48 Comments

Terrible headline? It’s f-ing brilliant

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A couple of comments: this Govt is not into defence, security (public or otherwise) or anything that is not directly related to social progress. Defence and security and emergency management is so “white guy stuff.” Also. That brigade in Latvia? Like the battle group, all we are doing is providing the structure for a brigade group. We used to have one of those in Germany for over 40 years and three more back home. Not possible today. Your Ross rifle analogy is more apt than you can imagine.

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Jul 26, 2023·edited Jul 26, 2023

Seems like preparation for an election. Normally, retiring MPs announce their intentions about 6 months before an election. The NDP seem content to be present and collect their pay cheques without meaningful contribution, so the only way the government falls is by choice. The Liberals must know that their chances will get worse before they get better: the housing crisis, potentially resurgent inflation, high interest rates, stagnant per capita GDP and incomes, five new federal seats in suburban areas that don't vote Liberal.

I wonder who the Liberals will run against: anti-vaxxers, gun owners, Jordan Peterson, Donald Trump, Danielle Smith? My bet is a chimera of the above and more portrayed as a caricature of Alberta. Given Alberta's developing world population growth of 4% plus with hundreds of thousands of newcomers from BC, ON and abroad, this tried and true Liberal strategy may fail.

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I was thinking that these big shuffles don't leave a lot of management continuity, but maybe a change of minister doesn't affect things that much? If the marching orders are mainly coming from the PMO anyway, the minister just ends up being a figurehead. The shuffle is more of an exercise in image management than anything substantive. How much of Mendocino's problems are attributable to his own inadequacies, and how much due to being ordered to execute bad ideas? A more talented minister might've been less likely to make a fool of themselves, but PMO directives might've made it like putting lipstick on a pig.

Anand's case makes me curious: she actually got some stuff done at DND, which indicates it's actually possible for the government to do things with a modicum of competent leadership. However, did she get it done because it was a focus of the PMO, or because the PMO didn't care enough about defense to interfere? I'm kind of leaning towards the latter - the Trudeau PMO seems compelled towards control freak micromanagement, although unfortunately they're not actually particularly good at management.

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Jul 27, 2023·edited Jul 27, 2023

One that stood out to me was replacing British Columbian Joyce Murray with Diane Lebouthillier. That puts a Minister who can't carry a conversation in English in charge of the key and controversial Pacific fish farm file. I'm not sure that's a reassuring signal to Indigenous leaders on the West Coast who have already waited years for the government to deliver on its campaign commitments to protect wild salmon.

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The tight control from the PMO of all cabinet ministers is a major problem. No one is left to actually make things happen & work. AND the PMOs office has not the ability to micro-manage 38 cabinet ministers & departments.

No wonder we are up the creek.

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The Trudeau government has yet to produce a cabinet star. Second stringers who fail to capture the electorates imagination.

It's Trudeau's party until he decides to leave. Nobody has been groomed for succession. The internal fighting to come will be vicious. Think Chretien/Martin.

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Blair in defence? Am I on Candid Camera? The military is screwed...again.

Anand should be leader; Trudeau should have resigned. Although Spinny Pete easily has the capacity to "Scheer" himself.

Overall, Canada has a massive leadership crisis and an electorate that is enabling even poorer performance. Apathy reigns supreme.

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Justin Trudeau (unwittingly) pays homage to Stringer Bell from The Wire.

There is a scene in The Wire, where Stringer Bell (the drug dealer) is losing 'market share' and territory due to the inferior quality of his 'products'. To solve this, at least temporarily, he simply repackages the same low quality product in different color vials and caps, and renames the products (which are all the same low quality items). The addicts believe these are some new products on the markets amidst the aggressive marketing they are subjected to and resume buying them - until they realize they have been cheated with the low quality products.

Meanwhile in Canada....... well you get the idea.

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You are correct. To be even more blunt the relationship between doing one’s part in a. Alliance and trade and citizen wellbeing is not understood by the average Cdn. That is where leadership comes in. There is a direct link to the Pacific, since that is where most of our trade is now. Most Cdns do not know that. Most Cdns do not know that Vancouver is by far our largest port and opening to world trade. If we were a mature nation and not one who was used to leaning first on the Brits and now on the Yanks for our security, we might comprehend the not-all-that-intricate ties that would bind sensible folks to reasonable preps for their own protection. But we are not mature. Those of us who lived in a few nations outside ours are able to see up front what is wrong with our defence, security and intelligence postures but only if one is paying attention to this topic. I get it — it is not a fun topic and seems old hat. Until something happens and, as usual, we are nowhere near prepared.

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Polls and the polling booth are a long ways apart.

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Yeah ... my first headshake was Blair also, followed closely with moving Anand . .. really!?

Then I thought; maybe she can follow through on her procurement work better in Treasury? ('don't actually know how that stuff works)

Good coverage though guys . .. it's why I read you.

Just a note on your comment about collecting OAS and working .... 'already can .... earn up to $80k ish before clawback

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You know all this stuff is just noise. The Liberals know the message as off and they are trying to fix it. Hence a cabinet shuffle. We could go on and on about all the manufactured scandals and dropped balls but the fact is what we are seeing is any government just moving through business.

If you have ever worked for any organization with more than 2 lines of management then you know that muffs happen all the time and people need corrected. If you have thousands of people working for an organization some of them are going to step out of line and need correction. Some of the muffs will go on for a long time.

The difference here is gotcha politics. If some guy drops coffee in the hall twice it is is news if he works for the current government.

Look at all the manufactured scandals but yet no one in the current government has bribed senators, had the chief of staff pay illegal expenses out of his own pocket ( sure he did ) , no one appointed senators like Wallin, Duffy & Brazeau to be their own person fund raising arm, no one committed election fraud, no one committed voter suppression, no one committed tax fraud to hide election expenses, no one has had a whole bunch of their aids and MPs go to trial and then jail for criminal activities. But you know that all happened under the Harper regime and Mr Poilievre was a major player in that government. We also did not have a government blow a billion dollars on a G20 and we did not have a government steal $50 million to build gazebos no one can find.

No what we have is a bunch of manufactured scandals by an opposition that was so corrupt that it created a barbaric cultural practices hot line the last time it was in power and the architect of that was Mr PP.

Now are there mistakes? Yes but not knowing Bernardo was going to be moved from one prison to another is not one of them. He is in jail for life so he is a non-entity. It is only news if you want to manufactures some outrage. A million things come through every ministry every day and to think that a prison move merits ministerial attention is absurd. Any minister is going to know about 1% of what goes through his or her office and that is just the facts of life. It would be impossible to know more and it is the staff that has to decide what he or she sees.

Is this the greatest government in the world. No it is not, it is just a run of the mill government that is making do on a daily basis. Full disclosure, there are no great governments. All the same little screwup happen all time in every organization, it is just that when your the government and everyone in the news media and the opposition wants to see you bleed and then die, well then everyone counts those little nothing screw ups.

Am I a Trudeau fan boy? No, I think he could have done a lot move for the people of Canada but he did not. We are still the self centered uncaring country believing our own great press that we have always been. But saying the Liberals have moved too far left is nonsense. They did what they had to do to get us through the pandemic. In the mean time they have also approved almost every corporate merger that came for approval. They do with they have always done, move a little left of center and then right of center.

Who have moved is the Cons. They have moved so far right they can hardly be seen anymore. Desperation is what I smell there. Can you imagine anyone from Dief to Manning ever embracing the Convoy crowd, having their pictures taken with skinheads and proud boys, inviting and then having lunch with a neo-Nazi? No they would have called out the water cannons on the convoy crowd and had their people shoo away the Nazis. Not PP. He needs these people because he really has nothing else.

All of this noise about corruption is from the right wing media and the Cons. Fact is they are and have been desperate since they lost in 2015. They know that they can not win on anything except calling the Liberals corrupt so they search for anything and everything is a scandal. Harper's actions, and make no mistake, Harper ran the whole show, have poisoned the well and I am not sure how long it will be till it is clean again. It might be a long time before most Canadians forget.

Regardless, the seat count as it is now, has been the same since 2019 and it will not change next election. The Harper government went too far and Canadians are centrists. They are not good with the proto fascist stuff. In fact I would argue that the seat count will not change for a long time. The Liberals will not win a majority next election nor likely the one after that. We are in a time of minority governments and that is good. Keeps everyone on their toes.

Those that have gone to the Cons will not come back to the Libs, the Lib supporters who went to the NDP after transmountain will not come back to the Libs. The Lib supporters who PP needs to get a government are not going to go to him either because they remember Harper and his part in that government.

If Trudeau were to step down and someone else step up in the Libs, the Cons would be washed away back down to 30% but I don't think the Libs will get a majority even if they do change leaders. Personally I think he should go, too much baggage although I think he is a decent man.

Regardless PP has as much chance of being PM as I do and that is slim to none and him not wearing glasses is not going to help because he just looks like a guy who forgot his glasses. Everyone knows Harper ran the party and everyone knows Harper runs the party now and most people don't like Harper.

But remember government is about compromise and with every compromise you lose another marginal supporter. Who knows what compromise is the one that does you in.

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A quick thought on Minister of Public Safety and Intergovernmental Affairs: Much of the heavy lifting in public safety is done by the provinces and municipalities, except where the RCMP, CBSA, and NatSec folks take the lead. And those folks often have to work closely with local authorities. The convoy response showed how public safety and intergovernmental relationships are deeply intertwined.

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Question from a non-Canadian (by birth)….

How should I think about the assignment of talent to specific ministries? It seems like a PM is very constrained in who they can name to a given portfolio because they need someone who is a) a MP and b) loyal. This is before we even get to the candidate’s ability. In some cases these days, I can't tell why a given individual is given a specific slot

While comparisons with the U.S. are always touchy, a US president does not need to name a member of congress or even really a true believer (e.g. Janet Yellen at Treasury).

Is there any sense of if the talent pool in the House is deep enough to have competent people named to portfolios that need to be staffed? (This started as a question as to why BB was being named to Defense but became longer).

Apologies if I got any institutional details wrong. Happy to be educated.

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Trudeau was working to sideline distraction such as Mendocino on anything he touched and Lametti on dragging his feet on the bail reform file. Replacing Annan with Blair is just ??? Love the title.

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