Thursday 23 May 2013

The schoolyard turns on the bully: Rob Ford’s demise imminent

Not a photo of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine
Strange days indeed. It’s been one week since Gawker and two Toronto Star reporters claimed to have seen a video with Toronto mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack and calling Liberal leader Justin Trudeau a “fag”.

Nonetheless, Ford apparently still feels himself qualified to be mayor of Toronto, even though the Toronto Catholic District School Board has fired him as head coach of the Don Bosco Eagles senior football team. No reason was given. It may be the crack allegations, or it may be that Ford referred to the team’s neighbourhood as "crime ridden," and the youth as "gang bangers."

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Justin Trudeau crowdsources leadership

Really? Tuck in your shirt! Buy a belt!
Justin Trudeau has been fundraising on vague promises to the middle class, while echoing the Obama formula of hope and hard work. In the political sphere, hard work gets results when a leader’s role and vision is clearly defined, which in turn can make hope seem reasonable. Sadly, the problem faced by the Liberal Party is that Justin Trudeau is not interested in leadership, as can be exemplified by his recent “speak up and be heard” campaign, in which Canadians are supposed to submit a question on “middle-class concerns”.

The man is a millionaire; he’s paid $157,731 a year and, apparently, wants folks to sign up to do his job for him.

Justin Trudeau’s calculation appears to be that Canadians won’t care if he is a competent leader or not. In fact, his new-found support, when you scratch the surface, isn’t support at all. Instead, his legion of followers fall into one or a combination of two camps: the “he will have good advisers" camp and the “he’s better than Harper" camp. Which is to say, these alleged supporters would presumably vote for any well-meaning person with enough cash to hire a crew of politically savvy anti-Harperites. This time around, it just happens to be an oleaginous dude named Justin Trudeau.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Note to Loblaw and Joe Fresh: if you can find the Canadian consumer, you can find the Bangladeshi worker

Reshma: Galen Sr. can afford 17.1 million years of her labour
Modern capitalism is very effective. It can locate customers with pinpoint accuracy. It knows, for example, how to find a small-town girl to encourage her to buy a T-shirt. In Canada, a clothing division of the supermarket chain Loblaw, called Joe Fresh, will extend significant time and resources on marketing and advertising, including social media campaigns, to find that girl. In fact, adult Canadians go to work every day, either within Joe Fresh or the advertising agencies that Joe Fresh employs, doing one thing and one thing only: busting their butts to target and reach that kid. Millions of dollars are spent on the effort.