Archive for May, 2010

#44 – And now for a commercial message.

Monday, May 31st, 2010

A newspaper cartoon that has always had personal staying power was one about two down and out guys sitting in an alley beside some garbage cans. One is saying to the other: “I was so busy saving the world, I forgot about me.

Would you believe the original idea of this blog was to showcase this writer’s talent. The idea was to sell writing services and, as the site became notorious, for Google to sell advertising for it. In both aspects, it fails. It seems that any person willing to write a blog is assumed to be available to write for free. And we only need to find another couple thousand readers a day to get Google interested in the ad potential.

This indicates a need for a new approach. A new angle is required. After much thought and a very funny discussion with the wife, a new type of blog is emerging. Future blogs will be about communication and sex. As the wife said, “Well, you do know a lot about communication.” It is hoped that her next husband will appreciate her sense of humour.

Here is a short sample of the idea:

Title: Public speaking and the multi-orgasmic audience

Delivering a speech to an audience is very much like making love to that very special lady. You know that she is capable of having many small orgasms during the coupling. Through applying yourself thoughtfully to this most enjoyable of tasks, you know you can build the experience, engulfing her in the thrill of the moment, and come to a new depth of understanding.

For what is a speech about? It is to take a seminal concept, build on it, embellish it, give it life, give it hope, share the promise, envelope it in rhetoric, drive it in, implant it for it to be nurtured, developed and gestated in the womb of the intellect.

You only wish that was always the case! Most speakers are there to get their own jollies. They hardly care about the recipient. It’s slam bam, “thank yuh mam.” Some speakers are so insipid, the audience is not even sure they were there. When was the last great speech you really felt? As you sat in that audience, did you believe that the speaker cared about your enjoyment? Or was the speaker there just to get his own point across?

Frankly, most speakers have one basic kind of spurt of an idea to deliver to their audience. They would be better to send it by e-mail.

When you have an audience capable of having many small orgasms on the way to the grand conclusion, you have to have a plan. You have to build the sensations. With tongue and touch, words that inspire, ideas that inflame, the ability to use power phrases, that bring your audience to new heights. You build the understanding. You become one in your empathetic relationship. You communicate.

Good sex needs mental stimulus as well as physical. Good speeches need to be felt as well as heard and seen. They have to control the moment, respond to urges, give the needed directions, satisfy demands and exceed expectations.

Maybe that special lady is too engaged during sex to applaud each rising crescendo of ecstasy but her appreciation at the successful conclusion knows few bounds. In a speech, each nuance can earn a chuckle or a guffaw and rising rounds of enthusiastic applause. As the speaker, you want the attention and to reach acceptance and climax in a standing ovation. That can be better than sex. Well, almost. It depends on who writes  it.

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We really do need comments on this one. I have to prove something to the wife. Let us know what you think at peter@lowry.me

#43 – A constitutional house cleaning.

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

People challenge you when you tell them you want to have a constitutional assembly. They want to know what it is you want to change. They want to know if you agree with them on one aspect or another. The only problem is there is so much detritus from almost 150 years of Canada’s nationhood, you can be at a loss as to where to begin.

Most people mention doing something about the Senate of Canada. They think the senate and its occupants should fill the first shovels full going out the door onto the lawns in front of the parliament buildings. Despite knowing many of the fine people who have sat in the pews of that chamber over the years, there is certainly a need today to dispense with or dramatically change the process of choosing senators and their function for the people of Canada. We can thank Prime Minister Harper for making it clear to all Canadians that the old process is no longer functional. In packing the Senate over the past while, he has made a mockery of what the Senate is supposed to represent. It is no longer a chamber of ‘sober second thought’ but now a chamber of ‘Harper thought.’ Packing the senate has always been an option for a Prime Minister facing an obdurate senate but he has no excuse for such action when he does not have a majority in the Commons. That he is being allowed to do this is to the shame of all Members of Parliament.

Other interested people question what should be done with the governor general. They eye you and are ready to pounce on your answer. Many fear that Canada will go the way of the United States of America with an imperial form of president as head of state. Some would like to see the role of the head if state as a ceremonial role such as governor general fulfills today. The other side of that is a highly politicized role as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and being the third leg of the administration, balancing a house of representatives and a house of the provinces And others want something in between. Also charging into this fray will be some monarchists. They might not matter.

There are those who have strong opinions on the Supreme Court, its participants and its powers. A few want to curtail the ability of the court to determine the rights of the citizen under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And there are others who want to strengthen it.

At the deep end of the pool is the question of our provinces. Are they sacrosanct? Does Prince Edward Island rate a minimum of four Members of Parliament? Are our northern provinces-cum-territories a fait-accompli? What does Quebec want? What should Quebec get? What rights does any province have in the new world of the 21st Century?

And there is even the question of change itself. Does change require a super majority of 60 per cent approval or is approval still 50 per cent plus one? Do all provinces have to agree or just all Canadians?

All of these questions need rational discussion. They are unlikely to be resolved overnight. Telling a friend in the senate of these ruminations, he was asked if he had any problems with the possible demise of the senate. He responded that he has six more years before retirement. He knows he will be long gone before any constitutional change can take place. In his honour, we should start now.

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Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to peter@lowry.me

COMMENT FOR TODAY

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

The next G20 will be at a secret location, at an atoll in the Pacific,

A few destroyers sailing around it and the security will be terrific.

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COMMENT FOR TODAY

Friday, May 28th, 2010

The experts tell us health care for seniors is not affordable,

I guess they will just kill those of us who are least adorable.

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#42 – A direction for democracy.

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Listening to Justin Trudeau, MP, son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the other day, he posed a challenge for Canada’s 150th birthday that will take place in 2017. He explained that it would be an important year for our country. He suggested that it would be an ideal year to target setting a stronger identity for Canadians, new directions in politics and a more positive future.

That could be excellent timing. Setting new directions in Canadian politics is certainly overdue. Our politics have been going down a steep ramp into American style politics for too many years. While we learn much of our political communications techniques from south of the border, we have no need for the nastiness, the corruption, the questionable ethics, and the stifling of ideas and opportunity practiced so blatantly by our American cousins.

The reality is that there is no question that new directions take time to decide. It is a process that is not safe to rush. To reframe our country takes a long stretch of serious thought, discussion, consensus and a high level of agreement. We have no such process in place today. We will not agree on the process overnight.

But Canada must find the beginning of change. We need to find a process that will work for us. We need people to stand up and be counted. We need voices. We need books and blogs and scripts and magazine articles and newspaper opinion pieces and talk show discussion. No one person has the ideas alone. No one person can accomplish what must be accomplished.

It is likely that we need a constituent assembly. This would be an elected assembly of citizens from across Canada, chosen for their interest, expertise, determination and willingness to meet, discuss, compromise, challenge and bring forward a means to make our country more progressive, more democratic, more sensitive to the needs of our citizens and to meeting the needs of future generations of Canadians. How this assembly is elected, its mandate, the pressures it will have to abide and the time frames for it to meet and discuss are open to discussion.

We have to allow politicians to have a say, because they are our voice, but this is not what we elect them to federal or provincial office to discuss. Theirs is a finite term of office and a constituent assembly deals with a responsibility to the future.

Once the constituent assembly has issued a report, it must be open to discussion and amendment. It must be able to test its ideas in public opinion. If it is autocratic, it will fail. If it vacillates, it will fail. If it fails to communicate with Canadians, it will fail. The greatest challenge is to succeed.

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Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to peter@lowry.me

COMMENT FOR TODAY

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Babel’s present Member of Parliament is quite disingenuous,

Spending our money to promote himself, he’s very generous.

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COMMENT FOR TODAY

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

The reports of the Liberal Party’s demise could be premature,

Why don’t we have an election and Canadians can all be sure.

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#41 – “The 24th of May, the Queen’s birthday.”

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Are you old enough to remember when children sang the ditty: “The 24th of May, the Queen’s birthday. If we don’t get a holiday, we’ll all run away”? Or if a bit younger you might remember it as “The 24th of May, firecracker day. If we don’t get a holiday, we’ll all run away.

The Harper Conservative government chose the eve of this celebration of Queen Victoria to announce that the royals are again coming to visit their Canadian subjects. Queen Elizabeth and her husband intend to so honor us. There are many Canadians who do not share in the enthusiasm for this outmoded demonstration of fealty. It is not only inappropriate in the 21st Century but it sends a very wrong message to everybody as to what we are as Canadians.

The fact of being a Canadian sovereign is based on the law of primogeniture which is no longer valid law in most of the world’s jurisdictions. It is a law that passes all possessions and titles to the eldest male offspring. It is not even valid in Canada. It would be impossible, under Canadian law for the Queen’s son Charles to claim her estates, possessions and bank accounts without a specific will provided by her to that effect and with agreement by her husband and her other children. As for her titles, there is no provision provided for their transfer under Canadian law.

While our laws allow the monarchy to exist, it is, at best, a polite fiction. You are not supposed to tell people that because it is considered rude. Those of us who have served the Canadian monarchy (in the right of Canada) in various capacities, ranging from police and jurists to the military and to privy counsellors have had to swear allegiance to this mystic Canadian phenomenon. It is assumed that this allegiance is quietly voided once your term of service expires—with the exception of privy counsellors who are appointed for life.

But in this time, in this century, in this modern world, the monarchy makes no sense. It should no longer be countenanced or even quietly ignored. Try explaining the law of primogeniture to your daughter and you will deserve the kick in the shin she should give you. Try to explain why the guy with the big ears is prepared to take over as King Charles III and you will be considered ridiculous by a kindergarten class.

Nobody but the most foolish despots and business tycoons try to pass power from parent to offspring today. Does Kim Il Sung’s leadership of North Korea being passed on to his son Kim Jong Il inspire confidence in that country?

Fairy story time of kings and queens, princes and princesses is over. Canada needs to strike out boldly to create a new future. The first step is to structure a constitutional assembly. This must be an elected assembly that reflects its electors. It will need time to consider the future, discuss alternatives and to choose a path. Whatever the assembly decides then must be approved by a clear majority of Canadians after a reasonable period of discussion and consideration. What is decided might become a model for the rest of the world.

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Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to peter@lowry.me

COMMENT FOR TODAY

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

The Pakistani Taliban want NATO out of Kandahar,

Why not leave and bomb the opium lords from afar.

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COMMENT FOR TODAY

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

The CRTC is waiting for a ruling from the Supreme Court,

The Commission wants Rogers, Bell and others of that sort,

To pay CTV and Global to prove Harper’s a generous sport.

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