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John Macain

The American Election

I thought I would scribble a quick note about the election to the south of the 49th.  I had meant to do this quite a while ago but between work demands (been travelling quite a bit – I am writing this in the business centre of the Montreal Delta) as well as things to do around the house, and being a daddy and a hubby, I just haven’t found the time.

Today stands to be one of the most important in our neighbour’s long history. The choice that Americans make today will resonate for decades to come and around the world. We in Canada cannot ignore the ground shift that is happening in the States. I believe there is a fundamental change happening in the way Americans – particularly young Americans – view their country and their leaders.

It is suddenly important and cool to participate in the electoral process.

And this is, for the most part, due to one guy – Obama.

He has inspired our neighbours at a time when they needed it it the most. Years of blundering by Bush. A deficit and debt that is staggering. A loss of respect around the world. A confused and rudderless domestic policy. All of these have been the trademarks of the past 8 years.

I am not saying that Obama and the Democrats will have a magic pill at their disposal. The once proud country has been dragged into a deep and hollow abyss that will take some effort and pain to climb out from.

Friends and family have from time to time accused me of being anti-American.

This is not the case.

I dearly respect our southern kin and think that the American experiment has been one of the greatest achievement in the annals of human history. And I truly weep to think what Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al have done to belittle this accomplishment. True, I am a proud Canadian and share that Canadian paranoia-envy-wonder that is so typical of my fellow citizens. But I try to temper this with the recognition that Americans are a fine people with a rich heritage that deserve our respect and admiration.

So – in closing – if there are any Americans who are reading this post, please, PLEASE do the right thing today and do not make the same mistake three times in a row! Vote for a future that may reposition your country to that level that it deserves to occupy.



Attack ads

I don’t know about you, but I think attack ads used in political campaigns are not only despicable and cater to the whims of the lowest common denominators, but totally remove any semblance of honest and constructive debate from a political battle.

The penultimate attack ad is this one – shot at the height of the Goldwater / Johnson campaign in 1964.

A little while back, the McCain camp put out this ad, implying that Obama is more celebrity than substance and that being popular in the public eye doesn’t necessarily mean that you are ready to lead the country.

Note the clip of a certain Paris Hilton? Well, Paris put together her own clip as a retort to John McCain. I must say, my opinion of Ms. Hilton has multiplied a thousandfold upon seeing this!

Of course, our own little Stevie Harper, being an admirer of all things negative, cynical and especially American, hires his own team to sic his attack ad dawgs on anything and anyone that disagrees with the Conservative dogma.

All told, these ads, while they do make for some good chuckles, deflect attention away from real policy debates. Stephen Harper wants to debate the environment? well, put something on the table to talk about it and then talk about it! Demeaning an opponent’s argument by attacking the debater is a debating no-no and such attacks are called ad hominem – meaning that the attack is against the person rather than the argument or point. This implies, of course, that the person making the counter-point has no or little basis to pull apart his adversary’s point.

Alas, the Harperites are flush with cash and we can expect more of these inane ads as we gear up for what likely will be a fall election in this country.