Re: Staying at home, playing Monopoly doesn’t get votes (Oct. 4)
Thank you, Dan Lett, for drawing attention to the fact that I spent some quality time with my daughter Emily the evening of Sept. 29, something she has been missing in the past four months. Some of her fellow students at school brought your article to her attention and now she is wondering if it was a bad decision on my part to run for mayor — not because she didn’t expect Mom’s time might be taken up with the campaign, but because she now feels bad for hurting my chances since, according to you, that’s what happened.
This type of commentary sadly reflects a “double-standard misogyny” that is often applied to women candidates in today’s media. Before you say, “No, it isn’t,” speak with some of your female colleagues; I think you might be surprised at their answers.
I thought it only fair that I should bring some much-needed clarification for your readers and perhaps some education for you on some of the social nuances associated with women candidates and perhaps why so few choose to run for public office.
But first, a fact check: according to you, “While Bowman was pounding the pavement, Motkaluk was at home playing the Winnipeg edition of Monopoly with her family.”
The facts: Brian Bowman’s tweet of attending Nuit Blanche was at 8:06 p.m. My tweet about playing Monopoly was at 10:42 p.m. The Winnipeg Monopoly game in question actually started at 10:15, because I got home at 10:05 after attending a volunteer and supporters meeting at my St. James campaign office, which started at 7 p.m.
Truth be told, my daughter Emily, 9, was upset with me for not coming home earlier after previously promising her I would play Winnipeg Monopoly with her. So, despite the late hour, I felt I owed her some time — time that I absolutely do not regret.
Perhaps you should be asking why I was giving up a Saturday night of fun, frolic and mingling with voters with camera guy in tow and smiling ear-to-ear at the WAG, too? Perhaps you are right, shame on me for sitting with my volunteers discussing campaign plans and taking questions from interested Winnipeggers that evening. I should have taken them all out to Nuit Blanche, I suppose.
In your world, apparently, the measure of a mayor is all about “being seen” at “the more high profile events.”
Yet in your Oct. 2 opinion piece, “Crowded calendar gives Bowman the incumbent’s edge,” you also wrote about the mayor leveraging his crowded calendar and busy schedule of mayoral events as a campaign tactic.
So, just to be clear... it’s not OK (but still legal) to leverage attendance of events and invitations for political advantage in one article, but in another article it’s considered admirable political savvy to be posing for selfies and photo ops at these same high-profile events? Which is it, Dan?
My daughter and I would really like to understand this better. And so would lots of other mothers.
JENNY AND EMILY MOTKALUK Winnipeg considering the rapid increase in reported addictions and related crimes. After all, the (illegal) pot dealers are not going to roll over and die.
Many Manitobans are obviously more worried about the dangers of crystal meth (to themselves, through violence and theft) and to others (addicted people) than they ever were about illegal pot sales. It takes a lot of wisdom and experience, even for governments, to avoid the “unexpected consequences” of their actions. Our federal government, in its ever more liberal-minded approach, may be harming its citizens in ways it did not anticipate.
JAMES HOLLAND Winnipeg
Mayor Brian Bowman admits the meth crisis is a significant challenge for Winnipeg. Some of his solutions include setting up supervised injection centres and setting up a task force, which means a waste of taxpayers’ money. Maybe a single answer would be educating potential users. Where are the demographics? He is very light on details. Also, how are they going to accomplish goals that have not even been discussed?
Many people first use drugs in their early teens and use most heavily in their late teens and twenties. Therefore, education on this subject should start in the school system.
Treatment centres won’t help very much, and are very costly.
WALTER SCHURKO Winnipeg has always had some bias to it — but the publishers and editors of the news outlets attempted to separate news from opinion. News was formerly published in a more clinical matter-of-fact-way, whereas opinion was given on editorial pages, or by an overly opinionated person at the end of a news broadcast (think Andy Rooney).
During the Jean Chrétien years, the CBC merged the news and editorial groups together — so now they are increasingly blurred. In the Winnipeg Free Press, those who express opinions are now seen to be reporters. Sadly, the same is true with almost all other major outlets in the world.
With the reduction in money for news desks, broadcasters and news outlets are filling their space with opinions. Gone is objective reporting, and in its place, a talking head expressing an opinion. Opinions are cheaper and require less analysis.
The second problem is time. The news cycle used to revolve around when a paper was published or when the national news was broadcast in the evening. It gave reporters time to check out sources and report them properly. Now we all have news flashes on our cellphones and see major news stories minutes after they have happened. So rather than researching a news story, there is pressure to get it out quickly — and what easier way to do so then to have a stable of people to express opinions (CNN and Fox News formats, which are both comical in repetitiveness and predictability).
So far, the media outlets that seem to have bucked this trend are the BBC and Thomson Reuters (at least one is Canadian). I find myself drawn to both outlets as my main sources for news, as they both maintain a clear distinction between news and opinions — something all media should have in their code of conduct.
RANDY BOLDT Winnipeg