Canada being a Kingdom (Dominion of Canada) we do not elect a Prime Minister (Head of Government). The Prime Minister’s position as head of government is an Appointment by the Governor General. However the holder of the position is an elected member of the House of Commons. However because our general television news is abysmal in Canada you will hear on Monday night various talking heads and so called experts talk about our PM elect which is pure nonsense and only serves to confuse a public which is largely ignorant of the most basic facts on how our system of Parliament functions.
You will also hear a lot about a mandate, there is no such thing in Canada as a mandate from an election victory. In the present case if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau government should find themselves with the most seats and can govern then they will just continue with the same program as it was prior to the election period. Any other party would implement their vision of governance but it is not a mandate. This is because again we elect 338 members to the House of Commons and each member represents one group of citizens and it is impossible to have one single mandate. Governing in Canada is based entirely on the will and the confidence of the whole House of Commons not just the government. But reporters get this wrong constantly because they look South and confuse the Republican form of government in the USA with our Westminster system.
It is sad that we still have to explain this in newspaper and other media platform, you would think people would know that, apparently not.
The other silly notion is that an election is not needed or not necessary, this is truly unbelievable, in a democracy election have to happen simply for the legitimacy of any elected Parliament. This election was required because as a minority governing body, the Prime Minister was constantly challenged by the Opposition who would then also invent so called scandals which did not exist. Controversies yes but nothing more and certainly not a reason to stop the work of Parliament. After 9 months of nonsense from certain actors in the House of Commons it was obvious an election had to take place to clear the air.
So late Monday night we should know. Some predict that it may be a majority for the Liberals. The Conservative party under Erin O’Toole are not doing well despite an early gain. His friend and someone Erin supported the Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney, is in big trouble with the Health system collapsing due to Covid 19 fourth wave which could have been averted entirely. O’Toole refuses to denounce his poor policies.
There is 22 days left in this National Federal Election and it has been a big bore. Prior to the Governor General accepting the request of the Prime Minister to dismiss Parliament, we had a minority in Government ruled by the Liberal party, meaning that it was a hung Parliament and that no party in the House of Commons had enough seats to command a majority. So in such cases the party in power must at all times keep the confidence of the House and rule by compromise in order to stay in Office. The last election was in 2019 and it has been about 2 years which for a minority government is a long time in Office.
The reason why the Prime Minister thought it was better to have an election now, was because the business of Parliament was becoming bogged down in horrible partisan fights and nothing was being achieved. Many bills were caught up in endless and fruitless debates in Committee, the Opposition would not allow them to get to a vote. Personal attacks on the Prime Minister and his family, including his mother and brother who are not public figures had become the norm. Both the Conservatives of Erin O’Toole and the NDP of Jagmeet Singh did all they could to block the business of government.
Unfortunately the call for this election came on the day Kabul fell to the Taliban and also when the 4th wave of COVID 19 started in earnest in Provinces like Ontario and Alberta where Trump like Conservative Premiers rule, refusing to work with the Federal Government.
As of tonight the Prime Minister despite his best effort to shelter Canadians from the worst economic impact of Covid and the lockdown, has been painted by the Conservatives and the right wing Press as the ennemy. The Conservatives including their Leader Erin O’Toole love to agitate with Q-Anon and other white supremacists against Trudeau. In the last few days Trudeau has received death threats and his campaign bus has been attacked by violent mobs, composed of anti-vaxxers, white supremacist, Q-Anon and neo-nazis. His security detail, members of which are persons of colour and women have also been attacked. It is a miracle that no one has been shot. However the blame for the violence rests entirely with Erin O’Toole and other members of his party who constantly speak of conspiracies. Yes there is some of Donald Trump in Erin O’Toole and he is hungry for power despite the fact that he has no plan or program, though he tells us that he has a plan, what is it? No one knows.
The trouble with Trudeau is his arrogance and his constant virtue signalling, his woke agenda, his so called Feminist views and his constant sympathies for every cause from BLM to Indigenous issues. He seems to forget that millions of Canadians do not necessarily share his views or even care for them. Though he has desperately tried to paint himself as the man for all, he fails at it. Feminists denounce him for not doing enough, same with the Natives who smell a day of reckoning and now want more, but in reality Trudeau or his government cannot deliver on the spot, especially when Premiers do not want to play ball with him.
This is the trouble with our Federation, jurisdictions are divided between the Federal Government and the Provinces and no one wants to give an inch.
The big issues for a lot of Canadians is the cost of housing which is now for a single house or condo in the $ 700,000 and up and often over $1 million dollars. The vast majority of Canadians cannot afford such prices and rents on average now are in the $2000 per month and up. Again this has become an impossible situation for far too many people. Canadians are heavily in debt, for the average person on every $1 earned they owe $1.64 in credit card debts. They are simply choking on debt, if you have no debts now you are amongst the privileged. Trudeau made the classic mistake of thinking that with generous programs to help out people during the pandemic, he would be rewarded with a majority government. But humanity is not necessarily grateful to those who help out. An example of Winston Churchill who in May 1945 as the war ended in Europe, thought that Britons would return him to power given his leadership. The Election of 1945 was a disaster for him and he was swept out of office, people wanted changed, despite it all, showing no gratitude.
Trudeau also forgot that if change is good in general, too much change all at once is not a good thing with a population pampered with social programs of all kinds. Life is and remains pretty easy in Canada, despite difficulties. The pandemic also exposed how whiners Canadians are in general, social responsibility is not a thing, the Me first attitude rules.
Trudeau also believed that the under 40 would support his change agenda, but that is not the case. Not everyone is on the Woke agenda, not everyone accepts feminists precepts, not everyone likes BLM or the more contentious Truth and Reconciliation agenda with the Natives. In fact with the Pandemic its the opposite people are often heard expressing how sick and tired they are to hear about those groups and their demands.
The Conservative love to present themselves as the voice of the little guy. Pandering to the lowest common denominator.
What is truly difficult to understand is the amount of hate against Trudeau. In some demonstrations its pathological and sickening. It could very well be that people simply do not connect with Trudeau and he is seen as someone belonging to the elite. But then people like O’Toole is also a member fo the elite and Jagmeet Singh with his 10K rolex and his big luxury BMW is far from the little guy, but hey, he plays the populist card, it seems to work for him despite the fact that his speeches are a jumble of nothing.
So who is going to win this election, I really do not know, however I am pretty sure that it will be another minority government simply because the country is so deeply divided. So far the Liberals hold on to the big provinces like Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic which can guarantee the most seats in Parliament. Because in Canada % of votes means nothing, our system is based on the number of seats you win to give you the prize. We also no not elect our Prime Minister, we elect only our Member of Parliament in the area where we live, so we are having 338 seat election and they all count on election night. Trudeau needs 170 seats to get the majority he wants.
The fear with a Conservative government is that history of the last 43 parliament going back to 1867 shows that when they are in power we go backwards on all levels.
Today in the many posts that I read about Canadian Political life, I saw this piece by Professor Dr. Philippe Lagassé, who is a known expert on Canadian Parliamentarism and the Constitution, his work is always interesting to read and clear. Not one to get lost in unnecessary verbiage.
We currently have a minority government in Canada, the last election gave to the Liberals of Justin Trudeau the best chance of holding what is called the confidence of the House of Commons. No other party has enough seats or can form a coalition to govern.
It has now been 2 years + since the last election and this past session ending in two days to recess for the Summer has been marked by endless partisan games on the part of the Conservative party and personal attacks on the family of the Prime Minister. The House has not been able to do much work and many important bills are stuck in endless debates at Committee stage. Just yesterday the UNDRIP bill was passed after 3 tries and 9 years of debates. UNDRIP is the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, an important piece of Legislation which will create a more equal footing for all indigenous nations in Canada in dealing with the Federal Government. This is obviously far too much time taken for one piece of legislation. .
This coming Thursday 24 June will be the last day Parliament sits before Summer recess and this is when the Prime Minister may decide to seek to ask for Parliament to be disolved. The problem at the moment is the vacancy of the position of Head of State, since January when the Governor General Julie Payette resigned amidst a scandal involving her harrassing staff and being violent, she decided to quit instead of facing the enquiry. So in our Constitution at the moment it is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who is doing the job and he is called the Administrator. His last point #12 is important because Canada is a Monarchy and not a Republic, our system is based on the Westminster Parliamentary tradition.
So here is the text of Professor Lagassé on the finer points of our Parliamentary system.
In anticipation, here are a few fundamentals and reminders to keep in mind:
First, the Prime Minister has the authority to request a dissolution of Parliament. He does not need to wait for a vote of no confidence.
Second, the Administrator (Chief Justice Wagner) has the authority to exercise the Governor General’s power to dissolve Parliament upon the Prime Minister’s request. The absence of a Governor General does not preclude a dissolution.
Third, the Administrator would not have the discretion to refuse the Prime Minister’s request to dissolve Parliament at this stage. Not only has this Parliament been sitting for a while, but there is no viable alternative government that can hold the confidence of the Commons.
Fourth, the caretaker convention would begin with the dissolution of Parliament and would end after the election, unless the result of the election isn’t clear.
Fifth, the caretaker convention isn’t really a constitution convention, but a practice. This practice holds that the government should act according to a ‘principle of restraint’. The government remains the government and ministers still constitutionally and legally empowered to make decisions. This is particularly important given that we’re still in a pandemic and it may be necessary for the executive to act with despatch and discretion.
Sixth, the Prime Minister’s appointee to the Supreme Court is in no way affected by a dissolution of Parliament, and given the he’s already been named, his appointment would not engage the ‘principle of restraint’ under the caretaker convention.
Seventh, Trudeau remains Prime Minister until he resigns or is dismissed, even if his party wins fewer seats than another party on election day.
Eighth, if the Liberals remain in power following the election, it will still be the same Trudeau government as before. Trudeau will not be Prime Minister elect. Trudeau will not be Prime Minister designate. He simply remains the Prime Minister.
Ninth, if Trudeau resigns on election night or afterwards, his replacement will be the Prime Minister designate until their ministry is formally sworn in.
Tenth, if we do not have a new Governor General by the time the election is held, the Administrator has the authority to do everything a Governor General could do with respect to government formation.
Eleventh, the Governor General’s role in government formation is actually quite constrained by the codified rules of the constitution, except if there an vote of no confidence early in the life of the new Parliament.
Twelveth, Canadian election night coverage is unduly influenced by American concepts and language. This can be problematic when the election produces a minority parliament.
Well today I did my duty as a Citizen and voted in our National Federal Election. It is the first day of voting by anticipation, this Thanksgiving weekend people can vote from 9am to 9 pm at polling stations. It’s easy and very well organized, it took all of 2 minutes. I had my voting card and one piece of ID, got my ballot, marked it and in the box it goes. No fancy machines, just a pencil and a piece of paper. Like most Canadians I have heard enough and my mind was made up.
I did not want to wait until 21 October which is the actual voting day, I’ve had enough of having to listen to lies and more lies from Conservative politicians and their leader Andrew Scheer. Whose father was a draft dodger during the Vietnam War, making Andrew an American Citizen, registered for the US Army reservist and travelling on a US passport. Something he hid from Canadians until just a few days ago. He also lied on his resume, he does not have a university diploma from Regina, and he was a gofer in an insurance company not a broker. He also hired Trump strategists to work on his campaign and receives funds from the GOP. So Andrew Scheer who wants to be Prime Minister of Canada is the Manchurian Candidate.
This election has 6 party leaders, though in reality only 2 really matter since only a liberal or a Conservative can actually get enough seats to form a government. The other parties will not get many seats. The Greens need 12 seats to be an official party, the NDP will likely be devastated in this election and may loose official party status, the Bloc only has candidates in Quebec and only represent that Province and the extreme right wing party of Maxime Bernier, the so called People’s Party will probably not have more than 1 seat in our House of Commons at 338 members.
We have had 4 so called debates, the ones in English a shouting match looking more like a food fight at a high school cafeteria with 5 moderators who did nothing but let the slug fest go on. The debate in French was far better and the moderator effective in controlling the leaders, the Media preferred the French version and its format and questions.
The big issues during the campaign were not discussed and the more offensive Conservative Premiers like Doug Ford of Ontario disappeared. While Jason Kenney of Alberta is on the one hand campaigning for the Conservative but at the same time challenging their leader Andrew Scheer.
The owners of Conservative papers, Postmedia, Sun, Globe and Mail and television Global and CTV were openly hostile to the Prime Minister promoting the Alt-right agenda, anti-immigration sentiment, bigotry, racism and violence against anyone who is not a conservative.
In other words our election process and the campaign have become like those South of the border. It is unfortunate but it also shows that Civic Illiteracy is well and alive and people do not know nor understand important issues. Are quick to blame to Government for what does not work in their personal lives. These negative feelings are difficult to explain given that the Economy is growing rapidly, unemployment is the lowest in 40 yrs, child poverty is the lowest it has ever been, etc..
The Alt-right and other hate groups have congregated around Andrew Scheer and his party, lawn signs for Conservative candidate stand next to signs advocating killing opponents. This was bound to happen here when you look at the Trumpian politics south of us. Conservatives in Canada admire Trump and wish we had the same white Evangelical politics. Andrew Scheer is their answer in this election. No it is not the genteel Canada we once knew.
What we do know for certain, it will be a minority government and this can give us some hope to avoid extreme politics.
Yesterday afternoon was for a Good Friday a strange day, one full of foreboding, I had a bad feeling about the day, it was raining and gray, the Hillsborough river was calm. I swung by the Club to discover that the ceiling in the Parlour of the house was damaged by water infiltration, the elaborate plaster had fallen to the ground, water and debris on the floor. Emergency calls were made to the roofing company. I went home and again driving by the Landing Marina I notice 3 ambulances and fire trucks and a zodiac boat used for rescue in the harbour. I wondered what was going on, I saw the zodiac boat go into the river and bring back bodies, the responders were calm and I thought something terrible happened, indeed it had. Just two hours later, I read on the page of the Green Party a cryptic message about condolences and death, a tragedy, but what could it be. Then a white bicycle appeared on a black cover, I immediately thought of my friend Josh Underhay who is a candidate for the Green Party in this election. The candidate in my district told me that Josh and his son Oliver had died in a canoeing accident that afternoon, yes those bodies, it was them. I simply cannot believe it. Josh was a great school teacher, he invited me during my campaign last October to talk to his class about voting and democracy, the kids were well prepared and asked good questions. He was also a musician and trumpet player, he spoke 4 languages fluently, one being Mandarin. He advocated for cycling in the city and the bicycle was his symbol.
He was well travelled and had lived abroad. He leaves behind his wife and another very young son. I met his mother just last week and she told me that Josh as a kid was always curious about things and always enquiring, a very bright boy he was. Indeed as a person he was one of a kind, everyone liked him, thoughtful and generous, open to all people. We should have more people like him. His son Oliver was also a clever fellow and had musical leanings. So sad that he should die so very young with his father.
The campaigning is suspended today by all parties as a tribute to this exceptional person. In his district 9 the other candidates took down their electoral signs so only his appear. The Prime Minister of Canada sent condolences. Today is a foggy, dark dreary day with misty rain. A memorial service was held at the Haviland Club at 1pm.
Photos Courtesy of Jing on Island, who comes to all musical events and takes great photos of musicians and bands.
Lately I have had my picture taken quite a bit at varied locations, some I am using in my municipal campaign and others I am keeping as a memory of this year 2018 and life in PEI.
Speaking with a group of young people, students who I learned today are part of Generation Z born before 1997. They replace the Millennials who are now over 30 or over the hill so to speak. Pollsters and social scientists say that GenZ is very different from the millennials in their outlook on life, they are the first generation who do not know a time before electronics or dial up internet.
At a public meeting recently speaking with a participant about a big infrastructure project in our town.
At another public meeting, I seem to be doing this a lot in the last 5 months.
Very happy with this picture, here with Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor of PEI, Antoinette Perry in the great hall of Fanningbank, her Official Residence.
A group of friends on Rochford Street this past weekend. Will is looking very good in this photo.
I hired a photographer to work with me during my campaign to take live candid shots has events unfold, I do not want pose picture. All my photos so far are candid on the spot. I have been very lucky with my photographer, Jared Doyle and Stephen Clarke, both are young under 25 but very good with all the new gadgets and electronics.
As we go along the street to meet people in my Ward and speak face to face which is very important here in PEI if you want people to vote for you. If the weather can only get warmer, it will be easier to canvas door to door.
I am also working on a new media project which I hope will be up and running next week.
In this photo I like the fact that my pamphlet is being held up by the person I am speaking with on the street. I was not aware that he was holding it up until I saw this photo.
Here at Government House or Fanningbank as it is known, I am listening to the Lieutenant Governor of PEI, who is addressing a group of young people who came to visit the Official Residence last week.
I make notes of what people say and who they are, etc. It is a good way to document what is of interest to people and what is of concern to them.
Yes two full months already on the municipal campaign trail, a lot of work and meeting a lot of people, business people, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, social activists, new comers and just plain people who reside here in Ward 1 Queen Square in Downtown Charlottetown.
I am very proud of the fact that I have been able to talk face to face with so many people in our Ward. It has been very interesting and the reception has been very good, so thank you all. For those people I have not met yet, I will meet you soon, promise!
It is not over and I continue to hammer home the point that I am here for you and to work on your behalf. That my campaign is about accountability at City Council. Time for a new vision of progressive ideas at City Council, an up-beat can do attitude. There is so much to do in the next four years.
Charlottetown is a great multi-ethnic and multi-racial Capital, full of diversity and the future is here for us all. What is important now is how to approach the opportunities presented to us, what will we make of our Capital City.
I need your support and I need to hear from you. Please contact me and let’s talk. I have a blog on many topics and I continue to add topics as we go, all of it based on conversations with you, I am listening to you.
I am convinced like you that change is in the air at City Hall, so many of you wish for it. Let’s make it happen!
Contact me; Lbwardone@gmail.com
My blog on WordPress, Laurent Beaulieu in 2018 or click on the link
Age is just a number, I think so. I cannot imagine feeling different at 32, sure you look older in the mirror but otherwise all is good. Yesterday was my birthday and we went to dinner with friends at my favourite restaurant in town, Claddagh Oyster House on Sydney street about 3 blocks from where we live. The owner is Liam Dolan, Irish from Galway. Claddagh is the oldest owned restaurant in Charlottetown, it was opened 36 years ago by Dolan and his family. The food is very good, they have a great selection of oysters from various bays around the island. The chef is great and it is very good value for money. He also owns the oldest Pub in town, the Olde Dublin. Charlottetown in 1983 was not the town you see today, it was pretty dreary and on the verge of huge transformation which have only accelerated in the last 10 years.
We started with oysters, they are very good at this time of year and champagne and then a rack of lamb it was wonderful. Lots of good conversation and laughs.
We made a mistake this Winter, everyone we know goes away in Winter for a minimum of 2 weeks to up to 2 months. The worst months are February and March, we should have gone away, anywhere for at least 2 weeks. So now I have an excuse to go away on 23 April to Montreal to see friends and to also visit the Fine Arts Museum and see a show by Don Andrus at the Gallerie Vu.
I have been on the campaign trail for 2 months now and I am going to take a break, its school March break now and Easter Week so the town will be pretty quiet. Just stay home re-organize the library, we have no plans for Easter at all. Don’t know what to do really. I am also planning to go to Europe in November after the Municipal election, even if just for a week, just for a break. I know I will need it, win or loose.
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown