“The Epic” Political Jokes & Quotes Book

Here is “the epic” collection of political jokes from the campaign trail.

By George is re-publishing its political jokes and quotes book with many more jokes and feature sections so that we can laugh all the way to the ballot box this October federal election.

This 150-page-plus e-book is bursting with funny guffaws, “shaggy-dog” stories and sideways jokes about politicians and politics. The collection has some of the absolute best classics. It also has a selection of the most humourist and provocative memes culled from Facebook and Twitter.

Epic Political Jokes & Quotes will put a smile on your face, one page after another. For many, it is a sure tonic for surviving the heighten rhetoric of our political leaders. For politicos, this is a great resource that you can pull material from for your next Party event.

Order your e-copy of  Epic Political Jokes & Quotes from the By George E-Bookshelf

The e-copy is sent as a pdf, suitable to open on your mobile device or lap-top, and easily downloaded to enjoy on your Kindle Reader. 

 

Are Justin Trudeau and His PMO Insiders Above the Law?

The Niagara Independent, September 13, 2019 — The dark clouds of the SNC-Lavalin scandal rolled in once again, the day the Prime Minister officially called the federal election. Canadians were informed by Globe & Mail headlines that the government was thwarting the efforts of the police to investigate wrong doings of the Prime Minister’s Office. So, on the launch day of the campaign, Canadians were prompted to query the infallibility of Canada’s democratic institutions and the country’s rule of law. Are Justin Trudeau and his PMO insiders above the law?

In their in-depth news report, “Ottawa blocks RCMP on SNC-Lavalin inquiry” G&M journalists Robert Fife and Daniel Leblanc revealed that the federal government is blocking attempts by the RCMP to look into the potential political involvement in the SNC-Lavalin scandal. The police “are being stymied” — restricted in their interviews with potential witnesses, who say they cannot speak of any details because of cabinet confidentiality rules. Former RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson is quoted, “In my experience, particularly, cabinet privilege is over-asserted and I guess more widely applied than it deserved.”

In a follow-up news report, the G&M quoted former Attorney General and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould as saying she was interviewed by the Mounties on Tuesday and she had concerns about cabinet confidences that will shield witnesses from answering RCMP questions. Wilson-Raybould suggests the Liberal government must waive the cabinet confidentiality that is blocking the RCMP from fully investigating so that the truth of the matter can be heard.

This is the third time in weeks that the SNC-Lavalin scandal made headlines. First, last month, Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion found Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act. His report stated that “The authority of the prime minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the director of public prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson‑Raybould as the Crown’s chief law officer.” Second, the Liberal-dominated Ethics Committee of the House of Commons voted down any further review by Parliament of the PMO wrong doing in the SNC Lavalin scandal. And now third, the RCMP is frustrated in carrying out its duty to investigate the PMO.

Essentially, the Prime Minister has side-stepped the Ethics Commissioner’s findings, shut down the House of Commons committee and now has blocked the RCMP investigation. The appalling significance of this third strike is that Trudeau is supporting the obstruction of an investigation into obstruction of justice.

In answer to questions about the G&M news, Justin Trudeau stated he is simply adhering to the direction of his Clerk of the Privy Council: “We respect the decisions made by our professional public servants. We respect the decision made by the clerk.”

It appears Clerk of the Privy Council Ian Shugart has determined, on his own accord and by his own authority, that cabinet confidence is more important than a police investigation into obstruction of justice in a case involving corruption. Shugart maintains that the RCMP are to be blocked from questioning certain details because of “cabinet confidentiality.”

However, in our parliamentary institution, the Clerk works for the PM, not the other way around. Ian Shugart works for Justin Trudeau. The PM holds the authority to decide when and under what circumstances the Clerk is to exert “cabinet confidentiality.” The PM can waive this issue of cabinet confidence and allow people to speak freely to the police.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer launched the first day of his campaign by accusing Justin Trudeau of having lost the “moral authority” to govern. Scheer called on Trudeau to act immediately to restore confidence in our Canadian rule of law: “I’m calling on Justin Trudeau to do the right thing and immediately waive full privilege so those individuals can testify to the RCMP. If he had nothing to hide, he would waive the privilege and let the RCMP do their work.”

“We know that the power to waive cabinet confidence and the power to waive privilege rests with the prime minister. That is clear. It’s within his power to do so,” Scheer stated. When asked about the significance of the G&M report, he said, “What today shows is that you just cannot trust Justin Trudeau. He will say anything to cover up his scandals and he’ll say anything to get re-elected and Canadians cannot believe the things he says.”

National Post political columnist Andrew Coyne suggests the dark clouds of this scandal are sure to follow Justin Trudeau around throughout the campaign. Coyne makes the point: “The issues involved in the SNC-Lavalin affair are too important to be treated so flippantly. This isn’t about whether to raise or lower taxes or some other question of policy on which people of goodwill can differ, but whether we are to have an impartial system of justice, or one in which powerful corporations can wriggle out of prosecution by lobbying the right politicians.”

Footnote: Canadians will hear more on the SNC-Lavalin scandal in coming weeks. On September 20 the company is back in court to face its $50 million bribery and fraud charges relating to the government contracts in Libya. On the same day, former Attorney General and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould will release a book that promises to provide her vision of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples (and, perhaps, this will offer another chance to hear her perspective on the scandal and what is being hid from Canadians).

 

Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/are-justin-trudeau-and-his-pmo-insiders-above-the-law/

A Labour Day Election Campaign Snapshot

The Niagara Independent, September 6, 2019 — On the eve of the call of the Canadian federal election, here is a snapshot of polling numbers and trends on voter intention, compiled on Labour Day from available public opinion data.

 

Liberals enjoy a lead based on support in Ontario and Quebec

Politicking through the summer barbecue season made the election race even tighter between the Trudeau Liberals and Scheer Conservatives. Most national polls show a dead heat between the two parties. The 5-point lead the Conservatives held on Canada Day has evaporated. Popular support for the NDP has dipped and support for the other parties remained steady.

However, by breaking the numbers out regionally a clearer picture materializes. Conservatives enjoy large margins of support on the prairies; Liberals have the edge in Canada’s most populous provinces. Liberals lead Conservatives by 6 percentage points in Ontario and double that in Quebec. Because a vast majority of seats are found in central Canada, this bodes very well for the Liberals in all seat projections.

In analysing voter intention, Greg Lyle of the Innovative Research Group recently made an important point: Canadians who feel aligned to a particular party will most likely vote that way. Currently, more than three-in-four Canadians feel closer to one party than another. And more people feel closer to the Liberals than any other party. This is the case in Quebec where 29 percent of Quebecers align with the Liberals; 15 percent align with Conservatives and 14 percent align with the BQ. In “The Rest of Canada,” (TROC) Liberals enjoy an edge: 29 percent align with Liberals; 26 percent with Conservatives; 12 percent with NDP; 10 percent with Green. (Note 30 percent of Quebecers do not align with any political party, and in TROC 22 percent do not align with a party.) Lyle’s point in presenting these numbers is Canadians have more of an affiliation with the Liberal brand, so this speaks to a likely favourable result for the Trudeau Liberals.

 

PM Trudeau used the summer pre-writ period to the Liberals’ advantage 

Knowing the election date is less than seven weeks away on October 21, all eyes are now on the Prime Minister, as Canadians anticipate his walk to the Governor General’s Residence to request the writ be dropped to “officially” start the campaign. Once the campaign is called, all parties are placed on an even playing field and must stay within a $28 million spending limit.

The election law restrictions on spending is precisely why Justin Trudeau has been in no hurry to have the writ issued. As our Government representatives, PM Trudeau and Cabinet Ministers can travel the country with no limitations on their activities. In fact, the Liberals have made the most of the pre-writ period flying government jets into riding after riding. They have made 4,545 new spending commitments worth a combined $12.8 billion — in the month of August alone. To put these gross figures into perspective, in one month the Liberals committed approximately a quarter of all their funding promises that have been pledged since Fall 2015 when they were elected – totaling 16 percent of current and future federal government spending. Canadians have been wooed with the commitments of literally billions of taxpayers’ money. And because the election has yet to be called, PM Trudeau and his Cabinet Ministers have been unencumbered in spreading their joy.

 

Stories from the NDP and Conservative Campaigns     

The summer did not end well for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. This week Maclean’s blasted a headline “Is the NDP on the verge of collapse?” The magazine says the best case scenario for the party will be half its 2015 seat total, while the worst case will be to lose official party status. Then, news from New Brunswick reported that a total of 14 NDP candidates walked to the Green Party. The former NDPers issued an eight-point declaration encouraging “New Democrats, New Brunswickers and, indeed, all Canadians in voting for the Green Party of Canada this election.” Though the NDP numbers do not suggest the bottom has fallen out of Singh’s party, they are at historic lows for the NDP during a pre-election period. In Ontario, NDP support is at 14 percent while in Quebec (where a great many of the NDP MPs reside) it has fallen to 7 percent. Across the country NDP support lags 7 percent lower than the 2015 election results – support which appears to have leaked to the Green Party. At this level of support, it’s anxious times indeed for the NDP.

As for the Conservatives, Leader Andrew Scheer held a media conference to announce that they are the first party to have named a full slate of 338 candidates. This feat is well in advance of the other major parties that, combined, have almost 300 candidates yet to be named. The Conservatives have nominated 105 women, which eclipses their past high of 68 in 2011. The party also features a diverse list of candidates: Indigenous Canadians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jewish, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and newly immigrated Canadians, and candidates from the LGBTQ+ community. The Conservatives also have attracted many former MPs to run as well as many sitting legislators from provincial parliaments. With candidates in place and money in the bank, the Conservatives are perhaps the most prepared for the Fall contest.

 

There is an American Proverb that advises, “The only thing we learn from new elections is we learned nothing from the old.” Given the current snapshot this proverb is instructive: the 2019 federal election is shaping up to be a series of regional races like no other.

 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/a-labour-day-election-campaign-snapshot/

 

Liberals campaigning without mention of PM Justin Trudeau

Liberal MP Connie Denesiuk with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Denesiuk has already published media spots without Trudeau.

The Niagara Independent, August 30, 2019 — In 2015 the Liberals successful election campaign was energized with the images of Justin Trudeau. Indeed, many unknown Liberal candidates rode the Leaders’ popularity to victory and to their seat in Ottawa. But this is 2019 and today the image of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prompts more grimaces and frowns than it does smiles.

A slew of national opinion polls report that the Canadian electorate is divided between the Liberal and Conservative parties. However, the same polling suggests there is a growing consensus of distrust in and dislike for Trudeau.

A new poll this month from Angus Reid found that PM Trudeau’s support has sank significantly and that two of every three Canadians (65 percent) disapprove of Trudeau’s performance in office. Nearly one in two Canadians (47 percent) “strongly disapprove” of Justin Trudeau. Parsing the data, we learn Trudeau remains most popular with millennials (39 percent approval). But among those aged 55 and older, his 2015 approval rating of 63 percent has dropped like a stone to 30 percent.

Liberal-friendly Abacus Data recently found similar polling results: there are twice as many Canadians saying they disapprove of the PM as those who say they approve of him. Only 32 percent of Canadians have a positive impression of Trudeau, down 12 points in the last four months.

Yet it is the American polling firm Zogby Analytics that perhaps illustrates best just how bad things are for the Canadian PM. The firm notes that there are more Canadians who disapprove than approve of Trudeau’s time in office. Zogby analysts underline the fact that now Trudeau is less popular than US President Donald Trump (who has a current approval rating of 51 percent.)

All the pollsters suggest that at the core of the sudden, sharp drop in Justin Trudeau’s approval ratings is the PM being found guilty of breaking conflict of interest laws in the SNC Lavalin scandal. To this point, the Liberals are doing everything they can to turn the page on the Ethics Commissioner’s damning conclusions that Trudeau and his senior PMO staff inappropriately pressured then-justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. The Liberals hope they may have buried the story for good. Last week in Ottawa a Liberal-majority voted to block any further parliamentary committee review of the Ethics Commissioner and his findings. With that, the PM can move forward from this mess and ask Canadian voters to “Choose Forward.”

Still the PM’s remarkable unpopularity has some Liberal MPs disassociating themselves from Justin Trudeau. Ottawa-based paper The Hill Times recently ran a feature story in which sitting Liberal MPs (who wished to remain anonymous) are quoted as saying, “Some [candidates] are not going to use Trudeau’s name or picture in their campaign material.” The paper mentions B.C. Liberal candidate Connie Denesiuk, who is running in South Okanagan-West Kootenay. Denesiuk has removed the image of Mr. Trudeau from a painting on her 2019 campaign car that has previously featured her alongside the Liberal leader.

Another example can be found with Ottawa-area MP Karen McCrimmon. She represents Kanata-Carleton and is one of those sitting MPs who has already published media spots without PM Justin Trudeau. In fact, McCrimmon’s newspaper ads have no reference to the PM, no Liberal Party emblem, and do not mention that she sits as a Government MP. And unlike her 2015 election campaign materials where the PM adorned everything from her canvass literature to her campaign office windows, McCrimmon has, with the exception of her website, stripped all images of Justin Trudeau from her re-election materials.

Yet there is an ironic twist to this Liberal backbencher’s story. MP McCrimmon sits on the parliamentary committee that last week discussed the Ethics Commissioner report respecting the obstruction of justice activities surrounding the PM, the PMO and SNC Lavalin. She is one of those Liberal-majority committee members who voted to shut down any further inquiry into the PM’s role with the scandal. So, on one hand McCrimmon is disassociating herself from her Leader; and on the other hand she is complicit in attempting to protect the PM’s bruised reputation.

With Justin Trudeau’s approval numbers as they are today, Liberals recognize that to win this election it cannot become a referendum on the Prime Minister and his character. It is why Liberal candidates want voters to think of anything but, “A vote for the Liberals is a vote for Justin Trudeau.” It is why some of those candidates have dropped mention of PM Trudeau altogether.

MP Karen McCrimmon’s newspaper ads have no reference

to the PM, no Liberal Party emblem, and do not mention

that she sits as a Government MP.

 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK:  https://niagaraindependent.ca/liberals-campaigning-without-mention-of-pm-justin-trudeau/

There’s Much to be Concerned About with Canadian Media

Unifor president Jerry Dias with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Unifor represents thousands of reporters from mainstream media.

The union has vowed to be Andrew Scheer’s worst nightmare.

The Niagara Independent, August 23, 2019 — Can Canadians trust their media regarding its coverage of national politics? Based on a string of events over the past few months this is a legitimate and worrying question.

Consider the latest federal budget where the government set forth a fund of $600 million to be paid to selected Canadian newsrooms. At the same time, the government selected “an independent panel” to dole out its largesse, which includes the journalists’ union Unifor. Conservative MP and former newsman Peter Kent was very troubled that the governing Liberals would potentially undermine the freedom of the press: “getting involved in this sort of direct subsidy to what is supposed to be an independent estate. From top to bottom it smells. It’s simply unacceptable.” National Post columnist Andrew Coyne perhaps put it best stating the government cheques will “irrevocably politicize the press.”

This month outspoken Unifor union president Jerry Dias announced that the journalists’ outfit will run an aggressive anti-Conservative campaign. Dias signaled that the union will run television ads during the election writ period asking Canadians to “think twice about supporting the Scheer agenda.” Recall that Dias’ union executive has described itself as “Andrew Scheer’s worst nightmare.”

Concurrently, the Unifor union has been unabashed in its praise of Justin Trudeau, providing standing ovations for the Prime Minister’s appearance at their annual meetings. And the PM often refers to Jerry Dias as “his friend.” (Again, this is the same Unifor that is handing out government cheques to newsrooms.)

Point of fact, Unifor members include a total of 12,000 Canadian journalists — columnists, editors and news anchors at the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and Global TV and CTV stations and employees at the Winnipeg Free Press, London Free Press and the Hamilton Spectator.

There is also recent news about the Toronto Star, the news source that declares it is “leading progressive journalism” in our country. The news agency Blacklock’s Reporter has learned that the Star publishers “estimated its take of federal media bailout money is worth the equivalent of $115,385 a week.” (So, doing the math, this equates to a payout of more than half-a-million dollars that will be paid for the election writ period.)

But, apart from the issue of newsroom payouts, there is recent findings bringing into direct question the accuracy and integrity of what is being reported by Canadian newsrooms. Research from the Public Policy Forum found that mainstream media outlets like the CBC, CTV and Huffington Post, are in fact one of “the causes of misinformation” for Canadians.  In the Forum’s study it was found that many Canadians exposed to traditional or mainstream media are more likely to give incorrect answers to questions about basic government policy issues. The summary states: “Survey respondents who read or watched more traditional news media were less likely to express uncertainty about policy questions than those with low consumption, but more likely to give an incorrect response.”

There is also a disturbing pattern of anti-Conservative sentiment that has unfolded within the Canadian journalists’ echo-chamber on Twitter. This bias has resulted in unbalanced reporting and, in some cases, the promotion of fake news to embarrass Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. Here are a few recent examples:

  • Liberal partisans spread a falsehood via Twitter that, in one of his policy announcements, the Conservative Leader was employing an actress who pretended she was a cancer survivor. Media jumped on Andrew Scheer to explain. When it was found that the woman was indeed a cancer survivor, there was no apology from media. Instead, CBC ran a story about a professional actress, mistakenly identified in this mix-up, who was subjected to online cruelty and bullying.
  • Media followed the story of a (obviously phony) woman protestor standing outside an event where the Conservative Leader was speaking. This protestor was holding a sign reading, “Vote Andrew Scheer” and seen spitting on a person and making racist statements. Reporters at the event dogged Andrew Scheer to explain and the news story became his denouncing the fake Conservative supporter. The Leader’s speech was ignored; the protestor’s story made headlines.
  • Liberal MP Adam Vaughan made headlines with graphic photos and tweets that falsely accused conservatives of mistreating and caging refugee children. Using photos of children in U.S. border detention centres, the Toronto MP was attempting to smear the federal Conservatives, stating in one tweet “We all know where right-wing scapegoating leads us. Our Government won’t cage children.” MP Vaughan’s tweets and photos were sprayed across the newswires and social media platforms while his eventual apology for this fake news made little press.

Connecting all these dots, are we not left to wonder what news sources can be trusted when it comes to national politics? From the recent comments of Jerry Dias, Canadians can see how union activists are in bed with the Trudeau Liberals in their re-election bid. And there is the fact that the Liberal Government is rewarding certain newsrooms with generous cheques. Andrew Coyne observes: “It is a disaster that is now unfolding. If there were ever the slightest chance the process would not be politicized, that has already vanished.” So, in all seriousness, how can Canadians trust their media?

 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/theres-much-to-be-concerned-about-with-canadian-media/