Tag Archives: London

London Council Exists in Our Own Image

By Jay Menard

I admire London’s new mayor for reaching out to the community, but I’m concerned that asking the London Twitterverse about decorum is like polling cannibals about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle – they may be aware of the concept, but they certainly don’t practice it.

So it’s safe to say that any advice digested from that source be taken with a Goderich-sized grain of salt. After all, our existing council offers a pretty fair representation of London’s on-line community. Continue reading

It’s Not the Band I Hate, It’s Their Fans

By Jay Menard,

“It’s not the band I hate. It’s their fans.” Yes, I am gearing myself up for Sloan’s appearance this weekend at the Western Fair’s Beer & BBQ Show, but that’s beside the point.

That lyric also perfectly sums up the way I feel about some of the participants in our municipal campaigns. And the danger for the candidates is that they’re going to suffer from guilt by association.

London, especially on Twitter and other social networks including our local paper’s comments section, is easily likened to a playground. Whether it’s puerile name calling or taking their figurative ball and going home when they don’t get their way, we see a lot of the worst in discourse.

I had hoped during a municipal campaign things would change, but I haven’t seen it yet. Continue reading

London’s Country Music Announcement Hits All the Right Notes

By Jason Menard

This is likely the only time I’ll write about country music. While there are a few songs I enjoy, it’s not my genre of choice. Yet, I’ll fully admit to being excited about today’s announcement that the 2016 Canadian Country Music Association Awards and Country Music Week will be hosted by the Forest City.

I’m excited by both the short and long-term benefits of the event. And that excitement is based on precedent.

And I’m looking at Cher. Continue reading

No Good Deed Goes Unpublished?

By Jay Menard

I know some were inspired by Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi’s call for London to conscript his “Three Things for…” idea to encourage good deeds in the community.

Instead of being inspired, his call just made me sad.

Let me start by saying that I have no issue with the intent behind Nenshi’s Three Things for… idea. I just don’t know what it says about us that we need to have something like this at all.

Are we, as a society, so stuck staring into the palm of our hands that we don’t see the need around us and act accordingly? Has social networking made us so narcissistic that an action will not exist until it has received 30 retweets and a couple dozen Facebook likes?

Do we have to change the old adage from “no good deed goes unpunished” to “no good deed goes unpublished?” Continue reading

Flying the Rainbow Flag? It’s Not So Black and White

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

I Want to be Represented by the Best of the Best; Not the Best of the Rest

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

Number One Must Be a Bullet

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