Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Art of Clinging to Power

(Note: this is an extract; we want you to buy our book, OK?)

It's very, very important for you to thoroughly understand why clinging to power is the most critical part of your job. More important than fund-raising, more important than listening to constituents and vastly more important than your legislated role to govern in the best interests of Canadians.

If you aren't in power, you are nothing. Zip. Zilch. Just an opposition party. Unprotected. No money. A nobody. Now, if all that didn't scare you, then politics isn't your game and you should get into some similar line of work like publishing politically-biased newspapers or running fruitless and incompetent RCMP investigations, or something else mundane like that.

Unprotected. That alone should scare you. No ability to keep your slimy tactics hidden under immovable rocks. No protection from real RCMP investigations. At the mercy of the media. No way to buy votes and voters. Like I said, unprotected is not a desirable state of existence.

Our family has worked for generations at developing a set of rules to stay in power. Ignore these at your peril.

Rule #1: There are no limits that you must heed when trying to stay in power. Sleaze, graft, subversion, lying, stealing, promising and bribery are endorsed methods. Heck, we use these all the time in our other line of business, advertising. Trust me, they are the most effective tools that you will have.

Rule #2. You should use the critical subset of these tools in the following sequence, first to last. One assumes, of course, that you have already used your graft and corruption tools to keep the party faithful in line. You have, haven't you?

... Subversion: first try to ensure that an election isn't called. If the spectre of one looms, ignore non-confidence votes, or anything like them. Mix and split Bills so that you divide and conquer the opposition. Delay votes which could be non-confidence motions so as to gain time to deploy the other tools in your arsenal. Co-opt your mainstream media friends into flogging your point of view ("Canadians don't want an election now"), your faithful pollsters ("polls show that Canadians don't want an election now"), and of course the CBC which you own and control. When the effectiveness of subversion tactics begin to falter, move on to your next tool.

... Promises: promise anything and everything to everyone. Spread it around. Remember, it's voters that you are wooing, and it's their money, so it isn't costing you a cent. When you get to $22 or $23 billion, stop. This tool has outlived its usefulness. After all, you have to have something left to promise if an election campaign actually presents itself, don't you?

... Bribery: this is a last resort because it is dangerous, especially if somebody on the receiving end is being a jerk and recording the conversation. That can be downright dangerous. However risky it may be, it is often the most effective and quickest tool and it doesn't cost you anything. It's the gulled taxpayers who ante up. Got a brain-challenged ambitious bimbo who wants to be Prime Minister? Make her a cabinet Minister if she crosses the floor. One of your ex-soldiers has a humanitarian streak and deplores genocide? Easy, just promise him you'll send some Canadian troops into harm's way and $170 million, in exchange for his vote. Don't worry, the foreign government will nix the deal, as you pre-arranged. Got some spare senate seats or diplomatic posts open, and need some opposition members converted to your cause? Easy, but watch out for those recording devices.

Although those are the escalation steps, be sure not to neglect effective use of your other tools at every possible opportunity. Lying, accusing, misdirecting and, of course, stealing. Never give up on stealing. It's so profitable.

Rule #3: Be steadfast. Avoid looking in the mirror each morning and disliking what you see. In fact, avoid mirrors like the plague, they can be so demoralizing. Don't let your thoughts wander onto the subject of "Am I doing the right thing for my constituents or for Canada?". Be firm. This is all about YOU, your wealth, your power, your game, your toys (Canada), and the well-being of your associates who think like you do. Who needs reality? Who needs a conscience, ethics or integrity? Get rid of those character flaws if they are still around. They'll slow you down and, in some instances, can be fatal to your career.

If all this fails, and once in a while you might be faced with this situation, do not despair. We have a whole chapter in our new book devoted to sure-fire campaign strategies for winning elections without using any of your own money.

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