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Posts tagged "clarify-ca"

Definition?

I wonder if it is fair to say one is depressed when, in considering the future one’s brightest thoughts are a massive heart attack or a fatal accident?

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Posted by Carey Miller - August 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Categories: Common Wisdom?   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Political Communications Strategy: The Chimpanzee Gambit

In the last week, I received at least 13 press releases from the Liberal Party. Of these, 4 were noting a milestone, like the anniversary of the Air India tragedy. The remainder were shots at the government for any number of real or perceived issues. The recurring image I get when looking at this list is a group of chimpanzees flinging their feces against a wall.

This week, the subject of the releases included:

  • Green Infrastructure Fund a Scam
  • Conservative Abuses of Power Plague Parliament
  • Conservatives Embarrass Canada on Global Stage
  • NDP Must Stop Protecting Dean Del Mastro

Perhaps I listen to too many political shows and read too many political blogs. Daily, I read and hear zealots trying to make mountains out of molehills by flinging issues against a wall and hoping something sticks. Using the multiple communication channels now available, party chimps throw out slanted content to the traditional media and try to augment it in the social media bubble. Tweets go out to teams of retweeters, hoping for mentions on television and in the newspapers.

The political environment in Canada is often described as toxic. Not surprising when the environment is full of shit.

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Posted by Carey Miller - June 24, 2012 at 10:07 am

Categories: Politics   Tags: , , , , ,

Silence is Not Golden

“You could not write that as a book. Nobody would believe it.”

I have said those words myself about circumstances which seem cliched or outlandish but are true. At this time of the year, with friends and their children on the March of the Living, I fully understand the conundrum.


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Posted by Carey Miller - April 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Categories: Common Wisdom?, Outside Content, Politics   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Why I am Working on James Morton’s Campaign

Since May 2nd, I have listened to many explaining how horrible the cpc government is and how vital it is to the country that the Liberal Party come back. I believe they are sincere. My feelings are a little different. To me, the Liberal party of this century has taken navel gazing to such a high art form that its most advanced political members can do accurate freehand renderings of their intestinal tracts. Frankly, the loss of the Liberal Party of 2001 – 2011 would not be terribly significant.

So, I am asked, why do I expend time, effort and lucre for a party which, at this time, I would not mourn? I do so for two reasons:

1. The party has a foundation in history.

2. It's competitors are hidebound creatures of ideology whose long term success would be unfortunate for Canada.


At the Biennial Convention in January, we have the opportunity to make changes to the party and how it works. Frankly, I am not optimistic. Like so many elections, the candidates who are yelling for change are so tied up in internal Party politics that a dictionary definition of the word "change" should show their posteriors, walking away. Still, there are exceptions. In the race for VP (English) one is James Morton.

I have known James for some years. Not the closest of friends, I have had the opportunity to see James in action over decades, rather than months. I have seen a rational person with a defined set of beliefs who will work harder that one could ever expect. As a lawyer, he practices in both Toronto and Nunavut. Between his practices he is a senior volunteer for the Liberal party, he writes, lectures, is often heard and seen in media, he blogs and tweets and, somewhere during all this he has published almost twenty books.

James is a passionate Liberal. He truly believes that the party can have something to contribute to the Canadian political landscape. I have known James long enough to give him the benefit of the doubt. To that end, I have been happy to work with him, to help refine ideas which can help the Liberals regain some of their historical gravitas. James ideas and initiatives, while aimed at the Liberal Party, are those that apply to any large organization with many semi-autonomous local sub-organizations.

Of James' competitors, I am sure they are nice people. One is very new to the party. I am sure he is a good man but this is not the time to be learning the location of the washrooms. The other grew up in the party, rising from position to position as a youth. I am sure he thinks it is his turn. I think we should wait to bring the entitled types back until we want to sink the party again.

Its time to bring in people who have worked hard, are passionate but whose resume is not defined by their Ottawa work history.

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Posted by Carey Miller - January 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Categories: Common Wisdom?, James Morton Campaign, Politics   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We’ve shot ourselves in the head

We’ve shot ourselves in the head and now we are in a forced coma, unaware of our relentless decline. Unaware, we dream of the good old days of wealth and pleasure while our strong arms atrophy. On the odd occasion, we wake up and yell for help but our injuries are too severe.  Our doctors drug us again, forcing us back to the dream.
 
We are in a short state of awakening right now. The Occupy Movement is yelling, calling for help. But like anyone waking from an extended sleep, they are unfocused and unable to properly elucidate their issues or desires.
 
If you ask someone about the Occupy Movement, they may tell you that it is an anti-capitalism movement or an anti-bank movement or a movement calling for more money from the government or higher taxes on the rich. Listening to the occupiers, all of these ideas have emerged. The ideas are, of course, both wrong and right.
 
The Occupy Movement is identified as anti-corporate. They rail against the high salaries of the 1%, pointing out the ever-increasing disparity of both income and wealth. They rail against tax strategies which provide welfare-like support to corporations while negatively impacting the lives of the 99%.
 
They have the right to rail against these things. They are not wrong. These and other economic injustices are symptoms of our decline.
 
Where they are wrong is their target. They have taken aim at corporations. But corporations are only doing what they should and must do. The only job of a corporation is to make money. Nothing else. Corporations have no responsibilities to societies, countries or even to their workers. Period. End of story.
 
In our dreams, we go back to a time where things were better. Companies paid their workers better. Pensions were commonplace. Raises were regular, the effect of increased profits being shared more equitably between management and labour. We dream of a time where we built things and shared the benefits.
 
These dreams are take us back to an earlier stage in corporate evolution. The economy was growing in spectacular ways in 50 years ago. Massive amounts of demand, pent up by WWII, were released. Decades of scientific advancement was converted from research to applied science, then to innovative new products to meet this demand. The rest of the world was recovering from massive destruction or under the yoke of totalitarian regimes. Money was plentiful and businesses needed ever-increasing new workers.
 
During this time, it was in the interest of business to provide incentives to bring in new workers. It made sense to value highly the contributions of workers. Growth brought prosperity and a vast middle class. This was a great time, much better than decades before, when businesses hired thugs and police to prevent union organizers from negotiating with owners for a slice of the pie. A nightmare time.
 
One of the unforeseen consequences of growth and prosperity was the rise of the professional manager and transition of company management from innovators to executives. This transition created an evolving new species of corporate leaders wholly disconnected from creation and ideas. Their job was to grow profits.
 
This new corporate species, divorced from real ownership, was religiously dedicated to finding new efficiencies to reduce costs and raise profits. This was their job. Combined with cheaper transportation and the availability of slave labour around the world, it was a natural progression to build a business case for transferring our creative industries from North America to Japan, then to other low cost locations.
 
Again, and I cannot state this strongly enough, this is what corporations are supposed to do. They did nothing wrong. In the short term, their behavior resulted in more profits and greater salaries for the professional management class. They behaved according to their incentives, as amoral profit generating machines.
 
The Occupy Movement should rail against the success of the corporations in feathering their own nests. It is easier than point the fingers at the true culprits, ourselves and our representatives.
 
Our governments became partners with the corporations, taking on management structures reflecting business “best practices”. Growing businesses were recognized as the drivers of the economy and business leaders as the real heroes.
 
The outliers who reminded us that our success depended on checking the unfettered drive for corporate profits were dismissed as irrelevant, their warnings the ravings of the ignorant.
 
And we, the people, were too taken by ever cheaper goods built by slaves and children far across the ocean. We were blinded by easier credit while both parents had to work to pay the bills. We watched and celebrated as we hollowed out our own economy.
 
We have an opportunity now to take a step in the right direction. We must recognize that corporate behavior is rational and predictable. Our economy and our own individual interests are met when we understand this and constrain corporate behavior. This will require significant regulatory and structural changes and you can count on corporations and their mouthpieces to scream in panic.
 
We need to face the panic and begin making changes. Otherwise, we can return to our dreams until we end.

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Posted by Carey Miller - November 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Categories: Economy, Politics   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Liberal Roadmaps for Consideration

For easier reading and convenience, you can download the Liberal roadmap documents in PDF form. Personally, I find it easier to print then read them, annotating in ink,

 

I am taking some time to read and digest before offering an opinion.

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Posted by Carey Miller - November 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Categories: Politics   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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