Tag Archives: Liberal Party

Take Time for this Minister

Catherine McKenna was on Evan Solomon’s CTV show and Evan asked a slightly difficult question about her carbon tax and its opponents.

“”I have no time for folks who are like, you know, ‘We shouldn’t take action,'” she said. “I don’t have time for politicians that play cynical games about climate action.” and “”I have time for Canadians who disagree with me, and I have conversations with them all the time…. But I don’t have time for politicians that pretend that climate change isn’t real.”

There are really only three questions which the Minister and the rest of the Liberal Government should be asked:

  1. How much will the proposed per tonne price on “pollution” reduce the emissions of this “pollution”?
  2. How much will this reduction – if any – reduce global temperature in, say, 50 years? (And with what degree of certainty?)
  3. How much will the “price on pollution” effect the Canadian economy?

Now these are basic questions and make no assumptions about the reality or unreality of “climate change”. They are certainly questions which a competent Minister proposing a significant tax should be able to answer. Now the answers will, necessarily be qualified: plus minus 10% is a reasonable standard. But the Minister has to be able to attach numbers to her proposals.

Otherwise she really will deserve the nickname “Climate Barbie”.

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The End of Abbott

1442215778612Our friends in Australia play politics as a blood sport. Tony Abbott, Prime Minister for less than two years, was dumped in what the Aussies delightfully call a “party room spill” which is basically a vote of the party MPs. He will be replaced by the guy who he stabbed a few years previously, Malcolm Turnbull. I say will be, in fact, the replacement has already taken place. Turnbull will be the fifth Prime Minister Australia has had in five years.

Abbott was a profoundly conservative man. But, unfortunately, he felt he had to hedge his conservatism much like Harper has hedged his. He refused to follow the logic of his positions allowing the idea of governing moderately to displace the idea of governing well. For example, he campaigned against the carbon tax introduced by Labour (after promises not to) knowing full well that the science behind CO2 hysteria was deeply flawed. However, instead of just scrapping the tax he replaced it with a system of payments to large carbon dioxide emitters which cost a great deal of money and which would not have made the slightest difference to world temperature. He repeated this sort of behaviour on a number of other files.

Not that it did him the slightest good. Abbott was reviled in the Australian media – especially the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – and some of the newspapers. If you think Harper Derangement Syndrome is bad in the Canadian Media Party you simply would not believe the levels of vitriol Abbott attracted down under.

I suspect he could have survived all that had he, instead of trimming to placate his critics, driven his conservative agenda much harder. And that would have included dumping Turnbull from the Communications portfolio where he was notionally in charge of the ABC. He could have done much better by scrapping the whole idea of carbon dioxide reduction and appointing a serious, and properly sceptical, Royal Commission to look into both the science and economics of climate alarmism.

Conservative politicians need to realize that there is nothing to be gained trying to placate the media and the left. The media party is never going to like you or give you a fair shake. You will be just as hated pursuing a forthright conservative agenda as you will if you tip toe in the direction of the right.

I am sorry to see Abbott go. Turnbull is a proven skunk and a wet when it comes to everything from climate to the boats which Howard and later Abbott succeeded in stopping. But the sort of cocktail circuit compromises Abbott felt he had to make to keep the jackals in the press at bay, doomed this very decent man.

(Andrew Bolt is the Oz go-to guy and the comments are worth reading. The conservative interest in Australia is not a happy camp. Not happy at all.)

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Election Fever! Liberal Collapse Edition

Canadian Election

Supermoon Rising – Liberals Setting – Election Coming

In my little resort town the yahoos are drinking hard and yelling now that it is too dark to run the jet skis – but with a full moon rising that may not last.

The idea that we are only a day or two away from the thrills and chills of a long writ and a Fall election has yet to make the rounds at Timmy’s and, even after it is called, it will be a week or two before this solidly NDP neck of the woods pays much attention.

The economy is crappy. But the boys are still hauling logs down the road in front of my place. The old guys I drink with once in a while, NDP to a man, will, occasionally rise to a joke about Justin. But they just hate Harper. Incoherently, viscerally, they hate him. They have hated him for the decade he’s been in power and they are not going to change now.

Mulcair is not Harper and that is really all that matters.

On the grander scale, outside the “yokels with pitchforks” demo there are plenty of Harper haters. The question for the NDP is, “Are there enough?”

The coming election, whether called this Sunday or a few weeks from now, will be all about whether or not the NDP can attract enough Liberal Harper haters to win. The seeming collapse of Justin – well deserved but is it real – puts a segment of the Liberal vote into play. (The dimwits in the Maritimes will vote Liberal as a matter of limbic function.) In a hundred ridings across Canada Liberals will either stick with the sinking ship Trudeau or they will jump. If they jump the question is which way.

There are plenty of left Liberals but, to be fair, they are the dumbest and likely to be most loyal to Justin. Much as they hate Harper they love the idea that the Liberal Party really is the natural governing party of Canada.

Liberals of convenience – principally the New Canadians who see the Liberal Party as a way of paving their future – are a wild card. Politically they trend conservative, culturally they have no particular stake in the identity politics of the left simply because so many of them are doing so well. There is no particular reason to believe that Chinese Liberals or Sikh Liberals, when they realize that the good ship Trudeau is holed beneath the waterline, are going to jump to an anti-business, anti-growth party like the NDP. More to the point, there is no hard evidence that New Canadians loathe Harper with quite the passion that the media and political class do. In fact, years of Conservative outreach to the New Canadian world may actually pay off.

Business Liberals, the lawyers, dentists, doctors, bankers and such like who liked the Liberal party for the social cachet are unlikely to jump to the high tax alternative of the NDP. There are BMWer leases to pay and private school fees to cover. While they may never admit it, I suspect about a 4:1 Con split of the Business Liberal class.

Liberal youth, official women, green zealots, will not be coming over to the CPC. They hate Harper. But a fair number of them are dim enough to shoot right past the NDP and vote with their hearts for loony Green candidates. These people are dumb as planks and the very concept of voting strategically is well beyond their comprehension level.

A true implosion of the Liberal vote will obviously favour the NDP. But riding by riding it is not obvious that the NDP will take a lot of seats. If the New Canadian vote goes to its interest, the collapse of the Liberal Party could well enhance Tory chances in many ridings the Grits took in the last election.

People are now shooting off fireworks and bear guns…Election fever is a distant thought under the blue super moon shining across the lake. Sunday is still two drinking days away.

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The Liberal Party in Five Years

While I distrust polls it would seem that the bloom is off Justin Trudeau’s rose and it is now a question of whether he’ll manage to hold the Orange tide sufficiently to save Harper or if he’ll be relegated to also-ran status once the debates occur. Either way, the Liberal Party will be a shadow of itself come October. So might the Conservative Party and thus a question – what should the Liberal Party do?

The easy answer is to dump Trudeau and his advisors and find a new leader. Which is, I suspect, exactly what they will do. However, there is another alternative and one which in the privacy of my own blog I want to think about.

Step one: yes, dump the advisors. They appear to be idiots and lack the essential Liberal instinct for the jugular. 32 point Democratic policy papers are a pretty sure sign that the war room has lost the thread. But keep Justin.

Step two: understand that politics is about to undergo a huge and deeply upsetting change. No, it isn’t global warming which isn’t happening. No it isn’t Prime Minister Mulcair repealing Bill C-51. It is about the underlying economy of the world shifting in a way that none of the mainline parties has a clue about dealing with.

Step three: Robots. In fact robots and artificial intelligence and a bunch of interesting biotech and, well, robots. Technology is poised to change the way we do virtually everything, from driving to fast food to drafting wills, we are perilously close to machines being able to deliver the goods without human intervention.

Step four: Yikes. No jobs. Jobs are the way we allocate resources in our current economy. To make stuff, to approve loans, to create new products, to deliver things, to get food to the grocery store, we need people and we pay those people. Because they are paid they can buy stuff and the wonders of a market economy continue. What happens when a 200k a year haul truck driver is replaced by an autonomous driving robot? Well, that is 200k which will not be spent on F-150s and hot tubs in Fort MacMurray.

Step five: Whether the NDP or the Conservatives win the election, neither party has the freedom to think about the implications of an increasingly jobless economy. Pure capitalism, where labour is largely irrelevant to the production of goods and services, is a world that neither the Conservatives nor the NDP have or can contemplate.

Step six: Young Mr. Trudeau, humbled by his deep losses reaches back to his father’s legacy of intelligence and begins to askthe questions the other parties are incapable of. How do we deal with an economy of abundance? How can we finance government when individual earned income plummets? What do we do when “work” is delinked from production? How can we create a new economy out of the ashes of the old?

Step seven: A humbled Mr. Trudeau walks out those questions and looks for really smart people to answer them, for Canada.

It is not at all clear what the answers will be. The advent of serious robotics and the beginnings of applied artificial intelligence will create a situation which has not existed since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. It will be the equivalent of bringing an agrarian society into the machine and factory age. At the moment there is no Canadian political party remotely thinking about any of this.

The Liberal Party, much as I hate its cronyism and its cynicism, has a long tradition of channeling intelligence towards national goals. Not that this has worked out so terribly well but Liberals have for decades at least been open to new ideas and, in a pinch, new paradigms. While the Party is a shadow of its former self and has rushed to embrace the cant of assorted climate change/inequality/SJW cranks, it still has the capacity to embrace and explore new ideas.

As importantly, while it may be wiped out in the next election, rendered a rump in Parliament, it has the history and the credibility to offer solutions which Canadians may take seriously.

Nothing will please me more than seeing the Liberal Party crushed in the next election; but it has the capacity to return and to deal with a new world which is rushing towards us. Justin is about to learn a useful lesson. Where he goes from here may end up being as important as his father’s single-minded determination to keep Canada one nation.


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