Oct. 7, 2019

What have we sunken to? This election, more than anyone I can remember, has been devoid of reality as to the future of our country. As is so often the case, when the topic at hand is uncomfortable those responsible seek diversions. If you don’t want to talk about something, change the subject.

This election has been more about shovelling bull manure than about what this country’s future. First we  were distracted by puffed up fake indignation that at some point in his youth the prime minister had black and/or brown paint on his face in a school theatre presentation. Fake indignation because so many people feel offended and the standard feel-good is to cry racism. Rather than really caring about skin colour, too many people are thin skinned, it seems to make them feel better even if it may be condescending.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s dual citizenship is not a genuine issue – it doesn’t matter. Dual citizenship of a party leaders is trivial (which by the way he has already renounced).

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh wearing a turban is not an issue – it doesn’t matter. Wearing a religious symbol – freedom of religion is guaranteed in our country.

Green leader Elizabeth May being born in the U.S. – it doesn’t matter. Nobody cares about the number of members of Parliament and cabinet ministers born in other countries. You see, criticizing the U.S. is politically correct, talking about other immigrants, oh that’s politically-incorrect racism.

What about bread and butter issues? Everyone can think of a ton of them. Why in a country this size and with this wealth do we have a large segment of our population living on the streets as a result of homelessness and mental health issues? 

Of course, the biggest detractor has been the imaginary climate catastrophe that’s about to descend on us diverting us even further from the real problems of the country.

Why are we playing around with an imaginary fossil fuel and cow fart doomsday while turning a blind eye to Quebec cities merrily dumping millions of gallons of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River every day? Image the damage to the climate from that methane alone? But utter silence.

Our government bought a pipeline without needing to, and now it’s just an asset on the books for accounting purposes. We have billions invested in an asset that is turning into a boondoggle. Then there’s the ongoing interest cost on those borrowed billions of dollars.

And on that topic, why haven’t party leaders paid attention to the fact that our country is importing oil to eastern Canada from hostile foreign countries while regional obstructionism is delaying the development of a delivery system from our own oil to Eastern Canada? Is it really about concern for a west-to-east pipeline or are there people with their fingers in the oil importation cash drawer? 

Why bring up abortion again and again when it has been the law of the land for decades, and all leaders have vowed the issue will not be revisited? It’s another example of diversion from the real issues.

The unacceptable treatment of our veterans, the lack of clean drinking water on reservations, the massive amounts debt piled up while sending Canadian tax money to other countries, I could go on and on. 

As a friend of mine summed up his expectations for the final leaders’ debate on Monday, each one of them will just be dodging the bullet as to what is happening and wrong with our system and smoothly deflecting to subjects the public couldn’t really give a tinkers damn about – past minstrel show participation, professional accreditation, turbans, place of birth, etc. 

The debate script will be meaningless hyperbole about “more jobs for Canadians, more money in the pockets of the middle class, more money for health care and education, higher taxes for the rich, zero carbon emissions, just more blather”. As comedian Jerry Sinefeld described his show –  a show about nothing.

With two weeks left in the campaign to determine the future of our country, it’s time to wipe the smudge off our shaded glasses to focus on what really matters. 


Oct. 5, 2019

1005 - It probably depends on whether you are projected as winning or losing, but the two main election polls we are following paint a totally contradicatory picture. 

The Calculated Politics aggregation of all public polls show Conservative John Hirst has moved into the lead with 28 per cent support while NDP's Bob Chamberlin sits at 27 per cent. Green Party candidate Paul Manly is in third place with 25 per cent. Liberal Michelle Corfield trails at 18 per cent. That was Friday – by Saturday, Chamberlin was in the lead at 28 points with Hirst at 27 and Manly at 24.

Then you switch to the Saturday 338Canada poll and it shows Manly with a commanding lead with 37.8 per cent support while Hirst is in second at 22.6 and Chamberlin third at 19.8, ahead of Corfield at 17.4 per cent.

There's comfort in the knowledge that the only poll that really counts is the one by you when you vote on Oct. 21.


Oct. 2, 2019

1003 - The federal election is heading into the home stretch with 19 days left and in Nanaimo-Ladysmith it's either a dead heat or a landslide victory for Paul Manly.

The latest polls bear out that either one or both polls are totally out to lunch.

The 338Canada.com project has Manly running away with it at 38.5 per cent voter support while Conservative candidate John Hirst sits agt 21.8 per cent and NDP Bob Chamberlin at 20.1 per cent. That's an increase for Manly since the May 6 byelection and a drop for Hirst and Chamberlin.

Calculated Politics, on the other hand, an aggregation of all public polls in the country, shows Manly, Hirst and Chamberlin in a dead heat at 27 per cent each. The CalculatedPolitics.com poll was right on target during the May byelection, showing Manly with a big margin. He matched the poll prediction at that time.

Both polls have Liberal candidate Michelle Corfield at 17-18 per cent support.

This demonstrates emphatically that the race is not over until the final ballot is counted. It also shows the importance of voters doing their homework and checking out the candidates and their platforms. It also shows how unreliable polls can be.

The Oct. 10 Chamber of Commerce candidate forum at Beban Park can be a crucial point in the election when voters have a chance to hear and meet all the candidates. The podium will have candidates from parties with members in the last Parliament - Liberal, Conservative, New Democrat and Green Party. The meet and greet starts at 5:30 p.m. and the candidate forum at 7 p.m.


Sep. 28, 2019

There’s a lot of clamour calling for climate action, but with very little substance. School children have been playing hooky, with the blessing of the education system, and supposedly their parents.

Such laudable gestures are great until you examine what action they are advocating for. Do they have a clue or are they just following the crowd because it’s the popular group thing to do or because they have been indoctrinated?

In calling for action, do their marches and gang protests really mean anything without action of their own? When advocating change, do they understand the implications of any of those changes? Drastic actions like ending fossil fuels mean things like no more cell phones, Ipads, computers, no TV, no Xbox, no rides, just walking to school, no air conditioning or heating in the classrooms. And God forbid, no makeup. The list is limitless, few understand that even the clothing they wear depends of fossil fuels for their manufacture.

Conversion to wind and electric power is no magic potion – they both consume considerable carbon-dioxide in their manufacture and in operation and have proven extremely unreliable.

Do they know what action they want, or are they just parroting what they hear? Are they prepared to take “action” or chant for someone else to do “something”?

They can start right at the bottom, so here’s a challenge: start small, do the little things that matter. Organize a school/community trash pickup project on our river banks, streams and vacant property, no step is too small. Yes, plastic litter, broken bottles and other trash contribute to the problem in our environment. The place we are, where we live, is our environment. It’s a great place to start.

It would prove how dedicated they are to climate “action” and saving the world. Otherwise it’s just hot air.


Sep. 11, 2019

The race is on, we’re into an election campaign to determine who will govern our country for four years, or less.

But will the election really make a difference, will our vote in Western Canada make any difference? Over the next few weeks we will see more polls than we can comprehend. The accuracy is one of the things in question – many of those polls are conducted for and by the parties themselves, designed to present a positive picture heading to the polls.

I rely on Calculatedpolitics.ca due to the fact that it is an average of all public polls. The latest aggregate of polls shows the Liberals could be headed for a majority government.

The Liberals have edged ahead of the Conservatives, 34.6% to 33.2%. and appear to be in majority territory with 172 projected seats, two more than needed for a majority. Even with almost equal over-all support, the Conservatives appear headed for 127 seats. The interesting picture is how the NDP and Green Party are battling for support. The NDP is down to 13.5% while the Greens are at 10.2%.  But the NDP is projected to get 24 seats while Green projections have dropped to three.

The difference in seats compared to the popular vote between the Liberals and Conservatives is based on population in Ontario and Quebec resulting in more seats. In other words, and this has always been the case, those two provinces determine who will govern the country. In this case, Ontarians and Quebecois are strongly favouring the Liberals.

HERE AT HOME, pretty well since the federal byelection in spring, voter support in Nanaimo-Ladysmith has remained fairly steady with new MP Paul Manly maintaining a healthy lead by as much as eight points. But in politics, anything can change on a dime, and it’s starting to look like there may be a race after all. Manly had more than 35 per cent support in the byelection, and that remained fairly steady. 

This week’s Calculatedpolitics.ca poll showed the New Democrat and Conservative candidates, while maintaining their support they’ve had all along, are now within three points of the Green Party. The most notable is Manly’s decline had been reflected in minor increases for the Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats.

The latest poll, on Sept. 5 compared to Aug. 30
Paul Manly (Green) 28% -2
Bob Chamberlin (New Democrat) 25% Unch
John Hirst (Conservative) 25% Unch
Michelle Corfield (Liberal) 19% +2