Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

My response for Option Nationale, Sol Zanetti, Quebec and Scotland

September 12, 2014

solRecently, I came across a video message by Option Nationale Leader Sol Zanetti, directed at the citizens of Scotland. With Scots voting on independence, Zanetti decided to take the position of Savant on the subject, and tell the Scottish how Quebec has screwed things up by staying a part of Canada. Personally, I found the video repugnant, self-serving and full of inaccuracies. While I have no illusions of how my sparsely updated blog is irrelevant on the Canadian political landscape, I have to say something. In fact, I feel my angst over the video subsiding with every keystroke.

To start, as a communications professional, I should know better. When a political party is a non-factor, you shouldn’t give it the light of day. Option Nationale is a party that is trailing even other niche provincial parties. But when the message pretends to represent all of Quebec, it strikes me at my core.

To begin with, Zanetti and his propaganda pals title the video An important message from Quebec for the Scottish, which, unless he is producing a satire video, he can’t get away with. There are literally 250 other public figures in Quebec that are more qualified to represent Quebec in such a message than Sol Zanetti.

Although, I will give him credit, his English is good. His work with a razor? Not so much.

So let’s tackle some of the elements in his message to Scotland.

– Zanetti references the 1980 and 1995 Quebec referendums, and says “Based on our experience, you will be worse off if you vote No.” How, exactly? Prior to 1980, Quebec was an English bastion for big business. While I am against anything that breaks up Canada, I will admit that the two referendums did serve a very valid purpose – they brought the majority French-speaking population of Quebec more respect and more laws. I refer you to how minority languages today are deemed a threat to French Quebec if their menus aren’t French.

-He talks about how Quebeckers were promised so much prior to the referendums, and that they were lied to. He references how healthcare funding hasn’t kept pace with the Quebec population. There’s only one problem with that latter point – an independent Quebec wouldn’t be able to pay for healthcare anyway!

-Conveniently, this video omits the incredible and disproportionate power that Quebec has held within Canada, essentially electing the country’s opposition party in the early 1990’s and then again in the last federal election.

-Sol Zanetti threatens the Scots by saying that they were will the laughing stock of the world, like Quebec has become. The issue with that? Quebec has made embarrassing headlines SOLELY for enforcing language and other laws that target non mother tongue Francophones. In what universe was this because Quebec is a part of Canada? He takes it a step further, saying that they will be the laughing stock according to him as well. Another problem – who is Sol Zanetti? Until CJAD gave him the greatest gift he could have ever asked for by mentioning this video, the man was as anonymous as the good ideas in his party’s platform.

-Finally, by uttering the phrase Mind your own business towards the end of the video, Zanetti implies that the majority of Quebeckers want to separate, and anyone who disagrees should go away. Here’s the reality – when your party polls at less than one percent (down a percentage point from the previous election), it means that whatever you say isn’t the business of 99 percent of the population, literally.

As a proud Montrealer, Quebecker and Canadian, and one of the MAJORITY in the province that has ZERO interest in leaving Canada, if Mr. Zanetti is so insistent on speaking for everyone, I have an idea. I’d like to recommend that he find an uninhabited island and start his own new sovereign nation. Who knows, maybe some of his one percent will join him.

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We have to better value life

March 2, 2010

In the wake of another natural disaster, another opportunity for humanity to rise above its surroundings materializes. Only, instead, we continue to see misery, lack of compassion and lack of valuing life and principles.

As it is, it’s hard to fathom and grasp the concept of suicide bombers, monsters that not only don’t value their own life, but are prepared to end the lives of others. Now comes the sickening and depressing anecdotes of victims being victimized – again. It seems that looters are prepared to rob others of anything they need or want, at the worst possible time. Looters in Haiti and Chile don’t discriminate. They target large stores, mom & pop stores, it really doesn’t matter, all in the name of taking advantage of a situation, no matter the cost to others.

As humans, parents and citizens of the earth, shouldn’t we be bound to instill decency, mores and compassion  into our youth? How is it actually possible that we are raising people who can commit such hateful and disrespectful acts?

What goes through the mind of someone when they are committing a murder or robbing the already victimized? Is it mental disturbance? Morbid satisfaction? Brainwashed purpose? What is it? And furthermore, how can a functioning brain process ending the life of a fellow human being? It’s just something I can’t wrap my head around.

This sadness, this senselessness, its’ enough to wreak havoc with your ability to hope and rationalize and forgive.

We must do something as a collective. But what? There can really be only one answer – education. It’s the only weapon we have in the fight against evil. Educating the young. Educating the incarcerated. Educating the enemy. The fight can’t merely be on the battlefield, it has to spill over into the academic realm.

Right and wrong isn’t innate, it’s taught. Everyone has their own variation of what’s right and what’s wrong. The key is to simply be on the same page, worldwide.

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications provider. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada. You can view/join the show’s Facebook group or become a follower of Matthew at

Education fixes all

May 8, 2009

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications provider. You can view/join its Facebook group. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada. You can view/join the show’s Facebook group or become a follower of Matthew at

Everyone wants to know how to combat terrorism, how to get rid of prejudice and how to stop the spread of disease. It might be the most elementary and simple explanation of all-time and it can be said with one word; education.

Indeed, it is my adamant stance that if the U.S. wants to curb terrorism abroad, they are going to have to help fund state schools. The supply of suicide bombers will undoubtedly dry up once these young souls see how much they have to live for and what they can do to fix their current situation.

Imagine if you will, a smarter world, where common sense, diplomacy and rational thinking prevail rather than shooting from the hip and religious fundamentalism.

And how about the spread of HIV in poor countries? Educating the population on how sexually transmitted diseases are spread is the obvious key to slowly down the title wave of death.

Governments don’t need to fund militias in other countries, they need to fund and build schools. But, because the results are not seen right away and because it’s not seen as a popular move for politicians, we don’t see enough of this.

A solution as simple as broadening the mind can actually change the world for the better.

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications provider. You can view/join its Facebook group. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada. You can view/join the show’s Facebook group or become a follower of Matthew at

In this case, activist=vandal

March 17, 2009

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications provider. You can view/join its Facebook group. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada. You can view/join the show’s Facebook group.

Dear Word Press Reader, it’s been several months since my last entry. I am sorry for this inexcusable sin. We will try and make things right with this attempt at eyeball entertainment.

So, what’s gone on in the world since my last entry, anything? Well, if you count Obama being sworn in (twice), the stimulus package, the Madoff scandal and the harsh economic climate, I guess there are some items worth commenting on.

However, my ire is reserved for those that demonstrated in a violent and destructive manner. Living in Montreal, you can’t help but pick up the paper read about someone demonstrating about something. The latest malcontents were out and about to draw the public’s attention to police brutality.

It seems there have been more than a couple of recent incidents of excessive force by the police around North America. It’s always been like that. That doesn’t make it right, but it’s definitely a part, no matter how small, of law enforcement, to be sure.

But, the spectable that these recent demonstrators made in Montreal, on an otherwise fine Sunday afternoon, was shameful. Over $200,000 in vandalism was caused by these so-called demonstrators against brutality.

So let’s see. To speak out and show your contempt for violence, you (the demonstrators) chose to cause havoc, chaos and damage to the property of innocent merchants. Hmmm, yeah, sounds like a constructive plan. Well done. Well thought out.

Now, as is the case with any of these activist groups, they say that the vandalism was caused by a few bad apples and that this was not their fault. Riiiight, these vandals were just out for a stroll with ski masks and rocks in their hand. That Jim Carrey quote from The Mask comes to mind, “It wasn’t me, it was the one-armed man!”

Why does destructione of property have to be the solution to a plight or problem? What do these mindless, moronic, idiotic, inbred, classless, ignorant fools hope to accomplish with their actions? Perpetuating their stupidity? If so, well done!

But the best part of all of this was that this activist group refuses to cooperate with the police and the city of Montreal to let them know about their demonstration route. Are they hoping to incite disorganization and foster ill will? What is the point of not cooperating?

Any group that either encourages violence or vandalism, or does very little to prevent it, should be looked upon as a problem in society. The truth is, just as police brutality is a problem, so too are anarchists who don’t offer solutions and who add to society’s problems. This bunch may not have brutalized anyone gravely, but they certainly didn’t help anyone or anything, either.

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications provider. You can view/join its Facebook group. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada. You can view/join the show’s Facebook group.

Little Options for Israel

December 29, 2008

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications provider. You can view/join its Facebook group. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada.

I am not the most opinionated person when it comes to the middle east conflict between Israel and Palestine. However, it’s hard not to weigh in after the latest clashes in the region. It’s a very troubling time for Israelis and Palestinians and it is very unfortunate that violence has once again escalated on both sides.

As far as my take goes, I never like to see innocent men and women killed in any country for any reason. However, there really are very little options right now for the state of Israel when it comes to Hamas. As demonstrators denounce the recent attacks by Israel on the Gaza Strip, the sight of thousands of people voicing their displeasure with only the Israeli side has really started to eat at me.

Let’s examine the situation here, shall we? Before people scoff at the reasons Israel has for eliciting such casualties and death tolls in Palestine, we must look at the entire picture.

First, the mere fact that Hamas’ mantra is the destruction of Israel makes the avenue of diplomacy a little difficult, to say the least. How do you negotiate in good faith with an organization that wants to wipe you off the map? What can you honestly do to appeal to their needs and wants?

Next, the constant barrage of rockets being fired on Israeli citizens necessitates Israel exerting themselves in some fashion. The question then becomes how much force is too much force.

Yes, the West Bank settlements may or may not be just by Israel. Are a few hundred homes on disputed land really worth the wrath, ire and trouble from Hamas? The answer, in my opinion, is no. But the problem isn’t with the settlements angering Palestinians, the problem is that even if Israel removed the settlements, it wouldn’t change a thing.

Again, we have to remember that Israel is dealing with an entity that wants to completely eliminate their existence. So, do you really think giving small land concessions is going to change anything? Not likely.

And what about how it would look to the rest of the Arab world if Israel stood by and did nothing following recent attacks by Hamas? Wouldn’t they then appear to be vulnerable to the rest of the Arab world? Wouldn’t it then open them up to subsequent attacks from Hamas allies? Maybe. Maybe not. Tough to say. Restraint could be looked upon in a favorable light. Or, as we mentioned, it could be a sign of weakness.

So there really isn’t any simple recourse right now for Israel. They MUST protect themselves at all costs. Critics will argue that there is such a thing as over-aggressiveness and blanketed violence is simply irresponsible. That is true to a point. The killing of innocent Palestinians is not the way to go about achieving peace.

But where are the constant condemnations of Hamas or of the daily rocket launches into Israel? Why do we not see daily demonstrations against Hamas for wanting to eliminate Israel and for not wanting peace? Where are the Palestinians standing up and denouncing terrorism and wanting peace?

If it was only about tenements in the West Bank, this would be about diplomacy and we wouldn’t have violence on both sides -but it’s not. It’s about a terrorist organization that’s not interested in open dialogue.

Moreover, to condemn Israel’s recent attacks and denounce their policies as genocidal is extremely ignorant. Thousands of demonstrators take to the streets to protest Israel’s actions but not the reason for their actions in the first place!

Do you think Israel wants to be at war and wants to risk the lives of their citizens with intense fighting? No. They want peace and they want prosperity. Yes, there are extremist Zionists who want more than they should and who aren’t willing to negotiate with Palestine or recognize its existence. It does go both ways, to be sure. But the bigger issue right now isn’t Israel defending itself by going on the offensive, it’s the mere purpose of Hamas and how they are not interested in political channels.

It’s a topic that is very personal to many people and for someone like myself, who has never been to Israel and who has no interest in visiting any time soon, even I can see the bigger issue and realize that it seems to always come down to terrorism and it’s not simply about excessive force.

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications provider. You can view/join its Facebook group. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada.

If you’re English and you know it, clap your hands – then vote!

November 21, 2008

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications provider. You can view/join its Facebook group. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada.

As an anglophone residing in Montreal, Canada, I am afforded many great luxuries in life. I have free access to healthcare, crime is fairly irrelevant and my education was more than affordable. But there’s one element that has always been a battle for me and for all 13% of us English-speaking Quebeckers: our right to speak our own language in public.

For many years now, it has become increasingly harder to function in our own tongue. You can’t call any government service, provincial or federal, without getting a unilingual francophone on the other end of the line. The last time I checked, no referendum on sovereignty was passed as of yet and a new country was not declared. As long as Quebec is a part of Canada, they too must be a fully bilingual province just like every other province. Imagine, living in a country, no matter where, and not being served in one of the official two languages.

Now comes word with the Quebec provincial election approaching, that the separatist Parti Quebecois wants to make things even tougher for English people in the province (read this article ASAP) – and English businesses too for that matter. Citing the erosion of the French language as carte blanche to continue to violate the rights of English people in the province, the PQ are acting as though if they get into power they are saving the French language from the big, bad English people.

These are the same people that brought us a funded language police, allowed to go around to stores and shops and fine businesses for having any English signs or lettering that is the same size as French lettering. They have also managed to ensure that any non-Quebec born English person living in the province has to send his/her children to French schools. Riiiiight, and the French language is the one eroding. Makes sense.

The upcoming December 8th election in Quebec could actually determine the fate of English people in the province for the next decade. If somehow the underdog PQ overtake the incumbent Liberals for control of Quebec, they will continue their systematic dismantling of everything and anything English.

With Montreal hosting this year’s CFL Championship termed the Grey Cup, thousands of Canadians have flocked to the city. You’d think Quebec would be welcoming of the tourist bump, roll out the red carpet for visitors and make them feel at home. Wrong. The city couldn’t even mandate bilingual menus at public festivity food stops – no doubt the work of the meaningful language police.

Bottom line, let’s hope the Liberals win the election so us English folk are allowed to continue practicing our crazy way of speaking. If not, I may be forced to translate this blog into French and perform several hundred hours of community service. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if indeed Quebec did separate and I simply missed the memo. “Sigh,” I miss Canada already.

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications provider. You can view/join its Facebook group. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada.

Voters Don’t Get A Passing Grade

October 15, 2008

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications provider. You can view/join its Facebook group. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada.

When I was in school, 60 percent was a passing grade. When my dad was in school, 50 percent was a passing grade. Some schools peg 65 percent as their passing or failing point. Whatever your definition of sink or swim, democracy in Canada lost big time with the recent federal election. Unbelievably, only 59 percent of eligible voters turned out to support their candidates at the polls. It’s an apalling number when you consider that the United States and Brittain were safely over the 60 percent mark in their last elections.

So what does this say about the campaign that politicians ran in Canada? Well, it says they didn’t inspire, they didn’t identify with voters and they didn’t stir up any kind of passion one way or another during the entire campaign.

Personally, I think it was a disgusting turnout. We should be embarassed as a nation to turn out less than 60 percent at the polls.  What’s next, 55 percent? How about 50%? Maybe it will be 45 percent? At that point, we may as well be overthrown by a military madman and become a dictatorship (Gilles Duceppe would make an awesome hated dictator).

Why bother having a democracy if we don’t re-affirm it each election time? The old adage of people dying for the right to vote in various parts of the world should never grow old. We all lost face with these results and we should be ashamed of ourselves. What was the problem, was it too much time for us to spend at the polling station? It took me only 25 minutes round-trip, how much more could it have taken at the worst-run polling station.

If you didn’t vote, then you should take a good long look in the mirror and wonder what you are doing living in Canada. You did your country a grave disservice by not voting and you disrespected all of the freedoms and liberties that our troops fight to protect and promote all around the world. By abstaining during this past election, you may think you were proving a point or harmlessly displaying indifference, but you did more than that. You tarnished the image of Canada as a free state populated by people with intelligence, a sense of right and above all else; pride in their country. Our pride swagger is a little less evident today.

What does it say about a country when the province (Quebec) that wants out the most turns out the best voter percentage? Judging by the amount of Bloc MPs going to Ottawa, it says all is not right with the process.

Exactly what does Canada need to get back on track? Well, seeing as we will probably have another election in two year’s time, it says we need some new leadership and it says we need politicians to listen to what the people want. But just because our leaders failed us, doesn’t mean we are all off the hook. It also means we need to show up in droves and put this pathetic turnout behind us if we want to restore the image of Canada as a democratic nation that believes in what it stands for.

You may think I am being a little over-dramatic, but I don’t. We are on the brink of economic destruction and we get a record-low turnout? You have got to be kidding me. I understand we need our leaders to be more charismatic and unifying. But, we also have to rely on ourselves as well. The election down south may be intriguing for most of us, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore what is going on in our own backyard. Let’s accept our reprimand for a low turnout like good men and women and right the wrong next time around.  For the sake of Canadian democracy, we must!

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications provider. You can view/join its Facebook group. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada.

Going Negative

October 7, 2008

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications-providing company. You can also view/join the company’s Facebook group.

In marketing and communications, you try and always spin things in a positive way. You try and ensure that your company or entity is always looked upon in a positive light. Makes sense, right?

Well, in politics, the notion of positivity is second to the notion of going negative. Each side, no matter how many times they initially say they are above attacking the other, eventually goes negative. It’s not enough to merely dispute an opponent’s claim or to refute a claim by the other side. Instead, the flavour of every election is to go for the throat as many times as possible – no matter what side you’re on.

It happens in Canadian politics and it certainly happens in American politics. No matter how many polls reveal that the general public doesn’t enjoy seeing negative ads, everyone invariably goes negative. Why? Well a different survey comes to mind. A couple of years ago, CNN conducted an experiment. They tested the subconscious activity in the brain when subjected to various types of political messages. The results were quite interesting. Even though we all believe that negative ads are simply cheap and hit below the belt, we apparently are affected by them – and in some cases, influenced by them as well.

But the Republicans in the U.S. and the Conservatives in Canada already knew this. Their usage of various scare tactics have become legendary over the years.

Recently, the Conservative Party of Canada has been running ads portraying their chief rival, Stephane Dion, the head of the Liberal Party of Canada, as a risky choice that would raise taxes and be too unpredictable for the country. Down south, GOP Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin recently accused Barrack Obama of “pal-ing around” with dangerous world leaders. In both cases, the insinuations are mostly off-base, but it doesn’t matter.

These scare tactics are effective, regardless of the messages’ merit. It’s incredible to think that simplistic mud-slinging can yield such great results. But unfortunately, many voters in North America think simplistically when it comes to how they view their leaders.

The problem with the left wing negative ads, is that for the most part, their attacks usually focus on the narrow-minded thinking and potential dangerous decision-making of their right wing opponents. Everyone knows the usual risks with right wing candidates. Tell us something we don’t know.

The bottom line is that right wing parties on this continent are good at what they do. They use voters’ fears as fuel to lasso as many votes as possible. Usually, the key for them is to identify the biggest fears of the time and craft their attacks around these issues.

In 2004, 9/11 was still on the minds of voters and so the Republicans focused their efforts on their seemingly tougher stance on terrorism. It worked. In 2008, the chief issue WAS the war in Iraq. Now, it’s all about the economy. And with more and more Americans identifying the GOP’s de-regulation ideals in finance as the root cause for America’s economic meltdown, it appears as though Democrats finally have enough fuel for their most effective negative ad campaign in years.

Time will tell if another issue trumps the economy prior to the U.S. election in November. For John McCain’s sake, he certainly hopes so.

Matthew Ross is the founder of, a content and communications-providing company. You can also view/join the company’s Facebook group.

Republicans are so brilliant, and yet so stupid

September 4, 2008

I’ve said all along that even though I am a staunch liberal, I admire the way in which the Republicans go about running a campaign. This fall election shouldn’t even be a contest. It should be a landslide victory for the Democrats. And yet here we are, neck-and-neck. Through Republican fear tactics, over-patriotism and discrediting sarcasm, Barack Obama actually could blow this thing. The reason? Unbelievably great strategy by the GOP and lackluster strategy by the Democrats. Astounding.

But that all changed with John McCain’s selection of Gov. Palin as his running mate. Incredible. Of all the candidates he could have chosen, he decided to pick someone that no one has heard of to be second in-line for the presidency.

I get the idea. Pick a woman, pick a young woman to be a running mate. This way, you appeal to a younger generation and to the disgruntled Hillary Clinton voters. In theory, it’s not a bad idea. The only problem? Palin has less experience than Obama – a point the Republicans have harped on for the last six months. Isn’t that the definition of hypocritical?

And then there are the questions about her mothering and about impropriety in her own state. The McCain camp claim they knew about these issues, but clearly they had to have been blindsided by the teen pregnancy. No candidate in his right mind would have picked Palin with this issue on the burner.

Moreover, after watching Palin speak at the Republican convention, I began to be afraid for the United States. She sounds like a charged-up soccer mom, not someone who should be one heartbeat away from leading a nation. This former beauty queen has spunk and a great personality. But she sounds greener than a meadow and less presidential than Ron Paul. Are you kidding me? How can anyone take her seriously as compared to Joe Biden.

Remember now, McCain has had cancer in the past and he is over the age of 70. Palin could very well be pressed into leading the country if the Republicans win. Isn’t anyone in the GOP concerned? Are they that desperate to add youth and a female quota to the ticket? Surely there were more deserving women than Palin. and Alaska? Come on, it’s about as red a state as there is in America! Why not pick someone from a swing state?

The bottom line – I believe that by picking Palin, the Republicans have made good use of their NRA membership and shot themselves in the foot.

The American People: An unbelievable Perspective

August 3, 2008

A recent poll found that more Americans would rather have a president that is slightly overweight than one that is fit. They want someone they can identify with, rather than someone they should aspire to be. To me, that’s just an unbelievable perspective for the American people to have. It’s ridiculous is what it is.

Democratic nominee Barack Obama is known to be somewhat of a fitness freak. He doesn’t eat any junk food, works out several times a week (some days more than once) and has a strict diet. He quit smoking and has a slim, healthy appearance. But apparently that’s not a good thing for voters to witness. They would rather their leader have many faults – including less than stellar health habits. Amazing.

But while this poll’s results may seem unbelievable, we shouldn’t really be surprised. After all, you think about the lack of concern on the part of the voters in ’00 and ’04 for vice-president Cheney – a walking billboard for impending death. In fact, throw in the endearing reaction the American people had for W when he nearly choked on a pretzel and we should expect what this particular poll yielded.

We all remember the satire at the expense of the then chubby Bill Clinton in the 90’s, as SNL had him stopping into fast food restaurants and gobbling up greasy food at will. But how in the world, knowing all we now do about the effects of poor diet and lack of exercise, can we still be enamored with a leader who disregards his health?

These findings are consistent with the whole ‘elitist’ controversy that enveloped Obama a few months back, and that still lingers whenever he exerts an ounce of intellect or displays progressive judgement in public speaking or in his own health. Like John Stewart said a while back, “Shouldn’t we want a president that is better than us?” Okay, that’s taking it a little far for comedic effect, but the question is appropriately raised.

Back in the senior Bush years, Arnold Schwarzenegger was put brought on board to promote fitness and health in America. Fast forward to 2008 and the American people are poo-pooing someone that actually gives a hoot about his health? This befuddling state is just another reason why the Democrats have failed to lock up the impending election – they are running a rational campaign, something the Republicans know won’t work.

Wake up DNC – and try to understand what is going on in your country. Whatever it is, it sure isn’t logic and reason. If that were the case, then this race for the White House wouldn’t even be close.