Canadian Politics 2022

The screams that would come from the very same people that hate Trudeau now would deafen us.

In fact, ANYthing Trudeau does will be met with screams of “Socialism” “We Hates Him” etc. The CPC are still running on the primary platform of “We hate Trudeau and so should you”. That’s all they have.

I seriously think that Trudeau should step down before the next election - go out on his own terms, and let someone else (maybe Freeland) take the party into the next election. The CPC would have to pivot to a policy of “We hate Freeland and so should you”, and it would take them a while to whip up the manufactured hate machine.

This is true, of course, but everyone who isn’t an insane conservative will probably like it. If the howler monkeys are going to howl no matter what he does, then he should do whatever he wants to do, or thinks he should do. Worrying about “howls of rage” from the conservatives is utterly pointless at this point.

I was thinking along these lines myself. If in, say, two years, inflation is under control and gas prices have come down, and they’ve made a start on the housing problems, and their numbers have started to recover, Trudeau taking a bow is probably the best plan. He carries off a lot of the preexisting resentment of his time as Prime Minister, particularly the whole pandemic era, and sets up his successor to go into the next election riding high on their new record.

Canadians, like myself, often bitch and moan and then do the same thing. Trudeau’s numbers are not great, and with some reason. People who don’t like him will bitch regardless, but he needs to ignore them and solve some real problems with business, housing, privacy and legal reform, corporate taxation and health. The alternatives from other parties are sometimes better and sometimes worse.

The reality is his numbers are what one might expect, he is still very much a contender, he is unlikely to step down and does not really need to. But he does need to step up. It is not wrong to address ancient wrongs. But it might not be right to ignore modern plights nor the right. So he should fight the good fight.

If any politician would actually solve some real problems, then I would probably vote for them for life. Our options as of late have hardly been stellar.

Zoning approvals are completely outside federal jurisdiction.

Advice for any candidate:

Business

  • Show you care about the economy. Use real metrics to judge performance and not dubious percentages. Reduce handouts and demand more accountability including knowing and publishing where money is spent. Meet with business and banking leaders on a regular basis and at least listen to and consider what they have to say. Punish organized crime and other abuses and give needed resources to fight it. End shell companies where not clearly beneficial and publish bona fide owners. Come up with serious plans against inflation. Give consumers more choices, more rights and come up with strong measures and funding to fight cybercrime and help protect businesses and infrastructure (of which an enormous percentage are affected), rather than mouthing empty words or putting too much onus on small business. Consider a national cybersecurity insurance program and one stop bureau to deal with issues. Expand duopolies not serving Canadian needs, open markets by aggressively pursuing new trade deals, allow export of oil and gas, make laws more friendly to businesses and consumers alike and stop picking winners. Respect past injustice but provide stability and leadership to finally move on from these without minimizing them, including reducing volatility for businesses.

Housing

  • Keep housing prices realistic. Build more and encourage and subsidize building smaller homes and in regions which can support density. Improve transportation and infrastructure to these areas. Keep interest rates stable. Incentivize moving to smaller cities and increase job opportunities widely. Partner with builders on win-win projects with wide benefits. Increase home warranties and raise standards. Reward companies which are fair, efficient and progressive. Work more effectively with other areas of government. Create non-political bodies to deal with specific projects (TO Waterfront) and reduce gridlock between egos and levels of governments by empowering them to make good, popular decisions. Use appropriate incentives to attract and keep the brightest minds to government and political service, including immigration policies to expand the pool of exceptional talent.

Legal Reform

  • Modernize laws to reduce privacy violations, unwanted tracking, cyberbullying, scams, bots, dubious marketing, fraud, market abuses and abuses of process. Clarify areas of laws which are overly complicated. Reduce red tape and encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and domestic small businesses. Reclaim social media with clear rights, penalties and fair contribution. Mandate responsibilities and use of technology to reduce and not augment problems. Encourage free speech, do not encourage disrespectful and demeaning speech and clarify the difference.

Health

  • Measure all meaningful statistics, try to improve them, and make them public. Reduce the level of politics in medicine and the military. Reduce bureaucracy and increase care standards. Encourage care in appropriate venues. Fund more doctors, nurses and other practitioners and reward harder work and proper use of expertise. Encourage GPs by subsidizing office expenses as is done with NPs but demand more patient care in return. Take some surgeries and alternate level of care patients out of hospitals to free up beds. Have higher standards for care homes and link profits with performance. Improve professional environments with meaningful dispute processes, skilled management and changes involving knowledgeable patient advocates, solicit advice more often from those on the front line, allow more unionization, use best practices from well performing countries and educate the public to make expectations both realistic but reasonable.

I’ll be sitting here, holding my breath. Hmm…. Maybe time for a snack…

In fact, establish committees, at arms length from the government of the day, on any important (and possibly neglected) issue with a planning horizon exceeding five years. Attract experts, retired citizens with time and specialized knowledge, representatives from industry and academia and government, with some regional and cultural diversity, and incentivize and empower them to make better long term decisions less affected by election concerns and transient influences.

Include all statistics from all level of government. Do not simply ignore the numbers from provincial or municipal government needed to properly address problems. But do not blame governments for taking steps in the right direction.

I’m sure the feds could come up with some means to influence them. Establish a model for municipal zoning that encourages improved rules making it easier to build new housing, and then incentivize the cities and provinces that adopt this model. Offer tax breaks or subsidies, perhaps.

It is hard to believe that any province would stomach much federal interference in their seneschal. This friction between levels of governments is part of why long-term decisions involving all levels should be made by cooler heads. Trudeau can help with housing in other ways - limiting foreign influence and dirty money, controlling inflation, influencing banking practices, discussing options provinces may consider while leaving it up to them, encouraging people to consider more options than just the biggest metropolitan areas, and so forth.

Why do you assume a model designed in central Canada would work elsewhere in the country? The beauty of federalism is that it recognises that there aren’t “one size fits all” solutions, and that different areas of the country have different problems and different solutions.

So an undemocratic approach to long-range planning. What if the committees come up with solutions that trigger major popular opposition, and the government’s hands are tied so they can’t change the long-range planning?

What happens if a new government is elected with a mandate to reject the long-range plan, but it’s not possible to change it? Technocrats govern, not the elected representatives?

I agree those are serious problems and there should be a balance preventing those scenarios while avoiding the other problems of short term blindness, government gridlock, not addressing issues and throwing out the bath water before (“the bill was not passed before the upcoming election”) and after every election.

Perhaps multiparty committees with more government bureaucrats. Given the lack of action on many issues mentioned above, it is hard to think things could not be improved. However, I agree with your concerns and a system must address technocrats, final government approval and avoiding surreptitious influences.

Canadian Institute for Health Information was formed in 1994 by the Chretien government after a report by the National Task Force on Health Information (the Wilk Report) in 1991. For the past 28 years, CIHI has been collecting Canada wide health information, creating databases and disseminating information about health outcomes and issues to all Canadians in the form of public reports.

Absolutely. But as a professional there are important indicators that the government does not track. I have a lot of respect for CIHI.

But what if the elected government has looked at the issue that you say is “short term blindness”, and campaigns on not changing the matter? It believes that its position on that policy choice is better than your option. And it gets elected on that campaign policy. Are you saying that there should be a mechanism to implement your preferred policy option, even if the voters and the elected government don’t approve of it?

What gridlock? in our parliamentary system in Canada, governments have the power to implement their policies, by and large.

As for a bill not passing before an election, that is one thing that governments sometimes do: they introduce a bill for a major policy before the election, and then campaign on it: “If you elect us, that’s the bill we will pass.” And the voters vote them out of office. Should the new government that campaigned against the bill have to pass it for some reason?

Technocrats and planners don’t govern. Elected officials do.

You make some good points. Things often work better in Canada than in the US, and this will remain so if administrative agencies are truly unable to deal with matters Congress does not discuss.

However, many outstanding issues have not been well addressed despite successive governments including them in their platforms or raising concerns. In some cases, the problem is not having the numbers to do it but the will to follow through with promises. It is difficult to believe a better job is not possible on many issues. The job of a government is not merely to get things done - one wishes for wise policy. This often requires broader experience and views than mere politicians can provide. The Civil Service may have this experience but you will be aware use of consulting groups has much increased at considerable cost.

If technocrats are this already influencing decisions, could more be done to update laws, to make the Toronto waterfront like Chicago, to improve transport between bigger cities, to deal with other issues raised above? Of course. My suggestion may not be the best way. But neither is realizing g old age care homes have been problematic for 20 years since SARS, yet doing almost nothing, not even thinking about them until Covid appeared.