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.