Trudeau Senate gambit: lotsa fun when you’re in Opposition, not so much when you’re governing (with bonus free cynical update)

As Ms. Kirbie just reminded me, Trudeau’s plan is terrific and bold and whatnot when he’s in Opposition, and the Liberals represent a minority in the Senate.

But when he’s Prime Minister – as I believe he will be, one day – he’d better get ready for the sort of gridlock and legislative intransigence Obama was decrying in last night’s SOTU.  There will be no more Liberal Senators to whip: they’ll be independents, and I guarantee you they will be working hard to live up to their name.

Flashy, short term gain for chronic long term pain.  Increasingly, that seems to me (and others) to be how the Trudeau folks do policy.

FREE CYNICAL UPDATE: As a couple smart readers/friends just told me: “Man, that AG audit of Senate expenses must be brutal.



Rob Ford: I had nothing to do with a murder

What’s amazing isn’t that Mayor Crackhead – he who gives little kids the finger, pisses in public parks, and drinks and drives near schoolyards – denies he killed a young man.

What’s amazing is that the question even has to be asked, as it was here.

You (and the police, hopefully, ultimately) can try and ascertain the truth. In the meantime, here’s a video in which Rob Ford talks about, you know, killing someone.

Here’s a magazine cover I thought I’d never see


But I understand why Rolling Stone did it.  This guy – as I said to my former Boss last week, a notable progressive leader himself – is the most famous progressive leader in the world.  If he is not stopped from carrying out long, long overdue reforms, I now believe Pope Francis can change the Catholic world – and, perhaps, the greater world beyond that.

I am a regular church-going Catholic (lately, twice a week) – and I favour the ordination of women, the recognition of Catholic gay marriage, and women’s reproductive freedom.  I’ve always been in a Catholic minority (I think) because of that, but the smiling guy up above is giving me hope that may not always be the case.

Comments are welcome, as always.  But be civil, or you’ll be excommunicated from this web site.


A year ago this week

The anniversary passed and I didn’t even notice. I suspect I’m not alone, in that regard. Telling.

A year ago, a friend of many years – a friend I’d cut off family vacations to help out, a friend I’d violated confidences to protect, a friend I considered a brother – looked me in the eye and said: “Don’t worry. We’ll go the Tories before we’d support her.”

He wasn’t only one telling big lies last January, but he’s the one I won’t forgive or forget. In politics, the only currencies that count are loyalty and trust. Nothing else matters.

Another political truism I live by is this one: something that starts in easy lies always ends in hard truths. And a hard, hard rain is coming for you, RW, and I will celebrate it when it does.

Why is the Ontario government placing 800 kids at risk?

Just saw this.  Happening in Northumberland – Cobourg, Brighton, all around there – right now, this week.

This is outrageous.  Eight hundred kids! Where is the Opposition, where are the other media?

This kind of move is insanity – and in an election year, no less.  I plan to dig further into this one, but does anyone else have background to share?



Left-Right political dichotomies

Well-written, but based entirely on a false premise.

The only people who believe that Left-Right political analysis matters anymore are journalists and politicos.  To your average person – to Joe and Jane Frontporch – life just isn’t that cut and dried.  A person can favour slashing government spending, but not for any of the programs they like.  They can support getting tough on crime, while shrugging about a mayor who smokes crack.  They will be enthusiastic about more and better transit, but not ever about finding ways to pay for it.

People – voters – are walking, talking contradictions.  They don’t ever classify themselves as on the Right or the Left, but they certainly swing from one side to the other, all the time.  Without thinking they’re hypocritical, without being the least bit concerned about a lack of consistency.

Left and Right are concepts for the chattering classes.  Which is why the chattering classes so often get the masses wrong.



In today’s Hill Times (and tomorrow’s Sun): Mark Adler, the face of Parliamentary irrelevance


Makes you wish we had Ken Dryden again, doesn’t it?

Mark Adler, that is. The Conservative York Centre MP was notable only for one thing, before this week. He was the guy who beat Dryden, the respected lawyer, the bestselling author and the former NHL star. That was his sole achievement: he somehow beat Ken Dryden, whose skates he is not fit to sharpen.

Thereafter, Adler drifted into the well-deserved obscurity that is the Conservative backbench. Like most of the nullities who applaud every bit of flatulence emanating from the Prime Ministerial nether regions, Adler became famous for doing, and saying, nothing of consequence.

Last week, as we all know by know, Mark Adler became a bit better-known, but for all the wrong reasons. Sounding like a petulant child, Adler whined and pleaded with a PMO staffer about getting into a photo with Harper in Jerusalem. It’d be the “million-dollar shot,” he mewled. He got overheard. A nation laughed.

At him.

The Million Dollar Shot Man is now the punch line in the ongoing joke that is much of Harper’s backbench. He is the nobody who cravenly whinged and wheedled about his desire to become a somebody.

He isn’t. He was background scenery, he was a prop, on the trip that (per Rick Saultin, no anti-Semite) saw Canada become “a province of Israel, at least when it comes to foreign policy.”

For Harper, and for a whinnying underling like Mark Adler, it was not enough that we lost a seat on the UN Security Council.  Or that nobody really listens to us internationally anymore. No, for Harper, it was essential that Canada also become an appendage of Israel’s governing Likud Party.  So he, and the Million Dollar Shot Man went to Israel, at taxpayer expense, along with several dozen Conservative Party donors and not a few kooks.

Quite the trip Harper and Co. had to the Middle East! If their objective was to annihilate the name Canada built up during the era of Nobel-winning Lester B. Pearson – as a smart, strategic player on the international stage, one whose voice was more respected than any other non-superpower – well, they did that, in spades. They blew it to bits. Oh, and if you disapprove or disagree? You’re an anti-Semite, like Nelson Mandela.

When criticized about Harper’s servile approach to the Likud Party, Conservative grovellers – like the repugnant Chris Selley, ever-ready at the National Post – will say: “Well, at least he knows where East and West Jerusalem are, unlike that Chretien poltroon!”

Whatever. Not always knowing where one part of Jerusalem ends, and where another starts, is a lot better than the Harper regime’s approach approach: that is, to say that all those squiggly lines on Middle Eastern maps should be redrawn to accommodate the formidable ambitions of Benjamin Netanyahu.  And to Hell with anyone else.

We all knew it was going to be a fiasco of a trip, an extended lullaby to Likud, long before it happened. But few expected it to be this bad.  Messrs. Adler and Harper outdid themselves: they’re as crappy at foreign policy as they are at domestic policy.

Ken Dryden, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.  Come home, soon.


I tried to think of something warm. This is what I came up with.

I don’t know about you, but the next person who says to me (a) “Is it cold enough for ya?” and/or (b) “This is a real Canadian winter!” is going to have a three-foot-long icicle driven through their tiny black heart. By me.

Sick to death with Winter 2014 as I am, I tried to think about happier, warmer times and climes.  This is what I came up with: me and the Palma Violets in L.A. in August, doing the Hot Nasties ‘Invasion of the Tribbles.’ 

I. Hate. This. Winter.