By Jay Menard
I’m sure there are those who will read this and brand me a homophobe. There are others who will point to my societal privilege, my cishet status, or my general whitey-ness and tell me I don’t have a right to make a comment on issues of gay rights.
I know that to be the case because I’ve read the comments — on both sides. The venom and knuckle-dragging vitriol of the homophobe is being countered by the righteous indignation and instant branding of the pro-gay warrior.
But in the end, the idea of flying a rainbow flag to protest the Sochi Olympics is not so black and white to me. Continue reading
By Jay Menard,
When it comes to choosing for whom I want to vote, I take my cues from the Bard of Mersey, because more and more it’s getting harder to know who you can trust.
In John Lennon’s song “God,” he lists off a number of things in which he doesn’t believe, ranging from religions to politicians to philosophies to musicians. At the end, he quietly intones, “I just believe in me.”
John follows that up with “Yoko and me. And that’s reality.” And since Yoko’s not on my speed dial, I have to trust myself. In today’s world, that’s an even more challenging proposition.
Thanks to social media and the Internet, we have access to a wealth of information. But that wealth has vastly different values – ranging from pure gold to filthy lucre. And, sadly, there are far too many snake oil salesmen and women promising one thing, but working only in their own interests. We have access to more information than ever, but that doesn’t mean the information is better. Continue reading
By Jason Menard
I prefer to vote FOR something, not against it. No matter at what level, I’d rather vote based on conscience, not compromise. Most of all, I want to choose from the best of the best; not the best of the rest.
If you follow municipal politics in London, you’ll know that, for some, the Great Satan is Incumbency (well, Selected Incumbency). The talisman to ward of that perceived evil, of course, is quality opponents (with a Hail Mary thrown towards term limits).
Yet, in an odd twist, there those who once lamented a dearth of quality candidates are now wringing their hands over an overabundance of perceived quality – to the point where the Great Satan of Incumbency will rise up, Lazarus-like, to reclaim his or her throne, based on vote-splitting.
And, to combat this challenge, there has been whispers of what is to me an even greater evil. An evil that undermines the intent of the electoral process in its purest form.
Strategic candidate selection. Continue reading
By Jason Menard
The top priority for every candidate in the upcoming 2014 London municipal election is easy to define — in fact, it’s got to be number one with a bullet.
Because the buckshot approach of the past couple of councils is only serving to scatter their effectiveness — well, if you discount council’s effectiveness in shooting itself in the foot.
Though I’m very much anti-gun, I hope you’ll forgive my analogy. A bullet is simple, effective, and direct. However, it’s not comprehensive from the start. It is packed with many individual grains gunpowder or other propellants that all come together to force it forward.
That’s what the next council must do. It must take all these disparate ideas, perspectives, and needs from their various constituencies, and bring them together to move forward in one, cohesive unit that propels this city forward. Continue reading
By Jason Menard
The old adage states that there is no “I” in team. As we approach the 2014 municipal elections, it is important to remember that it doesn’t matter if a candidate is a rookie, a young up-and-comer, or a seasoned veteran.
Whether as a role player or a team captain, they just need to know what it takes to be part of a winning organization. And that’s teamwork. Continue reading