120 posts categorized "resolutions"

December 06, 2008

December 6 - Create Your Own Remembering

December 6 - What You Can Do to Work for An End to Violence Against Women

December 6 - Remembering is Not Enough - Work to End Violence Against Women

December 04, 2008

The Real Dean

"Immediately after Question Period this past afternoon, the NDP’s Libby Davies rose and asked that Conservative Dean Del Mastro be made to withdraw various invectives hurled in the direction of the New Democrats. Apparently Del Mastro had referred to Ms. Davies and her peers as “traitors.”  Del Mastro stood and twice, instead of apologizing, defended his slurs. His fellow Conservatives applauded him."
Macleans.ca: 'A lot of fear and anger and hatred.'

Found via Accidental Deliberations: On Political Violence

Related:
Rusty Idols: Violent Language Encourages Violent Acts

MyKawartha.com: Video of Two Rallies in Peterborough -- Dean Del Mastro Rousing the Crowd - Conservatives Confronting Coalition Supporters - Coalition Supporters Explaining Their Views (found via Maxwell's House)

December 03, 2008

The D Word

Do any of these techniques of persuasion sound familiar to you?

Comparing apples to oranges. For example, "Our government has spent more on culture and heritage (and sports and recreation) than the previous government spent on the arts.

Demonizing the enemy. For example, identifying political opponents as a threat to democracy or the country's future (e.g., describing a perfectly legal course of action under a parliamentary democracy as "undemocratic" or describing the proposed coalition government as Liberals and "socialists" supported by "separatists").

Straw man. For example, distorting an opposing position and then arguing against that distortion (e.g., the attack ads on Stephane Dion, which literally turned the Leader of the Opposition into a cartoon representation of himself; the gross misrepresentations of what the Green Shift and other Opposition policies and platforms were all about during the last election).

Loaded question or loaded statement. For example, posing a question -- or making a statement -- with an implied position that the opponent does not have. (For example, during the Federal leaders' debate, Harper made this statement which totally misrepresented Dion's position and thinking: "Last night, Stephane, you panicked. You came on the set and announced a whole new economic plan in the middle of a national debate. I know why you did that because you look at your platform. Your platform says we will spend billions of dollars we don't have and go into deficit. (You) will raise taxes that will kill jobs.")

And, of course, there are other similar techniques that have become all-too-familiar to political observers -- like telling half-truths, omitting key facts, and attempting to rewrite history by way of selective amnesia.

They have a name for a political leader who has mastered this political modus operandi: who holds on to political power by capitalizing on popular prejudices; preying on people's emotions and fears; resorting to propaganda campaigns to sway the electorate; and who encourages his followers to "Rally for Canada" by showing their support for him and his party.

Demagogue.

"Demagoguery invites the externalization of hatred and anxiety, it is an institutional aid to projection; it justifies tabloid thinking, stereotyping, and the conviction that the world is made up of swindlers...There is no middle ground...the ultimate objective is vague, still the need for definiteness is met by the rule, `Follow the Leader.'"
- Gordon Allport, The Nature of Prejudice

Deceivin' Stephen, Honest Ed, the GG, and the CBC

Askme CBC.ca is asking

If you were the Governor General, what would you do?

Here's my response:

I would give the coalition government an opportunity to have the chance to govern. It is the best alternative, given the other choices. And our system of parliamentary democracy provides for this option. (Any Canadian who is not clear about how parliamentary democracy differs from the US system of government should tune into The National every night to get the facts from the country's top constitutional experts.) [ Subscribe to podcast feed of relevant segments here. ]

Here's something else to consider. We Canadians pride ourselves on resolving things through mediation and cooperation in our daily lives. It only seems fitting that we carry this spirit right to Parliament Hill.

We need a government that understands this and that is willing to work in the best interests of all Canadians during a time of economic crisis. Prime Minister Harper has lost the faith of 62 percent of Canadians because of his insistence on putting partisan politics ahead of policy. If he had been willing to govern responsibly, we would not be in the situation where we find ourselves today. What's unfortunate is that his current campaign of political half-truths and misinformation is causing great anxiety amongst Canadians when there is no need for such anxiety.

If Harper would, for once, act like a statesman and a gentleman, this situation could be resolved quickly and painlessly and our leaders could move beyond the political crisis and start dealing with the economic crisis.

Now click through and offer your opinion, too.

One final thing, while I've got your attention.

How will history remember Harper?

Brian Mulroney got stuck with the not-very-nice moniker "Lyin' Brian." (And we'll be hearing more about him this week on The Fifth Estate. It's no wonder Harper & Company don't like the CBC much, with timing like that. Ouch.)

Do you think Harper is doomed to be stuck with a nickname like Deceivin' Stephen?

Ed Broadbent thinks so. Broadbent accused the Prime Minister of lying during an interview on CBC Radio's The Current this morning. And what an informative interview it was. Honest and straight to the point.

December 02, 2008

Sign Spotted at Political Rally in Peterborough, Ontario -- Quote from THE NATIONAL on CBC

Political Sign Spotted at Pro-Coalition Rally in Peterborough, Ontario

First in a series of photo posts from a noon rally in Peterborough.

Related: CBC.ca coverage about Harper government and public reaction to coalition government.

Pin the Minority on the Donkey Rally in Peterborough at Noon TODAY

Tothesquare

From Emily Berrigan of The Green Party:

"TODAY (Dec. 2nd) at noon the Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro is holding a "Rally for Canada" across from Peterborough City Hall to show [his] disgust for a possible coalition government.

Please join me at the same rally in showing disgust for an unrepresentative government and support for cooperation in Canadian politics! (no matter what your stripe!)

We'll be playing 'Pin the Minority on the Donkey!'"

RSVP on the Facebook group

Related:

Peterborough Examiner story

October 22, 2008

Art on a Plate

Taste the Arts: The Peterborough Arts Umbrella is pleased to present the seventh annual Taste the Arts fine dining fundraiser on Sunday, October 26 - 6:00 pm at the Rare Grill House (166 Brock Street).

Agriculture

This year's theme is the 100 Mile Meal, featuring a gourmet, five-course meal created from ingredients found within a 100 mile radius of the city.

Five of Peterborough's top chefs will prepare an epicurean feast:

This is a highly popular event and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a delectable, creative meal while supporting Peterborough's only full-service arts organization, dedicated to serving artists in Peterborough and the Kawarthas since 1984.

Proceeds from Taste the Arts support the Peterborough Arts Umbrella's annual programming costs.

Tickets are $100.00 each. An optional wine package featuring specially selected pairings is available for an additional $25.00. Call Rare Grill House at (705) 742-3737 or the Peterborough Arts Umbrella at (705) 749-3220 to reserve a place. Doors open at 5:00 pm and dinner begins at 6:00 pm.

* * *

A personal note: David Franklin was the chef who prepared the dinner for Grace United Church when Rev. Lyle Horn celebrated 25 years of ministry this past spring. It was amazing -- the event and the food. Dave's work can only be described as art on a plate. Here's a detail that still sticks in my head, many months after the fact: The salad bowls were fully edible.

Related:
Kawartha Choice:
FarmFresh Foods, locally grown. Lists local markets, retailers, and restaurants that specialize in locally grown foods; as well as places where you can buy food straight off the farm.

October 19, 2008

Stéphane Dion: When Was the Last Time There Was This Kind of a Show of Grassroots Support for a Canadian Politician?

And when was the last time a group of everyday Canadians were moved to take this kind of political action on behalf of a Canadian politician? You'd probably have to think back to the days of Pierre Trudeau to think of a time when ordinary Canadians felt this strongly about a political party leader. 

Over the weekend, ordinary Canadians

to urge Stephane Dion to stay on as leader and to protest the disrespectful treatment of Dion by some anonymous sources within the Liberal Party in recent days.

Will it be enough to prevent Stephen Harper from achieving what he set out to do on Super Bowl Sunday in January 2007, when he launched the now-infamous attack ads on Stéphane Dion: to prevent Canadians from ever experiencing a Canada under Dion?

Only tomorrow will tell.

Img_1397 In the meantime we might wish to ponder what Canada may have lost: a man of integrity and vision. Rather than pandering to the polls, true leaders put forth a bold new vision that inspires us and shows us the way forward that we need to take if we wish to realize our full potential as a nation. Dion did that brilliantly and Canadians let him down by allowing getting sidetracked by Harper's promise of a balanced budget (well on its way to becoming a broken promise) and solid economic leadership (solid because he cribbed it from Dion).

Dion has everything it takes to make a brilliant party leader, if given the opportunity to grow in the job. He's a man of intelligence, integrity, and vision -- and he also cares passionately about his country and its people. Politics, for him, is a means to an end; not an end in itself.  If he's replaced, he'll no doubt be replaced by Mr. Charisma, Mr. Business, or Mr. Shake Everybody's Hands and Refill the Party Coffers. What they won't find is another Dion. He's a once-in-a-generation kind of party leader. And, should he resign, he will be sorely missed.

October 17, 2008

My Letter to Stéphane Dion -- and Why I Wrote It

Yesterday, I wrote a letter to Stéphane Dion. It was a letter of gratitude and encouragement. It was also my way of dealing with what, for me, has been a terribly painful election outcome: an election in which political manipulation triumped over truth and integrity. What does that say about our country and our values, circa 2008? That's the question I've been pondering at both the local and the national level for the past three days.

I'm posting my letter for you to read in the hope that sharing my perspective on this sensitive, principled, visionary leader will help other Canadians to understand what a terrible injustice has been done to him -- and how our country has been diminished as a result.

Think back to the excitement that accompanied his election as Liberal Party Leader -- and how, almost instantly -- Harper and his rove-ing band of political thugs felt the need to launch a preemptive strike against Dion -- right at the get go. You don't take that kind of approach with an ordinary political adversary. You save it for someone you view as an extraordinary threat. Someone who is offering Canadians a bold new vision of what is possible. (CBC RealMedia file | Time: 17:41) Someone who threatens your own political ambitions.

If Dion tenders his resignation on Monday, as many are indicating he will do, I will hold the Prime Minister of Canada personally responsible for the sequence of events that led to that decision -- namely, for authorizing a 22-month-long attack ad campaign designed to destroy a man's political career and to turn him into a national joke. I'm talking about personal defamation and political bullying or, to borrow one of the Prime Minister's favorite phrases, misappropriation of personality. The attacks didn't stop there, of course. Anonymous Liberal Party insiders and -- in recent days -- would-be furniture-movers piled on as well: party politics at its most ugly and most vicious.

If Dion resigns, it will be to the detriment of every Canadian: a political possibility lost. We will never know what kind of Prime Minister Dion might have made or what kind of Canada we might have had if his vision of a greener, fairer, and more economically sustainable Canada had been realized.

I am only one citizen, but I am hoping that other Canadian citizens will finally hold their Prime Minister accountable for what was allowed to happen in our country to a truly decent man and visionary politician like Stéphane Dion. A true leader would accept responsibility for his actions and offer a sincere apology to the leader who has been wronged. If Harper is not willing to do that, some may start saying that Harper is not a leader.

Related: 
Susan Riley, Dion deserved better, Ottawa Citizen.
Far and Wide: Outside the Beltway: Roundup of blog posts and detailed discussion about why Dion should not be pushed out as party leader.

Hon. Stephane Dion with Betsy McGregor
Photo: Stéphane Dion with Betsy McGregor,
Federal Liberal Candidate, Peterborough Riding
(2008 election).

October 15, 2008

Political Fix-It List: ONE: Political Advertising

This is the first in an occasional series of posts designed to highlight systemic problems with our political system and to begin to suggest possible ways of getting at the solution.

Political advertising

We need a truth-in-political advertising law that requires that all political advertising be rigorously fact-checked for accuracy before being released to the public and that heavily penalizes candidates who deliberately seek to sabotage their opponents' campaigns and defame their reputations through attack ads and smear campaigns.

As it stands, there is no penalty for launching attack ads designed to damage the public's perception of a political opponent; for making false claims about political achievements (past, present, or pending); or  deliberately misrepresenting key facts about the campaign platforms and personal/professional backgrounds of political opponents.

We have truth in advertising laws governing other types of products and services. Why should politicians and political parties -- who are making product claims about their ability to govern our country -- be exempt from such legislation? Just because we've always accepted dishonesty and false claims -- and, increasingly, attack ads and blatant misrepresentations of the other candidates' campaigns -- doesn't mean that we should tolerate this in any future election campaigns.

 "We need a system in which purveyors and sponsors of misleading political ads will be penalized for doing so. We need a system that would look at each ad and investigate it, that will break down the message and its claims, that will track the facts and not fear calling such ads "misleading," "exaggerated," "spin." This should help viewers evaluate the ads, and the candidate who "approved this message. Free speech should not entitle a candidate to lie."
- Marc Raizman, Daily Camera

"There's no reason consumers should be protected from disinformation any more than citizens should. Our democracy hangs in the balance."
- Julian Friedland, Daily Camera