By Jay Menard
[Note: I wrote this the day after the provincial election, but sat on it as an experiment… hoping the narrative it discusses would change and render it moot. It hasn’t.]
If you’ll indulge me for stepping away from the “Chicken Little” narrative that has dominated the social media universe since the Conservative majority election (and, let’s face it, even before), I honestly believe that Thursday night’s result offers liberals — both small and large-L — an incredible opportunity.
The opportunity? To build bridges.
The challenge is, the very behaviour and beliefs that led to the Conservative majority are precisely the things that may prevent them from seizing that opportunity. This year, I avoided discussing the elections online because I knew it was fruitless — there was no room for debate or discussion and no minds would be changed — but now, in “The Aftermath,” I hope there are are some lessons that can be learned for the betterment of us all.
In London, this is especially true with a municipal election coming up that I fear will just build upon the arrogance, intolerance, and division that we saw at the provincial election. Continue reading
Get out and vote! It’s a catchy, cute, and simple saying. Unfortunately, it glosses over the incredible responsibility that voting represents — and it omits the most important word: informed.
I generally find that these are a few good rules of thumb:
- If you’re voting because an infographic says you should — don’t;
- If you’re voting for a candidate because of something you heard once by someone, somewhere — don’t.
- And, most importantly, if you’re voting because someone told you to “get out and vote” and you think that’s all there is to it, please stay home.
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 less I know about the person or persons behind the Mayor Wanted ad, the more I’m concerned.
First, a quick rundown. Earlier today, a job posting and subsequent Mayor Wanted Web site was launched ostensibly as a “job opening” for the position of City of London.
In and of itself, it was fine… until we got to the end.
What initially concerned me most, at first, was the “for community support email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will connect you with Londoners who care deeply about the future of our city.”
I’m one of those Londoners. So I was interested. Who are these people? Who decides who they connect to.
And the answer — or lack thereof — is where I get nervous about how this information is being used. Continue reading
By Jason Menard
It seems many of our elected representatives forgot what they were elected to do – represent. And, to be honest, it’s our own fault.
Doug Ford provides just the latest example. It seems the non-mayoral-Ford has been participating in Kenney-esque bully politics. The latest tactic is insulting a Canadian literary icon in the battle over Toronto’s libraries. Continue reading