Thursday, November 24, 2016

Referendum on electoral reform?


Oh, how arrogant the Liberals can be. Maryam Monsef, the Minister for Democratic Institutions, the person who is actually supposed to ensure democracy, doesn't believe in it.  She doesn't believe the very people who voted for her and her Trudeau government can be trusted with having a vote on a system they wanted unconstitutionally to ram through.

"I've been quite clear from the very beginning that I don’t believe that a referendum is the best way to go about having a really complex conversation about an important public policy issue like electoral reform," Monsef told reporters in Ottawa Thursday morning.
Monsef says referendums have low voter turnout and are expensive, and said her personal opinion is that they’re divisive. But she said the special committee has the ability to suggest ways to gauge whether there’s broad support for a change to how Canadians elect their governments.
So, apparently, electoral reform is too 'complex' an issue for us minions.  And if it's such an "important public policy issue" (which it is), then is it not important enough to   This has "insenaty" written all over it.  The double-plus ungood double-speak from Liberals on any progress with electoral or senate reform goes back to the beginning of Confederation.

What are they afraid of?  Are they afraid that if it did go to a referendum the people will see through their rhetoric and nanny-state ways and reject their proposal?

I don't ever buy it when a politician says "I've crisscrossed our great land from one end to the other, speaking with average citizens and they tell me that actually [they agree with what I say]".  Yet, they really don't offer any proof they did just that nor is there any documentation of what people actually said.

So, if it's such a complex and important issue to say you spoke with average citizens (read: party rallies) to get their input, and you must have spent a lot of our taxpayer money to fly and drive around, why is a referendum now so expensive and not good enough to hear from said citizens.

And if it's "too divisive", is not ramming through a policy that the people have not had a say on literally being divisive?

When it comes to Canadians having a say on their own democratic institutions, the blatant, divisive, and arrogant hypocrisy of these Trudeau Liberals knows no bounds.

If there's one referendum I'd like to have right now, it's to say "Yes" to having this supposed minister of democracy step down.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Alberta PCs cry wolf

 #abpoli #pcaa #wrp #abndp
 At a PC Edmonton-Millwoods delegate selection meeting on Nov 16 at the Millwoods Golf Course, Jason Kenney violated PC party rules regarding being present at these meetings.  Mayhem broke loose on his arrival and knowing there was a hospitality suite down the hall, but all 15 delegates still went to Kenney.  To say he is a bull looking to win, sails short of the

Now, let's have a quick history review. Remember that the PCs haven't used a delegate system for a very long time and used a one-member one-vote preferential ballot system which saw Ralph Klein become leader and premier for a long time. Then after Klein stepped down, that same system saw Ed Stelmach, Alison Redford, and the late Jim Prentice become leader and premier.  All three premierships had their positive moments, but ultimately were failures as they all stepped down, as party was mired in inaction, a struggling economy, environmental policy pressures, a war on fun, and ultimately a growing misuse of taxpayer dollars for extravagances peaking with the Premier's Palace.  Also, having public groups pay for attendees to hob knob at PC Party dinners is a big no-no, yet it went on.

That system allowed initially not-as-popular candidates to win.  Ed Stelmach defied the odds, shooting up the middle on the second round runoff vote, beating heavyweight candidates Jim Dinning, a former provincial preasurer, and Ted Morton. Alison Redford accomplished the same, beating Gary Mar, super minister, on the third round.

So, enter Jim Prentice, former federal PC leadership candidate and Harper Conservative cabinet minister. The PC party insiders, seeing that they didn't wish to repeat the debacles of previous votes, as well as trying to bridge Wildrosers (who are assuming all federal Conservatives) back into the fold, essentially guaranteed his win as leader and premier through many interesting campaign tactics. The main one being the campaign buying memberships for voters.  With 76% of the vote it wasn't even close, and Ric McIver and Thomas Lukaszuk never had a chance.

Then Rachel Notley's NDP won with a slick campaign riding a huge wave of voter discontent, Prentice stepped down immediately.

My point here is although Kenney showed up at a riding delegate selection meeting when it violates the rules and is bulldozing his way through this race, their ongoing tactics throughout the last ten years in their previous leadership races hasn't been ethical itself.  I don't approve of Kenney's actions here and he should face some punishment for it from the PCs, but we should really call the kettle black on the PCs crying wolf.

And they wonder why the Wildrose exists and why they lost to the NDP.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Hatrock's Unscientific U.S. Presidential Election Prediction 2016

Hillary Clinton:  308
Donald Trump:   230

Hillary will win the popular vote by +4.2% over Trump.

Why 308?  Because that's the number of seats there used to be in the Canadian House of Commons.  And 4.2 is like 42 and I like that number because it's the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

See, I told ya it was unscientific.

But also because 10 years ago, I predicted Hillary Clinton would be the next president after a two-term Barack Obama presidency.  I didn't think she'd beat Obama for the nomination then, so that made me believe she most certainly make another run at it, no matter what.  The Republicans have not had any candidate even close to the campaign machine capability, charisma, charm, and coolness that Obama has brought to the White House.

I have also not wasted much of my time and effort talking about Donald Trump.  But I will say this, one year ago, my grandma passed away.  Months before that I asked her what she thought of the U.S. presidential race.  She said:

"It's a zoo.  A total zoo."

And she was right.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Countering Senator Peter Harder on Trudeau appointing 21 "independent" senators

 #cdnpoli #abpoli

Senator Peter Harder, who represents the government in the Senate, gives praise for Prime Minister Trudeau's new approach to senate reform by creating an "independent" "non-partisan" committee to recommend individuals for the prime minister to recommend to the governor general for appointment to the upper chamber.

Senate chamber image courtesy Library of Parliament
He says:
"But Canadians ought not to be misled by those who argue that appointing independent senators is somehow an affront to the foundational principles of Canada’s parliamentary system. In removing partisanship from the appointment process, the Prime Minister has actually gone back to the basics of Confederation."
"Misled"?  Oh, we are not misleading Canadians.  You are.  You somehow claim that this is better than everyday Canadians electing those who are supposed to represent them in their parliament.  You also completely fail to mention the gross imbalance of provincial representation--continuing the long-standing "tradition" of senate dominance of the East over West.

As you know, I've been blogging about the Canadian Senate for about 10 years and the machinations and proposals thereof, where I've been following and commenting on this issue since the late 1990's.  What I particularly point out is the lack of action and doubletalk by mostly Liberals.  I call this "insenaty", because doing and saying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result regarding the senate is just that--insane.

Let's be real. Those who vote federally for a Member of Parliament, although we are voting for a candidate in our riding, tend to vote for the party, leader, and attached policies.  Doing so also gives accountability by the people and the party to that MP.  Any newly appointed senator now who claims they are non-partisan may be true for some, but not true for all as I'm sure they all vote.

Appointing senators, especially by a committee comprised of people Canadians don't have a clue about, is nowhere near a democracy.  In fact, it is further away than before because the accountability to elected members and the party in power has been removed.

At least with the process where the prime minister recommends the appointments, when a senator acts in a way that we don't like, whether committing crimes, overspending on expenses, or is absent, they are still tied at the hip to their party and the buck stops with the leader, the de facto official who is held to account when public or media outcry demand it.

Harper at least tried to limit their term and appointed senators elected by the people of Alberta. There was also a point there where he had not made any appointments for so long, I thought he was going to let it die off naturally and then only appoint those who were elected provincially.  That only lasted so long in trying to pass bills.

I'm not saying this wasn't an astute political chess move by Trudeau; it was a masterstroke.   After seeing how former and popular TV news personalities Mike Duffy/Pamela, as appointed to the senate by then PM Stephen Harper, all of their expense-scandal drama became directly associated with the prime minister.  It was so because he got involved to control the politics for his party.  It didn't work out well.  If they were independent, the Conservatives would have spilled no blood.

So after also seeing all the Liberal senators also abusing expenses, why in the hell would Trudeau want to have them associated with his party when shit like this happens and would likely happen in the future--damned the idea the Senate can manage itself.  The Senate is no longer his baby--from a hands-off view.

What is also hilarious about that article by Peter Harder, is while he claims to be so independent and non-partisan, blathers on how great this new process is, and says we who argue against this process have "misled", here he is giving partisan praise to Liberal Trudeau without looking at any of the merits of what has been proposed and somewhat implemented by other parties.  None. Zero. Nada.

Further, in his praise, he also claims Trudeau is going back to the basics of Confederation where appointments were to be non-partisan and independent.

Sure. Non-partisan and independent, fine, but we're not buying it. You'd think of all people, however, the government representative in the senate would know the actual history that an elected senate was proposed, but turned down by bigger provinces for reasons of the time regarding expenses of elections.  But this isn't that time.

As Justin Trudeau said after the last federal election regarding gender equality in his cabinet, "Because it's 2015."

He was right.  But it isn't 1867 either.

Equal?  Where is the provincial equality?

Accountable?  Now the senators are accountable to no one, no party, no leader, nor representative of the people.

Elected?  Looks like never.

The "insenaty" continues.