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5 posts from July 2008

July 30, 2008

MP Dean Del Mastro's Law and Order Pamphlet Doesn't Play Well in Peterborough

Peterborough Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro's latest mailout to constituents hit the street this week, warning about the dire consequences of "young thugs" and "lawless punks" committing crimes without consequence. (It's an interesting approach for Del Mastro to take, given his earlier vow not to try to score political points on the crime issue by creating fear: "I want people to understand that I’m not just out trying to score cheap political points on crime issues by scaring the public at large." he told the local media at a press conference held at his family's car wash when the business was vandalized. (Note:Del Mastro divested himself of any interest in the car wash before become an MP, but he wanted to hammer home the effects of crime on small business owners.)

Judging by the response in today's The Peterborough Examiner and the blogosphere people are not impressed with the hard-hitting law-and-order position Del Mastro has taken on behalf of his party. Various individuals quoted in the Examiner article described Del Mastro as a "mouthpiece of Stephen Harper," and someone using fear as a tool to create inter-generational dissent for the sake of political gain. (This is, of course, a classic example of playing the emotional card even when the facts are totally stacked against you -- except, in this case, a lot of Peterborough constituents are on to the card trick.)

There is also a Letter to the Editor criticizing the pamphlet. In the past, Del Mastro's mailings to constituents have been the subject of much outrage, with constituents asking him to stop sending them (either because they object to them for environmental reasons or because they view them as Conservative Party of Canada campaign materials rather than bonafide constituent news) and Del Mastro defending his right to send out the mailings, whether constituents wish to receive them or not.

Update: The mailings have also triggered an official complaint, on the grounds that the mailings constitute Conservative party propaganda rather than news of interest to area constituents.

And another area constituent prepared this fabulous recap of all the mailings from August. True confession: I filed them without reading them. I wanted them for my Del Mastro archives (which will be worth a fortune on eBay some day), but the junkie mailing scared me so much I didn't have it in me to actually read the most recent Conservative Party (I mean Del Mastro constituency) mailings.

July 29, 2008

Voting is a Superpower: Superheroes on the US Campaign Trail

It's great to know that I've got something in common with the superheroes.

Well, Campaign Girl and Campaign Boy at least.

Apparently the two caped crusaders of citizenship were at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego over the weekend, spreading the word that the coolest type of citizen is a politically engaged citizen -- someone who makes a point of understanding the issues and exercising the right to vote.

The superheroes, who hail from the voter education website Campaign.com, attended Comic-Con to spread the word that voting is a superpower -- and to let conference attendees know that the two of them were armed with information on voter registration, the candidates, and the issues -- "to help voters determine the fate of the universe."

Indeed.

July 27, 2008

The Mother of All Manifestos? Not Really. It's for Dads, Too.

I think I've issued what basically amounts to a political manifesto (or call to active citizenry) for parents, over at my other blog. (I told you I've been feeling feisty as of late. I thought someone should be saying something like this so I said it.)

July 19, 2008

Feisty Squirrel

This post ("Ghost Stories") would have been as at home right here as it is in my blog at ParentCentral.ca (The Toronto Star), but because it focuses so much on kids and education, I posted it over there.

If you click through, you'll find a photo of the "Why" necklace I made one day, when I was feeling particularly frustrated with the status quo. I wear it on days when I'm feeling particularly feisty and ready to speak my mind about anything and everything. It's a warning sign to family members that they might not want to ask my opinion unless they really want to hear it.

Hope everyone is having a fabulous summer. I'm in squirrel-mode right now -- gathering nuggets of information and storing them away for the months to come.

July 03, 2008

Boston College's Juliet Schor and Prasannan Parthasarathi on the need for broad-based economic reforms

LandscapeFrom The Boston Globe, April 27, 2008:

"The nation can no longer sustain the same old policies that enrich the energy giants, agribusinesses, and other transnationals who bear a large part of the responsibility for the current mess.

"We need broad-based reforms that cushion higher prices for basic needs by putting more purchasing power into lower-income hands, expand secure access to sustainable food sources, and provide climate-friendly power and transport. That requires egalitarian policies, bottom-up power, and sustainable methods of production.

"The sooner we get on the path to this inevitable transition, the easier, and fairer, the process of adjusting prices will be."