We Hear from PM Harper!

Well, sort of.

Alexander Panetta reports that an Oct. 25th  letter signed by former PM Stephen Harper and sent to clients of his firm Harper & Associates has been “obtained” by the Canadian Press.

It is entitled “Napping on NAFTA” and contains some criticisms and concerns about how the current government is handling the negotiations.

The criticisms are solid and include issues such as too quickly rejecting U.S. proposals, trying to tie negotiations to Mexico, and pushing social issues.

In his role of consultant Stephen Harper warns his clients:

“I fear that the NAFTA re-negotiation is going very badly. I also believe that President (Donald) Trump’s threat to terminate NAFTA is not a bluff… I believe this threat is real. Therefore, Canada’s government needs to get its head around this reality: it does not matter whether current American proposals are worse than what we have now. What matters in evaluating them is whether it is worth having a trade agreement with the Americans or not.”

But there is another side to this story.

How did the Canadian Press “obtain” this letter? Was it a deliberate leak or what? The reason that is important is because the Trudeau gov’t is going ballistic over it, as you can read in Panetta’s article. They are basically accusing the former Prime Minister of deliberately trying to sabotage Canada’s NAFTA negotiation efforts.

If you follow Twitter, this is a most interesting exchange where Ben Harper actually challenges Panetta on the public release of the memo that was intended for Harper and Associates’ clients.

If I were a conspiracy theorist I would have to marvel at the convenient timing of this story. It may very well be a “squirrel” moment in an attempt to deflect unwanted media attention away from Trudeau’s embattled Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

Or perhaps there are even more sinister reasons.

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This entry was posted in Canadian Politics, NAFTA, PM Stephen Harper, U.S. Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

100 Responses to We Hear from PM Harper!

  1. Liz J says:

    I don’t give them much credit for the sinister….that takes more capital than they’ve got.

    Methinks Ben Harper could sort a few things out!

    Like

  2. Anne in swON says:

    What a difference between Ben Harper and Justin Trudeau at the same age. Remember this column criticizing Trudeau’s penchant for deficit spending? http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/harper-and-vera-fiscal-malpractice-history-shows-this-is-no-time-to-be-racking-up-deficits

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  3. Miles Lunn says:

    A little off topic, but wondering who people here are hoping wins the UCP leadership race which is today. My first choice would be Doug Schweitzer followed by Brian Jean. I think Jason Kenney is a very capable leader and certainly hope whomever they chooses wins the next election, but I fear he is a little too polarizing. In particular Alberta is not nearly as conservative as it was 20-30 years ago (not as left wing as NDP though) so I am bit concerned social issues which shouldn’t matter will play too big a role not because Kenney wants them to, but the NDP will make it that. With Doug Schweitzer he is a strong conservative fiscally but socially progressive which I think if you want to win Calgary who determines elections that is where most are. Edmonton is left wing in general so no matter who is chosen will probably at best win a few seats there, but Calgary is a different story, it is fiscally conservative but socially progressive and that is where the party needs to do well although to be fair I think the UCP will win most Calgary ridings, but I don’t want to take a choice on Notley getting a second term. She has racked up way too much debt, re-electing her would make it worse. Rest of Alberta should go easily UCP no matter whom is chosen.

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  4. Liz J says:

    Well, it’s Jason’s baby , he should win and deserves to win IMO but the way things have been rolling in Alberta of late I wouldn’t put any money on it.

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  5. Anne in swON says:

    From what the polls indicate Doug Schweitzer doesn’t stand a chance. People on the ground are saying it’s a toss-up between Kenney and Jean, at least in areas outside Calgary and Edmonton. Edmonton has tended to be far more socialist-leaning for quite some time so is a lost cause for the UCP. Calgary on the other hand shows some signs of increasing UCP support. We’ll soon find out.

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    • Miles Lunn says:

      Agree Schweitzer won’t win, but good choice he will get a cabinet post and he is young enough he may get another shot. As for Edmonton, I think at best the party might win 2 or 3 seats while with Calgary agree most should go UCP. The only area the NDP might hold seats is in the downtown core or near the university as you have a lot of millennials there, but elsewhere should go UCP although I suspect Greg Clark will hold his riding and in fact while not likely to happen I would like the Alberta Party to become official opposition after the next election and NDP relegated to third as no party will stay in power forever so better to have a reasonable opposition. Outside of the two cities there are only four constituencies the NDP might have a shot at and even those are no guarantee. Sherwood Park and St. Albert which are for all intents and purposes mere extensions of Edmonton while there is the two Lethbridge ridings and whether they go UCP or stay NDP will depend a lot of turnout amongst millennials.

      I think the party prefers Kenney, but most polls show Jean is more well liked by the public thus some lean towards Jean thinking he is the more electable of the two. While both have better approval ratings than Notley, Jean is one of the few politicians in Alberta who has a net positive approval rating.

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      • Anne in swON says:

        Brian Jean impressed me from the outset – he’s had a lot of heartache to deal with to this point. He lost his son to an illness he might have had a chance of surviving had they known what it was earlier then he pushed past the loss of his house in the Fort McMurray fire. But he has had the occasional wobble on policy. Jason Kenney returned to Alberta with one goal in mind and everyone knew what that was. His policy on immigration worries me. I think we need to slow down and assimilate (yes, assimilate) the ones we have and end this headlong rush to bring in people whose cultures are not compatible with ours. I have read about three different cases this week alone attesting to that incompatibility and it will only get worse unless action is taken.

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        • Miles Lunn says:

          To be fair, Kenney as premier couldn’t change immigration policies as that is federal jurisdiction.

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          • Anne in swON says:

            Policy reflects attitude and belief. I don’t expect Kenney to remain in provincial politics. I know his heart is in restoring conservatism in Alberta. Once that is accomplished I can see him taking that agenda across Canada. He’ll be needed. JMO

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        • Liz J says:

          Yes, immigration isn’t something he has no control over…..only Quebec has it’s own immigration.
          We sure do need to slow down on immigration from countries who do not easily assimilate.
          European immigrants have long been overlooked in favour of immigrants from the ME. They have almost nothing in common with our way of life.

          Like

          • Miles Lunn says:

            Actually rules are the same for all nationalities. I think the lack of European immigrants is easily explained by in most European countries they enjoy a comparable standard of living so less desire to move abroad. Also with the European Union granting free mobility of labour within the entire EU, it’s a lot easier to move to another EU country than move abroad. Having lived all my life in either Vancouver or Toronto and having travelled to 49 countries so 50, I am not too worried about immigration, although we should probably like Australia give greater points to those who want to settle places other than Vancouver or Toronto as the real estate prices are a real problem in those two areas. Never mind I don’t think vast cultural differences is necessarily a problem. East Asian countries have radically different cultures yet most have been outstanding citizens and assimilated quite well so I don’t believe we should be excluding people from certain areas. On the North Shore here in the Lower Mainland, we have a large Iranian community and most of them were the secular types who left after the revolution because they oppose an Islamic theocracy and have thus assimilated quite well.

            I think those in the Middle East who want to live in a secular liberal democracy, we should welcome. Yes I agree some are concerned about Islamic Fundamentalists, I am not sure we can mandate people assimilate or restrict those from certain countries and still comply with the Charter. In terms of overall numbers, I think we should maintain or increase unless we can find a way to increase our birth rate in which case we could then cut immigration. The reason we need immigration is due to a low birth rate which is well below the replacement level so that means we have more people retiring than entering the workforce and the workforce to retiree ratio used to be 7 to 1, now it is 4 to 1 and by 2030 will be 2 to 1. This will cost us a taxpayers a lot of money so immigration is mainly to provide a larger workforce so we can afford to keep our health care and pensions. At the same time we should focus more on skilled immigration and also proficiency in one of our two official languages should be required for anyone wishing to become a Canadian citizen.

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  6. Miles Lunn says:

    I did a blog on the UCP leadership race. Anyways although I cannot vote in Alberta I will cheer for whomever they select. I have three family members there so will try and convince them although I don’t want to reveal how they will vote as they might not like it being made public. One is in Highwood which is already held by the UCP and they will easily hold that. Another in Edmonton-Whitemud which is one of the more favourable ridings in Edmonton which they might have a shot at and the final is in Edmonton Centre which is a decidedly left wing and will stay NDP. https://afiscalconservativepointofview.com/2017/10/28/ucp-leadership-race/

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  7. Miles Lunn says:

    Kenney has won the UCP leadership on first ballot. Should be interesting. Expect a lot of attacks on him for being too socially conservative. I think he is heavily favoured to be the next premier, but he needs to not be too complacent, that is how Alberta got an NDP government in the first place. Still he needs to hit the government hard where its vulnerable and avoid the social issues which are really just a distraction.

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  8. Liz J says:

    IMO, Kenney is one of the most likeable politicians we have, he should accomplish what he has set out to do.

    Like

  9. Liz J says:

    What a freaking mess we have in Ontario and it’s getting worse by the day. Wynne is buying votes with our money, or more accurately, money we don’t have. Hydro rates are going to be off the charts, we will definitely be on track to freeze in the dark.

    The vicious attack ads on Brown need to be challenged, they are the worst of the worst, those pathetic ads alone are telling us just how desperate they are. Dirty, rotten politics.

    The negatives are piling up on the Wynne regime, in real life business that would spell collapse.

    Like

    • joannebly says:

      Even some of my Liberal friends and family are having trouble with Wynne.

      Like

      • Miles Lunn says:

        Most Liberal supporters I know in Ontario feel the Liberals need to go. I suspect there are few supporting the Liberals because they like them, rather most are as they feel the alternatives are worse. Not that I agree with it, but you do have a certain segment of the population that fears and loathes a party and thus no matter how bad things are they will always vote for their chosen party. But what matters is can we win over the swing, not hardcore Liberals, and I think the former we can. Otherwise we won’t win in Downtown Toronto, but we can certainly win the 905 belt and some of the 416 suburbs.

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  10. Liz J says:

    The arrogance is really off the rails. They are treating the Auditor General like a know nothing, dismissing her findings.

    Like

  11. Anne in swON says:

    If we continue to ignore pressing social issues to focus only on economic ones we are compounding problems that already exist. We say to people who want to change genders, “There, there, the Government will make it all better. Yes, the government will make taxpayers pay for your hormone treatment and your operation. Yes, we’ll make everyone refer to you by your preferred pronoun and punish them if they don’t. That’s why we have expensive taxpayer funded courts.” Only a social issue? Definitely not.

    Now we have a situation in Nova Scotia where the issue of racism has taken an alarming turn. Granted an apology was made but who it was made to is the shocker. And this is only the beginning. Don’t focus on social issues? That’s just asking for trouble, and the social as well as the economic costs will be massive. Placation = submission. http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/halifax-music-fest-apologizes-for-overt-racism-at-polaris-winners-concert

    Like

  12. Miles Lunn says:

    It looks like Harper’s comments were leaked by someone and were internal communications. As for those arguing he is undermining our government, these were internal communications that the public was never meant to hear about. He was advising clients and that is what you do. Being an investor myself, I get on a daily basis bulletins on issues in various countries and what it means in terms of risks and investment strategy. The job when advising clients is to tell them what you think in terms of risks, not to praise and support the government in power.

    Like

    • joannebly says:

      Exactly. Perhaps one of those investors passed the memo along to the Canadian Press but that doesn’t mean Stephen Harper is trying to sabotage the current government’s efforts.

      Like

  13. Liz J says:

    Will the Trudeau cabal find a way to blame PM Harper if NAFTA goes haywire? I’m betting they’ll somehow use it as an excuse, the way things are going they’ll be looking for one no matter how oblique.

    Like

  14. gabbyinqc says:

    My comment probably belongs in the previous thread … but I can’t suppress my surprise at Bob Fife’s comments re: Bill Morneau & the Ethics Commissioner.

    I seldom listen to Evan Solomon’s new radio show, broadcast on CJAD between 3-4 pm but today, I heard Bob Fife questioning Bill Morneau’s truthiness, i.e. the latter’s stating that shielding that French villa under a numbered company is the way things are done in France. Both Fife & Solomon said that’s NOT the way things are done in France. As a matter of fact, Solomon checked with a French lawyer, who said that it’s done to avoid paying tax. Fife also said that EC Mary Dawson has a “propensity” (his word) to slap some MPs on the wrist for major issues (like Morneau’s) yet she’ll go after someone who gets a drink from a cattleman’s association.

    Yes, it’s that same Bob Fife who relentlessly went after Mike Duffy, Nigel Wright et al. Maybe there’s still hope for some media credibility?

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      I seem to find Fife more just anti-government and likes to be a thorn in the side of whomever is in power. During the sponsorship scandal before Martin was defeated, a lot of Liberals criticized him for being two one sided whereas once the Tories got in the opposite happened. Otherwise, Fife generally works in our favour when we are in opposition, but is a real thorn when we are in government. On the other hand there definitely are some who are pro-liberal particularly the Toronto Star, while you do have some mainly in Sun Media papers who are fairly pro-conservative, but much less so on television.

      Also being from Quebec yourself, I’ve heard local radio in Quebec City is fairly conservative in its leanings unlike elsewhere in Quebec thus may explain why the Tories do much better there than in other parts of the provinces.

      I was just wondering which riding you are in though as if from Quebec unless near Quebec City I am guessing it went pretty overwhelmingly left wing, much like my current one Vancouver Centre or past one of Spadina-Fort York (Tories got under 20% in both last federal election). Mind you if in one of the off island suburbs it is more favourable to centre-right politicians as the CAQ is competitive there while on the Island of Montreal, the West Island part goes heavily PLQ who under Philippe Couillard are fiscally conservative unlike Trudeau and Wynne.

      Like

    • Liz J says:

      Fife is a big surprise of late, perhaps looking to get back some credibility.

      Like

  15. Miles Lunn says:

    Dave Rodney has already stepped aside in Alberta to allow Jason Kenney to run in his seat. While the seat was close last time due to vote splits, every other election it has been pretty safe. My guess is the NDP will hold off calling it as long as possible as they would rather not have Kenney in the legislature and instead use the media and social media to create fearmongering about how scary he is. Already they are throwing out the extremist rhetoric. That being said I cannot see how anyone believes piling up as much as debt as they are is a good thing. You may not have to balance the budget every year, but having the debt quadruple in four years is obscene especially when Alberta was only in recession for one year.

    Like

  16. Miles Lunn says:

    I was hearing that restrictions on political advertising and third party kicks in on November 9th so the unions will be limited in the amount they can spend on third party advertising for the upcoming Ontario election. That is far enough out that I am not sure the ones now will have much impact and I suspect with the limits it will be tough to have the same impact as last time. I am guessing the bad budget situation and CUPE’s opposition to the sale of Hydro One is why they put the rules in as well as this time around I think the business community would have run a fair number of anti-Liberal ads unlike last time.

    Like

  17. Liz J says:

    There appears to be a new organization called working women Ontario and they’re really pouring out the ads against Patrick Brown. I’d love to know who is behind them concocting such ads.

    They are not hitting on pocket book issues that are causing so many ordinary people so much stress in Wynne’s Ontario. We don’t hear people at having coffee a Timmies discussing abortion, same sex marriage etc. How dare they think they can assume they represent all Ontario working women, this is another hijack of a specific entity.

    What a rotten game politics has become.

    Like

  18. Miles Lunn says:

    Montreal is voting on November 5th and polls show it is tight. Could Denis Coderre who was the loudest opponent of Energy East go down in defeat? I hope so but after seeing the polls suggest Nenshi would lose which never happened I am a bit skeptical. And to make matters worse his main opponent is further to the left. That being said Montreal has pretty much been a Conservative dead zone for the past quarter century. 1988 was the last time we won seats there although provincially the ADQ and CAQ have won seats in the Greater Montreal although not on the island. Anyways I think with Energy East Pipeline you can put blame on many as well as market factors. That being said in New Brunswick it was very popular so maybe opportunity to gain seats there from this.

    Like

    • gabbyinqc says:

      Re: the mayoral election in Montreal
      Coderre & his main opponent, Valerie Plante, were apparently tied according to recent polls.
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/valérie-plante-denis-coderre-in-dead-heat-with-just-days-to-go-before-municipal-election-poll-1.4377735
      “Valérie Plante, Denis Coderre in dead heat with just days to go before municipal election: poll
      Coderre weighed down by personality and construction concerns” (Oct 30)

      But I fear Plante’s chances of winning have now been reduced. Why? Because of big mouth media. I was buoyed by Bob Fife’s recent hard questions around the Bill Morneau affair … but once again sunk by media machinations. During a talk show this a.m. there was a discussion about Plante’s vote in the 1995 referendum. Plante apparently did not answer the question when asked how she voted — for or against Quebec separation. The panelists on the talk show insisted people want — and more importantly — need to know. I fail to see the relevance of a vote cast 22 years ago.

      I don’t know all that much about Valerie Plante. I admit I should know more about all the candidates but I know enough about Coderre to want to see him out on his keister.

      Like

  19. Liz J says:

    Could Denis Coderre go down in defeat? Gee Miles, I wouldn’t even venture a guess on any political outcomes in the province of Quebec!

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      No agreed and municipal polls have a terrible track record too. That being said the fact he might lose one could hope. Although I am not sure his replacement is much better as she is a strong environmentalists and more to the left. It seems most big cities have left wing mayors, Toronto is perhaps the one exception with a more centrist mayor but a lot of John Tory votes were people on the left who wanted to get rid of the Fords. Also had Harris not amalgamated Toronto, the city would be consistently getting left wing mayors. It’s the inclusion of places like Etobicoke, Scarborough, and North York that make it possible for a conservative mayor to win. Likewise if Montreal amalgamated to include the off island suburbs or even the wealthier Anglo ones on the West side (whom understandably voted to become their own municipalities) you might have a better shot at a more centrist one winning.

      Like

  20. Liz J says:

    It’s really quite fun to have an attention seeking Prime Minister who enjoys entertaining, putting his degree in dramatic arts to use. He has become famous for selfies, then winning a boxing match, going shirtless, wearing fancy socks, all while taking care of the serious business of running the country. Halloween aside, he truly is Superman.

    Like

    • joannebly says:

      The question is, when will Liberal voters tire of having a court jester as PM?

      Like

      • Miles Lunn says:

        I hope so, I find it embarrassing myself, but it seems a lot of millennials like his style even though I am on right on the divide of Gen X and millennial myself and do not find his antics amusing. Some say he seems to make us proud globally, but I actually liked it when we had a PM who no one outside our borders knew. That was the case under Chretien, Martin, and Harper, whereas most know who Trudeau is outside of Canada. No matter who you are a lot will dislike you so I figure globally its better to have a PM who except top diplomats and international political junkies no one can name.

        He also comes across as quite immature. He may be biologically the oldest of the three leaders, but he comes across as the most immature. Scheer unlike Trudeau was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth and Singh even if you disagree with his views, which I do, at least earned his position, didn’t get it on his surname. There has been a lot in the media about other countries liking young leaders pointing out how there is Macron in France, Ardern in New Zealand, and Kurz in Austria who are all younger than Trudeau. But each one at least seems more experienced and knowledgeable and even though I may not agree with all their views, they do seem a bit more mature than Trudeau. Mind you Kurz and Ardern both took over parties who weren’t doing so well in the polls and caused them to surge ahead so perhaps they won more on image than substance. Macron’s win I think had more to do with dissatisfaction with the traditional two parties and uncomfortableness of voting for Le Pen as opposed to age and looks.

        As for tiring of him, it does seem his approval ratings are coming down to earth, but still half the country likes the guy and his negatives are more on policy than image even though I don’t like either. But I guess in some ways that works for us as I don’t think Scheer is ever going to beat Trudeau on image, but on policy that is a different story.

        Like

  21. Liz J says:

    I may be wrong but IMO his antics degrade the position.

    Like

  22. Anne in swON says:

    There are calls for the loophole used by Bill Morneau to be closed according to several news reports. I guess they must be unaware that only a week ago the NDP introduced a motion to do just that but “The Trudeau Liberals used their parliamentary majority Tuesday to defeat an NDP motion on closing a loophole that allowed Finance Minister Bill Morneau to retain close control over a significant stake in his family company even as he ran a department with power to affect the fortunes of Morneau Shepell.”

    “The NDP motion, which also called on Mr. Morneau to apologize for his conduct, drew the support of the Conservatives, the Official Opposition, but was easily defeated 163-131 by the Liberal majority in the Commons.” This apparently flew under the radar. https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/liberals-defeat-ndp-motion-to-close-conflict-of-interest-loophole/article36708818/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

    Like

  23. Liz J says:

    I take a tougher stand, he should resign. The Finance Minister using a loophole for personal gain in any context just doesn’t cut it. As for apologizing, it means squat.

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      I think Morneau was a bad choice for finance minister. For a minister as important as that, you choose someone with experience not a rookie. That is why Harper choose Flaherty who had the experience of being a provincial finance minister. When he choose Joe Oliver after Flaherty’s death, Oliver had his issues with communication, but at least no ethical lapses unlike Morneau. They should have chosen either Ralph Goodale, John McCallum, or Scott Brison as finance minister as all three have experience. But each were too connected to the Chretien/Martin era which I think Trudeau wanted to distance himself as much as possible from. Also on fiscal policy they might have put up more resistance to his free spending so perhaps that is the other reason.

      Like

    • Anne in swON says:

      I agree – he should definitely resign. As for closing of the loophole, I’m surprised the opposition parties aren’t making more of the fact that the Trudeau government voted solidly against a motion to close it. I think the call for the FM to apologize for using the loophole was the poison pill that caused the gov’t to vote against it. The FM would have to admit he did something wrong and that would never do. The gov’t vote needs greater exposure.

      Like

      • Liz J says:

        He should resign out of respect for the “Middle Class” he and Trudeau keep talking about but have never experienced or have a foggy idea what it is.

        Like

        • Miles Lunn says:

          True enough, but don’t count on it. He will also point out he raised taxes on the rich and cut them on the middle class, even though I suspect with his holdings he likely wasn’t affected by the tax hike, considering he pays his taxes in Alberta where his top marginal rate will be 48% (and likely to decline assuming Kenney wins in 2019) vs. 53.53% in Ontario.

          Like

  24. Miles Lunn says:

    Here is an interesting article on the rise of Islamic extremism in Uzbekistan where the attacker was from https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/11/uzbekistan-terrorism-new-york-sayfullo-saipov/544649/ I will admit I was a bit puzzled as this is not the first Uzbek terrorist attacker, but I thought religion was heavily suppressed under the former USSR. Mind you there have been issues in Chechnya so perhaps somewhat related to it. I have never been to Uzbekistan although did visit Russia just a few months ago and visited the autonomous republic of Tatarstan and its capital Kazan which is 50% Muslim and it seemed fairly secular and well integrated. If dropped from outer space into Kazan, you wouldn’t think for a moment it was 50% Muslim as no one dressed like a Muslim, alcohol was freely available and in appearance almost everyone was white (50% Russian who aren’t Muslim and 50% Tatar who are yet look fairly similar, yes I realize Muslims can be any race but the stereotype is they all look Middle Eastern which is false). Mind you Russia much like the USSR is a massive territory with a lot of different ethnic groups so while there may be few issues with the Tatars perhaps Uzbeks are different although from the article it seems suppression of religion has just encouraged more extremism which makes some sense.

    I have been to three majority Muslim countries to date: Turkey, Malaysia, and Indonesia and in the case of the first it was founded as a secular republic under Ataturk but recently has been drifting under Erdogan towards Islamism although there is a strong divide between the rural more conservative population who wants Islam to play a greater role in life and the urban intellectuals who strongly support Turkey’s secular culture and want to preserve it. Malaysia is quite religious and conservative, but only 60% Malay, 25% are Chinese and 10% Indian and despite the fact most Malays are devout Muslims there have been few issues. Malaysia also is a lot more prosperous than its neighbours; when I was there I noticed they had modern infrastructure unlike the other countries I visited in Southeast Asia and it turns out its GDP per capita is significantly higher than most other Southeast Asian countries and it could become a first world country in a decade whereas most of its neighbours are several decades away. Indonesia is a mixed bag as radical Islam is an issue there, although where I was on the Eastern part of Java, it was 95% Muslim, but it didn’t seem overly conservative. My understanding is the Aceh province in the Western part of Sumatra is the most religious and is under Sharia Law while further east many areas are predominately Christian and Hindu. With Indonesia having multiple ethnic groups and languages, it probably reasons that there would be a wide diversity in religions and religious views.

    Note when I say conservative, I mean religiously conservative as I suspect most Conservatives in the West strongly oppose those who are conservative in the Islamic World, otherwise I mean conservative in the dictionary definition of traditionalist rather than the political as we think of.

    Like

  25. Liz J says:

    Morneau has paid the tidy sum of $200.00 loonies under the conflict of interest act and for that we can get off his back? Are we that loonie? Is this some kind of joke?

    Like

    • Anne in swON says:

      Since the Morneau affair started gaining traction I’ve noticed a greater number of articles critical of the government making an appearance. It seems even journalists who appeared to be solidly in Trudeau’s/Morneau’s corner are beginning to see that all that glitters is not gold. Even the Superman stunt received less notice than usual. Imagine going into Parliament dressed as a super hero. The arrogance of the man knows no bounds. I wonder if he’s beginning to believe his own publicity.

      Like

      • Liz J says:

        There’s a time and place for everything, at least there used to be. If the Parliamentarians were having a Halloween party on their own time, no problem, dress for the occasion.
        There are a few I could pick appropriate costumes for!

        Trudeau is an attention seeker, he can’t get enough of himself. He has a platform as Prime Minister , treating the job as a lark with a ‘hey look at me attitude’. Just don’t ask him any tough questions.

        Like

        • Miles Lunn says:

          Unfortunately it seems people love to lap it up including even the international media. He is definitely a show boat and as a spoiled person born with a silver spoon, he loves attention despite getting to where he is on his surname. His brother Sacha, whose political views I strongly disagree with, I at least respect as he tries to keep out of the limelight and doesn’t try to play off his surname.

          Like

  26. Miles Lunn says:

    Just scored a big pick up in candidates. Rod Philipps will be the PC candidate for Ajax. Warren Kinsella who despite being liberal has a good write up on this http://www.warrenkinsella.com . Unlike Caroline Mulroney who will make a fine cabinet minister, this is a big as this is a key riding we need to win whereas Caroline Mulroney is running in a very safe PC riding which we should easily win no matter what the provincial results are.

    Like

  27. Liz J says:

    It’s at a point where there is little to defend in the mess that is the Wynne Government. Even Liberal trumpeters with any concern for their reputations might want to keep a low profile.

    Like

  28. Liz J says:

    It’s starting to look like there will be no charges laid in the gas plant scandal so that will be wiped off the record and that will be a clean slate…no scandals!

    Like

  29. Liz J says:

    In the gas plant maneuvers, as in the Sudbury thingy, we can no longer call them scandals or bribery, they are wiped off by the courts. It’s all politics of course, political operatives or leaders have a freer rein than the rank and file apparently. Bottom line, if you can’t charge the top dogs, why should their workers take the punishment? In the case of the gas plant fiasco, we the people are paying the tab, the political leaders and operatives will pay with their credibility. Hopefully that will be enough to run the Wynne Liberals over the cliff.

    Like

    • joannebly says:

      I never expected anything to stick to the Ontario Liberals but the appearance of wrong-doing is starting to pile up; even if there aren’t any convictions.

      And I do hope Wynne keeps on with her lawsuit against Patrick Brown. In the end it will only remind people about Sudbury. She was short-sighted to start that process.

      Like

  30. Liz J says:

    I imagine with all the charges being dropped Wynne will be buoyed to keep on with the lawsuit. She is desperate .

    Like

  31. Miles Lunn says:

    For those still in Ontario, are the airwaves being bombarded with coalition of working families as my understanding is third party advertising restrictions kick in on November 9th. From what you are hearing from people around you, is there a sense even many normal Liberal voters have had enough of Wynne as I get the impression few actually like her government, most still planning to vote Liberal are doing so more because they fear other parties. Although I think a lot of the fearmongering of Brown is totally baseless.

    Hopefully we can put this government out of its misery next year. The Liberals need a time in opposition and to do some rebuilding. I also think a PC minority is a bit risky as I worry the Liberals and NDP might gang up to keep them out so I hope they win a majority. I think around 70-80 seats would be ideal as you would still have a strong opposition which is always healthy but at least enough of a cushion they don’t have to worry about losing their majority over a few by-election losses. While some are hoping for the NDP to be official opposition I still hope it is the Liberals as although at the moment I prefer the Ontario NDP over the OLP, I fear if the NDP replaces the Liberals as the alternative we will take a hard swing to the left whenever people tire of the Liberals whereas I am hoping with a Liberal defeat, Wynne’s replacement will be more centrist so less damaging when they do comeback (I hope they are out for at least two if not three terms, but I know no party ever stays in power forever).

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      “whenever people tire of the Liberals” I meant Conservatives here not Liberals, had a few drinks and tired so probably reason for typo. Otherwise essentially I want the PCs to win in 2018, but realize like any party eventually they will get defeated as no party stays in power forever and thus I hope a centrist Liberal, not NDP or left Liberal replaces them when that happens which hopefully isn’t for 8-12 years.

      Like

      • Liz J says:

        Speaking of drinking, living in Wynne’s Liberal Ontario would drive anyone to drink….if they can afford it! If Wynne wins again we might conclude a lot of people have brain damage from over imbibing! Add to that Ontario is going to have those legal pot shops run by LCBO up and running…file under “the hazing of Ontario”. Our troubles have only begun, don’t let Granny or Gramps drive or cross the streets, it’s bad enough now.

        Like

    • Liz J says:

      Wynne has been advertising for months, and all in prime time, it’s electioneering and at our expense, the cost we are not privy to but it isn’t cheap.
      It’s also very convenient the Liberal operatives have had charges dropped at this time, Wynne can now claim to be squeaky clean as they go full bore into campaign mode.

      Like

      • Anne in swON says:

        Anyone in Ontario who is a parent of school-age children should be alarmed at casting a vote for any liberal in the upcoming election. That is the party that passed a law allowing children to be seized by the government if the parents dare to seek psychological treatment for a child with gender identity issues. As parents you must accept that the child (and the government) will prevail, whether the child is four or fourteen. The threat is real.

        Like

        • Liz J says:

          That’s scary stuff but I doubt many people know about it. It’s dangerous and it’s also state interference with parental rights to raise their own children. It’s the socialist way, they want control to enforce their agenda, rule every facet of our lives, taking control of our kids from early kindergarten on. We need to fight back to save our children from mass confusion about their sexual identity. It’s madness and if I were starting over I would home school.

          Like

        • Anne in swON says:

          I noticed that leftism really took hold of the education system with the introduction of Earth Day celebrations and rapidly escalated from there. It’s my belief that the amalgamation of school boards, introduced as a cost-saving measure, was the beginning of the downward spiral in education. It centralized power to the few and took away the independence of smaller and more suburban and rural boards who were able to understand and connect with the needs and values of the people they served. In the last few years many of these amalgamated B of E’s have amalgamated with other amalgamated boards to create absolute albatrosses where student needs are unrecognized and test scores have plummeted. Education costs have skyrocketed and parents must provide school supplies they never had to before. The teaching of basic subjects has taken a back seat to social concerns and we are graduating students who are less capable of functioning in our world. Bigger is not always better.

          Like

          • Miles Lunn says:

            I’ve wondered if this is a big reason for the strong leftward shift, otherwise all those who were brainwashed with only left wing ideas are now coming of age thus the shift in voting patterns. Interestingly enough it seems mostly the idea of millennials being left wing is an Anglosphere thing, in Continental Europe it is more outside parties on both sides of the spectrum doing best amongst them while traditional parties doing worse while in Eastern Europe it is the opposite, millennials tend to vote for parties on the right while it is older voters who have had a tougher time adjusting to the changes from communism to capitalism who tend to vote left. At least in the other Anglosphere countries unlike Canada, seniors vote heavily to the right to cancel out the millennial vote whereas we don’t have that. I have often suggested your median Canadian voter is now more left wing than your median European voter and unfortunately recent elections seem to play into this thesis. Perhaps maybe Europeans have seen how socialism doesn’t work whereas many in Canada naively believe it will work. Certainly the soak the rich attitude or want more spending but have someone else pay for it seems stronger here than elsewhere.

            In terms of education costs, agree they should be dropping due to declining enrolment not increasing but teacher’s unions are some of the most militant and those on the left love to pander to them for votes and those on the right are afraid to take them on. I’ve often thought two innovative ways the PCs could maintain labour peace while still keeping costs under control are the following.

            1. A signing bonus for getting an agreement before a certain deadline. The centre-right BC Liberals tried this back in 2006 and worked with all unions except the teachers.
            2. Promise unions however much in savings they can find they will get half in raises so a win-win. Otherwise the unions are on the frontlines and should know where the waste is so if they can find 5% savings, they get a 2.5% bonus in wage increases.

            Both seem reasonable but knowing how one sided our unions are, I wouldn’t count on it. We seem to have imported the militant style unions you have in the UK, not the more cooperative style you have in Germany or Sweden. And unlike the UK where Thatcher thankfully busted them up good, no one has quite managed to do that in Canada.

            Like

          • Anne in swON says:

            Teachers’ Unions, at least in Ontario, began simply as loosely associated federations and developed and expanded from there. Federation fees (union dues) increased rapidly to pay for people at the top who were totally unknown to the people who were expected to vote for them, except for short blurbs of less than a paragraph in a newsletter detailing generic info prior to elections. At the time I retired there were two separate deductions being taken. OISE is another organization which was infiltrated and overrun by the left. It now seems to be comprised solely of SJW’s where, way back when, it provided relevant in-depth information on basic subjects. Now they’re the ones pushing the social agenda. Such is progress.

            Like

  32. Miles Lunn says:

    Anne in SWON – Very interesting. Certainly over the years it seems the teacher’s unions have become more militant and more left wing. I’ve heard that if as a teacher you hold conservative views they make life miserable for you so most conservative teachers tend to keep quiet about their views. I have no problem with teachers, a very respectable profession, but a huge problem with their unions which are hardcore militant left unions. In fact in BC, the BCTF is one of the worse and is even on the record of saying Cuba is the ideal model society. They also have courses that encourage children now to be involved in social activism. I think on politics, they should discuss political theories in a neutral manner and encourage children to get involved and vote but make up their own mind, not tell them what to believe. Mind you I went to private school in BC where they were pretty fair minded and avoided the one sided left wing bias. I am a bit younger than most here I think at least so this was back in the 90s only when the teacher’s union became increasingly left wing. I was in high school when Harris came to power although university when he left. At least in university unlike high school you can choose your courses and if conservative leaning avoid the more left wing professors and their courses as I did.

    Like

    • joannebly says:

      “I am a bit younger than most here I think at least…”

      Oof! Miles that is not a way to win friends and influence people; even if it may possibly be true which I have no way of knowing nor do I care. 😉

      Like

    • Liz J says:

      LOL Miles, you young whipper snapper! Are we kinda not too swift, a bit slower on the uptake? I admit to going to bed early most nights, I do have the odd Queen’s cocktail : 2 parts Dubonnet Rouge, 1 part gin, slice of lemon and about 4 ice cubes occasionally. Our Queen is 91, I’m a tad away from that!

      Like

  33. joannebly says:

    On the subject of Teachers Unions, I agree they are becoming increasingly militant or so it seems. Anne, interesting about your experiences and perspective. I’m glad you weren’t brainwashed. 😉

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      Maybe I shouldn’t have brought age, I don’t think it matters other than first hand experiences can be a bit more powerful than one’s you read about. I was more I guess trying to understand when it changed the teacher’s became very militant. That being said if anything I actually tend to be most critical of millennials as I find they are the most likely to vote for politicians that make ridiculous promises. I think the best example of how age matters is in the last British election. Older Brits remember the winter of discontent, when the unions held the country hostage, and how badly ran the state owned enterprises were thus why Corbyn had the worst showing ever for Labour amongst seniors. But amongst younger Brits he had the best ever as they loved all his promises of free stuff without thinking about how it would be paid for or the consequences as they weren’t around last time to remember how badly it turned out when tried.

      My understanding is under Mike Harris they became more militant and also started preaching their ideology more in the classroom and that is important as those who went to school then are now adults and can vote. In BC, I think it was around 1983 when Bill Bennett was premier the BCTF became militant, but they are probably the most extreme union in the country. As mentioned they even on their website praise Cuba as a model society so that says a lot about them.

      Another issue, I don’t know if anyone saw this video but Trudeau https://www.facebook.com/CBCPolitics/videos/1852128881482605/ says I even disagree more with the incoming Austrian chancellor Kurz than Trump. This was a stupid statement. Whatever he thinks of Kurz personally, he should keep his mouth shut on it as Austria is an EU member and CETA is now in the ratification process and needs all 28 member states to vote in favour so if a comment like this sinks the deal I will not be happy. At least with Harper, he never gave his view on any democratically elected leader, only on dictatorships did he and even then he went more after policies Canada disagreed with rather than the person.

      Like

    • Anne in swON says:

      Joanne, I never stood a chance of being brainwashed considering the upbringing I received with both parents having undergone the worst of what socialist/communist regimes dished out in WW11. Thus my concern with social issues. We’ll survive the economic travails, although not without some difficulty, come what may. It’s the social issues, some huge ones at the moment with this chronic, mindless leftward rush, that have the power to destroy us.

      Like

  34. Miles Lunn says:

    Four by-elections called for December 11th. Battlefords-Lloydminster we should easily hold. South Surrey-White Rock could be a challenge as had Watts not been the Tory candidate (she was a very popular mayor), I think the Liberals would have won it, but was normally Tory prior to 2015 and I am hopeful we can hold this one. Bonavista-Burin-Trinity is a very safe Liberal one, but hopefully we can narrow the gap. It was 80% Liberal and 12% Conservative last federal election so I would be happy if we can just crack the 20% mark there. Scarborough-Agincourt, I think leans Liberal but we might be able to pull off an upset and hope we do or at least come within 5 points of the Liberals. We actually did better in 2015 than 2011 surprisingly and I’ve heard marijuana legalization is very unpopular amongst the Chinese community which is quite big in this riding. A good night for us, is win Battlefords-Lloydminster in a landslide, hold South Surrey-White Rock, pick up Scarborough-Agincourt, and get over 20% in Bonavista-Burin-Trinity. I won’t find out until the next day as I will be in London on that day (that is London UK, not Ontario). I will just be coming back from India the next day as I am in India for almost a month. Will blog about it on my own personal blog.

    Like

  35. Liz J says:

    Denis Coderre got the boot and I’d say that was a smart move by the voters of Montreal.
    He was a strong windbag against the Energy East Pipeline on environmental grounds while presiding over a city that spills raw sewage into the St Lawrence. Maybe he can get a job with the Trudeau government advising their star environment minister.

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      I am glad Coderre got defeated, but not sure Plante is much better is she is more left wing. That being said it’s Montreal which since 1988 has been a conservative dead zone. Hopefully next year in Vancouver, we can get rid of Gregor Robertson. I don’t mind John Tory, he is actually a former conservative albeit Red Tory so better than Miller or others on the left.

      Denis Lemieux of Chicoutimi-Le Fjord has just stepped down so another vacant seat for a by-election in the new years. Right now the Liberals would probably hold it considering how they are doing in Quebec, but as we know Quebec can change on a dime. If I were Scheer I would go after this one hard. It may be a tough one to win, but pulling off a win there like the NDP did in 2007 in Outremont can help give a beachhead to expand off of.

      Like

  36. Liz J says:

    Wouldn’t even venture a guess on any outcomes of elections in Quebec or anywhere else at this time. For me, the best thing to happen was when Harper won a majority without Quebec, that set them back on their heels.

    IMO things are going to be more and more volatile with this present Federal government. Trudeau is going to be facing more difficult issues.

    Trudeau was mouthing off about rich people getting richer under Harper…..now we learn about the Paradise Papers! It will be interesting to hear how he stumbles and bumbles on this one.

    Like

    • Miles Lunn says:

      I hope so too. I would love none more than to have Justin Trudeau give a press conference announcing he is resigning as prime-minister. Yes we would still have a Liberal government, but I am sure there are better leaders than him. As for rich getting richer, that actually happened in the 80s and 90s mostly, not under Harper, another lie and myth. Income inequality since 2000 has largely been flat in Canada. Besides I care more about income mobility than income equality. Otherwise equality of opportunity is what I favour whereas I get the impression Trudeau and many on the left favour equality of outcome which was failed wherever tried.

      Like

  37. Liz J says:

    Trudeau has said those listed in the Paradise Papers can each answer/explain, deal with their own questions….he is not getting involved, which is probably the right thing to do.
    I do hope the Opposition keeps talking about it ,use it as a vehicle to highlight Liberal hypocrisy, telling us small business people, farmers, professionals are tax tax cheats, saying they want to help the middle class and those working to join it. Defining middle class seems a real poser for them.

    BTW, Mr Chretien has come out saying he has no money outside Canada…..why would he be listed in the papers ? How far back do they go, how accurate are they and who is behind exposing them? So many questions…..they have done nothing wrong according to them….I assume then it doesn’t fall under tax evasion.

    Like

  38. joannebly says:

    Catherine McKenna’s in hot water again. Or at least someone on her staff is. 😉

    Like

    • Liz J says:

      Maybe she should less concern about the “Climate Barbie” sobriquet and take more time to do her homework to guard against making such gaffes. Bimbo eruptions shouldn’t happen if you are up to the job, she’s not looking too good at this point.

      Like

      • joannebly says:

        No she seems very incompetent and arrogant which is not a good combination for a Minister.

        Like

        • gabbyinqc says:

          While I disagree with name-calling political opponents (such as “Climate Barbie”) I think you’re right. She’s very much like J Trudeau — style, but no real substance. Her overly sensitive reaction to the “Climate Barbie” moniker as well as her blaming a staffer for this latest gaffe shows how insecure she is. Someone commenting on another blog used a very apt description: a brittle personality.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Miles Lunn says:

            Forget about her personality, she is a big government tax and spend liberal which I know a certain segment of the population likes, but I am not one of those. I like those who realize it is us taxpayer’s who work hard to earn the money and government should spend it prudently on what we want not waste it like she does. I also believe the market rather than government does a better job. Anyways on twitter I referred to her as a big government left winger which while maybe I should have been more civil, I think that is a more accurate statement.

            I also think the idea of gender parity should be a goal, not carved in stone. Otherwise it is great to have equal number of males and females, but priority should be given to whom is most qualified. To be fair Trudeau unlike Harper has a caucus of mostly rookies as the party went from 36 seats to 184 seats whereas with Harper it was only 98 seats to 124 seats so most MPs were already sitting ones with some experience. True in Ontario and Quebec for regional balance there were some issues as it was 23 seats to 40 seats in Ontario while 0 seats to 10 seats in Quebec, but in the case of Ontario most were ex Harris cabinet ministers so had experience at the provincial level while in Quebec you had Lawrence Cannon who had provincial experience and Jean-Pierre Blackburn who was a Mulroney cabinet minister. If you look at the caucus, the number who have ever served at any level even municipal is well under half so if anything that probably teaches us the dangers if putting a third place party into government.

            Like

          • joannebly says:

            Gabby, I honestly can’t think of a worse Minister in Trudeau’s cabinet than Catherine McKenna. Well there are some close runner-ups but she is the most abrasive and incompetent.

            One that I do think has done well is Chrystia Freeland. She has weathered the storms very well.

            Like

          • Miles Lunn says:

            joannebly – I would have to agree. Only one that comes close are Maryam Monsef but she got demoted although Bill Morneau is right up there. Agree on Chrystia Freeland, she has performed fairly well compared to others. Ralph Goodale has done alright but he has far more experience than most so that would be expected.

            I do find McKenna’s arrogance quite annoying, something you normally see with cabinet ministers in a government that has been in power for a decade not only 2 years.

            Like

          • joannebly says:

            Monsef and Morneau are pretty hard to take for sure. The reason I find McKenna the worst is her smug arrogance, and dismissive attitude of anyone who disagrees with her.

            Like

          • Miles Lunn says:

            Joannebly – Agree on McKenna’s arrogance. I’ve found though a big change in the last decade. A decade ago you could have a civil debate with progressives and respectfully disagree whereas now I feel a lot genuinely hate conservatives and think such views have no place in society. Otherwise diversity is our strength doesn’t seem to apply to opinions. Likewise I’ve also found those that live in the downtown cores often tend to be the most intolerant of conservatives as since they probably haven’t met many and the few where they live keep quiet about it, they buy into the negative stereotypes. By contrast those living in areas where conservatives are more numerous tend to be more respectful I’ve found. To be fair, I’ve found the same with conservatives, but asides from a few pockets in the rural parts of the Prairies, there are few areas where the conservatives regularly top 80%, whereas in most downtown cores the progressive vote tops 80%. It’s more in the US you see this as both sides have large swaths where their viewpoints are held by over 80%. Still even there I think in Canada since conservatives have struggled in many areas, I find the left on balance a lot more arrogant and intolerant towards those with different views. A lot seem to see their group as oppressed and it as a David vs. Goliath when in fact it’s more about what policies work best for all of us, not one group against another.

            Like

          • joannebly says:

            “Diversity is our strength doesn’t seem to apply to opinions.”

            Great observation, Miles. I find that in my social circles I have to hold my tongue when discussing politics with my Liberal family members and friends. Some actually ridicule anything supporting a conservative POV so I just change the topic.

            Like

  39. Liz J says:

    Jean Chretien has disavowed any claim that he has had any investment in offshore tax havens….maybe we need to have the proof, a proof is a proof and if it’s a good proof, it’s been proven…or something like that.
    Some things should come with the advice, “the less said the better”.

    Like

    • Anne in swON says:

      I’m sure if we were to dig deeper we’d find Power Corp. ties in there somewhere. Anywhere there’s a Liberal bigwig scandal you can bet on it.

      Like

  40. Miles Lunn says:

    A little off topic, but what are the views here on lowering the voting age to 16 which is a big push across the pond now and many on the left here in Canada want (probably assuming they would do better). I am totally opposed to the idea, I think 18 is just fine. Until you can serve in the army until one is paying taxes, I think it is quite reasonable to say they cannot vote. Yes teach 16 year olds about our political system in school in a politically neutral manner and by all means have mock elections as they do, but keep it at 18. While this would be political suicide, I would be more open to raising it to 21 than lowering it to 16. I do though think with marijuana legalization, the age should be 21.

    Just as a side note I will continue to blog and comment on issues I am interested in but from November 15th onwards you will see mine posted as afiscalconservativepointofview.com (my blog name) rather than Miles Lunn. I am away on vacation and for some reason my mobile unlike desktop won’t let me change it, so just if confused whom is commenting, that is mine. Once I return from vacation I will post again under my real name or if I manage to find a way to switch it on my mobile.

    Like

  41. Liz J says:

    Speaking of diversity, how does it work with our multicultural policies? It seems to be a wall that can take away that sense of belonging to the wider spectrum of society. Looking across the country I think we can see plenty of evidence we are becoming more and more a nation of communities which IMO is not a recipe for a strong cohesive society.
    At election time we see those running for office working the various “communities” for votes. It’s crass politics for sure but where is the concern for the common good?

    Like

  42. joannebly says:

    FYI new post up re: Ontario politics.

    Technical question: Do you guys prefer links that open up in new tabs or ones where you click and then back-click to return to the original site? I’ve been experimenting with both. Thanks.

    Like

    • gabbyinqc says:

      Either way is OK by me, simply because I’m still getting used to my months old computer, which has a mind of its own. Control-freak me is still not in full control of it! Arrgh! 😦

      Like

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