Sunday, October 18, 2015

"Throwout,” by William Thorsell, and a little straight goods

"Throwout,” by William Thorsell

[I am on a list of people who receive periodic emails from William Thorsell, who was the Globe and Mail’s editor-in-chief from 1989 to 2000 and the CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum for a decade after. William sends out occasional thoughts on events, design, urban life and other preoccupations. The other day he sent this, calling it “the editorial I’d write” — about the current federal election campaign — “if I were still writing them.” I’ve checked, and he consented to let me publish his article here. This is William Thorsell’s argument, not my own, but I offer it as interesting contrast to what his successors at the Globe have produced. — PW]

 Written by William Thorsell

Not in recent times have Canadian voters had an opportunity to “throw the bastards out” in the classic phrase. Elected officials generally leave office before such public urges get to them.
Brian Mulroney stepped down five months before an election was required in 1993. (Kim Campbell launched that campaign in September running high in the polls.) Voters rather gently rebuked Pierre Trudeau with his close defeat in 1979, but his resurrection in 1980 set the stage anew. Mr. Trudeau stepped down in 1984, nine months before an election was required. (John Turner called an election that July, also running well in the polls.)

This time however, Stephen Harper is sticking his head up above the parapets after nine years in office — nine years generally seen as the Best Before Due Date in politics, as it is for leadership in the private sector. Knowing when to leave is among the more elegant qualities of any CEO, but then Mr. Harper has never laid claim to elegance.

An accumulation of baggage eventually weighs the owner down to the point of stumbling and falling. Mr. Harper is quite overweight in that department. In recessionary times, he is running a primary budget surplus (revenues over program spending) of some 1.4 per cent of GDP — an elementary error in Economics 101, less a matter of ideology than incompetence. Governments should not pull money out of an economy facing strong economic headwinds: We might refer to Stephen “Hoover” in this context, after the hapless U.S. president in the 1930s.

You do not cut the national sales tax in favour of targeted tax goodies in your party’s political interest. Nor do you do so to reduce Ottawa’s capacity to fund grievously inadequate infrastructure, undermining productivity and aggravating social divides. You do not claim success in energy policy having seen no new significant pipelines approved or built on your watch, either domestically or in our interest in the United States. Nor do you sit out the global conversation on climate change in words and action.

You do not exacerbate income inequality by providing significant new tax breaks for the wealthy in tax-free savings and investment accounts.
You do not fan cultural conflict in Canada in the face of unprecedented cultural diversity and high rates of immigration. Canada’s generally successful experience in accommodating diversity needs nurturing attention, not a matador’s incendiary skills.

You do not acquiesce to deteriorating relations with Canada’s First Peoples. You do not evince contempt for science or, for that matter, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the courts mandated to interpret and uphold it. You do not tendentiously attack the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada as cover for your own incompetence in making laws and appointments.

You do not turn your backside to the federal nature of Canada, refusing to meet the premiers and other leaders in congress to explore and debate issues of common national concern.
On your watch, Canada’s relations with the United States appear as cool as they became in Pierre Trudeau’s latter years — a fundamental failure in a critical arena. And you have reduced Canada’s stature in the world at large through excessively partisan positions on matters of great complexity in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, for example.

Barely concealed hostility to China and the United Nations, ineffective diplomacy regarding the Arctic and a general downgrading of Canada’s foreign service personnel and facilities add yet more weight to the baggage. Only apparent enthusiasm in military matters indicates much appetite for engagement in foreign affairs.
New trade agreements may hold promise, though there has been no public consultation and we have seen no details on the large ones.

Prime ministers do not have to be eminently likeable if they are sufficiently competent and inspiring. But to demonstrate qualities of meanness with a scent of pouting in the air makes the wheels on the luggage squeak. Who but the deeply petulant would forbid his entire parliamentary caucus from speaking to the former Progressive Conservative prime minister of Canada on ethereal grounds?
Indeed, who is allowed to speak to Canadian voters themselves in Stephen Harper’s caucus — you know, the voters who hired them? Empty chairs at public forums, gag orders on ministers of the crown, refusals to respond to media enquiries evince deep contempt for the democratic process at its most intensive phase.

All this is consistent with unprecedented contempt for Parliament in the use of closure and reliance on Brodingnagian omnibus bills — not to mention a promise to un-man the Senate, which remains an essential player under the Canadian constitution.

Yes, an unusual opportunity to “throw the bastards out” lies just a few days away, and there are reasons and a chance it may well happen.


That was really good William Thorsell..Great writing with a succinct accurate message.....William Thorsell, Fantastic stuff indeed, I applaud you!

The Straight Goods

Globe and Mail`s Message To Canada....Eat Cake 

(I do apologize for writing very little on election mentioned before I am neither pom pom(ing) for Liberals or NDP, ...However I am bashing Conservatives with their own sorry record every chance I get....And yes, I strategically voted orange in my riding..
 There was nothing important enough to report on,  as this 2015 election was essentially over a month ago, the Munk Debates...Everything turned after the Munk debates and Trudeau was it, Destiny was shinning and inevitability was apparent, at least to those with Eyes Wide Open..Trudeau was going to be Prime Minister.)

Globe and Mail`s Message to Canada....Eat Cake

Written by Grant G

 The Globe and Mail with their bizarre endorsement of the CPC party...The message was quirky, vote Conservative and (hope), believe, suggest, pray Stephen Harper resigns because as a leader he is a democracy killing, divisive, race-baiting zealot,...According to the Globe and Mail owner, low corporate taxes and boutique tax cuts for the chosen few trump the rule of law, override fairness and process, .

What kind of message is that?..Good governance be damned as long as we get ours, a new standard of lowbrow messaging was sent by corporate media to Canadians....That message is..

We no longer punish miscreants or illegal behaviour, in 2015 the Globe and Mail ownership believe assholes, liars, corrupt politicians who derail investigations and stifle information, muzzle the truth at every turn and offend almost every Canadian deserve to carry on with business as usual as long as someone in charge(Stephen Harper) falls on his sword, that message again is, after Harper is granted another four years to govern we hope he steps aside for a human being...?

Hilarious...Hello Globe...Why didn`t you advise Stephen Harper to fall on his sword last year and resign, advise him that a "mythical" new Phoenix Rising conservative leader is needed to right the good ship lollypop for election 2015.....We heard Silence from you then media, no?, perhaps?, or maybe Stephen Harper already rejected stepping down when asked by party operatives..?

This is why I personally refuse to ever buy any mainstream corporate news, no matter what the issue, whether it be an environmental issue, a social issue, a fairness issue, any debate that makes the news without fail, time and time again media owners espouse the corporate line...

Election 2015 is a perfect example....poll after poll shows 70% of Canadians want change...Harper and HIS party has had 10 years to prove themselves and after failing miserably on so many democratic and fiscals fronts big corporate media comes out against the 70%...

All Post media newspapers endorsed Harper`s Party...The Province..Vancouver Sun...Alberta papers, the Ottawa Citizen..Globe and Mail...National Post....The National Post muzzled Andrew Coyne on election eve weekend..

Comment sections lit up with dismay and disgust over these endorsements and bizarroments...

Globe and Mail, big media....They failed badly, Stephen Harper should never have been a contender in this election had they done their job, had they reported and even remembered, remembered that Canada`s navy and shipbuilding procurement announced to much fanfare days after Harper won a majority four years ago has sputtered, floundered, we are no closer to new ships today than we were five years ago..

The money for the navy rebuild was clawed back for election budget 2015...GM shares sold early for election budget 2015....Canada`s priorities were put on a dangerous hold for blatant political purposes...

Harper appointing a Kinder Morgan employee to the NEB the weekend of the writ dropping....Dean Del Maestro sent in handcuffs to jail....

Harper raising retirement age to 67 from 65....Illegal Bills..gutting environmental laws, divisive fear mongering. ...Corruption corruption and more corruption....

Campaign speeches, ...Harper.."1.3 million new jobs"  ...Yes, but that increase was measured against the 2008 employment lows, in the depth of the recession, meaning it is a phony stat..

Boutique tax cuts and raising the TFSA by double...More money for those that already have money..

These issues and more were ignored by big media throughout the campaign, fact-checking by the MSM was near non-existent and those that did fact-check(cknw)... their fact-checkers needed to be fact-checked, media fact-checkers were spinning..

In Alberta an economic disaster and severe provincial recession is blazing away, Harper`s home province, an oil driven economy is drowning and the media went silent, why no Alberta economy questions to Harper?..No time, a short election?..Harper even had the audacity to chastise Rachel Notley, a government of but a few months taking over over for a Conservative government that had 44 years to get it right..

The media allowed Harper to bash Alberta`s new premier Rachel Notley and no reporters dared to ask, no newspapers set the record straight.

I heard not one big-media question to Harper about Alberta`s economic disaster...Not enough time?

Stephen Harper should never have been in the running or anywhere near having a chance to win election 2015 had the media, had the Globe and Mail actually investigated, reported or engaged in honest journalism over the last five years..

 Canada`s longest ever election campaign...

Muzzled Conservative candidates, a muzzled Stephen Harper..Faked foreign photos..Insulting the Governments of Ontario, Alberta, insulting governments of decades past in many more provinces, silent on Alberta, silence on Canada`s laughing stock rustbucket Navy, media silence on cooking 2015 budget books for partisan electioneering purposes..

Deafening media silence on so many issues....including ethics, morality and humanity..

Post Media`s, Globe and Mail`s message to Canadians.....We got our corporate tax cuts, we have our own dedicated corporate government and nothing else matters, eat cake Canada!

The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open 




Anonymous said...

February 6, 2006 --> October 19, 2015 = 3542 days.
It's time to stop the madness.
I only counted 8 "You do nots" in Thorsell's email... he must be mellowing with age ;)

Anonymous said...

here comes the sun

Anonymous said...

Harper the con also has control of Elections Canada so be very wary about the misinformation (lies) the Elections Canada people tell you and demand answers to your questions and also demand to them that you have the right info to vote and also demand that they give you your ballot to vote. Do not believe any of their lies.

Sorry this is a little late sending but for those who did not early vote and will be voting today October 19, 2015 you need to be aware of this.

The only thing Harper the con is good at is lying and cheating and this bogus Elections Canada lying and cheating is a new first for the Harperman.

Harper has this election so rigged it is almost a waste of our time voting but there is nothing Harper would love more than we get fed up and don't 'vote' and there he would love a low voter turnout.


who got arrested last night, cuffed, fingerprinted and photographed and spent 3 hours sitting in a concrete 'cell' 3'x 6' waiting for a call from a legal aid lawyer, charged with mischief, and have to appear in Surrey Provincial Court December 8, 2015 @ 1:30 pm!!

Anonymous said...

Love this song, harperman must go!!!


John's aghast said...

Well, your Orange vote may have been misplaced, but WE WON! Congratulations Justin Trudeau! And congratulations Canadians! We did it!

Grant G said...

Well, I was wrong with my strategic vote...My riding in the last fed election dumped John Weston..I underestimated Trudeau`s strength in BC..

I saw Justin Trudeau`s power several years ago and 4 weeks ago the tide turned, right after the Munk debate and then the Brampton Ontario Sunday rally, it was golden, the Liberals a week after my (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau post)......

A week after my post the Liberal Party created election ads from out of the Brampton rally highlights...Liberals ran those Brampton ads hard over the last 2 weeks..

So...I missed with my Strategic vote but nailed the Trudeau victory early, weeks ago in fact, and we highlighted that powerful Trudeau election campaign, his golden performance in Brampton Ontario, a performance that spawned a dozen election ads..


Your welcome Mr. Trudeau.

Anonymous said...

Still hate windows 7 and my earlier comment meant to be - love this song....

Just got in from a great Liberal party as I did strategically vote for Justin Trudeau.
Judy Higginbotham was the Liberal candidate in my south Surrey/White Rock riding I voted for who I had met on a few other occasions and felt that she always answered my questions honestly. Thrilled Justin won and is our best chance of getting our Canada back. Unfortunately Judy did not win this riding as the Harper con money Watts beat her out by a few hundred votes and also Judy got a late start as someone else had to drop out so she had a lot of catching up to do. Sooo for me it was a very, very happy night but also sad that Judy did not beat old Grade 12 Watts. She is so much better than Watts.

Oh happy day!!


John's aghast said...

You were so right Grant! Now get your little voodoo doll of Chrispy out....

Anonymous said...

To me, there was only ever one issue in this election: Harper absolutely must go before anything else can change. I was hoping it would happen, but not confident so I voted strategically. Therefore, I am happy with the result. It is hard to believe that dark decade is finally over.

Grant G said...

Good work Jean...

John Aghast....My crystal ball tells me John Horgan is playing it too safe...

Unless BC`s NDP party gets brave, becomes bold and shows courage to be different, no waffling...Unless Horgan changes his tactics he will lose..

Anyway...As of right now...Horgan is toast.

Horgan can`t win being BC Liberal light!


Anonymous said...

I had always voted NDP and for the 50 years I lived in Vancouver (not old enough to vote for some of those years)east Vancouver was always NDP and still is.

I lost confidence in the NDP since Carole James lost two elections and then we had to push her out, also when Dix made such a fool of himself even going as far as saying "I like Christie, I think she is a nice lady and that she is doing a very good job". He was such an embarrassment so I too have lost confidence in Horgan who stood by and let Dix come in late bearing sign-ups with money attached and he did nothing about that either. Having contributed generously to Horgan's loss made me even more angry.

After all but this federal election I had voted NDP but I likely will never vote NDP again as I too feel Horgan is toast. In the next provincial election I will probably vote for an independent if there is one in my riding.

But for now, like you and many others, I am delighted that Justin Trudeau won federally and we have a chance of getting Canada back. JT also said he would get rid of first past the post so hope he stays the course on that one!

Unfortunately for me southSurrey/White Rock has only replaced the terrible Hiebert with another terrible.......Dianne Watts.

....and thanks my dear Grant you did the right thing but it just didn't work out. Just keep on keepin' on and thanks for all you do for us by always telling it like it is.


Anonymous said...