Category Archives: Politics

My #elxn43 – Day 41

Tom Petty said it best, ‘The waiting is the hardest part’

the waitingIn the days leading up to the Prime Minister walking from the Rideau Cottage to Rideau Hall and asking for disolution of Parliament, the wait seems like forever.  There will be many that will tell you that they’re happy to have the extra days. On the other side, there is nothing like the adreniline rush of 36 days of campaigning leading up to election day.

For me I appreciate both sentiments; but at some point its time for the rodeo to begin.  In Barrie we wait for the call because unlike other municipalities across Canada, election signs cannot go up until the Prime Minister visits the Govenor General (GG).   In the Ottawa area riding of  Orleans, by-laws have allowed signs to be put on private property for amost two weeks. In Barrie-Innisfil the sign crews are just waiting for the “go” text.  Trucks are loaded with signs, posts and zip ties.

The official election call is also a sign that everything else starts rolling, and gathers speed right up to October 21st.  As the days pass, they pass faster as the days are crossed off the election calender.

In an interesting twist, campaigns are not the only people waiting – Elections Canada staff also wait.  As I learned today, the ‘go’ day for Elections Canada is September 15th, that represents that last possible day as election can be called – but it’s also the day that EVERYTHING Elections Canada does starts and the first day for the Elections Canada calendar.

Unlike campaigns where the election call accelerates the campaign activities, nothing Elections Canada does starts until September 15ththis year – the 36 day campaign is the starting line that thousands of Election workers are hunched over like Andre de Grasse waiting for the starters pistol to go off. The spectulation of the election call changes everyday that the Prime Minister does not go to the see the GG, the anticipation for candidates and their teams is heightened as each day passes.

While Canada has fixed election dates, there should be consideration for a fixed election period, meaning a fixed election day that has a fixed day that campaigns begin.  A fixed election period eliminates the 78 day campaign of 2015 and denies the government of the day the power to play with dates and call the election when it suits their purposes – all political parties will have the same calendar to work with.  This though is for another government to grapple with after the election.

For now the wait continues…and the sign crew chomps at the bit one more day.

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter @robertdekker& @rdmediaottawa and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

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My #elxn43 – Day 47

Reading will be my salvation this campaign.

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The days will be long and by Election Day I may be arriving at the campaign office in the dark and leaving long after sunset.  I have an amibtious reading list for this campaign period and it which will require a great deal of dedictation to complete.  The readng list is part of my plan to decompress from the pressure, stress and activity of the campaign.

Here is what I will be reading:

Trudeau by John Ivison

The King’s War by Peter Conradi and Mark Logue

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Right Here Right Now by Stephen Harper

The Making of the October Crisis by D’Arcy Jenish

I’ve started with Ivison’s take on Trudeau.  While this might not be a complementary account on JT it is scewed to my current opinion of him and how he has performed as a Prime Minister.   ‘The King’s War’ is a follow up to the Kings Speech, which won a few Oscar’s including Best Picture, Director and Actor in 2011. Mark Logue the co-author is the grandson of Lionle Logue, the therapist that work with King George to avoid stuttering as portrayed in the King’s Speech.

I picked up ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ because of the premise of the story; a Russian Count is ordered to house arrest in an apartment in Moscow by the Bolshevic tribunal for wrtting a poem with revolustionary undertones.

I’ve had Stephen Harper’s book for a while, this just seemed like a good time to read it.  My Sister-in-law sent me ‘The Making of the October Crisis’ after she had read it.  I was aware of the October 1970 crisis as a 10 year, this book goes back to the beginnings and Montreal in the early 1960’s.  Like other books I’ve read I find its important to understand what fueled a crisis as a means to prevent a repeat.

I’m going to have to complete a book in just over a week to return to Ottawa with these five books completed. Clearly some days will have more reading time than others, I’ll have to grab whatever time comes my way to be successful and hope what I’ve brought to Barrie with me are real page turners.

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter @robertdekker & @rdmediaottawa and on Facebook athttp://tiny.cc/n5l97.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

My #elxn43 – Day 50

It’s the last long weekend I’ll get to enjoy for 2019.

img_20190831_16411934055614993906723429.jpgYes it really is, the election calendar for the federal election dictates that the Thanksgiving long weekend is when the four days of of Advanced Polls will happen.  Mark October 11thto 14thas your opportunity to vote before you sit down to have your Thanksgiving Turkey, Ham or Turducken (Turkey-Duck-Chicken) for dinner.

My Thanksgiving Long weekend will be anything but a weekend to eat and then collapse on the sofa, but I am all good with that.  So really this Labour Day Weekend is the last long weekend I can enjoy with a coffee and a newspaper, my book with my feet up and a chance to really sit back relax and breathe in the air of the last of the summer days as the autumn evenings start to creep in.  The next long weekend won’t happen until the Dalton McGuinty Long weekend, also known as the Family Day long weekend (which oddly enough not everone gets to have with their family) in February.

My Thanksgiving will be all about persuading you the voter to delay your Thanksgiving weekend by voting in advance and avoid the line ups on October 21st.  My line will be, ‘why not vote Thanksgiving weekend, then you won’t be hearing from me on election day’.  Leading up to Thanksgiving I’ll be working on the best way to convince you that voting on the long weekend is the best possible way to spend a bit of time between October 11thand October 14th.

I hope you’ll excuse me as I wrap this up now and think about how to spend my Family Day long weekend…oh wait…I won’t be able to because in Ontario Family Day isn’t given to ‘federally regulated’ employees.  At least I’ll still have Easter Weekend to dream about.

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter @robertdekker & @rdmediaottawa and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

My #elxn43 – Day 51

A TO DO list never really gets completed.

to do

I have a TO DO list, infact I have several.  These lists are like family trees, as famiIies grow, branches are added. My list has several branches and those branches never disappear they just grow,

My current list has 13 items on it, but on those items there are branches. Campaigns are like fertilizer for a TO DO list.  What starts with get an office then morphs into get furniture, phones, internet, divide the space for phonebanking, sign preparation and have a reception area set up. That reception area must be the first desk that has a phone.  My signs TO DO list has by-laws, materials, pick-up trucks, find missing post pounders and bug spray as branches.  The branches on my TO DO list have branches.

So it goes, and grows – the TO DO list.

For every item I can cross off I add at least five more.  The odds of me surviving the list are astronomical, they are out of this world.  The only thing that makes me get through the list is delegation.  Delegation then creates a new tree of a TO DO list, that list belongs to someone else BUT its roots belong to me.

At a certain point in the campaign, long before the we finish planning our election day TO DO list I will have started a campaign office closing TO DO list. Elections are all about TO DO and not HAVE DONE. Even today we talked about the closure of the 2015 camapign and how effective that TO DO list was (it was a good TO DO list).

By the time this election is over I will have created a forest called TO DO, because whatever happens in this election I know I will have a TO DO list to do all over again for the next election.

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter@robertdekker& @rdmediaottawaand on Facebook athttp://tiny.cc/n5l97.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

My #elxn43, Day 53

img-20190828-wa00029003986068517925929.jpegIt’s 9am and I’m on Train 51 heading to Toronto and then north to Barrie Ontario.  This is my frst foray into leaving home to campaign.  All my previous campaigns, going back to the 2004 federal election have been local.  This election has me heading to the riding of Barrie-Innisfil to work with MP John Brassard, who I have been working with in Ottawa for three years, to secure his return to Ottawa after the October 21stelection.

This is not the only electioneering I’ve been doing though.

For the past 11 weeks I’ve been busy working with the Conservative candidate in the east end Ottawa riding of Orleans, David Bertschi.  David is a great candidate he works hard and goes non-stop; he has a dedictaed and hard working team with him.  Following his nomination win I worked with David and his team to set up a campaign structure, a strategy and bring in people I knew David Bertschi would like and trust to help him win and become the the next Mamber of Parliament of that riding.

I learn something from every election team I work with.  Previously, as a candidate in 2011 and 2104, I learned to listen to everyone and to turn a discussion around and present a new point of view.  As I campaign worker I took in what people were doing, watching and learning strategies.  I would learn to disect the end result and determine what led to a campaign’s success or failure.  And as a Campaign Manager I took the lessons I learned from being a campaign worker and candidate to bring a perspective that I would hope benefited the team I was leading.

I faced a new experience this summer, coming into a campaign as an ourtsider.  Oh, I knew the key people in the riding of Orleans, but I lacked the riding knowledge that everyone had.  I used their knowledge to lead me through ideas and strategies that would be put in place.  My experience as candidate really helped, I was relying on the team to teach me the what worked and what didn’t work.  After 10 weeks, I was happy with what was done to establish a team working towards one goal, winning.

I was proud of the people that came forward, listened to the plan and put their spin on what it would take to make Orleans a Conservative riding.  While I am heading to Barrie, Orleans will be a special place for me, there are great people there and I was really happy to be a part of that team for the summer.  The lessons learned in Orleans will be used in Barrie-Innisfil.

Now onto a new experience, again leading a team where I am the outsider but leading a team that has an incumbent.  This is definitely different from trying to unseat current MP, or take a riding back, this is a re-election campaign.  The dynamics are new, I know John Brassard, as the candidate, has a way of doing things – I’ve seen it for the past three years.  It will be about using all three experiences I’ve had and lead his team for the next 53 days until election day October 21st.

I hope you’ll follow my journey over the next few weeks as I share #elxn43.  This won’t be so much about the politics of the election, but the people, experience and the education I’ll have.

This is day 53, Day Zero will be here in a blink of an eye.

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter @robertdekker & @rdmediaottawa and on Facebook athttp://tiny.cc/n5l97.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

Watson turns the page, others haven’t

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Jim Watson has turned the page and has moved on from the fiasco that is all about the design of an addition that the owners of the Chateau Laurier what to pop on the site of the torn down parking garage.  Jim Watson has moved on, he’s moved onto to his LRT to the City of Ottawa gets the keys to the trains the middle of August from Rideau Transit Group.  He is getting the keys more than a year late and several missed deadlines later.

Jim Watson and 12 other councillors have moved on since Thursday July 11th when reconsideration of Councillor Fleury’s  motion to deny Larco, the owners of the Chateau Laurier their permit to build an addition.  Ten Ottawa City Councillors led by Mathieu Fleury, Heritage Ottawa and thousands of Ottawa voters that have signed petitions haven’t moved on, rather they’ve firmly planted themselves in a position that they hope will block backhoes from starting construction.

This story goes back years, the major sticking point is that City Council passed a heritage permit. The owners of the Chateau have presented five designs, all of which have been panned by the public, but have met the guidelines set out in the heritage permit.    The application has a few minor steps before ground can be broken and construction can begin on a design that has been called a car radiator.  City Council has the right to deny a permit to build if it doesn’t like the design, but in this case they didn’t, fearing a costly lawsuit.

It appears that a majority, maybe all of council does not like the design the owners are determined to build, but 14 voted to deny Fleury his opportunity, one last time, to have the permit revoked.  Mayor Watson must have let out a big sigh before he slid out the back door of council chambers to begin his vacation when the final vote tally was counted.
img_20180405_1541418638794165793251928.jpgI think the problem the public (and few public figures) has with the design is that the architects haven’t really veered far from design number one.  The fourth reiteration of the original drawing is still basically a box being stapled to a castle.  I’ve seen more imagination in the design of a building on a beach.

While Larco dreams of Bob the Builder, Councillors Fleury, Meehan, Deans, and others along with Heritage Ottawa and the Friends of the Chateau Laurier will be spending the time the Mayor is away looking to stop those dreams.  While all this planning takes place will the Mayor actually has a peaceful vacation with nothing on his mind?

 

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter@robertdekker& @rdmediaottawaand on Facebook athttp://tiny.cc/n5l97.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

75 Years On

D Day 2June 6th, 1944, the start of the the end of WWII; and 75 years later the sacrifice is still considered as great as it ever was.  D-Day and all its planning was the product of the failure of Dieppe only 2 years earlier. As a nation we never cease  to remember the sacrifice of that day, but do we ever ask why the sacrifice had to be given?

In my last post I was writing about how there seems to be no limts on what is ‘said ‘ on the internet.  The bravado of many has also extended to the actions on the streets. We are seeing things being done and words being spoken that a few would say set us up for dangerous times. It is as if the filter of kindness and respectful conversation has been lifted.  75 years ago young Canadians saw first hand what hate and selfishness created, a world where there was no room for dissent and no tolerance for different thinking.  June 6, 1944 was the beginning of the end of of that way of thinking.  As Canadian and allied forces swept through Europe liberating millions from oppression the stories of what our soldiers saw slowly entered the safe domain that was Canada in 1944.

So here we are in 2019, we’re over 100 years out from the end of the Great War and we are just a year away from the 75thanniversay of the end World War II.  Over the next 14 months the battles that led to the end of the Nazi reign will be detailed, the horror what man could do to another man and their familiy will be retold. Will we as a modern civilsation take stock of the losses and vow to make sure not one man or movement that takes us down that path again will be tolerated?  More importantly how will we ensure this happens, or doesn’t happen again?

UnknownD Day 1Taking my last post about respecting a ‘golden rule’ for social media another step forward, is it time that society as a whole stopped yelling at each other and started talking?  We are a nation and for the most part a society built on free speech, respect and being cordial to each other.

The end of WW2 is about the end of humanity at its worst, when we commemorated the centennary of the end of the Great War it was different.  It was truly the first global conflict in modern times, nothing like it had been seen before.  The reason for the great war?  It was about expanding influence.  WWII was fought because of a tyrant and his beliefs and the charasmatic method a country fell into a trance.

Today we are close, but also far from a repeat of 1939 and the rise of fascism. We are close because charasmatic groups are using methods at their fingertips to spread messages of hate and discourse.  We’re far from the same outcome because we remember when humanity last allowed these words, emotions and actions to overtake our responsibility.

75 years on, let’s take the words of our veterans and put them into action that we don’t allow movements of hate, movements that aim to restrict others, movements of fear to take over our society. Today in 2019, we have allowed fear and division to creep back and take over our politics and a common sense of reason and frankly some days it really scares me.

When we commemorate the 100thanniversay of the end of WWII in September of 2045, will we be able to say we learned the lessons Canadians died for?

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress.  I can be found on Twitter@robertdekker& @rdmediaottawaand on Facebook athttp://tiny.cc/n5l97.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net