Category Archives: Canadian Politics

#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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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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It’s not the racism, it’s the hypocrisy

Justing trudeau blackfaceI fear I can’t get all that outraged about Justin Trudeau’s black, er brown, face. It was a party with a theme and he dressed and made up. (The black marks on the brunette’s clavicles may be a little more suspect but unless she was a student, in bounds.)

Scheer’s reaction was, I fear, the measure of the pasty faced man.

Max, on the other hand, got it right:

 

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What amazes me is the fact that the MSM, the NDP and the great and the good seem to think our black and brown and other shaded citizens are going to be outraged by Trudeau’s behaviour seventeen years ago.

Is this a campaign issue? Not the thing in itself, but the sheer hypocrisy of the man and his party accusing all sorts of Conservatives and People’s party candidates of “wrong think” for standing on the same patch of ground as alledged white supremacists will rankle.

Elections often turn on the question of “moral high ground”. Trudeau’s claim to that ground has just collapsed in a heap. He can apologize until the proverbial cows come home. His moral position, his sunny ways, are done.

The biggest winner? Maxime Bernier. Because now the Libs and the Cons have no racist stick left to beat him with. Try to use that stick – outrageous as it is – and Max points to Trudeau and his hypocrisy.

The way fifth parties become third parties is when they expose the lies the leading party and its “lite” version are based upon.

Trudeau gave the People’s Party a gift and Max is bright enough to exploit it.

 

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The trivialization of Canadian Politics

faith goldy and justin trudeauDock Currie (not related) apparently posted something to the internet several years ago which was offensive. So he felt he had to resign as an NDP candidate. [Anyone who sees Dock on Twitter has to wonder if he has ever posted something which is not offensive, but there is is.) Several conservatives have, at various times been in the same crowd of several hundred or thousand people as Canada’s answer to Toyko Rose, Faith Goldy. The shock, the horror.

I realize that a race between Trudeau, Scheer, Singh and May is not very inspiring. (It would have been so much more interesting had the Conservatives actually run a conservative like Max Bernier rather than whatever the hell Scheer is, but them’s the breaks.) But piling on to candidates for ancient statements or mau-mauing them for distant association with a cartoon fascist simply sets the bar even lower.

Having accomplished nothing of substance in their years in government – they even screwed up the pot file which took real ingenuity – the Libs are reduced to going negative from the outset. Their war room knows that Canadians are unimpressed with “climate change needs higher taxes” as a campaign theme. They also know that Trudeau’s legal and ethics problems offset what charisma he has as a campaigner.

So now it is time for “Project Fear”. Scheer = Harper = Trump. Scheer is going to take away abortion rights, Scheer is not an ally of the gay community because he does not jet all over the country to march in pride parades. The Conservatives hate immigrants and so on.

Going negative this early strongly suggests that the Lib’s internal polling is suggesting a fair bit of weakness. Conventionally, a party will save the negative stuff for the last couple of weeks of the campaign when it is the most damaging and the hardest to refute. I suspect the Libs have realized that with their own leader either under RCMP investigation or credibly accused of impeding that investigation, they need to distract and terrify the under 30’s, newer immigrants and the ladies if they are going to win.

After years of public school and woke university, the under 30’s are ignorant enough to fall for the climate scare. Newer immigrants might be frightened by conservatives who attended a rally at which Faith Goldy was present because, well, that would make them Nazis too. And the Libs think the ladies will swoon over the suggestion that Scheer (a major breeder and Catholic) will be jumping right in to create a Handmaiden’s Tale anti-abortion dystopia where the State will mandate that pregnancy will only end with birth.

With a bought and paid for mainstream media pumping out those themes, keeping Max off stage and lobbing Nerf ball questions at Trudeau, the Liberal war room may well be right.

After all, when not plotting with the Pope to make pregnancy mandatory, Scheer is a dull, decent, dog of a candidate. Dirty him up a bit and the poor man may never recover.

The Liberal war room and the mainstream media seem to think this is what politics is about. It isn’t. Right now there are actually serious issues facing Canada beginning with the fact that because of the disaster which is Canadian energy policy, the shut down of 50% of Saudi Arabia’s oil production may mean the Eastern Bastards really do freeze in the dark this winter. Will that come up on the campaign trail? Will real, if painful solutions to Canada’s deficit and debt problem come up? Will the fact that our current External Affairs minister is persona non gratia in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US come up?

These are real issues. Dock Currie’s usually odious comments and being in the same city as Faith Goldy are not.

The Liberals and the paid for Canadian media are pretty sure we’re too dumb to see the difference.

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Dog Days of Summer

My friends back East are gently broiling in temperatures not seen since my 94 year old mother was a girl. No AC then, but no idiots or Liberals telling you that the heat was caused by CO2. Judging from the ever reliable Twitter just about no one is actually buying that nonsense.

Twitter is covering itself in glory on other fronts. Having banned Megan Murphy for daring to report on the chap who wants his testicles waxed and is taking any number of waxing providers to BC’s Human Rights Commission in a transparent shakedown, Twitter has now banned Lindsay Shepherd for discussing Yaniv’s junk. [I note for the record that Yaniv, in full drag, has one of the most punchable fat faces I have ever seen. And, as I am quite certain he is not in the least bit genuine, I am certainly not going to use his appropriated pronouns.] Sheperd’s banning and the lifting of a publication ban on Mr. Yaniv has led all sorts of significant platforms to investigate Mr. Yaniv and to discover that he might not be a super great guy. Apparently, he has a rather greater than normal interest in how very young girls handle menstruation. Nice work Twitter.

Then, in the last few days, Twitter has been playing silly buggers with the hashtag, “TrudeauMustGo”. It was trending, then it wasn’t, then some dimwitted Liberals and CTV decided that it was being promoted by “bots”, then it came back to trending and now, last time I looked, it’s gone.

And, just because it can, Twitter floated the idea that it might be a good idea, in Canada, to allow people to remove replies to their tweets. The replies would not be deleted. They would simply not be visible on the same page as the tweet itself. Twitter got ratioed hard on this looney idea. My own sense is that this came up because poor Cathy McKenna is butt hurt that her prodigious climate change bad, carbon tax good Twitter output attracts nothing but negative, fact-based, replies. As Climate Barbie has announced she has no time for political adversaries who deny climate change is real, eliminating replies to her fact-free tweets would free up a lot of staff time.

Possibly the best news Andrew Scheer has had in some time is that the “Brain of Justin” and Twitter hate monger, Gerry Butts is back (assuming he ever left) advising youngish Mr. Trudeau. The Libs had made a good deal of progress in burying the SNC Lavalin interference with justice scandal. Now Justin has brought back Butts who is on record as saying, and I will provide full context,

“When Butts and Telford suggested seeking legal advice to review the SNC-Lavalin decision, Prince told them it would inappropriately interfering in the decision. “Jess, there is no solution here that doesn’t involve some interference,” Butts told her, according to text message transcripts from Wilson-Raybould.” national post

If we had an independent media in Canada, that quote would be hung around Justin’s neck from now until a) the election, b) Butts leaves any position, formal or informal, of influence. Unfortunately, as Andrew Coyne (quite clever except about Trump when derangement makes an ugly appearance) points out, we no longer have an independent media. We have a media which is looking desperately to be bailed out by the Federal Government. And the legacy media is intent on excluding dreadful upstarts like Rebel Media or the Post Millennial so an “independent panel of experts” is setting the criteria for “what sorts of publications should be accredited as Qualified Canadian Journalism Organizations” and what, exactly, a journalist is. (Extra points if you are in JT’s Chief of Staff, Katie Telford’s Op-Ed go to Rolodex.)

$600 million for legacy media and $1.2 billion for the CBC and, I suspect, the Libs will think they have pretty much sewn up positive media coverage for Justin. If only. Here is a little experiment: take a stroll through a shopping district or mall (thank you air conditioning) and look at people having coffee. Are any of them reading newspapers. The old style, printed on paper, newspapers? If so, is that person over or under the age of, say, forty? Let me know if you spot one. Most of us get our news from the internet. We might read the National Post online, but we will also have the opportunity to read The Rebel, Post Millennial, Spencer Fernando, Blazing Catfur and CEO.CA and literally thousands of other outlets.

Legacy media may limp along for another few years but, to quote Coyne,

For an industry whose chief shortage is less cash than credibility, this is a dire turn. The mere prospect of government funding has already opened us to accusations, on any occasion we are less than critical of the government, of singing for our supper. And not entirely without cause: whatever our claim to impartiality in other matters, there is no doubting our views on the supper. national post

With the arrival of federal government subsidies the legacy media will become even more identified with the interests of the Liberal Party (if that is possible) and even less reliable. It’s ability to decide what is and is not news, already under attack will be destroyed. After all, when the “gatekeepers” are paid by the Federal Government it is reasonable to suppose that they take dictation from Katie Telford and the PMO. Not all the time and not all that directly, but Certified Canadian Journalists are bright enough to know who is buttering their toast.

So are we.

 

 

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Happy Canada Day!

Canada Day, Canadian ElitesMy little town on the Saanich Peninsula really puts on a show for Canada Day weekend. Because of the competition from Victoria’s Inner Harbour, we have our fireworks on Canada Day Eve. My youngest son, a fireworks enthusiast, rode his fixed gear bike the five miles in and five miles back. Tons of fun. Today there will be a parade, concerts and a general sense of a holiday. There are Canadian flags everywhere – we are not quite American with our flag mania, but there are a lot of them on display. Curmudgeons such as myself make sure our kids know that the real name for July 1 is Dominion Day and all that.

Meanwhile, the CBC has been polling Canadians and found that “nearly 80 per cent of Canadians either strongly or somewhat agree with the statement: “My country is divided between ordinary people and elites.” CBC At that link there is a long article suggesting that populist politicians are making use of the term “elite” in a derogatory way and that no one really quite knows what “elite” means.

Given that, in democracies, there is a certain amount of delicacy which surrounds frank discussion of elites, it is not surprising that no one is able to precisely describe what makes up an elite. The CBC and the guy on the street they interview are clear that it is not “money” per se. In fact, culture is more important than money in determining a person’s elite status and that culture, while in principle accessible, is, in practice, exclusionary. And it is exclusionary in very subtle ways.

To give an example, a million years ago I arrived for my first day at a very elite law school. It was actually, on the numbers, harder to get into than Havard Law. If ever there was an elite in embryo it was the hundred and fifty young men and women in that class. After a silly welcoming speech, there were cocktails and we set about getting to know each other as only a group in which fully 50% had been their high school president can. After a while, it got a little tedious as people humble-bragged about going to a “Boston area college” and how doing a triple honours degree set them up for the rigours of a legal education. My mind wandered and I began looking at the actual appearance of this class. There were virtually no fat people. In general, both the men and women seemed a bit taller than average. There were few, if any, people of colour. There were lots of WASPs and lots of Jews (the school shut down for Jewish High Holidays). There were lots of what I later came to understand were “good” hair cuts and the clothes were casual but lots of Ralph Lauren. But what was most striking were the teeth. So far as I could see there was exactly one person in that class who had not either been born with perfectly straight teeth or had access to orthodontry from an early age.

Now, having straight teeth does not make you a member of the elite, not noticing how unusual it is for a group of a hundred and fifty people to have straight teeth, does.

The CBC interviewee, Tony Laino, at Fordfest, said describing elites, “”Those that think they’re better than me,” he said. “Because I don’t espouse their beliefs.”

Which misses the point. Elites really don’t think of guys like Tony Laino at all. Largely because, as Charles Murray points out in Coming Apart, the new upper class rarely, if ever, meets the Tony Lainos of the world. Murray was writing about white people in America but much the same social bi-furcation is taking place in Canada. Murray looks at education, wealth, marriage, access and what he refers to as the rise of the super-zips, areas where highly educated, well connected, well off people live with others of their class and kind. It is an accelerating phenomenon in the US and it is plainly visible in Canada. Murray quotes Robert Reich as calling this, “the segregation of the successful”.

Inside elite communities “the issues” look very different than they do in the more pedestrian parts of the country. A few pennies extra for gas or heating oil or natural gas to fight the universally acknowledged menace of “climate change” makes perfect sense if your income is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. It is downright terrifying if you are making $50K. Only bigots and racists could be anti-imigration when you, yourself, live in virtually all white, old stock, Canadian enclaves and welcome refugees and migrants who you will never see.

The populist moment has not yet come to Canada and, if Andrew Scheer’s brand of Liberal lite wins in October, there will probably be another decade of elite consolidation before a proper populist movement gets off the ground. Whether it will be right populism a la Trump and Farange, or left populism with a firebrand NDP leader, is hard to say. However, as the Canadian elite grows more insular and disconnected from the ordinary life of Canada and Canadians, that populist moment draws closer.

Happy Canada Day!

 

 

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We Need a Sunspot Tax

“The resulting summary curve reveals a remarkable resemblance to the sunspot and terrestrial activity reported
in the past millennia including the signifcant grand solar minima: Maunder Minimum (1645–1715), Wolf minimum (1200), Oort minimum (1010–1050), Homer minimum (800–900 BC) combined with the grand solar
maxima: the medieval warm period (900–1200), the Roman warm period (400–10BC) etc. It also predicts the
upcoming grand solar minimum, similar to Maunder Minimum, which starts in 2020 and will last until 2055.” Oscillations of the baseline of solar magnetic field and solar irradiance on a millennial timescale, Nature

Peer-reviewed and everything.

For a long time, I have maintained that climate “science” is not robust enough for policy work. If Zharkova et al are even close to right the entire CO2 hysteria and the malinvestments resulting from that hysteria are worse than useless. If we are, in fact, heading into 35 years of a grand solar minimum we need steady, reliable, scalable energy sources – nuclear springs to mind.

Now, the interesting thing about Zharkova et al is that they make a testable prediction, namely that we are heading into a Maunder Minimum like period. So we should expect longer, harder winters, an overall drop in global temperature and shorter growing seasons. And we should see those effects in the next couple of years.

I trust Climate Barbie is on top of this.

 

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