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Gentle reminder: If you've posted a few dozen comments to this particular thread, please consider that at some point you probably finished making your useful points.

None of us can make others abandon their point of view, and switching to name-calling won't improve our chances. Move on.

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This brief summary of a book written by the ultimate insider of the Trudeau Government confirms what many observers have written for years. The administration is a top down PMO driven operation that treats Cabinet Ministers like little kids. The quote from the article sums it up nicely:

“But Morneau eventually decides Trudeau’s assets are limited by poor management skills and “inability or lack of interest in forging relationships” with “me and, as far as I could tell, the rest of his cabinet.”

The poor management skills must surely include the composition of Cabinet based on image rather than whether the appointees could actually do the work. Further to that, many of these hopeless Ministers are left to flounder in embarrassment for months and years. If they are getting their marching orders from the PMO that isn’t very flattering for anyone involved. Is there a willingness to accept mediocrity from Cabinet or does anyone know an outstanding Minister if they saw one?

Modern politics has morphed into a Leader dominated animal, but a functioning Government still needs team players who share goals and agree on priorities moving forward. Justin Trudeau should give that a try.

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Nailed it! He doesn’t want his ministers to look more competent than he is so the whole lot including himself are incompetent.

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Minister Morneau worked in a Liberal Government “for” Justin Trudeau. Getting Stephen Harper in the narrative is 8 years stale dated.

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However, still relevant. It’s all part of Canadian history.

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This is Mr. Wells comment board so it’s not for me to presume what he thinks are appropriate terms of engagement.

However, the Liberal whabbut Steven Harper talking points are stale deflections. This Trudeau Government has been in power for 8 years. That is sufficient time to learn and grow into a competent government operation. Mr. Morneau confirms that the learning curve process has stalled out. That’s not Stephen Harpers fault, sorry.

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No one said it was his fault. Just that Morneau’s comments sounded like he was talking about Harper not Trudeau. All governments are part of history.

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Sorry again, but the original Terry Quinn rebuttal in this thread tried to link my thoughts to Stephen Harper.

We could have quite a debate on the merits of Harpers appointments to Cabinet, including some very competent women who are held in high regard today. Lisa Raitt and Rona Ambrose for starters, but this Substack offering is an insider look into the Trudeau Government. Let’s all stay on point.

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Same here.

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"He admired Stephen Harper’s decision to raise the age for retirement benefits, which the Trudeau government promptly reversed."

The two-year delay in receiving OAP would not affect those in Morneau's income class but rather those who have spent their lives in hard labour, or those who are close to the poverty line.

This leads me to suspect that Morneau's zeal for productivity increases reflects a euphemism for funneling more subsidies to the corporate elites that Morneau represents, rather than for spreading economic benefits to all.

Ironic that Morneau does not seem to understand how many of his pro-business policies have led to greater inequality and the rise of populism:

“Populism is not a political movement on its own. It is a reaction to feelings of alienation, a sense that power resides within some definition of social elites, unavailable to ‘ordinary people.’”

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It's like this. Countries like ppl need to learn to live within their means. You either suffer a little now or a lot later.

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Ppl don't own central banks!

See https://shar.es/afZ3WU

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He thought it was prudent to lay off on the entitlements for two years. Probably because he thinks Canada can't afford them with longer lifespans. But people are entitled to their entitlements, even if it is welfare by another name.

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Two bits: 1. Surely, given that the sponsors of this gig belong to the same club as Bill, Paul meant to say "begrudgingly accepted" instead of "admired." 2. Bill would've been more accurate had he said "the fact" instead of "a sense."

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One simple look at the electoral map says it all. Trudeau is all about division. He’s lied his way into the NDP turf and the gullible urbanites lap it all up. Hopefully his high spending, high inflation policies bites them in the ass hard enough they see the light.

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Another good morning read, and certainly makes one wanting to listen to the upcoming Moneau interview podcast.

As evidenced by the last week of testimony at the recent Emergencies Act Commission hearing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau likes to be the puppeteer, but not one hiding behind the curtain, rather out front full of self-adulation.

This was previously confirmed by former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and now former Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Prime Ministers should remember they are the "prime" minister, not the only minister, and healthy debate leads to well thought out decisions.

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Paul mentions that Morneau wrote in his book the he would have preferred a "governing style more collegial within cabinet, more open to dissent."

That tells me there was no healthy debate. This was certainly evidenced at the time of the SNC-Lavalin scandal. All cabinet members were lined up against Jody Wilson-Raybould, except Jane Philpot, who was later dismissed from caucus.

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Politically, what was the point of Morneau? I mean, why did he even bother getting into it?

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I think that’s a valid question.

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More importantly, what is his reasoning for all these government bashing interviews other than self promotion and book sales. He is portrayed as having financial credentials but blames Trudeau of giving cabinet posts to unqualified people. Which is it? If we want this drama we can just follow Harry and Meaghan.

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Good question.

To get away from the family business and off the family's coattails, to forge a name for himself? I will await for my library's copy to arrive.

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On China: “If you insist on living exclusively according to your highest principles, you’ll find yourself living with a very small number of people,” he writes.

My principles include isolating countries actively committing genocide but I guess that bar’s too high?

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-22278037

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Yes, good point. I honestly think that this Government has tried to walk that fine line between necessary economic relations and voicing objections to their human rights policies. I acknowledge that they may not always have succeeded but governing is difficult.

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I think both China’s behaviour and the clarity of US policy are helping to focus minds.

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Agreed. It’s honestly the thing I like about Trudeau the most. He stands by the moral principles that we have all been led to believe are Canadian values. At least while he has been in office. Canada needs to punch up more even when the consequences can be difficult. Without leaders showing courage,the whole society gives up on their principles.

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Trudeau stands by moral principles since when? How many ethics convictions has he had? The “man” is devoid of morals and ethics!

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2 strikes against Trudeau and 3 more against his cabinet. So far we're on par with the government he succeeded. In most cases we're talking about over-stepping bounds in the process of public service. That goes for the CPC as well.

Can we not talk about these people like they rip people off for a living? It's the kind of judgement calls that constantly get overlooked in private enterprises every day. We should instead be thankful that these public servants are able to manage the vast majority of their work within the higher standards that we hold them to, and the ethics commission is able to catch the instances where they don't.

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Agreed!

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"Thank you for your donation."

"The report in today's Globe & Mail is false."

Moral principles like these?

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From Paul’s account, Morneau sounds like he belongs in the Conservative party rather than part of a Liberal government. I can understand his frustration if he believes that he’s not being listened to. However, I suspect that, like Wilson-Rabould, he may not be a good team player when his point of view is not accepted. His criticism of PM Trudeau may be justified, especially in those early years of the regime but he still is the PM and has to make decisions. It’s disappointing but not unexpected that he didn’t agree with the decision to reinstate 65 as the pensionable age. That was a very popular decision, economics be damned. Perhaps one has to consider that when you are PM. You can’t govern if you’re not elected.

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Economics be damned indeed.

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It means being able to accept that you don’t necessarily have the complete picture. There may be other priorities that have to be considered. It means not letting your ego get in the way of making rational decisions. It means acknowledging that your opinion is not always completely right. Oh, and considering the greater good over need to be seen as right or a martyr. Etc

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I get a sense that is really where Morneau and Trudeau parted ways. Smart ideas don't get you elected. Morneau is smart guy, but maybe not so wise in the politics of staying in power long enough to put your ideas to work. And maybe more effort should have been put into teaching the rookie minister about how those priorities play out in his department.

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There is nothing in Canada's constitution that demands Cabinet ministers be elected Members of Parliament.

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A little honesty about Trudeau, even from a retired Liberal Cabinet Minister, is reassuring.

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So you figure he's short on cash?

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I think he scrapes by somehow… He won’t be checking his mail every spring for Public Lending Right cheques.

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Who isn’t in this Trudeau economy?

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I've got this crazy idea that usually when somebody writes something it's because it's what they saw and think. Isn't that what you're doing when you write?

I mean, I get a bit tired of "I'm just a straight shooter, but everyone who disagrees with me is a scoundrel"

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Morneau was a huge disappointment. I never expected much from Trudeau and others but had some hope that Morneau wouldn’t just be another useless minister.

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Strangely enough I always felt the opposite. I was very suspicious of him during the 2015 election, but quickly warmed to him afterwards. A lot of that was sympathy for unfair attack from the CPC, especially over alleged conflicts of interest in pension legislation, but I was sorry to see him go. Some of the material here gives me pause about him (very interested to see exactly what policies he was upset weren't pursued), so I will very interested in reading the book.

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I think Morneau didn’t know and still don’t know how federal politics work based on this article. The decision to reverse the increase of the age of eligibility for retirement benefits was part of the 2015’s liberal platform under which he run under lol. Also, it will be interesting to see if the book talks about WE charity.

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And definitely the Liberals felt obliged to implement every part of their 2015 platform. That's why it was the last election under first past the post.

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The electoral process belongs to the commoners. Ordinary Canadians from all walks of life participate in the process including enumeration of voters, manning the scrutiny of voting and the counting of the ballots.

Why should politicians rig the election system for their benefit, when it doesn’t belong to them in the first place? Canadians should be presented with a fair and clear opportunity to support or defeat any proposed changes to the FPTP election system.

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We did that in BC, and I voted for the coolest new voting-system proposal, Canadian-invented (an Alberta student) ... and everything but FPTP died ignominiously. Which about ends that for another generation here.

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Which goes to show that most of the shouting over the need to change the electoral system is driven by partisan interests. The ordinary voters are happy with the way things are now.

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If you live in the west you are certainly NOT happy with how things are now.

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+40% of the electorate is so happy with the way things are, they don't see any point to voting.

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We're just not terribly happy with the choice of leaders....an any level.....who seem devoid of actual leadership characteristics.

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That’s revisionist history at its finest. They had full control of parliament, what did they need to opposition for?

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What opposition? He had a majority.

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Valid critique of government shorter-term focus and governments have struggled for years on how to improve productivity for which we probably need a new MacDonald commission for deeper analysis and recommendations. Always aa challenge having a finance minister who is effective politically as well as having business experience.

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Well, as a teenager, I purchased some records and paperbacks. But not many. My Dad emphasized that, while they'd try to help with University, and offer free rent (for the 8 months I was in school, had to pay the other four I had a job), I really had to save up the money myself. I got a $2.50/hr job at 15, sweeping, did a little better the next two summers, and recall bragging my bank account had hit "four figures" in 1976. "Kids these days" have legit complaints about me paying $700/year tuition that fall, but it was most of the money I had. (You're getting the bio because I'm just four years older; our teens are fairly comparable.)

In no universe nearby me, was there a kid that could buy a swimming-pool company. The richest kids I knew had their own (very used) car. We were not poor, I saw Disneyland at 9, the envy of my peers. And this is the same guy who notes that "a sense that power resides within some definition of social elites, unavailable to ‘ordinary people." .... without having the words "LIKE ME" in there anywhere??

Man, I was liking this guy, I'm sure all his complaints about Trudeau are correct. Morneau for the win!

But then that. And the raising the retirement age (classic income-inequality dick move), and the China treason. (His "best principles" argument was also great one for the US staying out of WW2.)

Yeah, I'm just going to start using "treason" for support for dictator-engagement, be it Saudi, or Russia, or China. All into the deplorables-bin with Venezuela. Remember Venezuela? You're in the small minority if you DON'T act on those "highest principles" with left-wing dictators, Bill, or geopolitical-enemy dictators in Iran: with those, we can be all-fired moral! Only dictators that enrich OUR rich people, the pool-company-buyers, are dictators we'll just have to stomach.

I guess I've been mainlining too much Tim Snyder, since the Ukraine war broke out, and since China poisoned the world with its incompetence. (I don't know whether they are incompetent handling food, or incompetent at grinding up endangered species for fake Viagra, or incompetent at running the Level 4 biolab the French built for them. It's "Chinese dictators" in charge of all three efforts.)

Reading Tim Snyder counsels me to declare Bill Morneau dead to me, politically, but his exposure of Trudeau's appearance-over-substance (that's Trump-like!) governance is appreciated.

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Good points, but I must comment on the raising of the "retirement age." Age of collecting OAS is not the same as retirement age. OAS and CPP combined do not provide an income above the poverty line, so anyone relying on those to solely fund their retirement is going to be in a rough spot. I am in the age bracket who would have first had the 67 age of collection. I was not upset about it because I was given enough warning to place accordingly. Nobody was going to be hit by surprise with that because it would have been phased in based on your age. I don't know if it was good or bad policy, but I remember reading about it in detail at the time and not being too concerned. For me, a TFSA is one of the more flexible retirement income saving vehicles. I do remember how Morneau was dead-set against that, saying it was only for the rich. He was a doofus as FM. Glad he's gone.

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He talks about increasing productivity but I see nothing here about how that would happen. (Maybe it’s in the book). My own take: profits are not being reinvested into economic infrastructure. It’s a mirror image of the public sector side, where infrastructure is allowed to decay and the spending that’s done happens when things are already shot. There is no long-term thinking. Look at VIA Rail. Or 24 Sussex.

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Jeez, even I considered my comparison of Morneau's China-apologetics to WW2 avoidance a bit over the top, just done for rhetorical jabbing.

But, then, same day, I read this historical comparison by former GOP staffer Mike Lofgren, about Taft and the other soft-on-Hitler Americans:

https://www.salon.com/2023/01/07/making-excuses-for-dictators-is-nothing-new-mr-republican-and-the-nazis/

...and the comparison actually seems pretty apt. Lofgren is mostly on about soft-on-Putin, but soft-on-China is starting to look comparable as they cast covetous eyes on Taiwan, and the whole South China Sea.

The article seems especially aimed at Morneau, when it describes the top-GOP attitude of conceding Europe to Hitler to be "reality".

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Very nice summation.

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This except, which I will assume is representative, shows Morneau to be an arrogant technocrat with aspirations to power. Just as Poilievre appeals to a faction that has effectively captured the conservative party, Morneau seeks to activate -- or shall we say, groom -- bluish liberals. Yet, he still does not understand, and cannot commit to, genuinely democratic politics.

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(What's with the weird doubling of text here?)

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What Morneau failed to and still fails to understand is that the Trudeau government is not merely indifferent to, but opposed to, prosperity.

It sees prosperity as directly antithetical to both the environment and expansion of government power, its rhetorical and real objectives.

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Such nonsense. I did not and will not vote for Trudeau but this is a nonsensical statement.

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Not sure what you mean, Mark.

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Fascinating stuff, Mr. Wells. I look forward to learning exactly which proposals Mr. Morneau thinks should have been pursued.

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