Monday, December 08, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
He then goes to the slippery slope argument:
... if we’re going to completely uproot institutions as old as marriage to be “politically correct”, why would anyone stop at homosexual marriages? Why not polygamous legal marriages? Why not bestiality or incest?
And maybe they'd want to have children!
...if it were legalized, would not same sex couples feel entitled to have children? After all, everybody keeps on telling them they have an equal union. How would they sort that out? Pay surrogate mothers? That brings in another whole new set of legal problems.
Finally, our future school board trustee channels Maude Flanders:
...could somebody please think about the children? I do not care what rhetoric is being thrown around these days; the best environment for a child to be raised in is with a mother and a father. Ask any child from a single parent home if he or she didn’t feel like something was missing.
While I suppose it's possible that Manougian has done a complete 180 in his views on the topic in nine short years, it seems unlikely. As Gay Straight Alliances have been and continue to be an important issue for the TDSB, it is incumbent on Manougian to explain his past views and current position before the Oct. 27th. municipal election.
Which Harout Manougian is the real Harout Manougian, and where does he really stand on same sex rights? Can we really count on Manougian to support and defend Gay Straight Alliances in Toronto schools?
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
So, Justin Trudeau isn't talking to Sun Media reporters, or opinionators, or whatever other categories of people they employ, until the organization apologies for a ridiculous Ezra Levant segment I don't care to describe -- suffice it to say it was a highly offensive personal attack not just on him, but his family.
The press gallery, apparently confident that their condemnation of Levant's bloviating is so obvious it need not really be vocalized, instead lept straight to the hustings of journalistic freedom. Much furious tweeting amongst themselves ensued; how dare Trudeau do this, and so on. We've seen the pattern often enough when the Harper Conservatives have curtailed media access -- much tweet and fury, followed by filing straight copy of the government's news of the day.
I have stood with the gallery in the past, although, while I admit there are no easy answers, their acquiescence long ago sent the message to the government, and other parties, that shutting out or limiting the media will not have lasting consequence. It pains me as a democrat, and as a journalist, but it's the sad reality.
While I stand for access, and I'm not sure I'd have taken the step of a blanket ban on talking to Sun Media employees until a resolution on the Ezra complaint, I'd wish some of the journalists on the hustings for press freedom would apply a little of that critical thinking the profession prides itself on, as this isn't a case of a blanket limitation of access to avoid exposure and control the narrative.
Rather, Trudeau's action here raises some questions that we all, media and political operatives, would do well to consider: what is the line between journalist and opinion commentator, and when is enough enough when it comes to a pattern of bias and bile?
There are strong journalists at Sun Media, and many young journalists getting their start. Jobs are tough to find in this industry, and I'm sure many are disgusted by the antics of Ezra et al. They don't have the luxury of quitting on principle, even if they wanted to. Were I them though, I would be angry not at Trudeau, but at my management for perpetuating a culture that makes it harder for me to do the good work I want to do, and be recognized as the professional I strive to be.
For the antics of the opinion whatever side of the house do reflect on the whole organization. There is no Chinese wall. And the argument "that was the opinion side of the company that called your dead father a slut and insulted your mother" just doesn't fly. Yes, they have the freedom of speech to say whatever offensive thing they want. But politicians also have the freedom to decline to engage with an organization whose management encourages, and profits, from such behaviour.
It's unfortunate they're caught in the middle, but blaming the offended politician here seems offbase. This is the direct, and probably not unintended, result of the type of channel and image Sun's ownership and management set out to create.
And lest we forget, this isn't just about Ezra, or about one incident. And while the hard news/straight talk line may be clung to now, it has has often been hard to see in the past.
- When Trudeau was chased through the hallways by two cameras and cricket sounds were added to the soundtrack, which side was that?
- When he was chased again by another Sun personality (who the anchor called a "reporter") that would later argue for his excommunication from the Catholic Church as a "heretic" and "abortion extremist", which side was that?
- It goes on and on. To which split personality should we attribute graphics like this?
So while I'm a bit uncomfortable at the blanket ban, I understand the reasoning, and I don't really see a better way. I would not want to support an organization that attacked my family either. They have freedom of speech, but that doesn't mean I have to listen. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers
Friday, August 22, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
This blog is cross-posted from my LPC(O) vice-president, communications web site. Please visit there to learn more about my campaign.
I first considered seeking the position of vice-president, communications of the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) in February during the national biennial in Montreal. I boarded the train home considering the challenges we face as a party, and by the time we pulled into Scarborough it was clear to me what I wanted to accomplish: give our Liberal members, supporters and volunteers across Ontario the training and resources we need to communicate and win in 2015.
There are many responsibilities this role has, and each person that holds the position tends to make it their own. We absolutely need to communicate more intelligently with our members about what the LPC(O) and the party are up to. We need to be more responsive to member queries. We need to coordinate communications across the riding, LPC(O) and LPC levels – there’s only one member/supporter, and we can’t inundate them. And we need to get more tactical about our fundraising asks. I'll have ideas to share around each.
But first and foremost, I want to focus on training and skills enablement. The next election is going to be won on the ground, door by door, conversation by conversation. We need every Liberal ready, willing and able to take our message to voters across the province. We can’t control the air war – Ottawa will design the advertising, and the spokespeople and pundits will take our message to the national media. That’s not what this position is about – the LPC(O) is about the ground game. That’s where I believe we can make a difference.
Particularly in a world where the media market is fragmented, and people are so busy with daily life to pay attention to the national news. It’s harder to get our message out, and Canadians are increasingly distrustful of traditional sources of information anyway. They do, however, trust you, and every Liberal has access to their own very powerful networks. Whether it’s your social network like Facebook or Twitter, or the friends you meet for donuts on weekends or at shinny on Thursday nights.
We need to tap those networks. Not with canned talking points or suggested tweets; they know you better than that. We need to help you craft your own message, about why you’re supporting Justin Trudeau and the Liberal team, about how a Liberal government can make a meaningful difference in their lives. We need to make sure you have a) the policy background and party positions you need on the issues you care about, and b) the training and tools to craft your own message and bring it to your own networks.
How do we get there? I have five points I’d like to start with.
- A communications training track at every LPC(O) biennial, executive board and regional day. We Liberals get together a lot, and any time we’re not taking advantage of these opportunities for hands-on training is a missed opportunity. I want to ensure each of these meetings has a communications breakout track. I’ll develop a curriculum with beginner and advanced sessions so attendees can develop their skills, and leverage the great communications talent in our party by bringing in experts to teach them.
- Regular training sessions for Liberals via Google Hangouts on key communications issues, from social media tips and digital campaigning to media training and best practices for communicating to members. Attending all those Liberal meetings can be expensive and involve a lot of travel, and that should never be a barrier to participation. I will ensure these communications courses are available online, utilizing technology such as Google Hangouts, and will also bring in regular guest speakers on communications best practices so Liberals across Ontario can participate.
- More templates for riding newsletters, press releases and event invites drawing on what other ridings have done successfully. We have so many ridings that are doing so many things right. Some have amazing e-newsletters. Some do a great job with their community papers, or getting people out to events. They’ve honed and perfected their techniques, and discovered what works really well. And others are just getting started, and need some help. We need to share more of that across ridings. I want to create a central repository where we can not only access templates, but ridings can share what has worked for them. Let’s take what works and replicate it across the province.
- A communications track in the LPC(O) mentorship program to connect seasoned communications veterans with newcomers taking on the communications role in their communities. There is so much institutional knowledge in this party – we need to leverage it. I want to build on our LPC(O) mentorship program with a communications track. Under Justin Trudeau, so many new members and supporters have come into the party eager to help, and they don’t know where to start. Let’s connect them with mentors and build our communications capacity.
- Increase the frequency of the LPC(O) newsletter to monthly, and exploring a redesign of the web site. We need to get better as an organization at communicating with our members. Making the LPC(O) newsletter monthly would be a start, with reports from all our board members on their activities. I’ll look at how we can make our web site more responsive and useful to our membership. And, while some things will always need to be confidential, I will commit to providing as much information as possible on the discussions and activities of the executive board.
Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers