It looks like the political season is starting to ramp up here in Cochrane, with municipal elections looming in the fall. It was nice to see that, despite being on holidays for the past two weeks, I still managed to sneak into an editorial about outgoing mayor Truper McBride.
The editor of the Cochrane Eagle attempts to paint McBride as less than conservative, given his informed and rational opinions on such hot-topic items as transit, wetland policy and urban growth in general. Where it gets a little dicey is his attempt to use me “one of McBride’s most ardent political supporters” as further evidence of his “un”conservatism (by cherry picking the following two tweets from my twitter account…2 out of 1338).
Now, what you should notice about this first tweet is that it’s what’s known as a “retweet”. Most twitter users understand that just because someone has “retweeted” something, that doesn’t make it their opinion. It might just be interesting, absurd, amusing or a host of other things. In this case, if you read the original article, it’s about how privatization has failed Americans in some pretty key areas, in pretty big ways. Interesting stuff, but full of that horrid thing known as “information”, that tends to be an annoyance when it goes against “ideology”.
The other tweet that is commented on as further evidence that I’m obviously not the kind of guy that would support a real conservative candidate is found below.
Since when is consumerism and obesity highly charged political territory? Liberal, Green, PC or NDP…I’m hard pressed to find someone who supports us promoting much more of either of those things. And next time you’re at the mall, sit in the food court for awhile and just observe. I should have made the comparison to East Hasting’s street, given how much dopamine and oxytocin are flowing in people’s brains as they eat refined carbs and spend money.
What’s really at issue here is the following;
1. The need for municipal politicians to be labelled according to political party. This is terrible for communities. The role of a municipal politician is to weigh information and make rational decisions for the long term health and well being of an entire community, not some portion of it that shares broader ideological bents.
2. The characterization of conservatives as ill-informed, anti-environment, anti-transit, etc. (you know, the opposite of Truper McBride). IF I was a conservative (I’ve actually voted for a different party in every provincial and federal election, including a vote for the PC party on the last round), I’d be mildly pissed at the inferences that the editor is making in his attempts to discredit Truper (and by extension, Joann Churchill). I know lots of smart, ambitious and politically motivated conservatives. And Liberals. And NDP candidates.
I will give the editor some credit in his observation that politics is changing, and that your “grandfather’s conservatives” are no longer as well represented. He points out that it’s been awhile since a premier made a rude gesture at an environmentalist, or dismissed another parties work as “crap”. Because, apparently, those are very desirable characteristics in a conservative politician. Rude and dismissive. Nothing beats reinforcing stereotypes while simultaneously trying to create your own.
I don’t know who I’m voting for in the upcoming election, but I think I’ve figured out my system: vote for the candidate that the Cochrane Eagle tries to discredit the most.
So far it’s one point for Joann Churchill.