Greed, Power, Politics And Poilievre

This is one of the most brilliant short pieces of politicking your agent has ever seen.

Simple answers for complicated times. That’s what Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre offers in this short video.

By the end of this video, we know that the current housing problem was caused by acting teacher and prime minister Justin Trudeau. And we know that a person who has not had a job outside of politics, was acculturated in the House of Commons for almost all of his adult life, has collected a government paycheque since his early 20s, and is handsomely protected by a government pension for the rest of life has a solution for our major economic ills and the housing problem.

No he doesn’t. Neither does Trudeau. What these two people have in common is that they have no idea how to solve the housing problem. Neither does Ottawa City Hall. That the problem is bigger than government can handle. That it is related to market forces and the effects of the pandemic and so many factors that The Bulldog doesn’t have enough pixels to list them.

Neither Trudeau or Poilievre are capable of causing the high price of housing and neither will be able to fix it. The experts don’t have solutions so it’s unlikely that a drama teacher or a lifetime politician with a bad attitude can solve much of anything.

People run around basking in the words ‘public service.’ Do you see any public service in dumping an audit of the Trillium Line procurement? Did you see any public service in Poilievre supporting the Freedom Convoy at the outset of the crisis?


No, politics, in the modern sense at least, is about power … not necessarily doing what’s right.

And the video above is about politics. It’s got jump cuts, pathetic simple charts, blaming Trudeau for the problem when the PM couldn’t have caused the housing crunch even if he wanted to, and Poilievre touting his simple solution to complicated times that won’t work. Some things are just bigger than government.

The unsaid message from the video above is power. Poilievre wants power. Trudeau stands in the way. So trash Trudeau. No doubt Trudeau’s equally simple solution is in the works with trashing a bonus.

What Poilievre is good at is politics. He should be. He has spent most of his life immersed in it. If he’s not good at politics, what is he good at? He better be good at politics because he’s got nothing to fall back on … except that generous government pension. Isn’t it interesting that so many right-wing politicians who espouse the greatness of the private sector have not worked in the private sector? They couldn’t do the cash at the end of the day at a Quickie.

We have leaders who are actors or life-long politicians or broadcasters or journalists, not because of their expertise which is largely non-existent but because they can effectively deliver a message. The best people with real knowledge don’t want their name sullied or their past probed even though they have nothing to hide. Or scandals invented to degrade them. Or they don’t want to take the cut in pay. Or they don’t care. Maybe they’d rather teach their kids things instead of flying around Canada and the world all the while having to be reminded what city they’re landing in and what they are to say. That advice is given by people who are trained in spinning, politics and messaging. Economics? Not likely.

Merry Christmas From A Total Stranger

Politics is not about doing things because most things can’t be changed. Thus the snail-like progress of civilization. Politics is about appearing to do something or covering it up. Like the Trillium Line procurement audit that screams audit but is not getting an audit. Is that good public policy? Is that effective leadership? No. It’s about power and keeping it and that procurement audit stands in the way of that.

The solution to the audit problem. Perhaps an audit? No. Break The Bulldog website because this puppy won’t take no for an answer on the audit. Damaging private property and squelching freedom of speech instead of good governance.

The best people don’t go into politics because of things such as the non-audit of the aforementioned procurement. They don’t want to be the person covering up. So we are left, for the most part, with good politicians and lousy administration. Locally that’s how you get light rail, Lansdowne, Tewin, giant library cost overruns. It goes on.

Billions spent and what is gained?

Second-rate leaders with third-rate solutions. Such as the Poilievre video above.

Politics today (and maybe it always has been) is simply about power. Politicians are like the Wizard of Oz. A big face with nothing behind it. A little man directing the message and the image facade of power but accomplishing nothing except keeping power and doing everything possible to keep that power from people who want that power.

Ottawa City Hall doesn’t run for the public … except one day every four years. Witness tossing out part of Ottawa’s Official Plan … weeks spent preparing and presenting residents’ positions … all thrown out in a few minutes by the club of city staff, pliant and beholden politicians and their private-sector partners. Let’s make those height limits higher so that our developer friends make tonnes of money and the public suffers with something it doesn’t want. And let’s call it intensification and fighting climate change instead of what it really is … greed.

The above three groups take our tax money, play with it and don’t allow us to say how it should be spent. Their own big toy which they keep to themselves and don’t want the public to interfere with their grand, impractical, incompetent over-arching greed. Thanks for the votes. We’ll talk again in four years.

Bad government? This is how you get it.

Ken Gray

The Wizard of Oz | 75th Anniversary "Wizard Revealed" | Warner Bros. Entertainment

Leadership … Oz-style,

 —

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9 Responses

  1. Bruce says:

    I would find it interesting to know what the median income was in 2023 vs 2007 vs 1992 and the cost of a say 10 yr old 3 bed house in the same years. Throughout my working life I compared a new vehicle cost every 10 years to my income and this figure came out to be an almost identical percentage.
    I think that one of PP’s statements is true, that being the added costs of taxes, increased legal fees because of government intervention and so forth is the one added cost to housing, along with now higher interest (but not so much different than in 1970?) is what is putting added unnecessary pressure on the market. Perhaps Mr Benn might weigh in on this?

  2. Andrew says:

    Do not forget that PP does not have a security clearance. It is a suspicious action in which he is in control. Why is the man hiding from the truth and analyses that security clearances allow access to? How can he criticize anything without access to the best data? The five eyes intelligence on world issues is available yet he chooses actions such as not supporting Ukraine…all without critical information. To be a Prime Minister means to be informed when making decisions, where is he getting his information, NewsMax, OAN or Rebel news? I have seen convincing arguments that he cannot get one -and he knows it! The media mentions this sometimes, but not enough. As a former holder of a security clearance it is alarming this can even happen in Parliament.

  3. Ron Benn says:

    Bruce, I will attempt to respond to your questions by way of personal observation.

    When I was “in production” back in the first half of the 1950s, my parent bought a newly built 1,000ish square foot single family dwelling to accommodate their growing family. It what was along the then built perimeter of Ottawa. Near the intersection of Baseline Road and Fisher Avenue. Lot size: 75 feet by 105 feet. Well water and a septic tank. This new home cost about three times my father’s annual salary, which was also the family income. The mortgage interest rate was three per cent.

    Flash forward three-ish decades. My wife and I purchased a not new row home of about 1,200 square feet, west end of the city, inside the Greenbelt. We paid about three times my income. When we take into account my wife’s income, we were somewhere in the two times family income range. The mortgage interest rate was about ten per cent.

    A few years ago, one of our children and his wife purchased a row home in Centretown. About 1,000 square feet. It cost about six times the highest income of their family, about four times family income. The mortgage interest rates at that time were about three per cent.

    These first homes are not exactly comparable (location, size, form) but are close enough for my purposes. The cost of housing has, relative to single income stayed flat from generation one to generation two (staying at about 3x), but fell relative to family income (2x). From generation two to generation three (i.e. the one that matters most when it comes to affordability) has seen the cost of housing double from two times to four times family income.

    Why? As Ken says, its complicated.

    The value of land closer to the city centre is higher than at the perimeter, noting that in course of six plus decades the perimeter has moved by about 15 kilometres. Why? Supply and demand, and because we aren’t making anymore land. What can governments (at any level) do about this? Aside from nothing?

    The cost to construct is comprised of materials and labour, with a healthy dose of the cost of using expensive heavy equipment tossed in. What can governments do about this? Aside from nothing?

    Then there are the development fees to pay for the water and sewer lines, roads, transit, recreational facilities, libraries. What can governments do about this? Tinker with the accounting (collect some of the costs up front or add the foregone amount to the never ending operating budget). But aside from that, nothing.

    As for mortgage rates? Today’s rates are less than half of what they were in the early 1980s. Interest rates are the result of their own set of complicated factors. Local inflation. Competing demand for capital from sources both inside and outside Canada. Along with a lot more factors, none of which are within the control of government.

    What can governments do about interest rates? Start with trying to control inflation. Many economists point to the prolonged stretch of government spending exceeding government revenues as a contributing factor. The simple solution to that is some combination of reduced spending (i.e. cutting programs) and increased tax revenues. How many of today’s voters are prepared to accept paying more to get less?

    Which takes me back to the theme of Ken’s column. There are no simple solutions to complex problems.

  4. Robert Roberts says:

    It’s time for a change. Power corrupts. Let a new leader take over.

  5. Peter Karwacki says:

    The author is not wrong but lord, he is cynical.
    There is nothing wrong with leaders who have done nothing but lead, or with politicians who have done nothing but learned the issues and make discourse on them.
    The problem is bad decisions or even no decisions.

    Bad politicians are the responsibility of the voters and the disengaged electorate. We who pontificate bemoan this state of affairs but at least! I ran for office, I tried.
    The answer comes in the shape of a new paradighm. Artificial Intelligence…replete with programmed morals, values, ethics and vast repository of information, knowledge and wisdom operating at light speed.
    Its coming…but then, so is Jesus.

  6. Anderson Davies says:

    Time for a change but I was of the opinion that the current PM should never have ascended to the crown. He was not ready and he will never be unlike the demographic who put him in power, women! Great ass and hair right? Well done! #eyeroll

  7. sisco farraro says:

    Sadly, Canadian voters are very fickle. Justin Trudeau stepped into power because Canadians became tired of Stephen Harper. However, we let little Justin start his reign as Prime Minister with a majority government. We handed him full power even though he had never run the country previously. At least Stephen Harper had to earn his majority by previously running the show with a minority government. So too, Ontarians trusted Doug Ford with a majority government right out of the gate. We’ve all seen how that has turned out for the province. While I do not support Justin Trudeau, are we headed for the same fate federally with Pierre Poilievre? I used to work for a large software manufacturer. The CEO once stood in front of the employees at one of the quarterly meetings and said “I’m not that smart, but I am smart enough to have surrounded myself with others who are very smart. Hence our success. Wisely, he kept the rest of his speech short”. What Canada needs is a smart wizard (unlike Mr. Oz) who can surround him/herself with wizards who have the collective ability to get this country back on track.

  8. Bruce says:

    Sisco. In the recent past we “lost” two or more smart men from government. John Baird and Mr Carney. These are but two examples who lead from behind? and our country is the poorer for it. Why do good people not run for office nowadays? Because they are smart enough to understand the fickleness of holding public office and the pay in relation to what CEO’s make for example the big banks is vastly less. Why would an educated intelligent person subject themselves to the rantings of fools in the House of Commons or at city council? Councilors ask questions as a posturing move not to hear the truth..just to look good!

  9. sisco farraro says:

    Thanks, Bruce. I have stated on many occasions that our city councillors are more concerned with having a “cool facebook page” on which they can slap pictures of themselves than they are about understanding the big picture and working to the benefit of the citizens. By the way, the CEO I mentioned above grew the company into a billion dollar enterprise; not big compared to Walmart and Amazon but significantly large for a Canadian corporation.

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