Sunday, May 28, 2006

How to Effectively Refute (and Preempt) the Media

Prime Minister Harper is right to point out the hypocrisy and skewed reporting of the leftist media. Listening to them also provides an indication as to where they are headed and how best to stop them in their tracks.

To start with, having been successful to some extent at changing public opinion on the war in Iraq, these anti-war even at the cost of self defense infogeeks are now trying to turn public sentiment against our presence in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Harper needs to do two very important things to combat this. The first is to explain the importance of our international obligations, the restoration of society and women's/children's rights in that area and how we are responsible for our own defense on a global level.

The second, and this is the important part, is he must consistently preface these remarks with "The Liberal Decision to commit forces." i.e. He must say how the Liberal decision was the right thing and one of the few right-headed decisions they made. Doing so will not only get his message of the necessity of the mission across, but will also deter the opposition and their sycophants in the media that are the Canadian Press Corps from making an issue out of this, it then being at their peril to do so. This must be done constantly and continuously to be effective.

The second line of attack being organized by the media is being hinted to, unwittingly, by Jim Travers of Toronto Star infamy. It concerns national unity. In a weekend column Mr. Travers so poetically obfuscates, when describing the result of the last election, that "Canadians were uncharacteristically open to simple solutions for complex problems and to the minimalist proposition that a country that once aspired to greatness should now muddle forward as no more than the sum of its provincial parts."

I'm not going to get into the fact that the truth is that Conservatives have proposed overall commonsense solutions which were very complex in forming while Liberals have instead chosen to provide a litany of complaints (no doubt in an effort to appear smarter to the unattentive by belittling their opponents and as a prelude to once again employing their favorite tactic, that being fearmongering and obfuscation). The leftist media takes its queues from the Star and will soon be saying that the Conservative solution to provincial/federal relations weakens the country, citing the same nonsensical argument Travers does and with about as much proof. The Prime Minister must respond to this offensive. He must explain how paying attention to the uniqueness of every part of the country strengthens the nation as a whole. He should also point out how Liberal efforts to ignore the differences inherent in the different regions and provincials only served to fuel divisiveness and a perception by at least a few provinces that they were being ignored.

To Rehash:

To combat the barrage of feces coming out of the national media, the PM needs to articulate the reasons that our Afghan mission is necessary and to remind everyone, in a way that it doesn't seem purposeful but that gets the point out nonetheless, that it was a Liberal decision. This will preempt the media's attempt to "blame" PM Harper for a Liberal decision and may stop their war against the mission in Afghanistan completely.


When the media wishes to distort other issues and to sanctimoniously proclaim how great their positions are (i.e. the positions that the Liberal Party espouses at any given moment and for as long a duration) and try to belittle Conservative policy without cause, the PM needs to react, explaining the firm logic of his government's policies and exposing the policies favored by the Liberal opposition and media for the nonsense and spin that they are.

And in general, look to the Star for clues as to where the leftist media hit-job machine is aiming its bullets. Refute accordingly.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Liberals say "Trust Us, We Lie" Conservatives Need to Say Something in Return

Bill Graham wants the public to trust the liberals again and right after saying so he added three new lies for good measure. The government must counter them and expose him and his party for the frauds they are.

Graham claims that the new budget gives targeted breaks to the rich while raising taxes on middle and lower income brackets. Although this is the canard liberals have used for 40 years (some for 70) it has little to do with the truth and is nothing short of pandering and demagoguery. In effect, what Graham was saying was, "trust us, we lie through our teeth."

That said, the unfortunate truth is that some people, mostly those who trust what is presented to them by the media and don't do any fact checking on their own, believe whatever quote of Graham receives prominent coverage. Some of this is due to clear media bias, hyping Graham's quotes and giving the Liberal voice more coverage than the views of the Conservative Party. However, constantly hammering the truth at the media to counter some of these lies is essential and should result in at least some increase in coverage for our side and for the true hard facts.

To begin with the budget lowers taxes, both the income tax and the GST, the consumption tax, across the board. In anticipation of a possible Tory victory, the Liberals proposed to reduce the lowest tax rate from 16% to 15%, removing certain widely used tax credits to do so. The Conservative budget lowers the 16% to 15.5% while keeping some of the tax credits in tact. The Tories did not raise taxes as Graham so brazenly claims. They ignored a Liberal promise that would benefit no one (benefiting no one is the hallmark of Liberal promises) in favor of true tax cuts. The lower and middle brackets receive the most benefit from the new budget but all you hear and read from the press are Graham's comments. Graham's spin somehow takes precedence over the truth.

Graham then went on to criticize the government for removing the Grit's Day Care incentive. But the Liberal transfers to the provinces had no guarantee that they would be used for day care and some provinces had already developed plans to use them for other things. The Conservative plan provides direct relief to each and every family in Canada. There is another issue that bears mention. When asked why the Liberals don't trust families with direct child reimbursements one prominent Grit opined that Canadian parents may use these funds on "popcorn and beer." Liberals have constantly demeaned families and the average taxpayer. The Tory plan helps parents who stay at home with their children as well as those who work. The Liberals believe that parents are incapable of caring for their children without the assistance of government day care programs and outside intervention (while this may be true of staunchly liberal parents, who after decades of being fed self-centered emotional, feel good "crepes" are too self-absorbed to provide proper parenting without training, this is not the case for the overwhelming majority of parents).

There is another issue which needs to be raised. The budget includes tax incentives for businesses. But unlike the Liberals who provided many incentives to businesses and just didn't publicize them (so that they could demagogue when Conservatives do so), Conservatives need to explain to the public the simple facts. Businesses provide jobs. When businesses receive incentives to do so the Canadian worker benefits. If one needs proof of this one need only compare the state of Ontario's workforce under Bob Rae to what it was under Mike Harris. Yes, Mike Harris, not Bob Rae, advocated policies that benefit average workers.

Most of all, Conservatives need to take the offense and start explaining their positions to the media while exposing Liberal lies and distortions for what they are. As a side note, anyone who wants to know about Bill Graham's idea of ethics need do no more than perform a google search on him. Surprisingly, the picture that comes up is not one that fits with the media portrayal of him as that of statesman extraordinaire. But most importantly, Tories need to start explaining their positions and need to begin now.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Important Alternative to Crime Legislation That Would Truly Help All of Society

Having been a staunch conservative since before the time I could vote I have always cast my ballot for the truly conservative party of the time. As someone who also served as a Director on my Riding Board for the Canadian Alliance I am very pleased with most of the enactments of the new government. But I am so displeased with one crucial aspect of this government's agenda, one which can be so easily made better for all. It is an issue which bothers many Canadians morally who feel as I do, even though, like me, they have no personal stake in this issue. It also represents a missed opportunity by this government, one which if taken advantage of can greatly increase the number of Tory supporters nationwide and do wonders for the party's overall popularity, a cause I have given significant effort to and hope to continue doing.

The issue at hand is the proposed crime legislation. Although it does not and will not effect me and although action does need to be done to ensure the safety of all Canadians, mandatory minimum sentences are not the way to go. Study after study documents that alternative sentencing, keeping an offender at home at night while performing weeks of back breaking labor by day, is more effective and has a greater effect on a person's rehabilitation into society. The difference between this approach and one which involves mandatory prison sentences is not only that by placing the offender in prison you are placing an already weak and destructive person in an atmosphere with constant reinforcement to lead a life of crime as soon as the offender is freed, thereby jeodardizing the safety of society instead of alleviating the problem, but by so doing one is also missing out on an opportunity to reform the offender, something which can be accomplished with a few weeks or months of truly hard labor. As the overwhelming majority of offenders are young, it is truly a shame to reinforce their negative behavior by surrounding them 24/7 with criminals instead of truly reforming them via alternative sentencing with a few hard lessons that can be absorbed quickly and which studies show would have lasting effects.

Should Tories champion alternative sentencing another great task would be accomplished. The party would cement its well deserved position as a party with original thoughts and that seeks to better society with bold, but needed proposals. It will also show the true compassion behind conservative philosophy as this solution is in the best interests of the offender, his or her children and in the end, of society as a whole. It is the compassionate and effective position and one which would put both Canada and the Conservative Government on the map as lead promoters of needed social change in a smart, beneficial and conservative way.

Alternative sentencing benefits offenders by training them not to reoffend as opposed to making them part of a greater gang of thieves, it benefits their families by keeping their children with a parent at home instead of behind bars whenever the parent's presence is more beneficial than his/her absence (and if not that is a matter for social services to handle and they could be alerted by the offender's work detail supervisor) and it benefits society by teaching offenders that criminality will be dealt with by way of swift and effective punishment not with time away spent solely with other convicts who most likely spend their days plotting away to alleviate their perpetual boredom.

The government that introduces it would have a ready refutation when their critics, devoid of ideas yet full of smears, accuse it of being "out of touch, heartless, etc." It is the compassionate choice, the sensible choice and the right choice. If enacted and explained in this context it will also be the extremely popular choice, forever cementing this government's repuatation as innovative, effective, original and caring. It will also make Canada an international leader in this area. What a shame it would be to miss such an opportunity and instead propose a solution that limits the power of judges familiar with their cases and which will surely be used as fodder by the opposition to rip this government's good name and all that it has fought so hard to accomplish to shreds the first time the results of this legislation are perceived to be unfair as usually happens with blanket bans or mandatory, across the board punishments. To the government - Please don't put the party in this position at a time when you can alternatively accomplish so much good for society as a whole and for the party at the same time.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Time to Cool It!

Infighting gets no one anywhere. Ronald Reagan, architect of the Republican majority had an 11th commandment of politics, "Thou Shalt not speak ill of thy fellow Republican." Well, Canadian Conservatives and conservatives (i.e. members of the party and like-minded idealists) need to take a quick lesson from the Gipper.

It's sad to see how the media has skewed Garth Turner's level headed remarks. In interviews he's been full of praise of the Harper Govt. He merely points out one issue on which he disagrees. He does it mildly. As someone who agrees with the Prime Minister and not with Garth on this one, I still find it appalling that as soon as his interview was over, the statements he made, which can accurately be summed up as "I think this government is doing a lot of great things but I do disagree on this one issue" are immediately changed and rehashed in a way that would make the primary subjects of George Orwell's 1984 proud.

It's equally sad that some "conservatives" have taken to badmouthing as honourable and decent a man as Garth Turner as a result of these comments. The fact is that Garth Turner is a highly principled individual. He'd make a great Cabinet Minister. Canada, not just the Riding of Halton, is fortunate to have him in Parliament. PM Harper would be wise to immediately appoint him to a junior Cabinet post, at least, thereby stifling the Liberal media in their latest line of attack.

Most importantly: Whatever side you're on - Cool it! Conservatives can't maintain a proper government while fret with constant infighting. There will be disagreements. That's the stuff that makes a party stronger. The key is to get over them. Fast!

If you believe that the Emerson appointment goes against democratic values then fine. Recognize that nothing illegal or unethical was committed and don't make an issue of it to an extent that Liberals who just spent the past 12 years blocking every attempt at democratic reform use this as fodder to throw at a government that is finally taking steps in this area. If you believe, as I do, that no wrong has been committed, then don't impugn the dignity of a man like Garth Turner who has worked tirelessly to promote Conservative values and Conservative politics.

We have bigger issues to worry about. Like the fact that the overwhelming majority of Urban Canadians still have no understanding of conservatism and of the reasoning behind the issues we care about? Isn't that worthy of at least enough of our attention to pass up this "oh so important, one time chance" to smear and tarnish one of the most ethical MPs in Parliament today, one who just happens to be a member of our own party to boot?

In short; Thou shalt speak no evil of thy fellow Conservative. Translation for Montreal Canadiens fans, Go Emerson! Go Turner!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Note to PM Harper: Bypass the Media

It's interesting how the media never waits to attack a Conservative. Had they not launched their offensive during the first hour of Harper's Govt. they could have at least put on the appearance of impartiality. But why do that when no one calls them to the floor for it? Why bother when no one cares to recognize the agenda they have beyond mere reporting of the news?

Remember a little over six months ago when Belinda was heralded as a hero? What changed when Emerson did the same thing? Why aren't we hearing ad nauseam about how his move was "in the interests of the country," how politicians "have a right to act according to their conscious" and the plethora of other excuses then coughed up by the media?

Of course, the media, now taking their talking points from Bill Graham, are already defending their openly displayed hypocrisy accordingly: "Harper did it right after an election." Does anyone honestly think that the media would have given this story more sympathetic, Belinda-type coverage had this happened mid-term? I don't think there's anyone gullible enough to believe that. Not even the most stalwart of liberals are that gullible - they just pretend to be. On the contrary, a defection to the Tories would have been portrayed in a much worse light had it not happened on the day the new government was being sworn in, when people are most apt to cut the new guys some slack. Anyone who thinks that Emerson's defection would have received the same celebratory acclaim given Stronach hasn't listened to, read or seen a media broadcast in decades.

Note to Harper: Take heed. From day one, on every matter of policy, speak directly to the Canadian people. Hold press conferences, broadcast night time speeches, whatever - just go above their heads and don't rely on newsbytes. In other words, bypass the media. These "impartial" goons won't cut you any slack. (Though they will make up scandals where none exist. You're a Conservative, so you can count on them for that).

Note to the "mainstream" media: People are beginning to see your agenda for what it is. The slack you cut Liberal leaders (remember Jean Chretien's paper napkin, anyone?) and the muck that you spew against their Conservative counterparts has reached a level that you can no longer deny. Hypocrite, thy name is CBC (or the Toronto Star - take your pick).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Martin Getting Dangerous

For all who've had enough......

What on earth do Liberal higher-ups have against Democracy? Whatever it may be it's now a fact that those with the audacity to always accuse the Conservatives having a "Hidden Agenda" (who, unlike the Liberals, have been open and consistent about their policies for years) are the real party who go against the will of the public whenever it clashes with a newly minted Leftist policy.

Take same sex marriage, for example. This idea, rejected by the Liberals just three short years ago, has now become an important enough issue for Martin and Co. to forever render the Canadian Government at the mercy of unelected judges. Or is there anyone else who didn't take a back-flip when P.M. for Tylenol PM promised to revoke the Not-Withstanding Clause in tonight's debate? What was the jolly ol' fellow thinking?

Whatever it was he certainly couldn't be thinking very clearly. Perhaps that's why it's not ordinarily recommended to formulate far reaching policy initiatives in middle of a leaders' debate. Perhaps this is also just one little reason why the Liberals' foremost hero, Pierre Trudeau, sponsor of - among other things that shall remain unmentioned (this is a G-rated posting after all) - the Not-Withstanding Clause, was less than supportive of Martin's first bid for the Liberal leadership and would have been so even if it hadn't been against Trudeau's long time friend, le petit menteur de Shawinagin.

Well, after tonight's debacle all one can ask is this: What was Paul thinking? What has Paul been drinking?

The Not-Withstanding Clause is our only protection in a democratic society against runaway judges. It serves to protect the electorate from judicial rulings that are not supported by the public or which belong in the realm of debated theory but are otherwise too impractical to implement (and are dangerous if implemented). The Not-Withstanding Clause protects the rights of the electorate in that its representatives, not unelected judges or justices who will never face public scrutiny, are given the final say on all legislation.

What, Dear Mr. Martin, will you say when the Supreme Court strikes down laws that are necessary for the public good but which an academic may frown upon? What will you say should they ever make a ruling that is wholly unpopular or impractical? Have judges not been known to do just that? And then there's the larger issue Mr. Martin. What of the "Democratic Deficit" you so correctly, yet so facetiously, ranted about when you first took office?

Why, Mr. Martin, can't you take an example from Mr. Mulroney, your far more worthy predecessor, who you hate - even though he never did anything as brazen as to unilaterally force his social opinions down the throats of the Canadian public and down those of his own ministers. Quite the opposite of you, sir, he had the decency to call for free votes on issues of national confidence. He did not pretend to be the king and social concious of a nation. What do you believe you stand to lose by taking a similar approach? Aren't the tactics you currently employ a bit much for a man who only two short years ago sought to style himself as the long awaited champion of the people who, after 10 years of Croutonic rule, would finally respect the will of the electorate? Indeed, Mr. Martin, you are as shallow as you are hollow.

This emperor is truly without clothes. Let us hope that, come election day, he adorns an equally few number of votes. The consequences of this race have just been raised a notch and the sooner we rid ourselves of this man who has shown himself tonight to be careless, conceited and thoughtless beyond belief, the better off we are as a nation.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Alternative Sentencing - An Important Issue That Can Also Help the Tories

As a staunch Tory supporter and former member of my Canadian Alliance riding board I am greatly supportive of most of the Conservative Party's policies. There is one noted exception shared by many others. This concerns mandatory minimum sentences.

There are cases which deserve special consideration and have special circumstances and qualified judges who handle the individual cases and who actually have the opportunity to meet the accused are in the best position to decide on appropriate sentencing. Studies also show the effectiveness of alternative sentencing (far more effective and fiscally responsible than the broken Judicial System currently in place) and the Conservative Party of Canada can garner much support and establish its credentials with the public as a policy leader by advocating for the expansion of same.

Although I have no personal stake in this issue, as someone - like everyone - who wants to see the betterment of society, I believe this issue to be of primary importance. Focusing on alternative sentencing will add a breath of fresh air to the campaign and greatly enhance the Conservative Party's image, going a long way to dispel the smears and malicious depictions that its opponents have partly relied upon until now.