Friday, 1 July 2016

Happy Birthday Canada!

A quick shout out to the best country in the world and to all of the lovely people who call it home!

As the day is almost at an end, let us continue celebrating this amazing country into the night and remember why Canadians are citizens of the world.

Here is to another 149 years of making the world a better place Canada!

You don't look a year over 100, you sexy and intelligent thing you!

Until Next Time!

-The Political Road Map

Monday, 13 June 2016

Omar Mateen and the Orlando Massacre

I began sipping my Sunday morning coffee, when upon opening my CBC app, I was confronted with the headline: "Mass Shooting in Florida, 50 Dead, 53 Injured."
Suddenly, my coffee didn't taste very good anymore; it became bitter and left a feeling of unease in the pit of my stomach.

This feeling did not happen because of the fact that another shooting had just been committed in the United States, no, those seem to be happening on a weekly basis as of late. The feeling developed, because as soon as my eyes glanced on the headline, I knew that someone had taken an AR-15 and used it on a group of innocent people in order to address some kind of hate or vendetta against society. I hadn't even read the article yet and I knew the gun utilized by the person and that made me sick, because it seems that no matter how many bodies are counted, families destroyed and minority groups targeted, Americans still believe they do not have a gun problem.

The needless massacre at a nightclub in Orlando, that also happened to be a favorite spot of the areas LGBT community was more than just an example of America’s problems with guns however. I love how the media feels the need to emphasize the fact that this nightclub was a gay nightclub, as if to say it was the sovereign state of homosexuals, where no one else could join. The reality of the matter is that the opposite is the truth; this social location accepted everyone into a safe environment, which made it the perfect target.
Omar Mateen was supposedly a follower of ISIS, but unlike foreign entities coming into the country to wreak havoc, this individual was a natural born American.

His religion and his beliefs coupled with the mental illness of Bi-Polar Syndrome seem to be the catalysts that allowed his beliefs to become reality.
The media quoted a family member, who stated that the sight of two men kissing enraged Omar.
Why would this be though? Did the men motion to have him kiss him? Were they trying to impose their way of life on his or come to his home or mosque to enforce the importance of kissing members of the same sex?

Most likely not.

When someone chooses a location to stage their protest or make a stand, it will often time carry with it a significance that enforces the beliefs of the actor. In the case of the nightclub, one must question why a young man with strong ties to Islam and also suffering from a mental illness, would choose this night club out of any other areas in the city that might prove significant to the LGBT community?

Was Omar really that bigoted against the LGBT community? Was he attempting to change his approach to Jihad against America and thought that targeting a minority, much like his own group, would instill the necessary fear to get his message across? Did he leave any documentation or even a manifesto that supported his allegiance with ISIS?

Or was this act the result of a man greatly confused and torn between his own desires and the requirements of his religious faith. Was Omar Mateen truly disgusted by the fact that two men were kissing or was he in fact angered because they could never kiss him?

Was a man who may have been questioning his own sexuality, put into a position that forced him into choosing to live the life you want and isolate yourself from your faith or follow your faith, but deny yourself the identity you truly are?

This wouldn’t be the first time in history that someone who was confused or torn took to the method of lashing out against the very group they so longed to be apart of, when reality reinforced the fact that they could never truly be free.

The Political Road Map relies heavily on the discussion of our political realm and its impact on our daily lives, but what it also indirectly does is allow you, the reader, to map out your own life and how it interacts with our society.

Where are you? Where are you going? Is your government headed in the same direction?

If you find yourself in a position of isolation, of feeling lost without direction, because either your own group or the society you live in is headed in such a drastic direction how would you react?

Could the same consequences have been accomplished here in Canada?

They could have, but they would have been much more difficult and would have been illegal from the start. The AR-15 is to the Americans, what the AK-47 was to the Soviet Union. It is an easily user-friendly gun that can be built rather cheaply and sold en mass. When coupled with the right intentions, it can wreak havoc on both civilian and enemy with little difficulty.

America’s gun problem is that it allows these weapons of war to be made readily available for every house mom and working stiff with the right amount of zeroes on a cheque. Combine this with the bigotry that comes from the religious right and it is unfortunately no surprise that acts like this are being committed more frequently.

In closing, I ask that you forget about the fact that Omar Mateen pleaded his allegiance to ISIS before the attack, because this kind of hate toward LGBT individuals is not solely committed by radical Islam, but by fundamentalist Christians, Catholics and even non-religious idiots alike.

Remember the victims of this tragedy and look forward with hope and love in order to avoid such an event from happening again. More importantly though, remember the perpetrator as someone who is not a hero of infamy, but an individual who will go down in history as a confused and possibly sexually challenged individual, who did not get the required help before acting out.

Peace, Love, Hope and Sound Direction!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Adult Assembly Required: The NDP and #Elbowgate

It is no surprise that in the past, I have been very NDP friendly throughout my discussions in this blog. While I have many reasons to provide Canada's third party with something that may resemble sentimental support, the recent events to occur over the past few weeks have really made me shake my head. If you have witnessed the infamy of #Elbowgate, you too most likely are shaking your head and for good reason.

The actions of Tom Mulcair and his overall reaction to a blunder of moves by the young Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are the very actions that not only turn people away from the political sphere, but also make a mockery of the political process in general.

While assault of any kind is not warranted and should never be, the over-exaggeration of a minor accident as assault brings shame to the party and also is a disgrace to actual victims of assault.

Personally, I believe #Elbowgate was nothing more than your average politicking that the NDP utilized to gain more media attention, but also direct the flow of a bill that would essentially hurt democracy as a whole. So while the event in and of itself is a mockery of the political process and politicians, the overall outcome can be seen as something very positive.

Our Liberal majority in the most general sense was working towards limiting the amount of time allowed for discussion in the House and while this may appear like an efficiency upgrade, it also greatly hampers the ability of the opposition to state their arguments and provide a proper counter point of view to the government. This is a big no no, since as citizens, we want our politicians to be yelling in discussion on our behalf in order to ensure that any bill that is passed is done so in a manner that has been thoroughly reviewed and revised. Any action that is implemented to deter this is in my opinion an act of tyranny against Democracy and no different than the actions witnessed under Stephen Harper ( The guy who recently stepped down from his position after conveniently waiting for the Duffy trial to end, which allowed him to evade questioning/legal action, but anyways).

To make matters worse, #Elbowgate has been plastered throughout the media countless times and so many people have had their say on how it made them feel. Media attention is something the NDP lacks greatly in Canada's political landscape, however it always seems very convenient that when something negative occurs with the party,someone from the media is close by and ever ready to showcase it to everyone. This further shows a bias in our media towards the political parties that represent us, which is bad thing as the media is one of our most important sources for information, which allows people to become informed, which then allows said people to vote and participate in the political process and impact our country as a result.

If the NDP is going to continue rebuilding after the last election and most importantly implement the Leap Manifesto, the party needs to really focus on coming together and refreshing its image and approach to the important topics of the day. The New Democrats are so Canadian in the sense that they have all of the elements needed for greatness and for real change, but when tasked to utilize these elements in order to create the necessary results, fall short of the goal and lose all momentum. Elbowgate is just another barrier to the party as it has not only created a negative media buzz, but also dislocated voters, who frankly may be on the fence in terms of who they vote for and just witnessed their party act no different than the Republicans do in the United States.

New Democrats, please remember that #Elbowgate has come and will pass, but that people are counting on you to remain true to your own policies and positions. The NDP are here to clean up the political mess that has derailed our country for too long and when I have to witness media coverage of an accidental bump become a discussion on assault and political slandering, I fear that my party of choice has fallen into the same trap that many others have, a trap that takes the focus on real progress and instead works on making us look better than them.

Until Next Time!  

Saturday, 16 April 2016

The NDP and the Leap Manifesto

Recently, I had the chance to look over the Leap Manifesto introduced at the recent NDP leadership conference. At first, I gazed upon this simple document with anger, as I wondered why this had not been released in advance of the most recent federal election.

If one thing is common among the New Democratic Party of Canada, it is that it's members, while on the path to social justice and equality in society, are often placed in positions, where internal conflict becomes rampant. In many ways, the NDP act much like the Democrats do when it comes to internal organization and consistency in message, they will either work together in success or tear each other apart and lose what momentum they may have gathered.

Having worked on behalf of NDP campaigns in both the most recent Ontario election and federal election, I have seen how this behavior has played out first hand. In both cases, the NDP stood in a position of political triumph, they essentially played the wild card and as a result were able to have many of their intended objectives met, unfortunately things fell apart and these plans would later be introduced through the motion of a Liberal MP or MPP. Another reality in our country is that many amazing policies that work to actually assist Canadians, are often stolen from the NDP, only later to be introduced by either Liberals or Conservatives as original ideas. I say this not because I support the party and believe they offer the change our country needs, but rather because this has been a reality I have observed on more than one occasion over the past few years.

Back to the Leap Manifesto though as it has garnered as series of mixed reviews from both party members and outside observers alike. While the document returns the NDP back to their idealistic and hopeful roots, it once again suffers from the reality of being introduced at the wrong place and time. Well, its placement is actually ideal, since we as a country are now at a fork in the road, which means the decisions we make now as people will inherently have even more of an impact than ever before.

The Leap Manifesto takes into consideration the problems both "average" Canadians and impoverished Canadians face and pledges to directly address them. In reality, much of these problems are currently being faced by people around the world, who are currently in the process of living through various government imposed austerity measures. The Leap Manifesto is ideal in this situation, as it stands its ground as an anti-austerity measure, which is crucial at this time. 

I wouldn't be surprised if the Liberals or Conservatives end up using the Leap Manifesto as a basis to their own political road maps in the years to come before our next election. As the Conservatives are in damage control over the destruction imposed by Harper, the Liberals are going to require any material available in order to not only stay fresh in the minds of Canadians, but also relevant.

Lucky for both of these parties, the electorate often has a short memory and as a result will follow the policies and parties that gain social momentum and result in a direct impact on their lives. This is why the NDP is going to have to focus a lot of attention in the coming years in order to not only spread the Leap Manifesto via social media, but also advertise the hell out of any policies, idea, systems or practically anything that may sprout from its original ideals.

In order for any of this to really make a difference or for the Leap Manifesto to transcend from an early document to a full platform, the party needs to pull up its pants and join in solidarity. The NDP needs to do some soul searching over the next two years in order to not only choose a new leader, but agree on where the party is, where members want to be and how they intend on getting there. If anything, the NDP needs the Political Road Map more than they may even know, because once the party can agree as a whole, it is simply a matter of sticking to their identity and fight as hard as possible to both represent their target audience and mobilize said audience to take action.

The first step in order to begin this process requires the following step:

 The first step in order to move forward requires that the party dismiss or demote anyone who brings forward any negativity both in the media and among the ranks that directly causes drama and diversion. Rebecca Blaikie's comments for example, at first seem like a progressive attempt at outlining the need to branch out and make political life available to all Canadians, but in fact it has created much more harm. The worst possible thing you can do to a party suffering from an identity crisis is add in another element that questions the party's current base and offends at the same time. I mean, if I was to walk into any organization or group and say hey everyone, listen...I think this group is too black, Mexican, female or Chinese, I would most likely be kicked out and have the cops called on me for a possible hate crime. The fact that the party allowed their own party president to utter these words in the media, shows how confused the party really is.

When I worked directly with the NDP in my area, we stuck to our policies and naturally worked with all colours and creeds, even in my riding, which is primarily made up of retired Caucasian seniors! The party's mandate should be clear, we are working toward the eradication of inequality in society and the betterment of all Canadians. Characteristics such as: Colour, Religion or sexual orientation are assumed as descriptors that do not deny people from joining the party as they do not make people any less Canadians than others!

God, then to add salt to the wounds, the Metro released an article reviewing the Toronto NDP, where two young members described how they felt the party was filled with and I quote: "Too many old white guys."

For fucks sake Rebecca! 

Once the party realizes that they are a multi-colored band of socialist misfits who are going to turn our current system upside down is the only time it will truly be able to embrace the knowledge set and motivation necessary to actually impact change.

Our society is facing an ever growing economic war that is not only dividing us, but also making us vulnerable to divisive tactics, which are further dividing us as a whole and allowing for the inequality we are witnessing to not only continue, but grow.

The Leap Manifesto has the potential to enact great change and truly allow Canada to become an example for the world at large, but in order for this to happen, many different factors need to come together.

The NDP need to realize where they stand currently, where they want to go and if the current government is heading in the same direction. If not, then the party needs to put together an action plan that will do something about it.

If you would like to read the Leap Manifesto and sign it, please visit here.

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Adult Assembly Required: Donald Trump! (Updated)


Update: I recently received an official response to my article regarding Donald Trump from a fellow blogger, take a moment to read over the response and review the counter points, does this change how you feel about Donald Trump? 

What does Donald Trump and Sandra Bullock have in common?
They both subscribe to the brand of crisis and utilize it in a political environment. The main difference between the two is that Sandra Bullock is acting in a movie named "Our Brand is Crisis" (Which you can purchase here). while the other is pretending to run for the position of president of the United States. 

The reality is...why shouldn't he? Trump's overall support is growing largely because he caters to what the electorate want, or more specifically, what they think they want. He is utilizing a political tactic that many have used before him, but only few have utilized with great success. That tactic is something called diversion, a tool that enables an individual to divert the attention of people from certain topics in reality, by distracting them with minor issues, often completely fictional. 

Donald Trump, much like his Democratic counter-part Bernie Sanders, are standing strong against establishment politics and as such have given themselves the ability to not only differentiate themselves, but become a unique alternative to the status quo. 

In the case of Donald Trump, this diversion tactic that he is anti-establishment is complete and utter baloney, in fact, if anything Trump is as much a part of the establishment as anyone else, he just works hard to brand himself as something different and not play nice with others while doing it. If you take a close look at the policies Trump has brought forward, you can easily determine that he has in fact brought forward none. That's right, Donald Trump really hasn't established any kind of plan on how he intends on running the country as President or making American great again. 

Trump may not have a clue as to how he can "Make America Great Again"

Another interesting phenomenon that has arisen in this race revolves around how so many people have "fallen in love" with Trump. It might make you scratch your head for a bit, because we have someone who appears to be openly racist, sexist, aggressive and with a reputation of being big business with a history of running ventures into bankruptcy, yet people seem to think this is the guy to vote for? This phenomenon really isn't anything special in the political sense, because once again it relates to how a candidate markets themselves and the conditions with which they run for elected office. Had Trump decided to put his hat into the race while America was in good financial times, then his success may have been something completely opposite, as more people would be able to see through his smoke and mirrors and call him out for it.

However, with the current conditions in both the American economy and government, Trump is practically riding a wave of success off of the fears and concerns of the average American. Republicans as a whole are probably shuttering at the fact that their party is being attacked from 2 angles. 

1. They have a billionaire running under their banner, who if elected, will run as an independent, thus establishing himself as technically the first independent contender for the White House that represents the 1%. This would inevitably split the right vote and may even cause Republican supporters to consider voting Democrat, if they are more centrist.

2. It is now official that the Republican party of the United States has been hijacked by ultra right wingers under the tea party banner. This is not only dangerous to the Republican brand, but also poses a direct threat to Democracy if said individuals do find themselves in a position of power, that enables them to enact legislation. History has provided us with many examples outlining just how dangerous the pen can be over the sword, when men of ill temperament and bias gain power over others. Attributes that Trump easily shares and promotes in his oratory. 

The main hope that many Americans should be at ease with is the fact that Trump is supported by the "Silent Majority", something both ironic and crucial as a plan B in case he does win the Republican nomination. The silent majority in history has never been one to enact change, if anything they are the people who resist change or follow through as things do in fact change. It is the vocal and determined individuals in society with the will and focus to act on their beliefs that do in fact garner this change. Ideas are hard to have in the world and as such it is easier to just do nothing and ignore them, you have to work hard to get them off the ground and defend them with truth, something Trump has difficulty doing

Interesting to see a Canadian strongly support Trump, but will silent majority live up to expectations in the end?

Trump supporters will only prevail if they actually get up and vote on his behalf, which means if we end up seeing a Trump vs Clinton or Trump vs Sanders finale, it will be more important than ever to ensure that the electorate not only votes, but acts strongly to bring out the vote.  

If you take a close look at the psyche of the individuals strongly supporting Trump, you may find it surprising that the majority of them are citizens who feel threatened. They see a government who in their eyes has been leaning toward more socialist values and as such believe that the country is becoming weaker than in previous years. It is because of this notion that many people are willing to do what they can to support a stronger America, even if on the surface this means denying others access to enter the country or bearing arms against others. 

It is like having support for the military and being a strong supporter, even though said military might be bombing children in another country in order to achieve its goal. While many people would denounce their support, others follow blindly and as such believe that the actions being committed are both necessary and ethical, which is dangerous  

This is why you might be scratching your head again, while people cheer on a political candidate who threatens to continuously bash peoples heads in and denies people the right to challenge him and speak their opinion. Both of which are red flags when it comes to electing someone to lead your country and equally support your people. Canadians unfortunately know this kind of behavior first hand as it is parallel to Stephen Harper and how he organized his public appearances. People would be escorted out or silenced in order to preserve the image being maintained by him and Trump is no different. 

Does this look like a man of the people? Or more like a man marketing his brand?

I really hope my American colleagues make the right choice in the coming months and break down the walls that Trump is building with his rhetoric. In a time where the 1% is being targeted for their excess and support for inequality, it makes no rational sense why someone would believe Donald Trump would have their interests in mind both politically and economically. The man is literally funding his own campaign through a loan in the millions and a small portion of his own wealth coupled with minor donations from individuals. That's right, Trump has only forked over $700,000 dollars, while he has received over $6 million dollars in minor donations and has been given a loan worth millions.

Either way, in the end whether Trump is successful or not, both the United States and Republicans are going to be left with the opportunity to really review what just happened and hopefully look back and determine never again, without having to regret any negative actions that may have come from it. It is easy during hard times to prey upon the insecurities of people in order to advance your own bid for power. If Trump was acting like Sanders, we would all most likely love to support him, but instead his actions are showing the true power of politics as he is using all the regular tactics in order to brand himself and garner more support. Even if he does end up losing, Donald Trump is guaranteed to not only make a lot of money off of this stunt, but also continue to build up his image that his intervention leads to success and generation of wealth, even when in reality the opposite is true. 

I highly recommend you check out "Our Brand is Crisis", as I believe you will definitely see parallels to much of what Donald Trump is accomplishing during this election. Just click here!

Until Next Time!