Saturday, October 31, 2015

NaPo : Wagging the dog whistle

National Post, flagship of the largest media conglomerate in Canadian history run by a foreign hedge fund, inhales a MEMRI *report* based on the online musings of four anonymous 'known' jihadi dudes titled :

"Pro-ISIS Activists React Joyously On Twitter To Canada's Elections"

Then they give it the fabulous new Trudeau-torqued headline you see at left.

NaPo tweets it. While your standard NaPo tweet gets around 1 to 15 retweets if they're lucky, this one gets 159.

VICE News follows suit with its own rewrite of the MEMRI report : 
"Canada Ran Away:' Jihadists Reportedly Rejoice Over Trudeau Victory"
as do others, and NaPo rewriter Bell retweets them too.  

"Disturbing but predictable" retweets the disturbing but predictable Jason Kenney.

btw None of them bothered to blur out the identities of the 'known' jihadi tweeters as I have done here. 

Is this a thing now?
It's fine now for the Minister of National Defence to promote tweets of 'known' jihadis if their messages can somehow be torqued to slag off on Trudeau?

Just as disturbing but predictable is the NaPo pipelining of MEMRI. Founded by a former colonel in Israeli military intelligence and the wife of a Dick Cheney advisor, MEMRI got a thorough thrashing from The Guardian over a decade ago in "Selective Memri" : "Investigates whether the 'independent' media institute that translates the Arabic newspapers is quite what it seems.".  
Right Web and SourceWatch provide background and a handy list of MEMRI's PNAC and NeoCon advisors and directors.

Hey kids, remember this bullshit NaPo front page, complete with Hungarian couple from 1944?

It was May 2006. NaPo torqued up another report they'd been pipelined from another outfit and later had to retract and apologize for it. 
But not before it had been republished around the world and Steve got a chance to refer back to it publicly
"We've seen a number of things from the Iranian regime that are along these lines .  It boggles the mind that any regime on the face of the Earth would want to do anything that could remind people of Nazi Germany."

So I'm just sitting NaPo's MEMRI presskit offering here while we wait to see if it gets the same overwrought reach-around treatment.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Barnstorming the strategic vote

CBC : Liberal voters in Victoria confused after candidate drops out
"Jean Oliver lives in Victoria and is a long time Green Party supporter. But in advanced polls, she decided to vote strategically, and cast a ballot for the Liberals by ticking Thomas's name.Oliver is worried that less informed voters will be casting ballots Monday based on misinformation."
I worry about that too. Three things to note here :
The "long time Green Party supporter" in the Victoria riding decides to "vote strategically" for the Liberals even though :
  1.  the Liberal candidate Cheryl Thomas had withdrawn from the race three weeks before
  2.  the Liberals had come in third or fourth place in that riding in the past three elections
  3. the voter's first choice, the Green Party, had come second in the byelection one year before and strategic vote proponents projected a similar ranking for this election. 
In the end, 8,489 votes were strategically cast for a Liberal candidate who had dropped out, more than the party received in the previous two elections, one of them a byelection, and more than the margin of difference between the first and second place NDP and Green candidates. 

Graphic from Wikipedia

Manipulating the strategic vote ...

A month ago, "10 ridings where strategic voting might decide the election" at Global News explained how Conservatives in this same Victoria riding would benefit from voting strategically for the Green Party in order to oust the NDP incumbent : 
"Conservative voters could vote strategically, if so inclined, in Victoria, where NDP MP Murray Rankin won a close byelection over the Green Party three years ago.
A Green Party win in Victoria wouldn’t directly help the Conservatives. But it would take away one seat from the NDP—and in an election this close, one riding could make a big difference.
Two months prior, former BC Premier Gordon Campbell’s long-serving chief of staff penned a column entreating people to eschew strategic voting and vote Green Party.
In the last provincial election, the BC Liberals bought a full page ad in the Victoria Times Colonist promoting the BC Green Party leader as a principled alternative to Christy Clark in a blatant attempt to split the vote between Greens and the NDP, then leading in the polls.

All voting is tactical. Strategic voting is the moniker commonly used to mean supporting a candidate other than your sincere preference in order to block a candidate or party you dislike.
Its popularity is helped by a media happily promoting a poll-driven "who's the most popular leader/" horse-race approach which results in voters imagining they vote in their local ridings for some distant party leader.  

In December in the HoC last year, Justin Trudeau voted against an NDP motion to bring in some form of mixed member proportional representation as recommended by the federal Law Commission, stating his personal preference for a ranked ballot system that would - he did not say - mostly benefit the Liberals. He then campaigned on ending the First-Past-the-Post system that just gave his party a majority government by the same percentage the Cons got theirs last time round. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Stephen J. Harper International Airport

R. Curtis Mullen in Olathe Kansas started a petition to rename the Calgary International Airport after Steve.  It's currently sitting at 6,000 signatures with a counter-petition at 19,000.

Turns out there already is a Harper Airport a few miles away from Mullen in Kansas...

and bonus! ... it already has a STOP sign.

Perhaps Mullen could work on getting this airport renamed first, kinda work his way up.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Canada Votes 2015 - FPtP vs PropRep

2011 vs 2015
In 2011, Conservatives won 53.9% of the seats with 39.6% of the popular vote.
In 2015, Liberals won 54.4% of the seats with 39.5% of the popular vote.
In 2011, voter turnout was 61%.   In 2015, voter turnout was 68.5%.

900,000 voters unrepresented :

93.88 % of Green Party voters couldn’t elect anyone
76.78%  of Bloc voters couldn’t elect anyone
74.5% of NDP voters couldn’t elect anyone
50.98 % of Conservative voters couldn’t elect anyone
33.49% of Liberal voters couldn’t elect anyone


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Open letter to Stephen Harper

Dear Mr. Harper,

I live in BC with my husband and two little girls. I grew up in Calgary and have many friends and family members there. I’m white and in my early 40s. One of us is a stay at home parent, so we benefit 100% from the direct deposits in lieu of a National Childcare Program. We also benefit 100% from income splitting. And we can afford to take advantage of the increased allowance in our TFSAs.

In other words, we’re the picture of the family who benefits the most from your economic policies.

But we’re not voting Conservative on October 19th.

You see, you’ve misjudged us. We enjoy our standard of living, we work hard for it but it’s not the only thing that matters to us.

You assume we don’t care about our First Nations neighbours, or Canadians trying to bring their family members here from war torn countries. That we don’t care about less fortunate Canadians, our veterans, or scientists. You think we don’t mind that to save a few bucks and balance the books we axed the census, dumped decades of research from our libraries, cut funding to CBC, under-spent our budgets in important departments and closed coast guard stations. You figure we no longer want our lakes and rivers protected and that we don’t understand that climate change is a far greater risk to our way of life than Barbaric Cultural Practices.

You’ve underestimated us.

On October 19, we’re not voting for our bank balance. We’re voting for change because we want the caring Canada of our youth back. The Canada that supported our single mothers that gave us the opportunity to succeed in the first place.


How strategic is strategic voting?

Jamie Biggar of and David Bush of debate whether such a strategy is useful or effective. 
Good respectful discussion of the issues involved. 
You'll have to restart it from the beginning.

Transcript at The Real News Network

Friday, October 16, 2015

G&M Endorses Harper's Perps with Perks Without Harper

Hilarious G&M editorial election endorsement today: "His party deserves to be re-elected. But after Oct. 19, he should quickly resign." 

In other words, as Antonia Zerbisias put it : "The flying monkeys but not the wicked witch"

Editor-in-Chief David Walmsley then went on Faceplant to perform the 'little man behind the curtain' sketch. He bombed.  #MoreGlobeEndorsements followed.

Munchkinland flashback! Here's the G&M's 2011 Harper election endorsement :
"Only Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party have shown the leadership, the bullheadedness (let's call it what it is) and the discipline this country needs.
.... during his five years in office has demonstrated strength of character, resolve and a desire to reform ... 
Those who disdain the Harper approach should consider his overall record, which is good. The Prime Minister and the Conservative Party have demonstrated principled judgment ..."
With few exceptions, the rest of the media Munchkins also follow the yellow brick road of Harper endorsements with a yellow front page Con attack ad buy today they have for the entire nine year Harper regime.

Saturday update : I'm updating the media graphic above as new editorial endorsements are published today.  Original graphic found at Reddit  

Also : Not only the Ottawa Citizen but the PostMedia chain is apparently running the same attack ad on their front page today, using Elections Canada's trademark yellow. Note : not merely an endorsement for the Cons, but an attack ad that mimics an Elections Canada notice.

Who are you getting your news from lately?

Sunday update : 
National Observer : YELLOW STAIN : the bystander bigotry of newspaper endorsements

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Reversing the script on Harper

This is brilliant. Witty simple campaign ad from the guy running against Harper in Calgary-Heritage, formerly Calgary Southwest. 
Go on, play it.

Matt Masters Burgener was also the candidate behind Send Harper A Messageraising money for his campaign by getting people to sponsor space on his lawn signs for $50 with their own personal messages to Harper.

 Flipping the script with wit. Nicely done, Matt.     h/t Dave Cournoyer

Sunday, October 11, 2015

This is Canada ...

Pass this on. Get out and vote.

According to Elections Canada, 850,000 people voted at advance polls on Friday and 780,000 people voted on Saturdaya 34% increase over 2011. A good start.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Joyce Bateman - Strike Two

Incumbent Winnipeg South Centre Con MP Joyce Bateman got pilloried this week for reading out a list of Liberals she deemed insufficiently pro-Israel at an all-candidates meeting hosted by B'nai Brith. Her booed list included Omar Alghabra, Borys Wrzesnewskyjand retired Canadian Forces lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie.

Winnipeg Free Press columnist and event moderator Don Lett described what he called her "enemies of Israel list" as "creepy".

But really why wouldn't she play the anti-Semitism card again?
This is her second campaign running with it :
"Three years ago, the Conservatives sent flyers to Jewish homes in Mount Royal, Liberal MP Irwin Cotler's riding. The flyers claimed the Liberals had participated in a UN conference known as Durban I that descended into anti-Semitism. They also said a Liberal MP had shown support for Hezbollah, a designated terror group.
A letter with similar allegations was used in Winnipeg South Centre against incumbent Liberal Anita Neville, distributed by Conservative Joyce Bateman's campaign. 
Bateman's Elections Canada file shows she sent out a letter from a prominent lawyer and businessman. The letter included examples identical to the ones used in the Mount Royal flyers."
The year before, former Conservative Party president, Vic Toews campaign manager, and now Senator Don Plett, sent out taxpayer-funded flyers into Neville's riding. This time the charge was that she was insufficiently tough on crime and Plett wanted a revealed list of dangerous young offenders. Because this is what we pay senators to do.

Senator Runciman, "who distributed almost identical material" explained it was the “Conservative campaign folks” that put him up to it.

"It's hockey, not figure-skating," explained a source in the Con war room.

Fun fact : Bateman was a Liberal herself up until 31 days before the 2011 federal election when she decided to run as a Conservative against Neville. 

Bateman beat Neville by some 700 votes in the riding receiving the second highest number of bogus robocalls in Canada. Elections Canada declined to investigate despite voters having been misdirected to take a 20 minute drive out of the riding to a non-existent polling station. 

And so it goes ...

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