Sunday, June 30, 2013

Protecting Public Safety One Smashed Door at a Time

In this increasingly dangerous world, it’s nice to know Canadians can rest secure in the knowledge that RCMP officers are out there,  patrolling our streets, ready on a moment’s notice to break into our homes and steal our property.

In fact, the RCMP recently performed a little break and entry action in High River, Alberta, a town which had been evacuated due to massive flooding.

It seems some of the town’s gun owners had left their firearms in what police call “unsecure locations,” such as inside their securely locked homes.

Now you might ask, what’s so bad about that? The town is evacuated; the guns are out of sight, behind locked doors. Shouldn’t be a problem, right?

Ha, only a “gun nut” would say that!

As any rational and reasonable person knows that leaving guns in an empty locked house, situated in an empty town, is an invitation to anarchy!

Imagine, for instance, if militant household pests, like termites or carpenter ants, decided to arm themselves with those unguarded weapons.

Just think of what that would do to your extermination bills!

Luckily, however, before anything horrible like that could happen, the RCMP – official motto: “Private property rights? Never heard of ‘em” – forcibly broke into several High River homes, where they proceeded to grab guns as if they were donuts.

This, of course, was done in the name of preserving what the police like to call “public safety.”

Yes, some bleeding hearts bemoaned the RCMP action as heavy-handed, others even called it an “act of aggression” against gun owners, but if you ask me, we need more of this kind of aggressive, pre-emptive police work.

After all, there are probably millions of locked homes all across the country jam packed with privately owned, so-called “legal” items that, if they ever fell into the wrong hands, i.e. law-abiding citizens, could potentially threaten civilization as we know it.

Indeed, given the seriousness of this locked home issue, perhaps it’s time to create specially trained police squads whose only job will be to ransack arbitrarily selected homes, in order to find  any “public safety” threatening dangers.

And believe me, when the government puts its mind to it, it can find lots of things that threaten our public safety.

Indeed, here’s just a preliminary list of things the L.P.S. (Looting Police Squads) would be on the look out for as they root through people’s closets, kitchens and bedrooms:

  • Bottled water (Don’t let the benign appearance of bottled water fool you. According to environmentalists, water bottles, if left unchecked, could end human life on earth, leading to our planet being ruled by mutants, super intelligent robots or perhaps by apes.)

  • Bicycles – (These would be returned to owners, but only if they can provide proof they own government-certified bicycle helmets.)

  • Dogs that in anyway resemble a pit bull.

  • All unhealthy or “junk” food items that contains such things as trans-fat, starchy carbohydrates, sodium or glucose. (And God help the person found harboring a Happy Meal Toy!)

  • Cigarettes left within twenty meters of a match.

  • All books and magazines written by non-Canadian authors (a threat to our cultural sovereignty.)

  • Sporting equipment that could also double as weapons, i.e. baseball bats, darts, hockey sticks and, of course, most dangerous of all – dodge balls.

Admittedly, all this might seem like a little bit of an infringement on our Charter guaranteed rights and freedoms, but let’s face it, if the government and the police won’t infringe on our rights to protect us from ourselves, who will?

It’s like I always say … sorry. ..I have to go … somebody’s battering down my front door. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ontario PCs Need to Keep Message Simple

Given that Ontario is in a tense minority government situation these days, we can expect constant, low level partisan warfare to take place between the three main political parties.

And sometimes not so low level.

In fact, the Ontario PCs have launched a pretty big salvo against Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne in the form of a new TV “attack” ad.

Of course, this has the Liberals all in a huff and they are denouncing the Tory ad as “negative”, but, truth be told, they really have no need for concern.

The fact is, while the Tory spot is making a lot of noise in media circles, it won’t do the Liberals much harm.

That's because while the ad is right strategically, it’s wrong stylistically.

Now before we get to the ad in question, let’s consider what message the Tories need to get out.

I suspect their own internal polls are telling the PCs that Ontario voters are ready for a change in government and that they don’t like former Premier Dalton McGuinty.

That means the formula for a Tory ad should look something like this: Wynne=McGuinty & Wynne ≠ Change.

And yes, that’s basically the message the Tories are getting out in their new ad, which declares in the first few seconds “Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne: Nothing has changed.”

However, the big problem with this ad is it crams way too much information into a 30 second spot.

Just consider what it tells us in the span of half a minute:

  • Wynne co-chaired McGuinty’s campaign
  • Wynne oversaw staff who called the shots on the power plant cancellation
  • Wynne signed a document authorizing the cancellation
  • Wynne claimed the cost of the cancellation was $40 million
  • Wynne knew the cost would be higher
  • Wynne will mean reckless spending and higher taxes
That’s a lot of stuff to absorb! Too much. You need a scorecard to keep track of it all! Consequently, the Tories risk overwhelming and confusing viewers; there’s just nothing really for people to latch onto.

Plus the ad lacks context. Other than saying the gas plant cancellation cost more than expected, it doesn’t really explain why this should make voters angry. You can’t assume voters are up on the story. You need to lay it out.

In short, the PCs are on the right strategic track with this spot, but they need to develop a more focused message, with a lot less clutter.

Good ads are simple ads.
Indeed, the best part of the current spot are the last three seconds, which feature a picture of Wynne and McGuinty together, while the words “No Change” are stamped on the screen.

That’s all the Tories really need to say, over and over again.