Pool noodles and crullers

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Kerry Knudsen

I donate from time to time to the Conservative Party. I imagine this surprises nobody, but it actually doesn’t mean I endorse the Conservative Party.

I was in Honduras a few years back, and I was talking to one of the locals about politics. He was complaining, and I pointed out they have free elections, with one coming up. He looked at me with a kind of amazement, and said, “Free? We have two families in Honduras, and they take turns raiding the treasury. That is the election, and it has From the editor Pool noodles and crullers to go that way, because if it doesn’t — if one family just takes over — it will mean war.”

I vote for the Conservative Family because it seems to me, sort of, that the Conservatives are less corrupt than the Liberal Family. I have been reporting on this issue since Chrétien and AdScam and before. As I noted back then, you should be afraid when one party decides to use advertising revenues to rig elections. Chrétien, of course, passed the guilt to Martin, but you can do the research, yourself.

Does that mean the Conservatives are better? I hope so, but maybe they are just meeker. Capulets, Montagues, take your pick.

One thing donating to the Conservatives does, for sure, is to earn me a minimum of six “personalized” emails a day to each of my email accounts. Each of the e-mails usually says how their opponent in the upcoming leadership election is faulted or instructs me in the fine art of how to fill out a ballot. Then they ask for more money. As database experts, it makes no difference to them that their database says I have already donated the maximum. If I get in trouble, it’s no sweat off their noses.

Last week I replied to Erin O’Toole’s “personal” e-mail. Instead of telling what he’ll do when he becomes leader, I suggested that he tell me what he’s already done. If I am electing a fighter, I said, show me a record of a round or two. We can all walk overland across Kenya barefoot if all it takes is the talking. No response. Stunner.

Last night (my time; two weeks ago to you), I got a personal e-letter from Derek Sloan, inviting me to a webinar he is giving on free speech. I thought, “What a coincidence! I answered a survey from Sloan just last week saying that freedom of expression is my top campaign issue.” Twenty-four hours later, here comes Erin O’Toole with his plan to defend free speech. How about this for a campaign slogan for them all: ONE LAW for everybody. Those of you that read my editorial last issue about Ravi Hooda already know I think free speech is not only critical, but critically endangered by some really stupid people in education.

Many, many years ago, I was managing a magazine called Canadian Sportfishing. This was right around AdScam, and I noted that the provincial fishing guides were competing against the consumer magazines for ad dollars. So picture this: Mercury or Rapala or Shimano have $100,000 to spend on print in Canada. Their Canadian “presidents” have about as much authority over changing budgets as does an administrative assistant at a donut shop.

So in comes a guy from MNR with a badge and a gun (I am making this up; I haven’t seen it, but you get the idea.) and says, we would like you to buy two full pages in our print fishing regulations. And, “Voila!” Two things happen: the ads show up for the government, and go away for the independent magazines.

Actually, three things. The third is that the president of the independent magazine knows very well what happens if he or she reports on what just happened. The guy with the badge shows up again at Rapala and budgets get moved around again. Or forget the badge. Make it an MNR truck. Same deal. Complainers get new jobs and a chip truck.

I don’t need Derek Sloan to tell me that free speech is important. I already know that. It is enshrined (shrines being a really bad word these days) in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, where it appears worthless. A tribute to British colonialism. A saccharide for the proletariat.

Given what we can see with our eyes, our Conservatives and Liberals have fought the good fight with pool noodles and crullers, and in weeks we will all be chanting political slogans to karaoke renditions of the Vienna Boys’ Choir.

The nice thing is, authority brings security. If the Conservatives fail to topple Trudeau, at least there will be no war and Justin will have time to move some of that WE money over to the Caymans. I suggest a skiff with twin Mercury 200s, a Shimano Ocea Plugger Full Throttle and a Rapala Husky Magnum.

Am I going to vote for Derek? Likely, but as second. My top choice is Leslyn Lewis. If you want to read about governmental corruption in the wood industry, we have just started a series called Cartel.

I would like to draw your attention to all of our industry suppliers that do NOT support commercial control of this magazine. Naturally, these include our advertisers. However, there are many suppliers that cannot afford to advertise, or they have different selling models. Many of those support independent information in principle. Some suppliers advertise in both industry publications, either as a matter of principle or because they know the two magazines appeal to different audiences. The last group, though, the group that advertises specifically in a commercially dependent, controlled publication, should be questioned as to their practices. Truth matters, and sold truth is not truth, at all.