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Let’s Learn about what the Political Spectrum really is.

At the cusp of the Canadian Federal Election, I told people to vote for who they wanted to vote for, and not to vote for the lesser of two evils.  Interestingly, I noticed that very few people that I talked to on that day knew very much about what the parties stood for at an ideological level – where they stood on the political spectrum. In an effort to help educate people about politics, let us talk about said spectrum.

Essentially, the political spectrum runs on two axies: One is economic (left-right: highly controlled-no controls), and the other is social (up-down: authoritarian/collectivist-individualist). In North American Politics (this applies to both the U.S. as well as Canada), these axies merge to become the Left (highly-controlled economics, individualism) and the Right (fewer economic controls, authoritarian in matters of morals, social mores). This changes slightly per party, but that’s generally what people mean when they reference the political Right and Left.

As a citizen of a free and democratic society, it is our duty to decide on which part of the scale do we reside, and then to discover which political party best represents our views.  It is at this point we should then look at individual issues that might change our vote, (e.g. abortion rights). Then it is simply to see if we can get on board with the party.  Luckily, due to the Canadian party system, it is a lot easier to vote party over leader, which is not the case in American Politics.  I don’t have enough (re: any) experience with that, so I’m not going to touch it.

In Canada, the party that best represents my views (at this time) is the Green Party, due to their stances on Economic controls (high) and their individualistic views on the socio-political axis. They are also a party that is predominantly pro-life (re: not anti-choice, but that’s another debate), which is important to me as a Christian. It took me a lot of thinking about my own views and some solid research to get to this point, but I think it is imperative that voting citizens do this much.

Luckily, you have at least 6 months before another Canadian Federal Election.

WK

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This entry was written by Will, posted on November 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm, filed under Politics and tagged , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Target: Women

Move over Tina Fey (only a little) [Update: Pat feels I need to make sure everyone knows this is hyperbole: Tina Fey is still the Matriarch of Comedy], Sarah Haskins is in town.

Who?

In my effort to see everything on the internet, I have stumbled across what may be the funniest advert pundit segment ever : Target Women, starring Sarah Haskins.

Basically, Sarah makes fun of topical advertising directed at women for 3 minutes at a time. At this point, I’ve watched one on cleaning, yogurt, birth control, feeding your family, Sarah Palin, etc. (the etc. is for the one I’ve clearly forgotten). Sarah Haskins expertly (and at times, with a couple well-placed crude-etries) dissects the messages under the advertising to compel women to buy. I love this for two reasons: first, because it’s hilarious; second, because I have a nearly psychopathic love-hate relationship with advertising.

Some may know that, before I was at Tyndale, I was in Business Marketing. There, I learned how to find (or create) a target market and show them the benefits (or trick them using their own norms and morays) of buying my product. Couple that with what I learned about Public Relations and now I don’t believe anything that comes from the media, ever. Advertising is manipulative, deceitful, ugly and unnatural. Take some time and read a copy of AdBusters, and you’ll understand my anger, grief, and torment … until I see something really innovative, like Waking Up Hannah, by Dove.

I like Dove’s advertising over the last few years, because while it is selling an image and state of mind (oh right, and a product), at least it is a wholly positive one. For me, that’s enough of a compromise, for now.

Is advertising redeemable? I hope so, because today I really like it. If we could make advertising reflective of cultures, and not creative of cultures, I think our world would be a better place.

All that text for that last line, and I’ve convinced you to click on 3 links – that’s good and sneaky advertising.

WK

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This entry was written by Will, posted on October 20, 2008 at 12:35 am, filed under Life, Politics and tagged , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

I am going to tell you who to vote for.

Those by the people for the people

Most of you who are reading this right now will be voting at some point today. Before you do, I wanted to urge you to vote correctly. There have been some great ideologies touted this electoral season, by some good people, and frankly, some real morons. You may be lost in a sea of promises and smear campaigns. Fear not, for I will tell you who to vote for:

Vote for the party whom you think will do the best job in office.

I say this because it seems to have become apparent in recent years that people are voting ‘strategically’. Apparently this means that you choose the (ever so slightly) better of two evils and vote for a party that may overtake the (obviously tyrannical) majority holder. Genius, right? Wrong.

By doing so, you essentially contribute to a process of electoral negation: you vote to not have someone get in. This is not exercise of hope, but of complete and utter resignation. By voting in this matter, you are declaring that you do not believe in a better country, only one that might slightly less horrible than it is now. You aren’t voting for hope, you’re voting for maintenance.

It saddens me that certain parties are encouraging this ‘strategy’ to pull votes away from parties that need to be there. The beauty of our political system is that it is multi-partisan: Anyone can (basically) start a party and push for their form of government. Your vote gives funds to those other parties. When you vote ‘strategically,’ you are simply putting more money in the hands of the ones you don’t really want to run your country anyway. And who really wants to do that?

So when you vote today, I implore you to vote your voice, and vote for the party you believe in, and don’t just vote against the party you don’t want in. And as my friend Matt says, if you’re the praying type, you best do some of that too.

WK

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This entry was written by Will, posted on October 14, 2008 at 1:00 am, filed under Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.