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Liberal Minority Government 2021 - ????

Not seeing a ratchet

GDP mostly increases. To measure spending trends, choose a year and examine other years adjusted for inflation and population size. Per capita spending adjusted for inflation is one way of getting the proper picture.

Most recent aggregate polling. The LPC is gaining back on what it seems to have lost. It could be that the general public is apathetic to recent events but it could likely be an ineffective opposition focusing on the wrong things.

Most recent aggregate polling. The LPC is gaining back on what it seems to have lost. It could be that the general public is apathetic to recent events but it could likely be an ineffective opposition focusing on the wrong things.
I treat political polling the same way I treat meteorology: Its a pretty solid scientific guess, but I still bring my umbrella out with me if I see dark clouds.

I can see an election in the next 6-12 months, because there are a lot more things falling apart at the seams than even the LPC is trying to fix. The China thing is a cherry turd on top of a shit sundae.

Most recent aggregate polling. The LPC is gaining back on what it seems to have lost. It could be that the general public is apathetic to recent events but it could likely be an ineffective opposition focusing on the wrong things.

I think the general public is pretty apathetic about it. Which is sad.

I see lots of articles about, but I don't hear much discussion on the street between Joe and Jane Double Double.

Normally my SM feed would be full of arguments... With this it's just not present...
I think the general public is pretty apathetic about it. Which is sad.
To an extent yes. But this latest fiasco isn’t even focusing on the actual things in the report. The issues with our security services that need fixing. We have an opposition that is focused on David Johnston and whether he skied with the PM or not. That’s the sad part. Neither the LPC, CPC or Bloc is taking a look at the actual issues raised. And I’m pretty sure they are happy about it because all sides are scoring whatever political points they think they are getting. It would seem that 30% think our elections are safe enough, 30% don’t even care or know what’s going on and the rest are undecided or worried about it.
I see lots of articles about, but I don't hear much discussion on the street between Joe and Jane Double Double.
Probably because most people are more worried about their grocery bill, gas and mortgages.
Normally my SM feed would be full of arguments... With this it's just not present...

For the most part, yeah…
Full marks to rmc_wannabe.

There is a system. The Prime Minister is supposed to be a servant of the Crown and the Crown is supposed to be subordinate to Parliament.

But not in Canada.

The Liberal Party is the only thing that outranks JT. And I don't know the name of the guy or gal in charge of that mob. Whoever it is, I guarantee they are not using any titles.

I went looking for "Canada's Cardinal Richelieu" and I came up blank.
I went looking for "Canada's Eminence Grise" and I came up blank.
Apparently the person behind the scenes doesn't advertise.

But I did come up with this article from 2019 by John Ivison about a book by Donald Savoie, apparently the public service's Eminence Grise.

Great article. Timely then and just as timely now. I'll have to read the book.

PressReader.com - Digital Newspaper & Magazine Subscriptions

Canada’s democracy under siege​


Just as the Trojans learned the hard way to be wary of Greeks bearing gifts — the “gift” in question being the proverbial Trojan horse — so Canadians should be leery about political parties promising to restore their trust in democracy.

The Liberals used that line in 2015, pledging among other things to ensure the election was the last conducted under the first-past-the-post system; that the Access to Information system would be applied to ministerial offices, and an end to the “undemocratic practice” of tabling omnibus bills to prevent Parliament from properly reviewing legislation.

All of those commitments foundered on the rocks of naked political self-interest. Why risk inconvenient questions about the introduction of deferred prosecution agreements aimed at saving one company (Snclavalin), when the provision could be tucked into an omnibus budget implementation bill and rammed through Parliament?

On the eve of the 2019 elections, Donald Savoie, the éminence grise of Canadian public administration, has written a timely book warning that democracy is threatened when it is abused in such a fashion.

The Canada Research Chair in governance at the Université de Moncton describes his tome — Democracy in Canada — The Disintegration of Our Institutions — as his magnum opus, which after 45 previous books suggests it is worthy of note.

Savoie has taken stock of the health of Canada’s institutions and is distressed at what he has found. He is (mostly) persuasive in arguing that Canada has a democratic deficit that is getting worse.

To be sure, many of the problems he identifies have been present since Canada came into existence. As a born and bred son of New Brunswick, he is sensitive to the idea that the Fathers of Confederation built institutions to fix problems plaguing Ontario and Quebec, rather than address the concerns of the “outer Canadas”. In this view, Canadian society has evolved since 1867 but the country’s political institutions have not.

“National institutions designed by and for a unitary state have been particularly adroit at accommodating the interests of the heavily populated regions but less so in dealing with the requirements of the smaller provinces,” he said.

Savoie offers the example of the Energy East pipeline. “The Trudeau government had political problems with the Energy East pipeline because Quebec had problems with the project. It did not square with the province’s economic interests. The main beneficiaries were Alberta and New Brunswick,” he said. “The perception is that Quebec, in the name of national unity, has held the Damocles sword over the rest of Canada. Mathieu Bouchard, senior policy adviser to Justin Trudeau, explains: ‘If Quebeckers don’t feel represented by government for a period of time, unlike in other provinces, it becomes a question of national unity. We always have to be conscious of the fact.’”

Savoie laments the poor job Canada is doing when it comes to regional equality compared to other federations. It is an argument that will find considerable sympathy among many Westerners and Atlantic Canadians.

But the importation of political institutions from Britain that were not suited to a federated pioneer society divided along linguistic lines do not entirely explain the relatively poor health of Canadian democracy, in Savoie’s judgment.

Rather, those institutions have been pressured by changing circumstances. Political power is no longer located in Parliament, political parties, Cabinet or the bureaucracy. It is now held by the prime minister, his immediate advisers, key lobbyists and economic elites.

Savoie says neither the Senate nor Cabinet provide regional voices or perspectives any more, the latter having become little more than a “focus group” for the prime minister. He notes that two key decisions on deployment in Afghanistan — one by a Liberal government, one by a Conservative government — were made in the PMO, without input from the ministers of National Defence or Foreign Affairs.

The author laments the lack of powerful regional ministers and recalls the occasion when Trudeau told journalists to direct questions to him rather than finance minister Bill Morneau, traditionally the government’s most powerful minister. “Competing brands from ministers only dilute the prime minister’s brand and it is not tolerated,” Savoie writes.

Trudeau promised to reverse the shift of governing from the centre when he took power
. But in the author’s opinion, “Trudeau fils has strengthened the centre of government rather than rolled it back.”

Savoie claims the public service is another institution under siege, pressure that has created a fault line in the bureaucracy. Senior public servants in Ottawa look to the policy process, trying to get the ear of ministers, while in the regions more lowly bureaucrats look to citizens and program delivery. In the words of Peter Harder, a former senior public servant who is now the government’s representative in the Senate, the bureaucracy is so risk-averse, if it were a hockey team it would have “six goalies.”

Political parties
have been so drained as vehicles for policy-making, they have become, in Savoie’s view, “little more than election-day organizations, fundraising machines and a convenient venue to select candidates to help them win elections … Political parties have lost their brands to their leaders. The Trudeau, Harper and Scheer brands are now what count at election time.”

Savoie notes that Parliament is no longer supreme, as the courts shape policies and even programs to an extent that was unimaginable a generation ago.

The House of Commons has lost its way as the body that gives voice to “the sentiments, the interests, the opinions, the prejudices, the wants of all classes of the nation,” in the words of 19th century English writer Walter Bagehot.

“Today, the Commons falls short in pursuing these function
s,” says Savoie. The House has “been relegated to little more than providing democratic legitimacy for decisions made elsewhere.”

Neither does it fulfil its role in holding government to account on budget matters, allowing the Supply and Estimates process to become “an empty ritual.” Savoie contends the “deck is stacked against accountability” as MPS with little interest and no competence are bamboozled by the bureaucracy.

In this, he is overly pessimistic. The introduction of the Parliamentary Budget Office as part of the Harper government’s accountability reforms has created a tremendous resource for parliamentarians to call on when faced with impenetrable banks of numbers. He is overly critical too of the offices of the Auditor-general and Ethics Commissioner for playing to the press gallery. Both have offered a much-needed challenge function to the governing party in recent years — a development that should be welcomed, rather than regretted.

He should also be somewhat cheered by the Trudeau government’s Senate reforms, which have seen the emergence of a “new non-partisan, merit based process” to advise the prime minister on Senate appointments. Savoie served on the advisory board for appointments in New Brunswick, which he says worked as intended. Given the problems with reforming the Senate, or even abolishing it, Trudeau’s initiative seems like the most practical solution, even if its impact remains uncertain.

Despite these minor quibbles, the book is epic in scope. Nobody else but Savoie could have written such an exhaustive and authoritative critique of Canada’s institutions — the culmination of all his other work.

He is skeptical in all the right places: “Trudeau realized after the 2015 general election that Canada’s electoral system works just fine, at least for him and his party.”

He is undoubtedly correct in his central claim that all is not well with Canada’s national institutions, although he grudgingly concedes in his last page that this country is blessed in many ways — universal suffrage by secret ballot, a competitive party system, a free press, a professional public service and an independent judiciary.

But the tensions he describes are real and likely to be exacerbated should the next government’s power base be even more focused in the urban areas of central Canada. As Savoie points out, any reversal of the disintegration of Canada’s democracy has to start in the House of Commons, “the one national institution that has direct ties to every community in Canada.”

That would require a determined prime minister to reverse the shift of power into his own office — an unlikely prospect. Absent such a selfless individual, it requires Canadian voters to hold to account those who promise reform, only to renege once elected.

The solution? The Long March Through The Institutions.

Get involved in the candidate selection process for any party, Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Bloc or Green and ensure that your candidates are Parliamentarians - Cromwell's Roundheads, bolshie bastards that will stick up for themselves and us.

The Liberal Party is the House Party. The House Party in the sense of the House of Medici, of Stewart, of Valois, of Hapsburg. It is not just about the name wearing the crown it is about the mother, siblings, directors, supporters, associates, clients and beneficiaries. All of those who look upwards for their daily bread, their manna from heaven.

500 years ago the House Parties were challenged when the source of their authority, the church in Rome, was challenged. The Swedes were among the first to take advantage of the situation and declared for the Lutheran system. The Lutheran system swapped the Pope for the local monarch. People still looked upwards for their daily bread. But now the King was doling the dosh to the clients. The local House was in control.
The Holy Roman Emperor of the time, Charles Hapsburg, fought the good fight on behalf of the Pope, the HRE stood to gain from being able to have the House of Hapsburg control the Pope, but eventually gave up after a lifetime "in the saddle" trying to keep some 400 independent provinces in line by force. He declared "cuius regio, eius religio", "whose realm, their religion", and quit. He abdicated and left the mess to his heirs.

Lutheranism was acceptable to the smaller houses because it made every king a pope in his own province.

Calvinism was not acceptable. Not because of Calvin's silly ideas on religion, gods or communion. But because he got his power from The Vote. And he codified that system. And it made power accessible to local people who could aspire to achieve positions of power. That system was Presbyterianism as Calvin defined it in Geneva. It became very popular with the merchant class who had money but were prevented from using it as they saw fit.

The Swedes, good "protestants", promptly banned any of that radical nonsense about having votes and letting the locals have power. The Wars of Religion weren't about Communion. They were about whether presbyterianism had a chance at survival. About whether power was top down or bottom up. About whether the House system would stand.

The House system stood. It still stands.

Presbyterianism, Calvinism, had its moments. It thrived in parts of Switzerland and allowed Switzerland to survive as a collection of provinces where some continued the old House system and some developed the presbyterian system, which became a new House system.

The German and Scandinavian provinces largely split, with the Danube provinces like Bavaria opting to keep the old system focused on Rome and the Hapsburgs while the Rhine provinces opted for the Lutheran system making their kings into popes.

In France the matter was unresolved for a couple of centuries. Arguably the Huguenot Wars never ended.

Presbyterianism succeeded in Scotland. In the Netherlands and ultimately in the United States of America. It had its supporters in England and Ireland, just as it did with the Huguenots in France but it never became The Establishment there. It did however have a strong influence and did result in a society that set aside religion as a basis of conflict and, momentarily, allowed the bottom up system to flourish. Until new Houses rose and exploited the new rules of the game to their advantage.

The high point of Presbyterianism, in my opinion, using an ancient metric, was in 1943 when Rome, again, fell. It fell to the presbyterians of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Those governments, courts, politicians and people were largely, if not declared presbyterians, in sympathy with Calvin's bottom up ideals of self-reliance, self-made "men", free individuals, taking and exercising power in their own lives.

They were adamantly opposed to higher powers dictating to them. Controlling their education. Limiting their ability to associate with others. Limiting the books they could read. Limiting their ability to even read books for themselves. Ensuring that information only came to them from approved and licenced experts.

1943. Presbyterians were in the ascendancy. They created new institutions, dominant among them was the United Nations, with the Methodists and Lions Club being midwives at its birth.

1968. The presbyterians lost control to the Houses of Brussels, Rome, Moscow and Beijing. And some new Houses of their own making.

25 years.

It was nice while it lasted.
A good warning as the Liberals try to buy votes with your tax dollars ....

Provinces accept federal money at their peril​

The Trudeau government plans to significantly ramp up spending for day care, dental care and pharmacare to cover the cost of prescription drugs. But all three of these policy areas fall under provincial jurisdiction, not federal. And as history has shown, future federal governments can easily and unilaterally reduce or even eliminate funding, leaving provinces with a heavy financial burden.

Consider the 1990s when the federal government reduced health and social transfers to the provinces amid a fiscal crisis fuelled by decades of unrestrained spending and persistent deficits (and worsened by high interest rates). Gross federal debt increased from $38 billion in 1970/71 to $607 billion in 1993/94, at which point debt interest costs consumed roughly $1 in every $3 of federal government revenue.

In response to this debt crisis, the Chrétien Liberal government reduced spending across nearly all federal departments and programs in Budget 1995. And in 1996/97, health and social transfers to the provinces were $41.0 billion (or 51 per cent) lower over a three-year period than what the provinces expected based on previous transfers. In other words, the provinces suddenly got a lot less money from Ottawa than they anticipated.

This should serve as a warning for the provinces who may find themselves on the hook for Ottawa’s big spending plans. For example, the Trudeau government has earmarked $43.1 billion for the provinces in an attempt to deliver $10-a-day daycare, an area of exclusive provincial jurisdiction, from 2021/22 to 2027/28. Any change in federal priorities or federal finances could swing the financial burden on the provinces to maintain the program.

A good warning as the Liberals try to buy votes with your tax dollars ....
If only it could have some effect. Publicly-funded health insurance, subsidized child care, and publicly-funded dental insurance are all worthless if you can't access a doctor, a daycare slot, or a dentist. The first two problems are well-established; the last I expect to crop up unless Canadian dentists are sitting on a surplus of empty appointment slots. The addition of the latter two worsens the first (opportunity cost, money is fungible, etc, etc). The NDP in particular - the party that never tires of reminding us of its health care laurels - would rather cut ribbons for new public entitlements, with insufficient regard for sustaining the ones we already have. Perhaps that should be the fundamental campaign plank for conservatives - conserve Canada's public health care capacity.

At some point the chumps who are paying taxes for services they can't access and voting for the parties most likely to exacerbate the problems ought to wake up, stop worrying about statistically improbable boogeymen like a private anti-SSM bill ever passing in Parliament, and vote for parties most likely to do the least additional harm. I can guess that they'd be angry at the messenger who delivers such a message, and that would be the limit of their corrective initiative.
Will the Maritimes feel the wrath of the Trudeau/Guilbeault war on O&G? I don't agree with everything Wightman is saying in this article, but even he recognizes what will happen to NB if Irving Oil leaves.
The sooner consequences of federal policy fall hard and fast on the voters who support the governing parties, the sooner policy missteps might be corrected. It's preferable to a long drawn-out path leading to the same destination.
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The sooner consequences of federal policy fall hard and fast on the voters who support the governing parties, the sooner policy missteps might be corrected. It's preferable to a long drawn-out path leading to the same destination.
Here's hoping for a swift Irving Oil withdrawal from NB.
Give it a week or two until we find out how much we paid for Johnston's crisis team.

David Johnston resigning as special rapporteur on foreign interference

What a way to finish out his career.

This was only a few days before Johnston resigned. IMO, very bad form and was basically the former GG saying he works for Trudeau not Canadians:

The former governor general released a statement following the vote on a motion brought forward by the NDP, which the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois supported while the Liberals stood opposed. It passed 174 to 150.

It called on Johnston... to "step aside from his role."

"I deeply respect the right of the House of Commons to express its opinion about my work going forward, but my mandate comes the government. I have a duty to pursue that work until my mandate is completed."

I guess after some self reflection he thought the will of parliament is perhaps a bigger deal than the will of Trudeau.
Trudeau using inflammatory rhetoric which will alienate a large portion of Canadians? Impossible.

Michael Higgins: Justin Trudeau dismisses parental rights as 'far right'

I think a lot of people are underestimating how many people are not supportive of so called ‘trans rights’ when it comes to their kids. The recent backlash has only just started because people are now realizing how far many of these policies have gone. Specifically because they have done all these policy changes in secret.

For example, I don’t believe a child can be transgender or gay. Until they hit puberty I don’t think they really can understand the concept of sexuality and even then it takes years of painful teenage growth to come to any sort of understanding.

There have been plenty of studies proving that if you leave a child alone until they are done puberty the vast majority will be fine long term. This giving children puberty blockers and ‘accommodating’ concepts they physically cannot comprehend makes no sense and is tantamount to child abuse in my opinion.

I am not even extreme in my viewpoint, I just think that they should keep the transgender and gay ideology push out of the schools and away from the ever decreasing age they deem it appropriate to push it upon them. Just as I don’t agree with pushing religion, fascism, communism, etc. on them. Teach them they have to tolerate each other and call it a day.

If your a adult and want to be that way, whatever more the power to you, it doesn’t effect me none. But children are impressionable, they do not have the cognitive ability to understand or fight theses ideas rather they just parrot what they have been told.

Calling someone far right because they don’t agree with giving a child life altering drugs/surgeries/tricking them into believing they are something they are not is asinine. Long term we will see lots of harmed youth turn into harmed adults who didn’t understand what they were doing, there are already stories coming out of the UK on this. Its almost like children lack the ability and comprehension to consent.