OMG! OMG! The media is biased!!

noesThe complaints from Harper supporters have been becoming increasingly shrill as they try to imply a national media bias is trying to hold their party down. Like seagulls shrieking at a garbage dump upon disturbance, they flap up and rage in frenzied social media circles every time a negative story about Harper is published. The indignant howls of “Media Party!” fill the air. Meanwhile the Harper Conservatives continue to slump in the polls.

Newsflash: media has been biased since the first town crier reported on a local incident!

Bias whether conscious or inadvertent is natural in all reports. It can show in camera angles, the questions asked or in the stories chosen. Bear in mind though, the bias runs both ways. The Sun runs right, the CBC runs left and a myriad of other outlets sit all over the spectrum. People choosing to inform themselves can cut through the slant easily enough.

The best cure for negative media is to bypass it and reach right out to the voters. When Paul Hinman won the leadership of the Alberta Alliance (later Wildrose Alliance) there was virtually no coverage of the event aside from a Herald article that scornfully pointed out the presence of Craig Chandler. When we entered the Calgary Glenmore by-election we sat at 6% in the polls and any reports of our campaign tended to report us as an also ran fringe group at best. So how did we win despite the big bad media not giving us a fair shake? We worked our asses off door by door until we convinced enough people to support us. It really was as simple as that.

Had we sat on the sidelines and howled about how abused we were by the media, we would have been lucky to get 10% in that by-election and we sure as hell would not have won it as we did. The same can be said for the Alberta Party in Calgary Elbow. They won that seat through a massive ground game despite little general coverage.

Most of those who howl so loudly about the “media party” tend to be keyboard cowboys. They are rarely seen pounding the pavement for the party or listed high on the donor list (though there are exceptions). They do however clutter up social media greatly and often put people off as they try to play victim while not understanding why voters don’t see it that way.

Want to beat the “media party”? Put down the laptop and volunteer for your local candidate. Perhaps try to convince your party to stop being caught in scandals arrogance and hypocrisy as well. It is tough for the media to report bad things when those things don’t happen.

Screaming from the sideline will only ensure an NDP or a Liberal government. The media party cant be blamed if this happens. It is Harper’s government to lose and it’s the responsibility of his supporters to ensure that doesn’t happen. Excuses and blame don’t change outcomes. Hard work does.

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The Calgary Foothills by-election is critical for all Albertans.

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People who don’t participate in partisan politics (and even some who do) often don’t know one very important aspect about the New Democratic Party:

Federal and provincial NDP parties are all the same entity!

If a person buys a membership with the Alberta NDP, they automatically become members of the federal NDP. There is no choice in this matter. Just as the NDP likes forced union membership, they like forced party membership. Individual thought and choice don’t fall within the NDP ideology.

This reality has been depressingly evident as Premier Notley has all but vanished from the political scene so that she may aid her boss, Thomas Mulcair in his regionally divisive federal campaign which is modelling Alberta as a bogeyman that must be attacked.

While federal NDP candidates continue to attack Alberta’s core industries, Notley remains in a silent cowardice. It is clear that Notley views the hierarchy of her party as being much more important than the interests of Alberta. We all should be terrified if Mulcair manages to become Prime Minister. Clearly Notley won’t stand up for us in such a situation.

The Foothills by-election will be a critical opportunity for Albertans to send a warning shot at Rachel Notley. In that by-election, we will see if the election of the NDP was a desperate move on the part of the electorate in order to get rid of the corrupted Progressive Conservative government or if Albertans really want to embrace NDP style socialism.

The Wildrose Party is fielding Prasad Panda as a candidate in the by-election versus the parachuted Bob Hawkesworth for the NDP. While Notley has appointed an incompetent Minister of Energy along with a literal anti-energy activist as her Chief of Staff, the Wildrose is providing a voice of experienced reason in Panda who has been a senior manager in the energy sector for decades.

If the voters in Calgary Foothills strongly reject the NDP in this by-election, it will tell Notley to either shape up and defend Alberta despite her federal masters or prepare for electoral defeat in the next general election. Notley is being pulled and pushed from multiple directions as a new Premier. The best direction she could be pushed from would be the electorate and that opportunity looms.

Will Notley learn to put her province before her federal party’ interests? It is hard to say. Chances are much better though that Notley will prioritize Alberta if the voters in Foothills strongly push her to do so. That makes this by-election important for all of Alberta despite it being overshadowed by a federal race.

 

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Just scrubbed some toilets!

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OK. I understand that it is hardly headline worthy when a person scrubs toilets. Millions of folks do it every day. I need to give some background on why this is worthy of writing on.

I am a germaphobe who can think of few tasks more odious than cleaning a heavily used public washroom facility. That being said, my wife and I recently opened a pub and coffee shop in Priddis and while things are going great, we still are on a budget that requires that we do many things ourselves in order to keep staffing costs to a minimum. Among those tasks are janitorial duty which requires my getting down in there and ensuring that our clientele does not have to endure a nasty washroom. My fiscal need outweighs my loathing of such tasks.

I was in a recent discussion regarding minimum wage and I used the term “toilet scrubbers”. I did not mean that term in a derogatory way by any means. Toilets need to be cleaned and as I have pointed out, I certainly will do it at need.

All the above being said, I sincerely look forward to the day when we develop our business to the point where I can pay somebody else to clean those toilets. I will not pay a lot to a person for that task as while it is challenging to one’s sense of personal cleanliness, it is not what could be called a highly skilled art. Training if required means pointing out where the cleaning items are and asking that the bathroom not be exited until it doesn’t smell poorly any longer and no evidence of previous use can be seen.

By the numbers right now We have employed 14 people, most of whom were previously either unemployed or under-employed.

11 are women
5 are students
4 are single parents
1 AISH recipient

None of them are earning minimum wage. In fact some of them, when you factor in tips have earnings that rival those of journeyman plumbers (particularly on wing night).

We are not employing these people out of altruism. We opened this business to make money for ourselves. I am not demanding a medal for my efforts by any means. I am happy and proud that we could develop and maintain a business that employs all of those people and won’t display false modesty over it.

Now to cut to the chase. As minimum wages rise I will be doing one or more of a couple things. I will be raising prices and I will be reducing hours for staff. Tasks from toilet cleaning to waiting tables will increasingly land on my lap while my staff will enjoy less hours of work with a higher cost of living. This is not theory. This is exactly what is about to happen so who is winning here?

I just needed to get that rant out to those simplistic souls who somehow think that we can legislate everybody into prosperity. It simply doesn’t work.

These foolish “tax the rich!” chants and demands for raising minimum wage will not either help the current minimum wage earners nor hit those apparently evil fat cats who run the world. These ideals only ensure that middle earners like myself scrub more toilets while my staff cut back on their own budgets due to reduced hours while consumers see a higher cost of living.

A strong economy is the only way to increase the general standard of living and constantly attacking free enterprise will not give us that sort of economy.

My rant is now done. I have to go clean by beer lines before opening the pub.

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