WHAT WAS THAT?

I admit that I’ve been sitting on the proverbial fence for some time now with respect to this blog thingy that I’ve been experimenting with.

On one side of the fence I’ve been thinking that, like most people, I feel I’ve got a lot to say and my opinions matter. Social media platforms are sitting right there for the world to use, for better or worse, and it’s a legitimate exercise in a democratic country that protects and defends free speech to make use of those platforms, as long as we do so in a respectful way.

On the other side of the fence is my partisan work history as a (mostly) Progressive Conservative organizer, a Conservative Party of Canada organizer (and believe me, there was and is a world of difference) and as a political staffer for both those parties over the years. How would anybody ever take me seriously, in spite of my expressed mostly-progressive values and positions, while carrying around such a “conservative” resume?

So, for the past several months I’ve been sitting on a fence trying to decide if I would or should keep this blog going. After my initial flurry of “blog activity” this past spring, I decided to “give it a break”.

Why, you might ask? And even if you didn’t ask why, I’m going to tell you anyways.

After the initial publication of about a dozen blog posts, reactions and results were mixed. My readership numbers were decent, and the reactions I received were about 50/50 pro and/or con.

Some readers liked my positions and opinions, while others condemned and attacked on a partisan basis, claiming my partisan conservative history made it impossible for me to critique a federal Liberal government on a non-partisan basis. But most stinging of all perhaps, were comments from former colleagues with whom I had worked over the years, attacking me on a personal and professional level.  Let me tell you, my friends, putting yourself out there with a blog is not an easy exercise. In fact, it was more than a little humbling.  But I would encourage each and every one of you to do the same.  It may be a little humbling, but I’ve decided it’s liberating as well.

So…. as usual I digress, and as you all know, brevity has never been my strong suit.  But as I was saying, I thought it best to reassess, take a look at what I was doing, and try to figure out if there was a better way to move forward.

So, you may again ask, what happened to make me once again be tempted to put fingers to keyboard? And yep, you’re right. Even if you didn’t ask, I’m going to tell you anyways.

And the answer is……. Monday’s Federal Election, of course.

I woke up yesterday morning and asked myself (like most Canadians who have an IQ two points higher than a toothpick) WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? Well, whatever “that” was, it was and is worthy of thought, comment, praise and ridicule. I mean, after results like that, who among us can say, with a straight face, that our country is strong and headed in the right direction?

How in the name of all that’s holy did Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada manage to pull that one of and get themselves re-elected with a very strong minority (if there is such a thing) where only one in five Canadians who were eligible to vote actually voted Liberal? And please, don’t argue stats with me. Early estimates are that we had about a 60% voter turnout all across the country. Of that voter turnout, the Liberals managed 33% of the popular vote. Do the math, please!

Well folks, I’ve been around federal, provincial and municipal politics and elections in a serious way since 1979, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like this.

So, I’ve concluded that the political state of our country is something worth writing about, and I leave it up to you, the reader, if you want to hear (read) my take on this mess we find ourselves in.

During and immediately before Monday’s vote, I was thinking, and very much of the opinion, that the Liberals would most likely pull of a minority victory. As you may already know, historically in Canada is it extremely unlikely that a majority government is defeated after its first term.

Did the Liberals get it all right? No, of course they didn’t. In fact, if you take an honest look at the Liberal record since they were elected four years ago, you have to admit that, as a whole, they didn’t do a bad job.  But…….

Justin Trudeau stumbled his way through two ethics violations – his now infamous Christmas vacation on the Agi Khan’s private island, and his handling of the whole SNC Lavalin saga

He claimed to be a feminist, but the minute two strong women challenged what they considered to be unethical and illegal behaviour he tufted both out of the Liberal Party

He proved to be a bit of a fake environmentalist, using two airplanes during the election campaign. On top of that, his government banned west coast tanker traffic while purchasing a pipeline, while at the same time importing Saudi oil on tankers for our east coast refineries.  Why no east coast ban?  Votes, of course.

In 2015 he promised balanced budgets within his first term, and all we’ve seen so far are ballooning deficits. He promised cooperation with the provinces, and then unilaterally imposed a carbon tax. He promised electoral reform, and actually took a look at that issue before abandoning the whole project, leaving us with this mess. And need I remind you of his Indian photo shoot?

And then there was the revelation during the election that there were at least three instances where our Prime Minister was photographed with “brown face” or “black face”; the latest when he was a very adolescent 29 years of age? Funny how most rational people would consider a 29 year old teacher to be “an adult”, but there you have it.  We Canadians are a forgiving lot.

Those of you who did read my blogs this past spring will know that I’m no Justin Trudeau fan. But I have to tell you that I’m honestly not an Andrew Scheer fan, nor am I a Jagmett Singh fan, or an Elizabeth May fan. And I’m certainly no fan of the Bloc Quebecois. I’ve concluded that all deserve our collective wrath, and whatever follows from this keyboard will reflect that sentiment.  So, let’s get at it.  I’m feeling generous, and I promise to treat them all with the scorn they deserve.

Please bear with me as I stumble forward. More to come, for sure.

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