What Are Politicians Thinking?

Here’s the thought every Canadian politician has considered recently: how can I get voters to love me with the same unwavering commitment they have for Rob Ford? OK, maybe Ford Nation doesn’t actually love the embattled Toronto Mayor, but they certainly are a surprisingly forgiving bunch.

So amid all the self-inflicted scandal that follows Ford, and in light of the hard-to-believe popularity rating he maintains with his core supporters, other politicians have to be asking their strategists: how the hell can I get voters to stick by me no matter what I do?

Well, given the waning respect for elected officials at just about every level due to scandal and politicking that’s seemingly focused on staying in power and not on what’s best for voters – politicians simply need to separate themselves from the so-called political elite by showing why they’re also frustrated by leaders.

Candidates also need to:

  • know the voters who share the same beliefs and connect with them often
  • find the simple insight that transcends your voter base and then stick to that message
  • position yourself as one of your voters so they think you share their hopes and frustrations
  • keep your opponents off balance

Ford makes it look easier than it is to stand out from the pack of political leaders. But if he can do it, so can others.

VHF Transceiver at the Cottage

It’s been a hot summer up at the cottage in the near north of Ontario and the lake is warmer than usual.

I love the combination of new and old here. We have Wi-Fi and an outdoor shower under the trees, a very modern kitchen and fire pit on the rocks by the water. In this home surrounded by forest by a lake, renovated rustic meets 21st century technology…. and 20th century technology in the form of a VHF radio.

The marine transceiver, which we never turn off, is the most immediate way to broadcast to everyone on water and land up here. We get updates from the lake association and can talk to other cottagers and boaters, although anyone with a radio can listen in. It’s like an old party phone line except you don’t need to pick up the receiver to hear what’s said.

I suppose this older communications device has similarities to Facebook, Google+ and other emerging media: it connects us to individuals and communities. Perhaps it’s closest to Twitter, though, since we primarily have short conversations about things that need to be done soon and about news that matters.

Such as the today’s weather forecast, which predicted that this morning’s rain will make way for sun.

Hope the sun’s shining and the water’s nice for you as well.