By Jay Menard,
This isn’t going to be a blog telling you for whom you should vote.
In fact, if you read someone presenting a list of “who you should vote for” — especially if he or she is advocating outside of their Ward — I’d take that with a very large grain of salt and ask yourself, “In whose interests is this list truly made for?”
Chances are those interests aren’t yours.
It’s not even a post suggesting that you should vote (I’ve talked about my feelings on that for years).
No, for this post I just want to share my process. And encourage you, if you choose to vote, to consider the same factors when you cast your ballot.
Ultimately, I hope you ignore the advocates and those pushing a cause or a “side.” Instead, just focus on your needs, who you feel best represents your ward, and who has a platform and ideas that align with what you want. Remember, you are giving your “voice” to someone to use (hopefully with ongoing interaction — but that’s rarely the case), so make sure you choose someone worthy of that responsibility. Continue reading
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
By Jay Menard
Even though the official campaign doesn’t start until May 1st, it’s painfully obvious that election — and anti-election — season is in high gear. So do you have your secret message decoder ring on? Because it looks like, once again, we’re going to be faced with people who don’t believe that transparency includes expressing biases or conflicts.
Earlier this week, there was a comment in a Facebook chat, likely noticed by few, but it was so important and indicative of the need we should have for transparency. And it reminded me of an outstanding request, which I’ll talk about shortly.
London councillor Phil Squire called out a commenter during a discussion on the validity of a poll — basically stating that the commenter should disclose that he is working on a campaign. The commenter did identify as supporting a candidate in the future later that day. As we head into both a municipal and provincial election, that type of disclosure is vital.
By Jay Menard,
Accusations of racism, hypocritical criticisms for behaviour recently perpetuated by the other side, and admonishments by the most tone deaf for people not listening. The divide between us continues to grow.
So maybe it’s time for a story…
After all, I opined about how we often play our own “Trump” card in Canada way back in March. And things aren’t getting any better, so the probability of our Canadian version of Trump emerging is rapidly moving from being an “if” to a “when.”
And now, the story… Continue reading
By Jay Menard,
The U.S. election proved what can go horribly wrong when we only pay lip service to the ideals of inclusion.
The worst type of exclusionary politics isn’t practiced by those who are overt in their exclusion — the racists, the bigots, etc. — but rather it’s practiced by those who profess to be inclusive, yet exclude all of those whose views don’t march in lockstep with the groupthink.
And last night’s election results were merely a reflection of that frustration.
My social feeds tend to lean fairly heavily to the left. And the statements I read last night were telling:
“What is going on?”
“This can’t be real…”
“What are they thinking.”
The “they” part of that statement is the problem. And it’s one that plagues the so-called progressive, left-leaning members of our society. Inclusion isn’t about us and them. It’s about all of us. Continue reading