Category Archives: Liberal Party

Here’s Hoping

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Sundance is a remarkably well informed American commentator who pays attention to trade. The above is not confirmed but if that turns out to be the Canadian position the politics will be fascinating.

A complete capitulation to Trump would make Trudeau look like the wimp most of us already think he is. It would also give us a chance to catch the tailwind of the current American economic boom.

It would, I suspect, cause the left in Canada to implode simply because it would suggest that their hero Justin takes business more seriously than posturing. And when you give up posturing what does the left have left?

As Trump would say, “We’ll see what happens,” but real Canadian patriots have to hope that common sense prevailed and that we are on the road to genuine free trade with our friends to the south.

[Note seeing much action on the CDN/USD front. If the above is true I would expect a fairly sharp rise in the value of the Canadian dollar.]

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Canadian Trade Debacle

“It is highly unusual, after more than a year of three-party talks, for Canada not to participate in the new discussions between U.S. and Mexican negotiators,” said Chris Sands, head of the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Indeed, recent developments point to a steady souring of relations between Ottawa and the White House. Formal, three-way talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement have not been held since May, though had been expected to restart after the Mexican presidential election earlier this month.

A third source briefed on the negotiations said the U.S. side, fuelled in part by Lighthizer’s dislike of Freeland, has decided to not even let Canada back into the process until it makes some kind of substantive concession. national post

If you are not in the room you are not part of the deal. The dimwitted PMO and Trade Pixie Chrystia Freeland seem to think that “standing up to the Americans” is good trade policy as well as political catnip. After all, if Trudeau can be cast as Canada’s champion tilting with big, mean, Trump he should win the next election in a walk. (Or so the Ottawa thinking, I am inclined to think Canadians are not that dumb; but I’ve been wrong before.)

The politics of trade are one thing, the actual effects of “no deal” are quite another. The combination of no trade deal with the US and the anti-business consequences of the national “carbon” tax make investment decisions in Canada very easy: why would any US company or Canadian company for that matter, build a factory in Canada when that same factory could be built in the US or Mexico and enjoy access to the US market?

No one has to love Trump to figure out that Canada is better off with a trade deal with our largest trading partner. If that means abandoning our weird desire to enshrine gender equality in such a deal or, more substantively, accepting a negotiated sunset clause or the gradual elimination of tariff barriers in the dairy industry, we should get on with it.

Unfortunately, the political class in Canada – and our awful media – seem to be holding on to the idea that somehow Trump is not the “real” President and that, even if he is, he’ll be gone soon because he’ll be impeached or convicted criminally. Bouncing around Washington to speak to mainly Democratic Senators and Representatives in the name of a “charm” offensive likely re-enforced the perception that Trump is just a bad nightmare which will be over soon. And, hey, mid-terms!

The happy thought of Trump’s departure is the bedrock of leftist delusions about many things. The reality that Trump is going nowhere and that he seems to be accelerating his agenda apparently does not register in the collective Ottawa political brain. It is too horrible to contemplate. So long as the Liberals and their enablers in the media cling to the vision of the quick demise of Trump’s America (and a restoration of those nice Democrats) they will blunder along gaining no traction at all in trade or on any other file.

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#YouToo?

Much as I despise Justin Trudeau and the gang of gender-balanced incompetents he has surrounded himself with, I am afraid I can’t work up much indignation vis a vis the Creston grope. Nor do I think JT’s bumbling defence is anything other than another demonstration of his general unfitness for the Prime Ministership.

It is pretty clear that Justin, perhaps after several beers, touched a girl in a way which, the very next day, she wrote was inappropriate (or some such…I can’t be arsed to look it up). He compounded his error by saying that had he known she was reporting for a national paper he would not have been so forward. What a dweeb.

But, honestly, I don’t care. Partly it is the passage of time. Despite Kinsella’s attempts to turn this into a Harvey Weinstein moment, Trudeau behaved badly, is a sanctimonious idiot and a fake feminist, but it still does not amount to assault or anything close. (At least at this point, we may learn more down the road.)

Here’s big news. People go to beer company sponsored music festivals to get friendly with other people. I am told that, on occasion, people who have had several beers end up in tents with each other for no good reason and they are not even engaged. While I am, of course, shocked and appalled, I can’t quite see how this amounts to anything but a slightly embarrassing story.

Trudeau’s handling of the Jackel inspired story sucks. His comms department should be sacked. But the fact is that a young, unmarried, guy took liberties with a young, unmarried (so far as I know) girl at a summer music festival. I suppose we could shoot him. But I would rather shoot the comms idiots who did not say to JT, “Admit you did it. Apologize. Move on.” All the parsing in the world is not going to change the fact Justin grabbed her ass or boob or whatever. Bad Justin. Admit it and move on.

There are lots of reasons not to vote for this idiot. His behaviour 18 years ago might be one of them. But it is not the most significant nor will it be the last.

As with most things Jackal driven there is more going on here than we are seeing. Why did the Jackal trawl through the Creston paper on microfilm to get the story? And what else is there? Vancouver, Whistler – in the late 90’s,early 2000’s these were “party central”.

At a guess, the Creston “grope” is not where the Jackal is going with this. I suspect it is a ranging shot. Turning on the light to see where the cockroaches in the PMO scatter.

If there is another shoe, and I suspect there are several, it will drop in September just in time to force the resignation and the nomination of another leader in time for the next election. The Jackal learned from Wynne’s failure to make way. It is not enough to kick Justin to the curb…he has to be gone by Christmas.

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Canada Day!

Canada, Canada Day, Trump. tariffsThere is nothing I like being more than a Canadian. My compatriots may drive me crazy but our disagreements are political rather than patriotic.

Sadly, our current federal government thinks it can win an election – in a year – by picking a fight with our friends in the US. The PMO’s polling tells them that Canadians a) can’t stand Trump, b) will rally around a PM who stands up for Canada no matter how wrong we might be. I suspect that polling is right but premature.

No one wins a trade war and today the smartypants Liberals are embarking on a series of deliberately political retaliatory tariffs designed to hit Republicans where it hurts, at the polling booth. There are many things wrong with this strategy beginning with the fact it won’t work. Tariffing soy sauce because North America’s largest soy sauce plant is in retiring GOP speaker Paul Ryan’s district looks clever but isn’t. After all, at best, that plant ships about 10% of its production to Canada. Our tariff will be an annoyance rather than a game changer. And just as Canadians claim to be willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with Trudeau in opposing the Trump monster, Americans are perfectly capable of supporting the industries we target.

Canadians win when we come up with creative compromises. Flat out telling the US that we will not accept a five year sunset clause on NAFTA is stupidly beligerent. Intelligent compromise would have created a process – general review at 6 years, sectoral review at eight based on the general review and the possiblilty of revision at 10. It’s boring but it is very Canadian. Same thing with the steel and aluminum tariff. Figure out what the Americans are actually after (likely an end to the transhipment of Chinese commodity steel) and figure out how to make that happen while enhancing the Canadian position.

Unfortunately, this very Canadian approach is not very sexy. It is not going to save a floundering Liberal government. To do that, the geniuses in the PMO realize they somehow have to cast the next election as a referendum on Trump rather than a review of the Trudeau government’s meager list of accomplishments. To that end picking a fight with the US seemed like a good idea.

It isn’t.

With a year in hand, the US can pretty much destroy the Canadian economy and flatten what manufacturing is left in Ontario. They don’t need to do much, just impose a 20% tariff on all cars coming into the US and fail to exempt Canada. Boom, done. Like the rest of the world, Canada enjoys access to the American market because we have negotiated that access and the Americans, to date, have had no particularily compelling reason to restrict that access. Indeed, up until the fracking revolution, there was a strategic reason to keep Canadian oil and gas flowing to the US. That reason has gone.

It is a Canadian pasttime to bash Americans. All the more so with Trump in office. Where that comes from is not obvious but the reserves of anti-Americanism in Canada are, apparently, bottomless. And those reserves are filling fast as the American economy under Trump revives and thrives in contrast to Canada’s. I have no idea if Trump is Making America Great Again, however he is, unambigously, making America Rich Again. And he is doing that through tax cuts and deregulation which are anathema to the economic illiterates who surround Trudeau and infest the Finance Department. Normally, when the US economy surges, Canada enjoys a knockon effect. But between nitwit “carbon taxes” and unnecessary “trade wars” and an apparent inability to build pipelines, Canada is going in the opposite direction.

Between now and next Canada Day I suspect it is a good bet that Canada will make itself poorer. The only question is how much poorer.

If the PMO and the Liberal Party really think they will be able to run against Trump in a little over a year they have to pray that he does not continue to deliver jobs, growth, prosperity and a reassertion of American might internationally. They have to hope Trump will, somehow, be impeached, or lose the mid-terms decisively, or have his economic policies crash or walk into some other disaster – because if Trump’s successes continue and the Democrats fail to win big in November, he is going to be a much less attractive target.

Yes, if Trump does tariff cars at 20% he’ll be demonized all over the world. But where it counts, in the car plants in Ontario and in the parts manufactories, there is not going to be much left. Rail at Trump all you want, the fact is that it will be Trudeau who was dumb enough to poke the bear for political points.

I hope all my Canadian readers enjoy our National Holiday. And then I hope all my American readers enjoy July 4. In a year, we will still be celebrating Canada Day but, unless our politicians smarten up, we will be a poorer and less consequential nation than we are now. And, worse, that condition may very well be permenant as our jobs flow south.

This Canada Day our situation is serious but, with intelligence, not fatal. Next year?

Happy Canada Day!

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Things just got real

Justin Trudeau, in a bizarre performance at the final press conference of the G-7 conference, managed to thoroughly piss off Donald Trump. To the point that Trump called him dishonest.

Now the Donald is going to be occupied with North Korea for the next few days and, at a guess, having withdrawn America’s consent to the G-7 communique may simply forget Trudeau’s deeply cowardly remarks. (It is cowardly to say things about a person when they have left the building when you had the opportunity to say them to that person’s face.) That is the best Trudeau can hope for. More likely, Trump will have detailed a hard man in a suit to run the numbers on Canada’s trade with the US and find out just how many cars we send south every year. These are not hard answers to find and when those numbers go back to Trump there is very little to stop him from dropping a 25% tariff on those cars.

I said over at Kate’s that the Americans see trade negotiations as business, the Canadians see them as politics.

From a business perspective, a 25% tariff on cars made in Canada will lead to more cars being made in the US. The transition will be a bit uncomfortable for a number of large US companies but in the overall American economy, it will be a blip.

In Canada? In Canada, more specifically Ontario, the destruction of the auto industry would be a full scale, all hands on deck, disaster. Realistically, the auto sector is Ontario’s largest private sector employer and the largest manufacturing sector. Being priced out of the US market would kill tens of thousands of well-paid jobs.

Trump has taken the measure of Trudeau and his tiny, annoying, Minister of External Affairs, Chrystia Freeland and concluded they are featherweights. Which means that Canada is potentially screwed because Trump has no faith in our leadership. You don’t call people dishonest publically if you plan to do business with them.

It is unlikely that Trudeau will be aware of just how badly he has failed for a few days. The Canadian media are heavily invested in a narrative which has Justin standing up to the big, bad, Trump. Trudeau’s tone-deaf advisors are, no doubt, revelling in the fact they got lots of “gender” language into the communique.

It will take a few days for the more sober side of the media to realize what peril Trudeau has put us in. And a few more for the geniuses in the PMO to figure out that Trump is not playing the same game as they are.

When they do figure it out the question will arise, “What the fuck do we do now?”

As I am quite sure Butz and his posse read this blog I have a simple suggestion.

Normally, I would have suggested they get in touch with Simon Reisman who negotiated both the Auto-Pac and NAFTA. Alas, Reisman is dead.

Second best by a long shot? Brian Mulroney. A man I have next to no time for but who a) managed to get Canadians onboard for NAFTA, b) was a quite successful Canadian Prime Minister, c) is wired into both Trump World and broad swaths of corporate America.

If Trudeau could get Mulroney to do it Mulroney would be going into the US with a serious, well thought out, everything on the table, pitch. Likely starting with first principles – no tariffs, no subsidies, no non-tariff barriers. Be prepared to dump dairy and end transhipment of Chinese steel. And pitch it to the Trump people as the template for the deals which could be made with the EU, Japan, India and so on. (China is a whole other thing.)

The key point here is that Canada has to move, and move quickly, away from the finger-wagging politics of gender inclusion and climate change to a hard-nosed business approach to getting the best deal we can with an America which is now willing to put its own interests first.

Our leverage is that, while Trump is perfectly willing to talk tough, he also seems to like having a few friends. Canada, notwithstanding our dolt of a PM, has been and could be the staunch friend Trump needs.

Mulroney might just be able to pull this off. Here’s why:

[Back story: Peter Newman released a set of transcripts of Mulroney “unbuttoned” without Mulroney’s consent.]

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Interests

“No nation has friends only interests.” (Charles de Gaulle)

As I write the estimable Nikki Haley (2024…you go girl) tweeted to the assorted thugs who are ambassadors to the UN,

“At the UN we’re always asked to do more & give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don’t expect those we’ve helped to target us. On Thurs there’ll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names.”

Oh my…

Here’s a suggestion to the ethically challenged (and frankly, what a crock) Prime Minister of all the Canadas…Pay attention.

Canada has no skin in the game as to the location of the US Embassy to Israel. And we have no reason to believe that the capital of Israel is anywhere other than Jerusalem. While we are certainly “Yah, Peace.”, recognizing reality is a very important step to that peace.

But we have all manner of issues on the table with our American cousins. NAFTA, F-35s, border security, softwood lumber, pipelines.

From a Canada First perspective, who matters more? The US or a rag tag bunch of intransigent Palis and their European enablers?

Justin has the opportunity to end Trump’s isolation on the Jerusalem issue. We can vote with our American friends. We can announce that we are seriously looking at moving our Embassy.

The fact is that The Donald wants to be liked. He wants friends. He wants “respect”. We can take an issue which is literally of no consequence to Canada’s interests and run up points in Trumpland.

The Donald is a guy who remembers his friends.

Canada needs to be a friend.

It is in our interest.

 

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Do We Get Serious?

To repeat what I said a few days ago, I’m Islamed out. I’m tired of Islam 24/7, at Colorado colleges, Marseilles synagogues, Sydney coffee shops, day after day after day. The west cannot win this thing with a schizophrenic strategy of targeting things and people but not targeting the ideology, of intervening ineffectually overseas and not intervening at all when it comes to the remorseless Islamization and self-segregation of large segments of their own countries.

So I say again: What’s the happy ending here? Because if M Hollande isn’t prepared to end mass Muslim immigration to France and Europe, then his “pitiless war” isn’t serious. And, if they’re still willing to tolerate Mutti Merkel’s mad plan to reverse Germany’s demographic death spiral through fast-track Islamization, then Europeans aren’t serious. In the end, the decadence of Merkel, Hollande, Cameron and the rest of the fin de civilisation western leadership will cost you your world and everything you love.

So screw the candlelight vigil. mark steyn

I think the events in Paris bring us a bit closer to being serious. A bit closer to the recognition of the fundamental incompatibility of Islam with Western liberal democracy. We’ll see in the morning.

The way we will see is by paying close attention to our leader’s words and their actions. To allow a million Muslims to arrive in Europe in the guise of refugees is an obvious mistake and one which, with political will, can be corrected. (And, in the Canadian case, to invite 25,000 so called refugees in on a timetable which precludes serious vetting is an excellent test of Trudeau’s seriousness as a leader.) But will it be?

Will Hollande’s “pitiless” crusade against terror actually deploy troops to the “no-go zomes” of Paris for the house to house searches to find the weapons, the illegals and the intelligence? Will the rest of Europe cheer the French on or retreat behind the tut, tuts of multikulti delusion?

We are about to find out if this night in Paris has been enough. I would have thought Charlie Hebdo would have been enough. But I was wrong then. Everybody had a nice march and went home.

Will this be enough? I am afraid I doubt it. Mark is right in that the West simply will not confront the reality of political, imperial, Islam. We’re lazy and we’re nice and we simply can’t imagine the sorts of action which might stop the flow of illegal migrants or the terror in the streets of Paris. Because to imagine that is to treat people who are deeply different from us as alien, as “other”. We are too polite to recognize and treat the cancer which is Islam.

This is a war. It is a war which has been going on since the 7th Century. The other side has always, right from the time of the prophet, understood that this is a war. The West, most of the time, pretends it isn’t. Will Paris convince us to take the war seriously? I hope so but I doubt it.

I really think it will take a mass atrocity: biological, chemical or nuclear with 100,000 or a million deaths, to put a bit of fight in us. And, sad to say, when that happens the terrified left and muddled center will probably try to figure out how to negotiate.

No, really.

When asked Thursday by CBC about confronting ISIS, Sajjan said:

“We need to get better as an international coalition … better at looking at the threats early on, to making sure that we identify them early so they don’t balloon into these big threats,”

“They were smaller at one time, we need to get better at identifying the subtle indicators so we might be able to have dealt with it diplomatically.” the rebel

(Sad to see a Sikh warrior say something so craven about the traditional enemy of the Sikhs.)

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Splits #Elxn42

So, here we go. Last few days of the campaign. Mulcair dropping, JT rising, Lizzie May ready to double her seat total – Victoria is in play.

Will the kids with the smartphones show up? The Lying Jackal figures that if they do JT wins. But will they?

As I drove down the highway with my buddy the Mad Monk we were talking about the election. He is NDP to the core. The question is the splits. This election has been about getting rid of Harper. The Libs and the NDP are both pitching themselves as the ABC party. But neither have closed the deal. Strategic voters, whose numbers are impossible to determine, are supposed to vote for the non-CPC candidate in their riding who has the best chance of beating the Tory. But tribes are strong. For a Dipper to vote Liberal is more than a little problematic. Perhaps the younger ones. A Liberal, carried away by Trudeau’s weird version of hope and change? Voting NDP is voting for no hope and no change. They probably get that.

The Cons have abase and then they have a halo. People who do not identify as Tory but who are not attracted to either the NDP or the Libs. They may not actively like Harper but they don’t hate him either. They are the difference between 33% and 39%. Third place or a majority. The CPC knows this.

I told the mad monk that, all things considered, the CPC have managed to keep hope alive for both the NDP and the Libs. They have to because a sudden shift to the Libs or the NDP will sink a hundred CPC seats. The media are so far in the tank for the Grits that actual information has more or less ceased to flow. They want the bandwagon effect to kick in. Will it?

I am awful at predicting elections. I am up at Kate’s prediction pool with 183 seats for the Tories. I don’t think the kids will show up and those who do will be just as likely to vote Green as make a difference. I think the niqab will win Harper seats in Quebec – and the rest of Canada. I think that the idea of JT as Prime Minister is not all that attractive to a serious fraction of the voters, even the ones who hate Harper. And I think that the NDP and the Liberals are going to come second, by a hair, in thirty to fifty seats simply because neither of them is an overwhelmingly attractive, electable, ABC choice.

Harper is not dumb. Nor is is warroom. They have kept Trudeau and Mulcair in this. The collapse of Mulcair in Quebec means seats for the Tories and, perhaps, for the BQ who will likely support Harper in Parliament.

Outside the Annex, Ontario is shifting to a two party race. Mulcair is essentially sunk beyond a few, public servant rich, ridings in Ottawa and a couple of hipster enclaves in TO. Now we see if Trudeau can break out in the burbs. If he can’t Harper has, at minimum, a minority.

Do the kids show up? The mad monk tells me that as he scrutineers the advanced poll he’s seeing lots of kids. Could happen. My bet is against.

But I am usually wrong.

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Enter the Dragon

001The French language debate – a rite in which each leader demonstrates his or her grasp of French and Quebec issues – turned up something interesting. Mulcair and Trudeau think the niqab is perfectly suitable attire for taking your citizenship oath: Harper and Duceppe don’t.

Neither, it turns out, do 80% of Canadians and 90% of Quebecers. There’s a fine old fight going on at Dawg’s blog in which Dawg himself says,

The niqab, after all, is just synedoche for the Muslim presence in Canada. In the service of hatred and fear, articles of ethnic clothing are completely interchangeable.

The electorate has become a mob. And how easy it was. dr.dawg

While I certainly don’t agree that the electorate has become a mob, I think Dawg is exactly right when he says that the niqab has become “synedoche for the Muslim presence in Canada” (synedoche means a part which represents the whole (yes, I had to look it up too)).

All of a sudden the people of Canada have the opportunity to express their views about Muslim immigration. Perhaps not directly – after all the niqab is not a particularly good proxy for Islam as it is not required religiously and not all Muslim women feel compelled to wear it – but far more overtly than the topic has ever been broached before.

Dawg ascribes all manner of sinister motives to Harper, his Aussie advisor and the CPC in bringing this up at all. For all I know this may very well be an exercise in wedge politics. If it is then it is about time that this wedge be tested.

Immigration policy in Canada has never really been put to any sort of popular test. Nor has the ruling class’s conviction that the only thing which matters about Islam is Islamophobia. Dawg lines up nicely with the ruling class and, in the lively comments, states,

There IS no legitimate debate about the degree a government should be prepared to extend human rights to minorities. Rights should never be up for debate, and frankly I don’t give a damn what Chantal (Hebert) says to the contrary. dr dawg

Apparently, well over 80% of Canadians disagree with this position.

Partially, I think, the debate turns on whether one sees Muslim immigration as just another instance of immigration or if one sees such immigration, particularly from the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia, as potentially more problematic than other sorts of immigration.

There are thousands of Muslim immigrants to Canada who lead rich, full integrated lives as Canadians. I am thinking particularly of the several hundred thousand Ismailis who arrived as refugees in the 1970s and have gone on to build vibrant, integrated communities all over Canada.

However, there is a growing minority of Muslims who have moved to Canada but who seem incapable of leaving their old countries, customs and culture behind. The burkas at Walmart are one thing, the demand for segregated swimming times another, the terrorism and support for Sharia law yet another.

Over at Dawg’s the argument seems to be that even noticing that there are Muslim immigrants who do not integrate well into Canadian society is bigoted or racist. Which it may well be; but Canadians have the right to at least discuss how they would like their country to evolve. Should we welcome immigrants from parts of the world where anti-Semitism is matter of fact? Where women are treated as chattels? Where support for the barbarity of Sharia law is a religious duty?

Harper – perhaps by design, perhaps by accident – has given Canadians the opportunity to discuss and, maybe, vote based upon their particular answer to the question of whether, in general, we should accommodate the religious, cultural and political demands of Islam.

I suspect he has won the election by giving Canadians that choice.

[And, as a bonus, I rather doubt that there are any Canadians other than the editorial board of the Globe and Mail, who don’t take a certain satisfaction when convicted terrorists are stripped of their Canadian citizenship. Just as few Canadians lamented when various Nazi war criminals lost their citizenship.]

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