Thursday, August 27, 2009

PM makes Senate Appointment: Is is our media Lazy or biased?

krugmanEvery once in awhile I go back to school: I read up on the basics of writing a good story or essay. Here are some of the lessons I've recently learned, courtesy of the Columbia School of Journalism's site,, and
  • Organize your material: Put it in a rough sequence, in an order that will be sensible and engaging to the audience
  • Write the first draft quickly, then go back and self-edit
  • Ask 'who cares?' about every sentence, and be ruthless excising extraneous material
  • Be original: A different spin, original research or investigation, an interview or first-hand account, a personal photo, a chart -- all of these can add enormous value and readibility
  • Never make anything up, even if it's plausible
  • If something from one source is suspicious, check another source
  • Always credit your sources
  • Don't let pressure to produce compromise the quality of your work
  • Use the title, first sentence and (if the article is long or complex) a two to three sentence abstract up-front to both inform and draw in your audience
  • Close with a memorable sentence

I will  hyperlink several MSM print online articles and look for a pattern of words or phrases regarding the appointment of Senators by the PM in an attempt to evaluate a bias exists. For this excercise I will not include other media including TV or Radio.

Don Martin: Are party loyalists the best Harper can come up with?
Harper dubbed 'patronage king'
Harper appoints 9 to Senate

Stuffing the Senate 

Harper names nine to Senate including ex-NHL coach, party loyalists

Harper poised to make 8 Senate appointments

He united the right, now he's in the Senate-Manitoban Don Plett expected to be appointed

Harper looks to even out the Senate

Partisans and sober second thought

Harper's 'dumping ground'

Descent into cronyism

Globe editorial Partisans and sober second thought

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. - Wag The Dog

Politics: A game of strategy.

Can Harper and Layton put aside the rhetoric to find some common ground to avoid a September 28, 2009 motion by the Liberal Party?

The Conservative Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party would both benefit from weakening the Liberal Party of Canada.

  • The Liberal Party won many ridings with the votes being divided by two conservative parties during the 1984-1990's.
  • The Conservatives/NDP benefitted in October 2008 at the expense of the Liberals who achieved the lowest P.O.P. in over 100 years.

Are the Conservatives or NDP willing to risk a loss of ten or twenty seats to the Liberal Party?
According to a large number of Polls the NDP do not have any upside regarding seats this Fall. The CPC have had a small number of Polls showing a potential for a weak majority or a reduced minority.

If I were a strategist for either the NDP or CPC I would make my priority to weaken the Liberal Party. The NDP would benefit the most by increasing their credibility in negotiating a few concessions in contrast to a Report Card, Blue Ribbon Panel, extra opposition day. If they can negotiate a 12-18 month deal when the concessions expired the Liberals will be in a much weaker bargaining position.
The CPC would also earn "goodwill" for averting an election that might translate at the Polls in 2011.

If Jack is unable to get any "tangible" concessions from Harper what does this mean?
1) Harper believes his numbers are VERY good.
2) Harper does NOT trust the NDP.
It is not the Critic who Counts

It is not the critic who counts,
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled,
or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows the great enthusiasms,
the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course;
who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly;
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who know neither victory or defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt