Thursday, 19 January 2017

Trumped

It's been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.

Tomorrow we will witness the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th US president. Despite electoral college results and the possibility - or likelihood - of foreign interference in the election, Trump was duly elected. What does this say about the American electorate? American democracy? Or democracy in general?

We tend to view democracy as being election-based. Of course, fair and free elections are integral to democratic forms of government. However democracy means much more then just electoral results. It means that elected officials are accountable to the electorate both before and after the elections, and that elected officials pursue policies that provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people. It also means that aware and empowered citizens interact with elected officials and provide essential input to legislation and policy.

Let's not forget that Hitler was democratically elected in 1932. As we know, he used his electoral victory to abolish all semblance of democracy in Germany and beyond. Trump may not be Hitler, but we have seen him embrace intolerance, racism, xenophobia and misogyny. All of these run counter to the principle of providing the greatest good for the electorate.

So forget the Russians, and the electoral college. Let's acknowledge that Trump won the election fair and square. It is incumbent on American citizens to hold their new president accountable, to "hold his feet to the fire," and to ensure that he adheres to democratic values.

Democracy doesn't end when the election is over. It continues.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

A cry for help

(I have neglected this blog for the past few months. I bring it back to life with the following musings on the latest Rob Ford saga. MK)

My guess is that the brothers Ford are holed up somewhere with PR flaks and lawyers, planning out Robbo's resignation strategy.

I mean for god's sake, he could have just bought the crack and smoked it in the privacy of his own home (or office) but to be filmed smoking it at the dealer's apartment? If that's not a desperate cry for help, I don't know what is.


We will see what the coming days bring. But to my mind, it looks like Toronto's Rob Ford era is over.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Coming clean

This is my first blog post of 2013 and I wish all my readers a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013. The subject on my mind right now is the ongoing Lance Armstrong saga. Oprah Winfrey's much anticipated interview with Armstrong will be broadcast over two consecutive Oprah episodes this week. He is expected to "come clean" about his performance-enhancing drug use after years of lying and denial.

What to make of it? Armstrong compounded the error of cheating with the error of lying, thereby adding insult to injury and making matters worse. In my opinion he has lost all credibiltiy and the carefully choreographed and staged Oprah appearance cannot and will not rehabilitate his tarnished reputation, I suspect.

The first rule of successful PR and media relations? Never, ever lie. People can often forgive a moral lapse or a "mistake" but they are less likely to forgive someone lying about it repeatedly, as in Armstrong's case.

It's time to move on, Lance (and Oprah.)

Monday, 17 December 2012

America's gun obsession

I have nothing to add to the words that have already been written and will continue to be written about the most recent massacre of children in the United States. Linked below is a piece by the CBC's Neil Macdonald which sums up my thoughts quite well.http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/12/16/f-rfa-macdonald-guns.html

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Festival of Lights

It's holiday time for many of us. In my case, that holiday is Chanuka (however you spell it) and for us it's an opportunity to lavish attention and gifts on our two wonderful children.

I am not sure, by the way, if I'm okay with all of the messages from the Chanuka story but no matter, it's about festive and seasonal celebration and not religous observance for my family.

It is our multicultural "Festival of Lights" and all are welcome to join our celebration!

And whatever holiday you wish to celebrate, I wish you best of the season.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Correction...

Like many others, I've been getting a lot of my news from my SmartPhone. Sure I still read the papers, but I also read a lot of "newspaper" articles on my phone. And I've noticed - and that means you, www.globeandmail.com - a lot of articles include updates for correction. Is the rush to be "first" making online journalism sloppy? Just asking...And I will continue also to read print newspapers for as long as they're making them.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

This post pre-empted by (yet another) bike theft

Good morning, all. I had originally intended to write about yesterday's court decision which found Toronto's ignorant and incompetent mayor Rob Ford guilty of conflict of interest charges. However we woke up today to discover that a thief (or thieves) had entered our garage - again - had a look inside the car and stolen my brand new bicycle (which was itself a replacement bike for one which was stolen over the summer.) So that is what's occupying my thoughts right now. If you are reading this, please wish for some good fortune to come my way. A blog post about the Rob Ford situation is sure to follow. Thanks for your patience!