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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Whopper-mania

There is the practical reality that political candidates perpetually pursue media coverage and often under the mistaken belief that any news coverage is good coverage...so long as they spell your name correctly. The media has taken up the Dinning whopper story hook, line and sinker.

We also have the political landscape full of conspiracy game-theorists who lurk in the shadows and whisper "Mess-ages" in all too eager ears. Then there is the fact half the population has an IQ of under a 100 by definition and are willing to believe just about anything negative about someone with influence or power. Plus a half truth is often more damaging to a candidate than a full blown lie - because at least a lie can be disproved and will eventually disappear whereas a half truth has a seemingly eternal half-life.

We have seen the Dinning campaign determined to dispel the half truths and full blown lies about their candidates intentions, ideas, background and even his profession in a media feeding Whoppergate fashion.

So I was wondering in my own mischievous way, what if the other candidates were to try to garner media attention by fabricating their own whoppers about themselves. That would create the need for them "to clarify the misinformation" and the media would lap it up.

Sounds like a plan right? What might that look like - I asked myself? Lets have some fun! Nothing I have said here is true - although it may be factual - for which I guess I need to apologize for my bad spinmeistering.

What if the latest Dinning Dunning Myth Buster was:
"Jim Dinning is not a lawyer - neither is Michael Ritter."

Victor Doerksen confirms there is no evidence of intelligent design behind his campaign platform and his leadership bid is evolving and unraveling as it should.

Dr. Lyle Oberg says there is no truth to the allegations that he is suffering from sympathetic labour pains and states unequivocally that he never screwed a union - except maybe the ATA - but they were asking for it.

There is no truth to the rumour that Gary McPherson secretly wants to be Rick Hanson but there is growing evidence that Rick Hanson would like to be Gary McPherson.

The similarities between Rev. Jerry Falwell and Dr. Ted Morton are mere coincidence - really! Dr. Ted is much more like Rev. Pat Robertson - at least he wanted to be President.

Ed Stelmach has a secret passion for Ukrainian food and has been known to giggle in public, even when being taken seriously.

Mark Norris does not think the fact that he is first political incumbent in North America to lose his seat to a Muslim after 9-11 in a constituency with a large Jewish population means he can't gain the ordinary voters confidence in the rest of Alberta in order to become the Premier.

Dave Hancock has had to admit publicly to being a lawyer and with the arrogance that is so typical of that profession - he has refused to deny it or even explain why he is a lawyer.

I hope people will enjoy this post for the "entertainment" purposes I have intended; but that they can also see the danger in this stuff. It shows again why facts may be interesting they are almost irrelevant in the formation of opinions and impressions. It is how you frame the issues and how you activate values in the voter that makes the difference between winning and losing. People vote their values and beliefs - even those who are not voting are actually still expressing their values and beliefs, be they disdain or indifference. The far right in the USA has mastered this black art of contemporary politics very well and some Alberta candidates are well into it too.
I like what Duncan at Phendrana Drifts has said about myths and misdirections. Check his post out too. This whopper and conspiracy stuff is so powerfulbecasue it can be damaging to candidates and very dangerous to democracy. As Reagan said to Gorbachev "Of course I trust you, but I always like to verify what you have said." Good advice and a sound approach for citizens to take towards politics these days.