Tuesday, March 10, 2020

US Election 2020 Thoughts (Democratic Primaries)

Looks like Joe Biden will be the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party for the Nov 2020 election. He has just won Michigan.
What this shows:
    1. Trump is a politically savvy and smart man. Despite all earlier polls first favouring Warren, then Sanders, he knew it would be Joe Biden who would ultimately win. He had called it.
    2. Expect the GOP to court Sanders supporters. They will all sound off on how rigged the process was.
    3. If Sanders cannot win a Democratic Primary process running to the left, then there is no way in hell he can win a general election running on a socialist platform. All polls that show him ahead of Trump is garbage - they mean nothing this far out.
    4. For all of Sander's reported reach amongst youth, amongst Latinos and amongst a wide variety of voters, ultimately you have to vote. Biden's black vote block reliably came out to vote, and Sander's "young voters" didn't. No use crying about rigged process when your own supporters don't show up at the polls.
    5. It's not even close. Biden is wiping the floor with Sanders.
What does this mean for a general election?
The whole uncertainty in this whole process is the corona virus and its effect. Americans can be heavily partisan, they can be heavily racist in some states, but everyone values their life. If Biden can make the mismanagement of the COVID-19 outbreak as a defining issue of Trump's bumbling presidency, he will win. In all other routes, Trump HAD him cornered. Biden appears to be senile, prone to gaffes, not in the best agile state of mind, and is making highly restricted campaign appearances as he became a front runner. Expect those glaring deficiencies to be highlighted during the national election campaign. Yet, the COVID-19 outbreak remains the albatross on Trump's neck.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

A First World Healthcare System?

Last week we had to visit the emergency department of the hospital in the middle of the night with our sick child who was complaining of severe ear pain and was throwing up. We waited close to 5 hours before a doctor saw us. There was only ONE doctor on duty in such a large hospital in a large city in the middle of the night (by that time it was 430 am).

We woke our son up, who can cried himself to sleep, and the doctor took 2 minutes to examine him, prescribe some antibiotics.

That was it, we waited 5 hours for 2 minutes. If there was one more doctor on duty, we could potentially have waited 2 and half hours. One more doctor, and we would have been seen in less than an hour.

Why do we not have enough doctors on duty? In fact, why do hospitals not have a 24 our walk in so we don't have to go to the emergency?

A close family friend's newborn child is sick; they took him to Sick Kids Hospital. The hospital, once the child was better, actually sent them home because there was a shortage of beds. Another wasn't even admitted because the hospital was full, overcrowded and understaffed.

This is a first world healthcare system?

Does this all point to a shortage of funds?

Now you read that there is actually something the Trudeau government did that is called Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy. This is an actual entity in the government and this year they are getting an ADDITIONAL 2 BILLION DOLLARS (that's $2b on top of their regular funding) - and what will they do with that? In words of the Minister:

  • help the people of the world’s developing countries join the global middle class
  • access safe and legal abortions
  • empowering women, overseas
  • makes families and countries more prosperous

Now, in this context I don't really care what happens to other countries. You want to promote and develop your women, fine. But what could that two billion dollars do to our healthcare? Could it have hired an extra doctor? Could it have provided a few beds? A few more staff?

COULD it have actually improved our healthcare for us - Canadians?

Isn't THAT what the government OF CANADA should be doing?

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

What is Happening in India with the CAB and NRC, and Why India is On Fire

Let's begin with the NRC, or the National Register of Citizens that applies to Assam, India. The Indian government has always alleged that there's a huge number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in Assam. It is true that 10 million Bangladeshis fled to India to seek refuge during the 1971 war, mostly Hindus. Some may not have returned. 

When the Hindutva supporting BJP came to power, led by Modi, they initially threw their support behind the NRC. The law is that anyone who entered Assam without proper documentation after 24 March 1971 would be declared a foreigner and deported. The party had also swept to power in Assam's state government in 2016, riding on the support of the Hindus and tribespeople. But when the final list of citizens was published, the BJP suddenly changed tracks, saying the NRC was error prone and wrong.


The reason for that was a lot of Bengali Hindus - a strong voter base for the party - were left off the list, and risked becoming illegal immigrants. And these form the core vote bank of BJP. Out of the 19 million people left OUT of the list, 13 million are Hindu, 5 million Bengali Muslims. Everyone of them claims they are Indian, not Bangladeshi. The BJP is now in a dilemma. 

How do you ensure those 13 million Hindus can vote, when you yourself are saying they are illegal Bangladeshi migrants?

Enter the CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill).

The Modi government has now passed the bill that says EVEN if you are an immigrant claiming refugee status from Bangladesh, Pakistan or Afghanistan, your case will be expedited and processed. BUT ONLY IF you are not Muslim. Simply put: this is a backdoor way to get those 13 million Hindus in Assam back on the citizenship list, but excluding the Muslims (who will not vote BJP). This is the first time such an exclusively discriminatory bill was added to citizenship criteria in India's so far secular history.

So why are people protesting?

  1. The Muslims feel they are being marginalized and made into second class citizens. More on this later.
  2. The Hindus who are genuinely Indian claim the CAB will not help them, since they are not claiming refugee status. They just want the government not to make them stateless.
  3. Assamese people are protesting a fear influx of migrants from across the border who will now claim refugee status under the new law.
  4. Urban folks genuinely worried about how extremely intolerant India is becoming.
Let's dig a little deeper about the first point - marginalizing Muslims in India. 

  • Earlier this year, the government scrapped seven decades of autonomy for Kashmir, India's only Muslim majority state. All political leaders were detained, and severe restrictions on speech, assembly, internet and communications were put in place. The state is still under military rule, and human rights organizations have spoken of vast human rights abuses by the Indian army.
  • Many Muslim city names have been changed to Hindu names. For example, Allahabad has been changed to Prayagraj.
  • Even rail station with Muslim names are affected. The name of India's Mughalsarai railway station, near Varanasi, was changed last year to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, for a right-wing Hindu leader who died there in 1968.
  • Official education books now try to downplay the 1000 year old Muslim leadership of India (the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughals, etc.) and try to emphasize the ancient Hindu history (and the recent ones such as the Marathi empire).
  • Bollywood movies now openly make movies where Muslim leaders are portrayed as the bad guys (Padmavat, Panipat, etc.)
  • The Assam state register (NRC) threatens to make 5 million Muslims stateless. There's already detention centres built in India RIGHT NOW housing close to hundreds of thousands of Muslims.
Let us not forget the numerous cases of vigilante mob lynching and extra judicial killings. Christians and Muslims are both targeted, but Muslims have borne the brunt of the attacks. The government has turned a blind eye to these killings, not investigating them at all.

Amidst such a climate comes the CAB. And Indian government has said they will now extend NRC all over India, not just Assam. Every Indian citizen will have to PROVE they are actual citizens, and not be using modern documents, but by ANCIENT ANCESTRY. It is hard enough getting documentation in India right now. Imagine having to go back to 1947, or even before (the British Raj) for your documentation. You cannot, and this is where the CAB comes in. You get a free pass if you are Hindu, Christian, Sikh or Jain, BUT NOT IF YOU ARE MUSLIM

Now you are property less, vote less, and stateless. Where do you live? The government will build detention centres (just like Assam) but all over India.

"I assure you no Jews will be affected by our Nurember Law." - Hitler in 1935
"I assure you no Muslim will be affected by our Citizenship Amendment Bill." - Amit Shah of BJP, 2019


  1. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-50757093
  2. https://scroll.in/article/946430/bjp-claims-citizenship-bill-will-save-those-left-of-nrc-but-bengali-hindus-in-assam-are-sceptical
  3. https://qz.com/india/1769059/why-are-indians-protesting-citizenship-amendment-act-nrc/
  4. https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/2100513/modis-party-stokes-anti-muslim-violence-india-report-says
  5. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-13/why-india-s-modi-has-his-country-s-muslims-worried-quicktake
  6. https://www.npr.org/2019/04/23/714108344/india-is-changing-some-cities-names-and-muslims-fear-their-heritage-is-being-era

Friday, December 13, 2019

UK Election 2019: Why Good Guys Can (and Often) Lose

Jeremy Corbyn of UK was supposed to be the good guy. He is decent, respectful, thoughtful, and genuinely cares about every one in UK. His opponent, Boris Johnson is seen as a racist clown. And yet, Boris has won a historic majority for the Conservatives and Jeremy has led Labour to its worst defeat in decades. Why?

  1. Even if you are a "good" guy, you need a plan. Often the good guys think just being good is enough. It never is. You always need a plan; in fact you need MANY plans. A practical plan, a backup plan, a risky plan, a risk free plan, and hail mary plan. Jeremy seemed to go into the election as "I am not Boris". That almost never works (note: Democrats of USA, pay heed).
  2. Clarity over confusion. Boris had a clear plan. "Get Brexit Done", he said again and again. Everyone knew what he meant. Everyone knew where he stood. Now, it is almost certain that UK will be out of EU within a month. What was Jeremy's stance? Did he want UK in? Out? Did he like the EU? Hate it? What was his plan? No one knows.
  3. Finally, charisma. This is the TV age. The social media age. The Twitter age. You have to be able to present your ideas in 30 seconds, or 240 characters, and look good while doing so. Boris, clownish as he is, clearly has personality and charisma. Jeremy, on the other hand, would put dodos to sleep.
SO now, perhaps at long last, the messiest divorce in the world that us EU-UK will come to an end, and UK will be out. How will that change world politics? All that I know of is, anyone writing off Trump in 2020 is making a big mistake.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Why Rona Ambrose should be the next leader of the Conservatives

Image result for rona ambrose

The Conservatives need to win in Ontario and Quebec. The Conservatives need to present a kinder, a more centrist, a more understanding face to the electorate than what they had in the last election. Someone who is presumably not going to rant against gays and abortion. Someone who can at least pretend to like immigrants. Someone who is seen as a smart, credible person and someone who is not friends with white supremacists. ALSO, someone who is not seen as a LIAR.

There should be no debate that Scheer has pathetically failed as a leader of the Conservatives. All this talk of winning the popular vote and increasing seats fails to hide the fact that he failed to beat Justin Trudeau, who was discovered in old pictures with blackface, MID-CAMPAIGN, and suffering from multiple ethic violations. The Conservatives, as Peter MacKay said, missed a sure fire goal on an open net.

Ambrose is everything Scheer is not, or is presumed to not be. She is a woman. She is smart. She presents empathy. She is intelligent. She did not lie about her job or her citizenship. She put Canada first by serving in a cross party advising committee on NAFTA renegotiation with the USA. She has served in government before. She is a seasoned parliamentarian. She also comes across as a decent human being, with proper charisma, unlike Scheer who makes a dead robot look more lively.

During her time in Ottawa, Ambrose has proven to be a formidable opponent in the House of Commons, vigorously taking the government to task while at the same time maintaining a subtle congeniality. She is fierce without being frothing. That probably explains why she is so well liked in Ottawa, particularly among members of her own party.

In short, if the Conservatives want to win in the next election, they should not repeat their mistake of this election. Or else they will suffer the same fate.

Draft Rona.


Thursday, June 27, 2019

October 2019 Election Watch

Things have become very interesting on the federal electron front. October is still far, but as I predicted last time, it's going to get tighter. Much tighter.
According to the latest Nanos poll, the Liberals and the Tories are in a dead heat. Statistically tied. The aggregate summary still points to a Tory lead, but one that is rapidly shrinking. I believe there's two reasons, and we can draw two main conclusions.
  1. People don't like Scheer (or as I call him, #ScheerNonsense ) because of his association and support for (and from) Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Ford is historically unpopular (more unpopular than Wynne was before losing), and people see Scheer in the same mold.
  2. Most people were pissed of at Trudeau for some of his antics (India trip, "peoplekind not mankind", the SNC Lavalin, virtue signalling etc.) but once they evaluate the alternative, they realize he is not that bad. Jobs are plentiful and he is moving on the pipeline issue, and generally people are not thinking about deficits. Besides, Scheer's missteps with dealing with white supremacy is also playing a part.
As the election gets more heated and close, we can expect two conclusions.
  1. The NDP will sink even further. Expect the Liberals to promote the idea of the nasty Conservative government doom and gloom scenario, and why we must vote Liberal to stop them. They will not be wrong. The NDP under Singh has no voice, no pulse, no fresh ideas and no charisma. It's sad because we will thus get "safe politics" and not a genuine exchange of ideas.
  2. The Quebec religious oppression bill will be a non-issue. In a situation where every vote matters, no one will dare take on Quebec (sadly).

It will be an interesting summer!

Source: CBC