Premier Brad Wall – a Man of Integrity

Rex Murphy wrote an eloquent column in praise of Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall on Friday – Brad Wall’s departure a rare show of sanity and humility in politics.

Reading a Rex Murphy piece is something that must not be rushed. Each sentence is carefully crafted to delight the reader with insight, wit and poetic flow. Indeed the best way to enjoy Rex Murphy’s work is to imagine him reading to you.

There are so many gems here. On of my favourites is how Rex hones in on Brad Wall’s ability to avoid the sham of virtue-signalling politics; especially when it directly contradicts the best interests of the people of Saskatchewan:

As premier, he was a necessary element of balance in our Confederation. It is a good thing for a country whose leaders bath too frequently in virtue politics, that there was one who didn’t take to those delectable waters. Wall gave full attention to tending his own province—a reasonable fascination—rather than succumbing to that siren of the higher pietisms, planet Salvationism…

Brad Wall so often took the road less traveled; even if it put him at odds with his fellow premiers and federal counterparts.

A good man knows when it’s time to leave:

When successful, it takes more courage to leave politics than to stay on. Wall’s announcement on Thursday is an instance of that sane brand of underrated courage.

Sadly the worst politicians seem desperate to hang onto power until it has to be pried from their cold, gnarly hands. They are in it mostly for their own ego and glory, which is why they don’t leave voluntarily.

Power is a heady drug.

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75 Responses to Premier Brad Wall – a Man of Integrity

  1. Liz J says:

    Wow, where to start!
    I love this and it’s so true…he was all alone here:”As premier he was a necessary element of balance in our Confederation”. Yes, he was.

    “He wasn’t in politics for status, but service”…he oozed that in spades.

    “there are only so many trips to Davos before the normal human mind exchanges the exertion of thought of having Bono, on speed dial (recall Paul Martin),and even more orgasmic glories of Al Gore…(Kathleen Wynne)…I won’t even get started on Ralph Goodale who has obviously stayed too long at the fair, brown nosing the various leaders he served.

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  2. Miles Lunn says:

    I agree Wall was a good leader who wanted to build a better Saskatchewan, not go into have a political career and I also think much like Frank McKenna and Gary Doer he generally understood the 10 year rule in politics thus moved on at that point whereas many others only leave when defeated or their own party pushes them out which he didn’t.

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    • joannebly says:

      Yes it’s a tough lesson. When I look at the Ontario Liberals I think they are well beyond their Best-before date. So is it the leader or the party that becomes a bit stale after a while?

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      • Miles Lunn says:

        It is both but leaders best before date tend to come a bit sooner than the party. Had McGuinty stayed on, he would have lost in 2014 although I fear we would now have premier Andrea Howarth. I think had Harper stepped down we would have a minority now instead of majority although as much as I dislike the Liberals a majority is probably better than minority as they would have to rely on the NDP who would pull them leftward. While not carved in stone I think it is 10 years for leader and 15 for party in terms of shelf life. Off course different jurisdictions have different shelf lives. US in most cases follows the rule of 8 years GOP 8 years Democrat, in Italy party shelf life’s are short while in Germany being in power for well over a decade like Helmut Kohl and looks to be the case with Merkel (she is likely to win this September despite being in office since 2005). So there is no hard fast rule, but often history is the best guide on what to expect.

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      • Liz J says:

        The leader or the party? In Ontario it’s both.

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        • joannebly says:

          Yes good point Liz b/c Wynne has been part of that Liberal government one way or the other for almost 15 years.

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          • Miles Lunn says:

            I agree in Ontario right now it’s both or at least appears to be (I don’t want to say anything for certain until the election results are in), but agree both Wynne and the Liberals have been in power too long in Ontario. I just know changing leaders can sometimes help, case and point also is in BC, I think the NDP would have won in 2013 had Gordon Campbell stayed on so him stepping down allowed the party to get an extra term and almost an extra two terms.

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  3. gabbyinqc says:

    At the risk of annoying some … sorry, but I think leaving politics after X number of years is not as admirable as depicted. I can certainly understand the heavy burden public service places on the individual him/herself, given the personal attacks directed at politicians, especially conservative ones; the strains it causes on family life, given the frequent absences and exposure to temptations those absences may engender. I recognize it takes a special kind of individual, a thick-skinned one, who is willing to be buffetted by the swirling winds of public opinion.

    But having recognized all that, I think in some ways leaders, especially principled leaders, are abandoning those principles and opening the way for others who may be more concerned about their own “good” than about the public good. I felt that way when Stephen Harper decided he was leaving politics. That he tendered his resignation as leader, I understood, despite the fact I thought he would have been a formidable leader of the opposition, the experienced former PM in sharp contrast to the dilettante elevated to the post. Perhaps naively, I expected him to stay on either as leader or as the elder statesman MP. Regrettably, that was not the case.

    Yes, it’s true, it must feel better to leave on a high but it leaves the field open to newcomers whose motives may be self-serving rather than serving the public.

    I admit it, I’ve always been averse to change merely for the sake of change. Looking for a supportive authority whom I could quote, I happened upon this one, albeit in a different context:
    “Change simply for the sake of change is an abdication of leadership.”

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    • Miles Lunn says:

      I think it is a fair comment. Asides from Pierre Trudeau no defeated PM has ever come back and even in Pierre Trudeau’s case he actually did resign as Liberal leader after losing in 1979 and only had to come back because Joe Clark’s government fell before they could chose a new one so Harper staying on as Conservative leader would go against all precedents and I think he probably was thinking about the good of the country and figured with a new leader the party had a better chance in 2019 than with him. I tend to think change in leaders is good as we live in a changing world and having the same one for too long means they get too stuck in the way things are and less adaptive to change. While it will be hard to replace Brad Wall, I wouldn’t be so negative on the next leader. There are lots of good candidates in the Saskatchewan Party so no reason they cannot find a good one. I don’t think one should vote for change for change sakes, but I don’t think there is any reason to be fearful of it

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      • gabbyinqc says:

        Historical precedents notwithstanding, maybe permanence should be valued as much as change.

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        • Miles Lunn says:

          I guess I look at it this way in that yes it is great when you have a politician you like staying on long, but I also realize sometime there will be ones I don’t like and so at least knowing after a certain time any will go I see as a fair trade off. The idea of Justin Trudeau still being prime-minister in 10 years from now is pretty terrifying so that is partly why I like the idea of term limits although unlike in the US I don’t think you can make a hard fast rule of two terms due to our parliamentary system but a general convention that you don’t stay beyond 10 years is a good one IMHO. I also too tend to look at the public mood and I think with Harper too many Canadians wanted him gone that staying on would just hurt the party’s chances down the road. I think in 10 or 20 years when people have had a better time to assess his legacy we will get a more honest assessment of him as I find when people are tired of a politician it seems there isn’t much you can do to change their mind and only having them gone for a period of time allows for a more honest reflection. Besides I thought Rona Ambrose did an outstanding job as opposition leader and really helped during the transition. Too bad she couldn’t run as I think she would have been a good leader.

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          • gabbyinqc says:

            “The idea of Justin Trudeau still being prime-minister in 10 years from now is pretty terrifying …”
            Scary thought!

            Seriously, though … you’re right that Mr. Harper had unfortunately become a liability for the CPC. Even after almost two years, he is still mentioned in most media in a negative way. The drive to oust him was all the more galling given whose butt (or should that be Butts) now sits in the PM’s chair.

            But it all boils down to how the electorate can be persuaded, dissuaded, or manipulated. From The Toronto Star’s Age of Unreason series:
            https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2017/08/05/the-toronto-stars-age-of-unreason-series.html
            “There are clues all around that make you suspect we live in an Age of Unreason. …
            Way back at the dawn of modern western civilization, Aristotle laid out the three modes of persuasion that are used to make arguments: ethos (the credibility of the speaker), pathos (the emotions of the audience) and logos (logic or reason applied to the facts of the matter at hand). Today, it is all too clear that the last of these — perhaps long thought to be the most valid and important — plays only a small role in how we discuss and decide things.
            Ethos continues to play a prominent role. …
            Pathos, the emotional argument, looms even larger, from the resentments that fuel political debates to the offences that fuel campus complaints to the hope and “sunny ways” feelings that have driven the success of candidates such as Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau and Jack Layton. Often enough, it certainly seems that for many people a feeling is an argument in itself.
            And what about Logos? What about reason? It isn’t that we’ve discarded it altogether. Just that it’s increasingly clear we use it pretty selectively and mostly to confirm the conclusions we’ve drawn based on the emotions and identity affiliations we use to make up our minds.”

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    • joannebly says:

      “…the experienced former PM in sharp contrast to the dilettante elevated to the post.”

      Love your choice of wording there, Gabby!

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  4. joannebly says:

    Very interesting comments here! I must confess that when Stephen Harper resigned I was very disappointed too.

    But perhaps the other side of it is that these leaders begin to realize what a toll the job takes on themselves and their family. So not necessarily as altruistic as Rex Murphy’s column would suggest, but a valid reason (among many) nonetheless.

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    • Liz J says:

      Exactly!
      Must admit I was not surprised at Harper leaving, but, perhaps he could have hung on a bit longer to let the people see the “contrast” between the two. Not sure it would have helped though, in politics as in many other things in life, people see what they want to see.

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    • gabbyinqc says:

      For sure! I know that I could never do what politicians have to do and deal with. Still, when one comes along that resonates with you, it’s hard to see them go.

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      • joannebly says:

        I know. There are so few politicians out there who truly have the concerns of the people they represent as their first priority; as opposed to their own glory and ego.

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  5. joannebly says:

    I’m taking a little break for the next few days so if your comment gets stuck in the filter please don’t take it personally. Thanks.

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  6. Miles Lunn says:

    Just heard news that Brian Lilley is leaving the Rebel media. I think that is a good thing as I found him the most intelligent of the Rebel commentators and I really think Conservatives need to stay away from being associated with the alt-right. Hopefully he can start something somewhere else that does give thoughtful conservative viewpoints on the day to day issues. I feel today too much of the social media is an echo chamber and is in 10 second slogans rather than actual analysis of the issues of the day, whereas I feel he did a good job on that. I didn’t agree with him on every issue, but much preferred him over say Faith Goldy who I found way too extreme and borderline racist. I do though think we can still have debates on immigration and multiculturalism as well as Islamic extremism, just needs to be done in a respectful manner.

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    • gabbyinqc says:

      It’s unfortunate that conservatives on both sides of the border cannot coalesce into a united effective front to battle extremist ideologies. Ezra Levant’s The Rebel does very good work exposing issues that the traditional media doesn’t cover but its tone, like that of many other conservative voices, is often too strident IMO.

      The same goes for commentator Ben Shapiro and others like him, whom I recently started listening to on occasion because of the many controversies currently besieging the US. For example, the issue of CEOs of major corporations (Merck, Disney, Intel among others) withdrawing from the president’s advisory council and taking sides in the ideological battles rather than remaining neutral as was traditionally the case.

      I wonder where Lilley is going. I believe he has 5 children, so he needs a good job!

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  7. gabbyinqc says:

    I read Brian Lilley’s Facebook post titled “Why I am leaving The Rebel”. Anyone can access it even without a FB account, as I did. I am not providing the link because I don’t want this comment to end up in the filter.

    At one point Mr. Lilley asks:
    “What anyone from The Rebel was doing at a so-called “unite the right” rally that was really an anti-Semitic white power rally is beyond me. Especially not a rally dedicated to keeping up a statue of Robert E. Lee, a man that whatever else he stood for, also fought on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of America’s bloodiest conflict.”

    It’s surprising that a journalist of Mr. Lilley’s caliber asks such a question. What was anyone doing covering that rally? Well, what are the myriad of reporters from all sorts of media outlets doing at such events? Covering those events, hopefully reporting truthfully what is happening. It does not — nor should it — mean that the reporter who is doing his/her job properly sides with the organizers of the rally nor with its opponents.

    I’m also surprised that Mr. Lilley apparently sides with those who would eradicate all traces of Canadian or American past history from the land. According to WIKI “When Virginia declared its secession from the Union in April 1861, Lee chose to follow his home state, despite his desire for the country to remain intact and an offer of a senior Union command.” As “an exceptional officer and military engineer in the United States Army for 32 years” he performed what he thought was his duty to his country.

    Also, according to the website history net dot com, General Lee said, among other things:
    “So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this, as regards Virginia especially, that I would cheerfully have lost all I have lost by the war, and have suffered all I have suffered, to have this object attained.” He does not sound like an unyielding supporter of slavery.

    To now judge him and other historical figures through the lens of our 21st century sensibilities, as Mr. Lilley has done, is wrong and unfair, IMO. I’m sure we in Canada will soon be faced with calls to remove all traces of Sir John A Macdonald because of his role in the residential schools.

    I wish Mr. Lilley well, wherever he ends up. I just hope he doesn’t follow Michael Coren’s footsteps.

    Like

  8. Anne in swON says:

    There is a provocative story on National Newswatch headlined: “High-profile Conservatives organizing to shift party to centre: activists”. I found the following passage intriguing, “A group of influential Canadian conservatives has been working over the summer to create an organization that will try to pull the Conservative Party closer to the political centre, say several sources with knowledge of the effort.

    The group includes well-known conservatives in and outside of the party, according to four sources speaking on the record and on background so as not to betray the confidence of the people involved. One political activist said he attended one of the emerging group’s meetings in June, and was joined by several former rivals to new Leader Andrew Scheer (Regina-Qu’Appelle, Sask.) for the party leadership.”

    Two of the activists mentioned are Nick Tsergas and Aaron Binder, co-founders of A Strong Canada, which they claim “is dedicated to fighting what its founders see as a spread of “fear-based,” American-style politics to Canada” and “blurring party lines to generate better outcomes for all citizens.”

    This group actively campaigned against PM Harper during the 2015 election. They are supported by Scott Gilmore, although he has stated he is not involved in the dinner circuit the group plans. Most telling is the fact that Scott Gilmore is married to Catherine McKenna and Nick Tsergas is the brother of Perry Tsergas who is married to Kate Purchase, Communications Director for Mr. Trudeau. Who are the unnamed failed CPC leadership candidates who are said to be supportive of this endeavour? The story can be found here http://www.hilltimes.com/2017/08/16/progressive-wing-conservative-party-making-play-influence/116202

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      While the fact two are married to Liberals may seen suspicious I should note it is possible for spouses to have different political views, I am thinking of James Carville and Mary Matlind. I know this has always been a struggle in any big tent party, but I do feel the party if it wants to seriously challenge the Liberals will need to be fairly centrist. Not liberal lite as Liberals are centre-left, but be centre-right more or less where the party was under Mulroney but make it sure it is a big tent. I’ve found whichever way Red Tories and Blue Liberals vote tends to determine who wins and with Trudeau’s large deficits I think the group is one we have potential to gain votes from, but if we come across as too ideological they will just hold their noses and vote Liberal again. Otherwise I think former Red Tories like Joe Clark who left because they found Harper too right wing or Blue Liberals in the likes of John Manley who maybe aren’t comfortable with Trudeau’s big spending plans, our party should open its doors to but at the same time it will also include more conservative members to like any big tent party should. That doesn’t mean chasing out all the Harper supporters it means rather widening the tent to include the 32% who voted Conservative last time, but also pick up another 10% or so who are open to voting Tory but didn’t last time around.

      Like

      • gabbyinqc says:

        “While the fact two are married to Liberals may seen suspicious I should note it is possible for spouses to have different political views, I am thinking of James Carville and Mary Matlind.”
        The few times I saw the Carville-Matalin duo debate, it was a real drag ’em out debate, both defending their respective party’s position. The case with the McKenna-Gilmore duo is different, IMO. Gilmore seems more inclined to making the Conservative party more like the Liberals. Why would true conservatives, or any other voters for that matter, want to vote for a facsimile rather than the real thing*?
        * Please note that “the real thing” terminology is not meant to praise the Liberal party.

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        • Miles Lunn says:

          I certainly don’t think the party should be a carbon copy of the Liberals, but I think there are some who want to move the party back to where it was under the old PCs led by Joe Clark and Robert Stanfield and I think that is a reasonable debate. All three parties are big tents and no doubt I too am a bit suspicious about it but I think if Red Tories from the former Progressive Conservatives want to move it towards the centre that is okay. Likewise I think if Blue Liberals who are upset with Trudeau’s fiscal recklessness wish to join us, that is fine too and we should welcome them. The only other comparison is I believe in the last election there was a mother daughter candidacy in different ridings with the mother running under the NDP and daughter under the Conservatives and I believe the daughter won but could be wrong. If it is just someone trying to sabotage the party I doubt it will go far, the Conservatives are too large in membership for this to happen, but if it is a legitimate effort to move the party towards the centre it could have influence down the road depending on the platform and how we perform.

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          • gabbyinqc says:

            You may not want the CPC to be “a carbon copy of the Liberals” but Gilmore et al. sure sound like it. You use the word “sabotage”. That is certainly a possibility, if not a likelihood.

            And still you keep saying the Conservative party needs to move to the centre, thus implying it’s too much to the right, or even far-right, as depicted by some media jerks who shall remain nameless. What is not centrist about CPC policies? The CPC has given up its former position on traditional marriage, now accepting same-sex marriage; it has stayed away from major divisive issues like abortion; capital punishment is a thing of the past; the party welcomes immigration and complies with whatever ruling the Supreme Court brings down re: refugees; likewise, whatever the courts decide re: treatment of dangerous criminals. OK, so it doesn’t set arbitrary quotas on the number of token women candidates it fields. But their women MPs are as capable as any of their counterparts in the other parties. How more centrist do you want the party to be? As centrist as the other parties, which whip their members when the odd conscience issue comes up for a vote?

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          • Miles Lunn says:

            True they are not as right wing as our opponents make us out to be, but I think there are a couple things we can change. For starters I think we need to do a much better job at debunking the negative things many see about us as I hate to say hate conservatism has a bit of an image problem in Canada. Yes I realize there are lot more left wing groups out there who try to falsely define us, but we need to go out and speak to those more on the fence so a couple of suggestions I would have.

            1. Avoid the identity politics when possible. Oppose the Khadr settlement and express concern about border jumpers, but don’t spend too much time on them, the people who those are major issues for are already voting for us.
            2. Try to be the party that uses experts and I think our scrapping the mandatory census really hurt us there.
            3. Conservatives wrongly have an image of being the party for the rich and big corporations so show a softer side. I think things like Lisa Raitt’s plans on mental health and Erin O’Toole’s on helping youth unemployment are excellent ideas and should be front and centre to help blunt this image.
            4. Take a stronger stance on the environment. A revenue neutral carbon tax is my preference but if that is too much at least try and find ways to balance development with growth.
            5. Avoid using the rhetoric you see from the GOP, that fires up the base but is a huge turnoff to many and I think unfortunately that is why some wrongly think we are more right wing than we really are.
            6. We aren’t going to beat Trudeau on selfies so think about some bold ideas to deal with the challenges we face and lots of them don’t neatly fall in the right-left spectrum but I think if we are the party of ideas while the Liberals of image we can win.

            I agree the party is not overly right wing but I worry (not Scheer), some individuals basically want to purge anyone who isn’t purely conservative. I’ve heard many say Michael Chong is a liberal and should go join them when he is a long time Progressive Conservative and I think that attitude will get us nowhere. A lot of it is more image than substantive policy as lets be clear most Canadians don’t follow policy closely and so if we can make our party look and feel more like the old Progressive Conservatives I think we have a better chance at winning over those swing voters we need to. Lets remember the rhetoric of others will be used by our opponents to say we are too extreme so its important the party actually forcefully stand up and make clear the platform Leitch and Trost were advocating or Ezra Levant wants is not what we are going to do as the type who support this will vote for us anyway and this just scares away the voters we need to win back.

            To put on sum lets focus on good policies to improve the lives of Canadians and quit worrying about if its a conservative or liberal. Most people lean left on some issues and right on others and I’ve found parties that focus too much on ideological purity (think NDP on the left) tend to lose. Since on the economy, conservative policies on balance work better than liberal we don’t have to worry about being liberal lite as following the best economic policies for growth and prosperity will do it for us.

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  9. Liz J says:

    Premier Wynne has called a meeting with all MPP’s for this afternoon. Lots of speculation , everything from calling a snap election to resigning. She has given out baskets of goodies and it hasn’t affected the polling results…it’s anybody’s guess.

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      I thought it was supposed to be at 9 this morning, but could be wrong. My guess is with only one reporter mentioning it, she is going to give an ultimatum to all MPPs, if you are planning on not running let it be known now so they can get a candidate in place. As for resigning, as much as I dislike her, I hope not as I worry residents of Ontario will forgive the OLP again if they choose a new leader. Snap election, I would say bring it on, she just needs to ask Theresa May, Jim Prentice, and David Peterson who called early elections out of opportunism how it turned out.

      Like

      • Miles Lunn says:

        Much ado about nothing, Wynne had her usual caucus meeting going on about fairness which will probably be the theme next time around. I don’t know what is fair about piling up a lot of debt and driving business out, but considering how many are economically illiterate it is easy to convince people on ideas that sound great in theory but don’t work in practice, $15/hour minimum wage case and point of this or taxing the rich and big corporations more.

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  10. Liz J says:

    On the Federal front this influx of “asylum seekers” from the US into Quebec seems to be being dealt with in the usual manner by the Trudeau gang …by the seat of their pants. Not sure if they have a clue where they will go, who they are, how they will house them and how will they support themselves?

    Approximately 400 to 500 are being sent to available quarters in Cornwall Ontario…These people have been living in the US since the earthquake.
    I’m wondering if Obama were President if the Government of Canada would be accepting them?

    Quiet time for Trudeau, he’s not been in the news for some time…must be spending quality time with his family.

    Have all of the “refugees from Syria been taken care of, jobs, housing etc? Nary a word on that issue….

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  11. Liz J says:

    Wynne’s little gathering of her MPP’s was just attention seeking….rallying the troops, a pep rally.
    What the media got out it was squat.

    If she thinks the main concern of the people is climate change, what keeps them awake worrying about, she’s had a few too many chats with Al Gore.

    Given the state she has the province of Ontario in she should resign but we all knew she wouldn’t.
    Liberal arrogance is palpable in Ontario.

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  12. Liz J says:

    Putting a wind farm on Amherst Island off Kingston should be stopped but there’s not a whimper.
    I will never understand how environmental experts think it’s a good thing to kill birds and bats with theses monstrosities for a pittance of power we do not need.
    One day common sense may return out of necessity!

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  13. gabbyinqc says:

    For Miles Lunn @ August 17, 2017 at 9:20 pm
    “True they are not as right wing as our opponents make us out to be, but I think there are a couple things we can change.”
    “A couple things”? Forgive me for being pedantic, but when I learned my English, I was told “a couple” equals 2, at most 3. By your own count, there’s at least 6 things! You don’t seem to like much about the Conservative Party Stephen Harper & Peter Mackay formed. Right at this moment, I don’t have the time, nor the inclination for that matter, to engage in more discussions with you on this topic. It will have to be another day.

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      This argument seems to be going circular, so don’t want to get argumentative. Maybe its reference points, but I would essentially like to the see the Conservatives be on a similar spot of the political spectrum as the Ontario and Manitoba PCs now and likewise the PCs under Mulroney and with Scheer being new and unknown I don’t see why we cannot do this. I am a Conservative member and supported Michael Chong first followed by Lisa Raitt and Erin O’Toole and I guess my concern is some members think anyone who isn’t as right wing as they are needs to leave the party and I believe that is the wrong approach. Trudeau’s big deficits, spending, and higher taxes are bad for Canada and I want to see him defeated in 2019 and my worry is if the party is too right wing that won’t happen. Essentially under Harper we got 32% of the popular vote which is an excellent starting point and we need to continue to hold that while find another 10% who are open to voting Conservative but didn’t while the remaining portion of the population we can ignore. Otherwise I am not asking for the Harper supporters to be marginalized or expunged, I simply want to widen the tent to include all the Harper supporters but also bring in those who lean philosophically in the conservative direction but didn’t vote Conservative last time around. Some may disagree with this, but there are three important priorities for 2019.

      1. Defeat Justin Trudeau
      2. Defeat Justin Trudeau
      3. Defeat Justin Trudeau

      Actually we could say there are ten, but I think we all get the gist here.

      Like

      • gabbyinqc says:

        You are a Michael Chong supporter, fine. You are among the 9.14% who voted for him during the leadership race. I’m afraid that’s not enough to
        “1. Defeat Justin Trudeau
        2. Defeat Justin Trudeau
        3. Defeat Justin Trudeau”

        Like

        • Miles Lunn says:

          Fully agree, but the party needs to keep all flanks on board and I don’t think anyone on this board or Scheer is part of that group, but I feel there is a minority element in the party that basically wants to purge the party of anyone they see as insufficiently right wing and I believe this is a mistake. I tend to think of the spectrum like a bell curve with most near the middle and few on either extreme so we should be aiming for those in the bulging part on the right of centre. Otherwise we should be as right wing as the Liberals are left wing, not as right wing as the NDP are left wing. And yes I agree political spectrum and where parties are is very subjective so I use median voter theorem as where do we stand towards the median voter not in the absolute sense. And this varies from country to country. In the Nordic Countries the Liberals would be considered centre-right while in the US the Conservatives would be centre-left. Otherwise if you lined every voter up from right to left, with 0 being most right wing and 100 most left wing, voter #40 would be the one I would say we should target not #10 who will vote for us no matter what or #70 who will never vote for us. Now yes I agree the establishment is overwhelmingly left wing and has really pulled the country to the left which is why so many saw Harper is too right wing, but it will take time to pull voters back to the right so that is more a long term rather than short term goal. I feel the real reason for the strong leftward shift of recent is the silent generation who are the most conservative are rapidly dying off while millennials are rapidly growing and millennials don’t remember the 70s and how bad big government is and have largely drunk the kool aid of creating a fairer and just society without seeing the downsides. Otherwise I am trying to suggest constructive ways to end this leftward shift and I feel we have to be patient and gradually nudge things in our direction. I also think living next door to the United States is really bad for us as most find the GOP too right wing and unfortunately we too often get lumped with them.

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  14. Anne in swON says:

    Miles Lunn, what happens when many of your suggestions turn off “the base”? They stay home. They are not interested in returning to the days of Joe Clark, whose sojourn as prime minister was short-lived, or Robert Stanfield, who failed spectacularly to become pm. You aren’t by any chance cheering on the new group led by Tsergas and Binder, are you? Your suggestions definitely reek of their influence. Have a good day.

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      I absolutely am not part of that group and definitely not a Liberal plant. I am part of the 1% the left hates and after Trudeau jacked up my taxes no chance of me voting Liberal (not that I would have anyways, but this just increased my resolve to see him defeated). I guess I look at things this way that the base is not large enough on its own to win (no party’s base is) and you have to appeal to the swing voters. Yes there is a risk of members of the base staying home, but every Liberal voter we pick up is twice as damaging. Now I don’t want us to be a pale imitation of the Liberals, but I see no reason why our party cannot and shouldn’t be appealing to the Blue Liberals who believe in balanced budgets and competitive taxes, I think your John Manley types are probably not happy with Trudeau’s big spending so plenty of room to pick up there. I do however think if the party is seen as the GOP of the north it won’t win so I think moving back to where we were under Mulroney or perhaps being like conservative parties in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia would be wise. I fear the Liberals are going to try and tie us to being the Trump Party of the North, which Scheer most certainly is not (that is a lie) and we will need to counter that accusation. I guess where I am coming from is of my parents, my mom leans to the left my dad to the right but he was a Progressive Conservative and except for his first election in 1968 he always voted PC up until the merger and is not happy with Trudeau’s big spending plans, but he feels the current party is too right wing. I know my mom will never vote Conservative, but my Dad might. Interestingly enough my family is 50% on the right, 50% left and whenever all the 50% on the right vote conservative, they usually win, but when some don’t they lose so I try to pay attention to their views. Maybe I am looking too narrowly, but we all I think are influenced by those around us. Also my dad was a big fan of Rona Ambrose so I am not asking for a radical makeover, I think a moderate one is fine. I also am quite pleased with how Patrick Brown is handling things and even though some conservatives are unhappy, Wynne needs to be turfed and I feel our chances with him are quite good.

      Like

  15. gabbyinqc says:

    Some info for Joanne:
    I don’t want to alarm you, because I’m far from being tech-savvy, but I thought I should pass on this info I got from Jack’s Newswatch:
    https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2017/08/ransomware-wordpress/?utm_source=list&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=081517
    “Updates on CyberSecurity, WordPress and what we’re cooking in the lab today.
    Ransomware Targeting WordPress – An Emerging Threat
    This entry was posted in Wordfence, WordPress Security on August 15, 2017 by Mark Maunder”

    Like

    • joannebly says:

      Thanks Gabby. Do you have a link from Jack’s site? Thanks, I’ll check the filter later to see if anything is stuck there.

      Like

      • joannebly says:

        I just did a little research on my own and I think that threat just applies to the self-hosted WordPress, which this is not any more.

        Nonetheless, I do appreciate the heads-up Gabby. Best not to invest too much sweat equity in blogs I guess.

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        • gabbyinqc says:

          Sorry, Joanne, I didn’t come back online after my last comment @ 7:35 pm yesterday. I got the info re: WordPress from his Aug 16 tweet on Jack’s site and remembered it yesterday thinking the malware might affect your site. Glad to hear it doesn’t.

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          • joannebly says:

            I do appreciate that info Gabby. Thanks. I think WordPress dot com is pretty safe. The down side is that they have the option to put ads on it at their discretion but that’s how they pay the bills.

            Like

  16. Anne in swON says:

    Miles, remember how the CPC came to be after the spectacular downfall of the PCs in the early ’90’s? That began the evolution that led to us becoming, via Reform and Canadian Alliance, the party we are today. What’s to stop that from happening again should the party move ever leftward? Santayana’s quote springs to mind: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

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    • Miles Lunn says:

      I remember that quite well, however a couple of points to remember. The Reform/Alliance never got more than 26% of popular vote and to win in 2019 we need to do a lot better than that. Also two if recent provincial and federal elections say anything, it shows Canada is a whole is more left leaning than it was then. The Reform party and Alliance relied heavily on those from the silent generation who are shrinking each election cycle and to succeed long term we have to appeal to our changing electorate as lets remember in 2019, almost half the electorate will be people who weren’t eligible to vote in the 90s (either not old enough or immigrants). So I think it comes down to this, stay on the right and continue to lose (which I really don’t want to see) or take a centre-right approach and at least maybe win. I am a former Progressive Conservative not Reformer, but either way whichever one comes from it’s important we are honest with how things are not how we wish things are. My best analogy is when a patient is sick, you have to make a proper diagnosis before you can cure them and at least my diagnosis is Canadians are swinging leftward and to cure this we have to gradually pull the country to the right but realize while maybe in 20 years running on a more right wing platform might be winneable it won’t be in 2019. Otherwise I guess it comes down to this, what is more important, staying true to our principles even if we lose or compromising a bit but still being better than the Liberals and being electable. I think this a good debate to have and I understand Conservatives will have different views on this. I think the biggest problem we on the right face is we live next door to the United States and Canadians ever since the Loyalist fled to Canada have always had a strong anti-American streak and thus anything that is seen as making us more American tends to not sell well. Interestingly enough our version of conservatism has British not American roots. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe Reformers have an important part of the conservative coalition, I just don’t think they should dominate the party, it should be a merger of equals and that is I think the concern of some former Progressive Conservatives that it isn’t a merger of equals but a Reform dominated one. Any big tent party is always going to have struggles keeping everyone happy, but I think despite the media comments on how the Conservatives would break apart we’ve don’t reasonably well and I hope the strong level of unity stays as well as we can find a way to reach out to those open to voting Conservative but who didn’t in 2015. Otherwise I feel we probably just going to have to agree to disagree but my concern is not that Andrew Scheer is not a Red Tory, I am perfectly fine with that, my concern is rather some in the party seem to feel all Progressive Conservatives should be expunged and go join the Liberals (I’ve seen a lot of those comments on facebook) and I don’t feel that is going to help the party in the long-run. I won’t go over to the Liberals, but I worry such attitude might cause others on the fence to do so and the thing we can all agree on, we want to see Trudeau defeated in 2019.

      Like

  17. Liz J says:

    Could we put it down to socialist creep coming full circle and Conservatives, left, right or center will never form government?
    I’m tired of so-called Conservatives talking about voting for another party or staying at home for whatever their beef be it the leader or some other gripe they have on policy they don’t like.
    Conservatives are too good at shooting themselves in the foot looking for perfection. It’s a lose lose attitude.

    Like

  18. fh says:

    Liz J you hit the nail square on the head “so-called Conservatives” we need to stay clear of their advice

    Like

  19. Miles Lunn says:

    Just checked Strong Canada’s website and considering they are urging people to join the NDP in the leadership race I think it is fair to say this is not a Conservative site as the media is saying so my apologies, I made the mistake of just going what was said in the media. It seems their goal is to prevent left/right polarization which is a fair goal but that is not related to anyone party that is something totally separate. Their second goal is to have more respectful debates where people on different sides of the spectrum listen and don’t insult people for different views. That is a noble cause, but that has nothing to do with where one stands on the spectrum, that has more to do with individual and how tolerant they are of those with different points of view. You can be a staunch conservative and still have a civil and respectful discussion with a socialist or liberal its simply about do you believe you are right and everybody else is wrong or do you believe in a democracy its healthy to have a variety of points of view.

    At the end of the day, I think when it comes to winning elections, we need to remember most Canadians aren’t political junkies and do follow politics too closely nor are they members of a particular political party and likewise most Canadians have voted for different parties at different times. I think the key overriding thing when any Canadian goes into the voting booth is they ask as Reagan mentioned back in 1980, I am a better off than four years ago or not and likewise if I vote for this party will they make my life better or worse. So regardless of Red Tory, Blue Tory, or Reformer if Conservatives can make the case to Canadians they will improve their lives they will win, if not they will lose.

    Like

  20. gabbyinqc says:

    For Miles Lunn @August 18, 2017 at 9:09 pm:
    Your mathematical analysis at times loses me, because math was never my strong point. My strong point, if I can presumptuously call it that, is language, which is why I often drone on about a poor communications strategy on the part of the CPC. The ‘progressives’ have us beat on that in spades. Every word they use appeals to voters’ feel-good/virtuous emotions, to positive feelings: the children, seniors, the vulnerable, the betterment of society, “helping the middle class and those working hard to join it” ™ – TM , fairness, equality, diversity, fair distribution of wealth, blah blah blah. Instead, what we hear on the conservative side is mostly do away with big government, cut this/that program, cut the CBC, cut taxes, eliminate deficits and the debt, cut mollycoddling criminals etc etc.

    Although I criticize the Conservatives’ communications strategy, I have no magic solutions, but I’ll offer a couple of suggestions.
    ° I have nothing against big government. It’s its inefficiency I — and I’d be willing to bet most people — object to. If governments at any level worked to their full potential, we’d have less to complain about — and heck, it would keep people gainfully employed.
    ° In a previous comment, I linked to a Toronto Star series called “The Age of Unreason”. Actually, I think we live in “The Age of Apology”. For heaven’s sake, stop apologizing! Either stand by what you say – making sure you’re stating facts, not fantasies – or don’t say anything at all.
    ° I know, I know – the media is not our friend. But you have to talk to them. Remember the proverb “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece”? That goes as well for idle pens, typewriters, computers, or iPads. If you don<t provide them with something to write about, they'll invent something.
    ° Explain in the plainest language you can muster what policy your party intends to bring in; what your party is going to do to remedy a situation; what legislation your party intends to pass to improve Canadians’ lives; what progress your party has made thus far. Patiently answer the questions some of those annoying reporters, some of whom have a very short attention span, ask, even if it's the same one you answered a few seconds ago.
    ° Lay off the call to sell-off the CBC, the bugbear of many conservatives. It will never happen. Try to change it. Infiltrate it. Change it from within. Regulate it to be more balanced.
    It’s not the CBC per se I object to, it’s its clearly pro-left, pro-‘progressive’ bias. When a CBC personality like Rosemary Barton, who is supposedly moderating a broadcast purportedly presenting various political POVs, declares categorically that rival Rebel Media is “homophobic, anti-semite, and racist” I have to wonder what she thinks the words ‘balance’ & ‘moderating’ mean. Token conservative guests are often silenced or mocked. Her current self-appointed mission is to laugh derisively at anything said/done by Trump or any of his people. Ever since her aggressive take-down of then Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, her ego has become ever-more inflated, even more so since her appointment to 1 of 4 spots on The National.
    Her Twitter profile states “Heavy on the coffee and the high heels.” I think it should read: “Heavy on the heels and high on coffee”.

    Phew! I’m exhausted. So must you be, poor reader!

    Like

    • gabbyinqc says:

      P.S. I did the very thing I previously chided you for. My “couple of” turned into 5 to match your “a couple things” = 6.
      :$

      Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      I think you nailed it here. The left has done a really good job of playing off people’s emotions so some thoughts of what might work depending on the issue

      1. When people say the rich aren’t paying their fair share in taxes, ask if you think paying more than 50% to the government (which it is 7 out of 10 provinces) is fair. Mulcair last time around rightfully said taxation over 50% is not taxation but confiscation. When bashing the rich focus on doctors, engineers, and other high skilled workers who dominate the top 1% as most Canadians have a positive opinion of them, it is rich CEOs who they don’t like but are so small in numbers.

      2. In Ontario Wynne is going to raise minimum wage by 32% in 18 months and that is quite popular, but economically stupid so for those who argue workers deserve a higher wage, point out it’s better to get paid $12/hour than lose your job due to automation or the business going under. It will be the mom and pop operations not Wal-Mart and McDonald’s who will suffer from higher minimum wage, do we want to drive small businesses away?

      3. In general, say Liberals and NDP base decisions on emotions, Conservatives base on facts.

      4. NDP and Liberals base things on how they wish the world were, we base things on how the world actually operates.

      5. NDP and Liberals are idealists, we are pragmatists.

      6. NDP and Liberals care about process, we care about results.

      7. If called racist or anti-immigrant say we are pro legal immigration. Or Canada under the Tories, both Mulroney and Harper had the highest per capita immigration in the world.

      Also start using cross country comparisons as countries like Germany and Nordic Countries are often seen as ideal models for many on the left yet in some areas they are more conservative than us. Back in 2008 Dion proposed corporate tax cuts and argued he would drop theirs to Sweden’s level which is lower than Canada. When it comes to dropping the top marginal rate, say we are dropping our top marginal rate to that of Germany and Norway which have rates similar to what they were under Harper. Or as the PC’s said back under Joe Clark in 2000, we will cut our rates to the G7 average. Whenever you say lower taxes many point to the US which doesn’t have universal health care so point to other countries never mind if one brings up the US just say what we spend on health care they spend on the military as their per capita spending is not lower than us, just spent in different areas. On the issue of raising the retirement age to 67, point out 23 of 34 OECD countries have raised theirs and raising it to 67 brings us in line with most European countries including the Nordic ones never mind the reason for raising it is we are living longer. Otherwise a good slogan is we finish our education later, we get married later, we buy our first home later, we have children later, we live longer, so why shouldn’t we also retire later?

      As you mentioned we need to do a much better job of selling our ideas. I think the big problem is we got complacent as lets remember back in the 90s all parties believed in lower taxes and balanced budgets and its only recently that has changed and I think many assumed the political culture of the 90s would remain, which it hasn’t.

      Like

      • gabbyinqc says:

        ° “taxation over 50% is not taxation but confiscation” in #1. Punchy line. I like it!
        ° Your numbers 2 to 6 are also notions that should be stressed; they could easily be made into slogans.
        ° When Conservatives are called racist, ask people – especially media – to look at the new $10 bill. Can they name the person on the right? That is James Gladstone, whose Blackfoot name is Akay-na-muka. In 1958, he became Canada’s first senator of First Nations origin. And who appointed him? A Conservative PM. The same PM who brought in the Bill of Rights (in 1960) on which the Charter of Rights is based and who brought in legislation granting First Nations people the right to vote (also in 1960).

        The Conservative Party has a long tradition of recognizing the diverse communities that make up our country. A few years ago, for my own edification and to counter the continual vilification of c/Conservatives, be they “old” Conservatives or “new” Conservatives, I compiled a list of Canadian Political Firsts (federally) with WIKI’s help:

        1. First time women were able to exercise the right to vote in federal elections: 1917-19 (under Conservative PM Robert Borden)

        2. First female Prime Minister: Kim Campbell 1993. Also first female federal Justice Minister (Attorney General) & first female Defence Minister.

        3. First woman in federal cabinet: Ellen Fairclough 1957, under PM John Diefenbaker.

        4. First Aboriginal Canadian Senator in Canada: James Gladstone, appointed by PM Diefenbaker in 1958.

        5. First Black elected to the House of Commons: Rt. Hon Lincoln Alexander PC MP 1968-1984. Also first African-Canadian Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, 1985-1991.
        
6. First Chinese Canadian elected to the House of Commons: Douglas Jung, Vancouver Centre, PC MP, 1957-1962.

        7. First Czech Canadian elected to the House of Commons: Otto Jelinek PC MP 1972-1993.
        
8. First Greek Canadian elected to the House of Commons: Gus Mitges, PC MP 1972-1993
.
        9. First Japanese Canadian elected to the House of Commons: Bev Oda, Conservative MP, 2004-2012.

        10. First Korean Canadian Senator: Yonah Martin (Kim), Conservative Senator, appointed by PM Harper in 2009.

        11. One of the first Punjabi women elected in Canada: Nina Grewal, Conservative MP 2004-2015.

        12. First Ukrainian Canadian Governor General of Canada: Ray Hnatyshyn, appointed in 1989 by PM Brian Mulroney.

        Those firsts put the lie to the accusations that c/Conservatives are anti-women, anti-indigenous, anti-ethnic, anti-immigrant, blah blah blah. Canadians should be reminded of our proud history. The Liberals do not have a monopoly on diversity.

        Like

        • Miles Lunn says:

          Fully agree with what you said but being in a 10 second universe, probably best to list a different one each time or maybe list two or three when the accusation flies, listing all 12 puts people to sleep and unlike in the past people seem to not want to listen to details, they like 10 second sound bites.

          Like

          • gabbyinqc says:

            Yes, of course. My list was not meant to be used at rallies or anything, it was just intended as information to counter accusations of bigotry etc.

            Like

  21. Liz J says:

    I’ve come to think most of our high profile media people have morphed into political operatives for the Liberals across the board. Rex Murphy is the one exception.

    Like

  22. Anne in swON says:

    It’s my hunch that Strong Canada’s motivation is to bring all parties to the centre so that there will be little to nothing to separate them and the LPC, being the “natural governing party” will be most people’s default choice. Nothing remains static and the whole process WILL begin again. There are already many, myself included, who are dissatisfied with the milquetoast quality of Andrew Scheer’s stance on several issues. Sadly, it disturbs me to find little in any party’s platform to vote for and increasingly more to vote against.

    Like

    • Liz J says:

      The LPC fashions itself the natural governing party it follows the other parties are going strive to more like them..this is what’s happening with the Conservatives.

      Like

  23. joannebly says:

    Great discussion everyone! This is just a little heads-up that I plan to take a bit more time off and may temporarily close comments in a couple of days.

    I’m really enjoying the back and forth of this group. Everyone is respectful of the others’ opinions even if they don’t agree which is wonderful.

    Personally I find myself becoming increasingly jaded with politicians in general so perhaps a brief time-out will help. I’ll probably close comments in a couple of days just so I don’t have to worry about any crazy stuff going on with the blog. Thanks for your understanding and patience! I am learning so much from you guys and really value your input.

    Like

    • Anne in swON says:

      Joanne, yours is the only site where I feel comfortable commenting and the only one where I do comment. I, too, learn a great deal. I’m envious of Gabby’s writing skills and of Miles’ facility with numbers and statistics. I’m grateful that you attract and keep such a respectful place to come to air my views. As a woman of ‘advancing years’ I’m afraid my values are pretty well set in cement (with a few cracks here and there) and I have a hard time accepting/adjusting to the permissive shenanigans prevalent today. Manners are largely forgotten or were never taught and what I see occurring among the younger set today (i.e. the violence, lack of respect and foul language) is abominable. So, thank you for maintaining an expectation for a higher standard of discourse.

      Btw, I still use the hunt and peck system of typing and by the time I’ve completed one sentence the one to follow is forgotten (lol). That’s another reason for me to admire the commenters on your site. Enjoy some time away from all of this but please come back. You’ve been sorely missed since that disappointing fiasco of an election.

      Like

    • gabbyinqc says:

      As Anne in swON said and as I’ve told you many times, yours is indeed a comfortable place where people can feel welcome to share opinions without the vitriol so often seen elsewhere.

      Thank you for the time you kept your ‘door’ open and I look forward to the next time.

      Like

  24. Anne in swON says:

    Google (and its bias) has been very much in the news of late. There is a very interesting video on Youtube which explores the relationship between our current pm, the Trudeau Foundation, Google and even Bombardier, who all have ties to one man, Patrick Pichette. Now it makes sense for Trudeau to be merely the glossy picture on the magazine cover while all the meaty stuff that matters is hidden in plain sight beneath that cover where few bother to look. The gentleman who produced the video has done extensive research and promises more to come. It seems as though voters are indeed viewed by politicians seeking our votes as sheep to be led to the proverbial slaughter.

    Like

  25. Anne in swON says:

    Sorry, Joanne, I meant to post the web address not the video itself. Can that be fixed?

    Like

    • joannebly says:

      Hi Anne. I just tried posting the link only, and it seems to automatically open the video. I don’t see a problem with that. Thanks for the heads-up. 😉

      Like

  26. joannebly says:

    OK. Break-time now. Thanks everyone. See you in a bit.

    Like

  27. joannebly says:

    And we’re back. I’ve had half week without TV, radio, newspapers or internet; so please feel free to post any relevant news items. Thanks.

    Like

  28. Miles Lunn says:

    While off topic but onto Ontario politics, Martin Regg Cohn as usual has a blatantly biased pro-Wynne article, but great to see a rebuttal in the Toronto Star get published against her which I think hits the nail on the head. https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2017/08/24/your-letters-electorate-is-lying-in-wait-to-turf-wynne-and-her-liberals.html. On minimum wage most people I talk to seem to think its a great idea raising to $15/hour without thinking about the negative consequences. Many say everyone deserves a living wage, but if a firm cannot afford to hire them and goes under or automates that means they don’t have a job. Otherwise I think too many people vote for a politician who promises to create their ideal society rather than what actually works. I’ve always believed in the idea life is unfair so the whole fairness thing may sound nice but rarely works out well. There is a reason socialism always fails, it goes against human nature and no matter how many times people try it always fails. Hopefully next year the PCs win in Ontario and then UCP in Alberta in 2019 and whenever the next BC election, the BC Liberals win. It would also be nice if the Conservatives win federally, but being a realist I think that is going to be a lot tougher than the three provincial elections mentioned, but you never know and certainly the party would be silly to concede it.

    Like

    • joannebly says:

      Good to see the Star even publish an anti-Liberal letter!

      Yes that word “fair” is a diversion. I hope Ontarians don’t fall for that virtue-signaling garbage.

      Like

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