I’ve seen the first blast of television ads promoting the parties in the upcoming Ontario election. The winner of the first set? Dalton McGuinty. Here we see McGuinty’s image coaching really pay off. Compared with his unscripted appearances before the media, and especially compared with his appearances on the 1999 election stump, he appears relaxed and engaging.
I especially give him points for making an ad that focuses on the positive rather than the negative. By appearing to refuse to engage in Ernie Eves tactic of mudslinging, McGuinty sets himself well above his opponent. I may be naive, but I still consider it a breath of fresh air. I’m sick of being told why I’m supposed to vote against somebody; McGuinty has, at least, tried to tell me why I should vote for him.
His approach is similar to that of Howard Hampton’s power issue ad, but McGuinty’s technique comes off stronger. For one thing, McGuinty addresses the camera, and by extension, the voter. It’s more engaging than Howard’s approach where he is speaking to a reporter or a cue card placed off camera, beyond the left side of the screen. Hampton has far more of substance to say than McGuinty, but he doesn’t engage the audience. There is also, in the ads I’ve seen, an odd bit of bad dubbing. It appears as though Hampton’s words come through the speakers a small fraction of a second after his mouth utters the words. It’s not obvious, but it’s off just enough that I ended up frowning at the screen and wondering just what was wrong with the picture. It’s not the reaction Hampton wanted.
Eves campaign, meanwhile, has lost its collective mind. Demanding that Ontarian voters return the Conservatives to power in order to avoid the election of the McGuinty Antichrist does little to serve the Conservatives’ issues, or even give any sense that the Conservatives have any issues. Most recently, Eves campaign issued a press release which called McGuinty “that reptilian kitten-eater from another planet.”
However they vote, I hope that Ontarian voters take the high road and hold their politicians to that road, because I don’t think it would reflect well on them if they fell for such shallow, baseless negativity. Eves has had very little of substance to say in this election, and is seeking power through attacking people and dividing this province. Not only McGuinty, he’s attacking Torontonians and immigrants. His divide and conquer approach has even included the Green Party. This is unbecoming of a premier who is supposed to govern for all Ontarians and unite the province. By responding to his empty rhetoric, Ontarians risk looking in on their own selfish interests, reacting with fear and suspicion to other Ontarians. Ontario can’t function if you beat up and abandon the province’s economic engine. A society that’s built on fear crumbles in its introspection. Eves campaign approach, if carried over into an Eves government, would destroy the province’s economic vitality.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating — or, in this case the reading. McGuinty says (paraphrased) “I won’t raise your taxes, but I won’t cut them either. Our schools and our hospitals desperately need the money.” Eves campaign responds, “McGuinty is a reptilian kitten-eater from another planet!” You tell me: which of these two sounds more like a man with a plan? Which of these two sounds more like a statesman? Which of these two sounds more like a premier of Ontario?
I’d never thought I’d say this, but it’s McGuinty.
The Internet proves itself yet again: somebody has produced an index of comic book sounds, and the characters that make them. The Unh! Project is a great site, so have a visit, and be sure to check out his other fine works.
Southern Ontario’s first hurricane of this year may well be the remnants of Hurricane Isabel. The storm sits at the threshold of Category 5 and current predictions from the National Hurricane Center suggest that the storm (now east of Bermuda) will turn northwest on Monday, with a possible land strike on Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.
If it stays on the center part of its predicted course, the remnants of Isabel promise to dump a lot of rain on Southern Ontario this Saturday. Interesting days are ahead.
More about the 51 Star Flag
Remember my post where I asked: “‘The 51 star flag is already commercially available and has been sold variously to proponents of statehood in Washington DC, California, Michigan, New York City, Texas, Nebraska, Canada and the Philippines.’ — I know of the rest, but… Nebraska? When did Nebraska want to break in two?”
Well, I got a response, from the person behind the website itself (it’s a great website, check it out). After consulting with a board, he heard the following:
“Nebraska does not want to break in two, at least I don’t think so. Disgruntled ranchers in the panhandle felt “orphaned” by Omaha staged a protest several years ago and we sold them a 51 star flag. As I recall it was sometime between 1992-1996. My understanding is that they wanted to “secede” and form a state of like minded individuals i.e. Cattlemen
instead of Farmers. I think they would settle for being part of Colorado as another alternative, although than they would be a “panhandle” of Colorado!
I recall the CBS TV show 60 Minutes did a segment on them. Perhaps we can contact the CBS archives, as other flags may have been engendered by this event, and photographed by them.
As for the others, Washington DC has wanted to be a state so that it could better control its municipal problems, and get congressional representation. Many have also said that New York City could function better if it were its own state. Michigan’s upper peninsula is a distinct region of Michigan, oft forgotten, and proposals have come forward before to split the unmanageable state of California into two (southern and northern) or even three (eastern, beyond the Sierra Nevadas) states. Texas has the right to break up into five individual states if it wants to. The Philippines has expressed a preference for joining the union in the (far) past, and there are those within Canada advocating annexation by the United States (whose cause would be significantly less hindered if it bought a 60 star US flag instead of just a 51 star one.).
In the case of California and Nebraska, it shows that Canada doesn’t hold a monopoly of people who threaten to gather up all their marbles and go home if things don’t go their way.