars, lots of Westerners.

Saturday Keynote? Maxime Bernier.

The great problem faced by the Reform Party, the Canadian Alliance and any number of Western Separatists and serious conservatives is that they could never figure out how to “go national” while staying true to their regional identity and concerns. Allying with Max may be a fix for that.

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Our Dog Died

Stoffal

I lost a very dear friend just before dinner tonight.

My old, thirteen and a half, dog Stoffal died lying against a bookshelf, his tail having wagged its last about ten minutes before. He was comfortable, in no pain at all, and had been out in the morning.

Stoffal was a golden doodle that my lovely (and currently devasted) Susan found on Used Victoria when he was three. A very nice South African doctor named Santa had moved to a condo and Stoffal was not a condo dog. (Stoffal is, apparently, a common dog name in South Africa.) So he came to us as a used dog from Santa.

Stoffal was relaxed. He’s moved with us from mansion to slum and back again, city to country, always adapting to whatever came his way. When he was younger he’d swim and fetch sticks – three times, after that you were on your own.

He slept beside my sons, alternating rooms, and when he could, he prowled the dinner table reminding us that dogs love steak but are willing to settle for potatoes.

He managed to steal, not one, but two rounds of Brie we were foolish enough to leave on a low coffee table at cocktail hour. He loved to walk in the woods in North Saanich but, in the last year, his ambition was greater than his legs could support. As he loved car rides this was not a problem.

A dog creates a special place in a family. No matter what is happening there is a big, furry, friendly, creature who wants nothing more than a scritch on the ear or a walk or to just lie beside you.

That is an empty place right now.

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Nickel a KWH

Poor, stunned, Scheer really had no clue what to do during the election. Leave aside the abortion and the gay marriage hit jobs, the poor bugger had no counter for the climate hysteria whipped up by Trudeau, McKenna, Greta and Lizzie May. He lacked the courage to actually take on the bogus, not ready for policy, “science” which underlies the “climate emergency” and he really had no coherent, simply stated, policy of his own. Now a decade of non-stop climate hysteria with very little push back has left us in the invidious position that to win votes a party has to hew to climate orthodoxy.

Sigh.

However, there is nothing which demands that a political party accept orthodoxy when it comes to addressing the much hyped emergency. So here is a suggestion for the Conservatives, rather than debating the finer points of a pointless carbon tax or a cap and trade disaster or how many windmills will fit on the head of a pin, why not come out with a positive program which treats reducing carbon emissions as a happy by-product.

Canada has an abundance of hydro electric power. In BC, if you ignore the emissions costs of the components of most electric vehicles, you can actually drive essentially emissions-free all the way back to the generation of the electricity. We have that much hydro and are building more.

Quebec is a hydropower powerhouse as well. The problem is the grid and the distances involved in getting power to the people.

The solution to that problem is nuclear. A few, relatively small scale, nuclear plants of modern design and safety, could mean cheap, abundant, baseload power was available throughout Canada and in Canada’s North. Add a nuclear station at Fort McMurray and you radically reduce the emissions of that key energy asset.

But for the Conservatives to sell the program they need a slogan, I would try “Nickel a kilowatt hour” but, “Nickel a kilowatt” is snappier if less accurate, (though more accurate than labelling carbon dioxide “carbon”).

Electricity so cheap you would be foolish not to run your car on it and heat your house with it. Instead of raising energy prices with punitive taxes to reduce demand for “dirty” energy, why not drop the price of clean energy to essentially zero and see the demand soar as people voluntarily switch to so called cleaner alternatives.

Canada has lots of uranium. Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin is lousy with the stuff. We have significant expertise in building small, safe, nuclear reactors. Along with the reactors we’d also look at developing more hydro power and building, if not a national grid, then very strong regional grids to meet increased demand.

“Electric Canada” is a positive way to respond to the “climate emergency” and it even has the merit of being useful during the coming, sun driven, cold period which is far more likely than global warming.

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Very Wasted – Just as it was ever was

Now that was a wasted election.

The Cons beat the Libs by 1.5% in the popular vote and lost 156 to 122.

The very nice and articulate Mr. Singh lost seats for the NDP.

The Bloc rolled up enough seats in Quebec to be a real thing again and the Greens won one seat.

My party, PPC, lost its only seat, Max’s, and got 1.7% of the vote.

The Libs were cleaned out on the prairies and the Cons couldn’t get a kiss in Toronto (vote rich, don’t you know).

So Trudeau has a working minority with NDP support and, I suspect, will be able to run that minority for at least two, likely, three years. Scheer did well enough, despite his robotic performance, to likely keep his leadership on popular vote alone. Singh did terribly in terms of seats but I suspect, as he is far and away, the best leader he’ll survive any leadership review.

The Libs got smacked about and they lost Goodale. But it was hardly a crushing defeat. Justin lives to fight another day.

Leaving Canadian politics, just as it ever was.

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A Wasted Election

If the polls are at all accurate tomorrow’s vote will be a virtual tie between the Lib and CPC and the outcome will be down to voting efficiency. As it stands, Scheer’s CPC is likely to run up huge majorities across the prairies but may lose squeakers in “vote rich” Ontario. All of which translates to a minority CPC government – best case – or, more likely, a minority Lib government with NDP/Green support – worst case.

As campaigns go this was extremely dull. The hobgoblin of climate “emergency” was embraced by all but the People’s Party. Trudeau apparently wore blackface on several occasions. Jagmeet Singh turned out to be a very likeable candidate. The Canadian media was happy to give Trudeau a pass on SNC-Lavilin, blackface, allegations of teenager groping and a host of other scandals. The Canadian media also obsessed about whether or not Scheer was an American. Trudeau spent most of his campaign running against Doug Ford and Stephan Harper. In late-breaking, inside baseball, news apparently Scheer hired Warren Kinsella aka “The Lying Jackal” to run a campaign to smear Max Bernier and the People’s Party as racists. (I don’t know why they would pay the Jackal to do this, he seems more than willing to smear for free.)

The only thing which will really interest me in tomorrow’s results is to see what popular vote Max and the People’s Party get. The polls seem to suggest 1-2%. To succeed, Max has to significantly exceed this predicted vote. If the PPc can take 5% of the national popular vote with a few hot spots of 10% or better, the party will be on its way.

Right now Canada has four national parties who essentially agree with one another that there is a climate emergency, immigration is an unalloyed good thing (and you’re a racist if you say otherwise), that deficits are not to be taken seriously and that taxing an ever-expanding class of persons known as the “wealthy” is a moral imperative. The only difference between the Greens, NDP, Cons and Libs is the speed they want to go down an already agreed upon highway.

It is a commonplace in Canadian politics that about 70% of the nation leans left. Which would leave 30% or so leaning right. I suspect there is a bit of fluidity to those numbers but the people who run the CPC seem to believe that they cannot stray far from the liberal/progressive/green orthodoxy or, well, soccer mums won’t vote for them.

Forty years ago – before he went mushy – Preston Manning challenged that orthodoxy. He challenged from the West and was branded a bigot and a racist and a separatist. He kept slogging forward. In 1988 the Reform Party got 2.09% of the popular vote, in 1993 it got 18.69% and in 1997 it got 19.35%. It became such a threat to the Conservatives in Name Only that the Progressive Conservative Party merged with it to form the Canadian Alliance which later morphed into the Conservative Party of Canada.

If Max can beat the 2% he’s predicted to get the building of the PPc can proceed apace. This is especially true if Scheer fails to win and faces a leadership review.

For a legitimate conservative/libertarian party to exist in Canada the tottering old structure of the CPC needs to collapse. Scheer’s Conservative Party serves no real purpose as it has walked away from conservative principles for fear of frightening Ontario voters. The sooner the CPC is destroyed the sooner a real conservative party can unite the right.

As President Tump would say, “We’ll see what happens.”

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The Day After

I’ve cast my vote here in North Saanich-The Islands where Lizzie May is going to win in a walk. I voted for Ron Broda the PPc candidate. The objective being to add to Max’s popular vote.

Apparently, Jagmet Singh is surging which makes sense as he did very well in the debates and his policies are no crazier than the Libs, Greens, CPC or Bloc. Between Singh and the Bloc it is looking like Trudeau will be denied a majority. But it is not at all obvious that Scheer will win a majority.

Singh’s performance has done two things: ensured that he will remain leader of the NDP into the next election and, if the votes go his way, put paid to the stupid belief that Canadians could care less about “turbans”.

On October 22 we’re going to wake up to a politically very different Canada assuming that JT is unable to win a majority. The first thing which will change is Trudeau’s position. He could be Mr. Dressup with a majority but in a minority position – assuming he can form a government at all – his Teflon coating will have worn off. It is just possible that the bought and paid for Canadian media will rouse itself from its slumber and begin to ask slightly harder questions.

The second thing which will change is that third, fourth and even fifth parties will matter. For Trudeau to form a government he will need at least the NDP’s support and, perhaps, the Greens. To get that he is going to have to buy into a lot of nonsense which will be extremely bad for the country. The Liberals have plenty of idiotic policy but they don’t hold a candle to either the NDP or the Greens for economically useless virtue signalling.

Scheer would have an easier time of it in a minority position. His only possible ally would be the Bloc and while the Bloc wants to break up Canada they are financially sound and not nearly as eager as the NDP or the Greens for open borders and looney carbon taxes.

The key thing to remember is that regardless of who forms the government, that government is not going to last very long. In a sense, this election is about the next, more decisive, election. If Trudeau loses as big as he looks to be doing the Liberal Party will be looking for another leader. If Scheer ekes out a workable minority he will be looking to call an early election (in the face of the idiotic Fixed Terms act we have saddled ourselves with) to crush that new leader.

For Singh, especially if he picks up seats as well as popular vote, the election will cement his place as the NDP leader and silence the people who are talking about his unelectability. Lizzie May will be hailed as an emerging force in Canadian politics if she manages to pick up a couple more seats on Vancouver Island and, I suspect, that is exactly what she is going to do. (Old, white, retired, rich people just love a party committed to never changing anything.)

And what about Max? Obviously, he needs to hold his own seat. Which may be tough but I think he will pull through. I very much doubt he will win any other seats for a variety of reasons having nothing to do with Max or his policies. New parties take a while to gain traction. For Max, the biggest issue is how he does in the popular vote. Sitting at 1% is not going to cut it, but pop up over 4% and the table changes. Anything beyond that and Max will be the election night story.

The one thing this election has underscored is that there are four parties in Canada – Libs, CPC, NDP and Greens – who are committed to significant spending increases, looney climate emergency measures and endless, unlimited immigration. And there is one party which wants a balanced budget, better science on climate and hard caps on immigration.

A pal of mine tweeted that 70% of Canadians lean left. I think the number is lower but the fact is that the left and soft left vote is being split four ways. If Max continues to articulate his solidly right positions, next election he’ll pull lots of votes and win more than a few seats. He has a wide-open run at 30-40% of the electorate.

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