Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Political Marketing Part 2

I didn't envision myself adding on to the previous post, however too many things are coming out, especially within the twitter side of social media, and I see people falling for the trap and not thinking.

In Edmonton, examples of past traps have been City Council coming out of the blue to do something that was never envisioned or discussed or talked about during an election campaign as in "I have this agenda". Because if we actually knew about that agenda chances are we never would have voted for that person. Mayor Mandel wanted to close the airport... many say for personal and business reasons for his developer buddies... but how do you do that?

Wait until you are elected, bring it up and push it through... is how. But use all kinds of reasons that make no sense, just as long as you follow the letter of the law. The logic of actually doing the right thing never applies after all, as long as you follow the law. And Mandel did. He held the required public hearings. The ones where he yawned, fiddled, paid no attention, got pissed when valid arguments were presented, tried to silence people, etc. And then ignored what was said and did what he wanted anyway.

The media fell for it, with probably the worst offender being the use of the Edmonton Journal "columnists" using their clout on front page of section 2... having opinions being presented that looked like news articles. Of course, the Journals comments were "but they have their picture shown so that identifies them as a columnist and not a reporter". Oh.. really? I wonder how many people actually knew that. I certainly did not. Due note, they continue this practice to this day, and don't have the balls to actually PUT the words "opinion column" in the paper. I wonder why... it seems so simple (and correct) to do...

And then the next election comes along and mysteriously out of the blue Edmonton suddenly needs a new arena, spouting that it's all just talk, don't worry, nothing will happen until all of the funds are in place and blah blah blah.Strange how that changed along the way huh?

And now in the provincial election there is this thing coming up about how some parties will do the "free vote" thing, and "but if everyone has a free vote then how can an agenda be sneaked in?" ..

"Yes Assembly, I vote FOR this legislation because the majority of my constituents have expressed their opinion on this matter to be this way".

On the surface, it is what it is right? But what about under the surface? How can you possibly KNOW what they are saying is indeed the truth? And if its one of those hotly contested issues then all they have to say is "it was close, but 55% of my constituents said to vote this way". And you have no proof nor could you ever hope to get proof.

In Edmonton's case, we have a council that voted to close a critical need airport for medivac purposes, and a spineless provincial government that never had the balls to step in and say "Hey wait a minute... you are not allowed to close the most critical runway on that airport that medivac requires". Consequently a baby from Grande Prairie died, most likely as a direct result of that runway not been available when needed. I suspect there is more but of course, we aren't allowed to know because of privacy.

And we may very well be stuck with literally a 100% tax payer funded arena complex, where a billionaire rakes in 100% of the profits.

I see no party standing up to say the "laws" need to be changed to serve the public interests. Perhaps that's because they want those laws to remain to protect their private interests. Especially when it comes to "free votes".

I know it hurts to open your eyes and think. Perhaps it's time to take a little pain, for your children's futures.


  1. Haha, I think I might be one of those "head-in-the-sand" people when it comes to the issue of free votes, because I really like & support the idea. I think if there's no commitment to free votes at all, there's no guarantee for constituents that party candidates will just run off and vote in the way their party donors want, for example.

    But I can see your point. I have witnessed politicians claiming to be voting based on what constituents say, with no way of telling if it's true. You know, certain members of our city council who frequently toss out the cliche "silent majority" argument. The idea of free votes needs to come with safeguards, such as voter recall as the Liberals & Wildrose propose, or party policies that force (not "encourage") elected reps to interact with constituents such as what the Alberta Party (or at least some of their candidates) proposes.

  2. I do agree, the idea of doing "free votes" is needed. My only point was that it would be all too easy for the PROCESS to be manipulated.

    Case in point would be Mayor Mandel holding public hearings on the Airport, knowing full well he would never listen to what the public had to say. But, he followed the letter of the law.

    And people wonder why politicians are not trusted..