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From TV to politics, Falkland director takes action for community

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Julia Muigg

Special to The Morning Star

As creatures of habit, the thought of venturing out and trying something new can seem petrifying to many people.

Dean Trumbley decided to take that leap when he retired as a television host and became the newly appointed Regional Director for Area D of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD).

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Trumbley, who was born in Vernon, replaces long-time director Rene Talbot, who has been the area director for the last 20 years.

Prior to his job in television, Trumbley studied wildlife and fisheries in Southern Ontario and held various roles in the environmental industry.

In 2022, Trumbley decided to throw his hat into the political ring and, on Oct. 15, residents took to the polls to elect their regional director. Trumbley came out on top with 64 per cent of the vote (309 votes). Talbot received the remaining 36 per cent (174 votes).

Trumbley is looking forward to this next chapter in his career.

“I am settling into my new role as the CSRD regional director and have quite a bit planned over the next four-year term,” said Trumbley, who believes that in order to be successful, everyone must work together. “My representation will be all about collaboration, communication and cooperation. I am a voice of the communities within Area D. I am not my own voice. I promise that I will work with the community associations, non-profit organizations and individuals who need to be heard, this is the voice I will take forward to the CSRD.”

As someone with a strong background in environmental studies, the environment is one of Trumbley’s top priorities.

“One major concern due to environmental changes is the increased severity of interior British Columbia’s fire season,” his website states. “This is from both a habitat point of view and community preparation.”

Increasing “a lack in services” for rural areas is also a priority for Trumbley.

“We are a tax base and resources should be available to establish some key services such as transport, medical, etc. Most communities also support their own services such as community halls, grounds, etc. Those services are usually run by volunteer non-profit associations who need more support than just fundraising.”

Above all, community is what is most important to Trumbley, who understands he can only be as strong as the communities behind him.

“We all need to come together and create a strong Area D.”

Changing one’s career can often be a daunting task, but Trumbley is excited for the challenge ahead and is ready to serve the residents.

“From television to politics, who would have thought that!”

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A look at years of political chaos in Peru – Al Jazeera English

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Peruvian politics is marked by series of corruption cases and crises, the latest being removal of President Pedro Castillo.

Peru has seen a series of presidents removed from office or imprisoned on allegations of corruption over the past 30 years.

On Wednesday, Peru’s Congress voted to remove President Pedro Castillo in the third impeachment trial since he came to power in July last year.

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The move came just hours after Castillo had said he would dissolve the legislature by decree.

Here is a rundown of Peru’s recent political turmoil:

Pedro Castillo, 2021-2022

A former teacher and farmer, Castillo gained strong support in poor, rural areas of the country to win a divisive election campaign but his approval ratings fell quickly and he faced constant opposition from a fragmented Congress and accusations of “moral incapacity”.

He survived two impeachment votes before finally being voted out on Wednesday in a dramatic day where he had earlier tried to dissolve Congress, sparking allegations of an attempted coup.

Manuel Merino, 2020

A former head of Congress who led impeachment proceedings against his predecessor Martin Vizcarra and lasted less than a week.

He resigned after two deaths during protests against his government sparked an exodus from his cabinet and widespread calls for his removal. Lawmakers had said they would launch impeachment proceedings against him if he did not resign.

Martin Vizcarra, 2018-2020

Lawmakers removed Vizcarra after media reports alleged he had received 2.3 million soles ($640,000) in bribes from two companies that won a public works tender while he was a regional governor years earlier.

Vizcarra, who had long clashed with lawmakers, strongly denied the allegations but was voted out of office after a second impeachment trial in as many months found him “morally incapable” of governing.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, 2016-2018

Prosecutors investigated Kuczynski for favouring contracts with Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht while he was a minister under former President Alejandro Toledo.

Kuczynski initially denied any ties to Odebrecht, a company at the heart of a political corruption probe that swept the whole region. But he eventually acknowledged his consulting firm advised the builder on project financing. Kuczynski resigned from the presidency in 2018 amid pressure from Congress.

Ollanta Humala, 2011-2016

Humala is facing trial over allegations he received $3m from Odebrecht during the 2011 presidential election campaign.

Prosecutors have requested 20 years in prison. Humala denies the allegations.

Alan Garcia, 1985-1990 and 2006-2011

Garcia died by suicide in April 2019 with a gunshot to the head when Peruvian police arrived to arrest him over allegations he participated in another Odebrecht bribery scheme.

A charismatic political leader who served two terms, Garcia repeatedly denied the allegations of bribery.

Alejandro Toledo, 2001-2006

Toledo is accused of receiving a $20m bribe from Odebrecht during his tenure. He is free on bail in the United States but faces extradition proceedings to Peru.

The former president, who has denied the allegations, spent nearly eight months in a Californian prison.

Alberto Fujimori, 1990-2000

Fujimori is serving a 25-year sentence in prison for human rights abuses, including commanding death squads that massacred civilians in a counterinsurgency campaign during his government.

He was later also found guilty of corruption in a large scandal.

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Has Pierre Poilievre’s social media output made him the first influencer in Canadian politics? – The Hub

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Is Pierre Poilievre Canada’s first “influencer” politician? 

Influencers are online celebrities with large social media followings that promote anything from sneakers to lip gloss to hunting products, with the intent of convincing their audiences to buy them.

The products that influencers promote are often niche and appeal to a specific audience. Poilievre does not promote $975 sneakers, but he is certainly selling promises and principles. 

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Long popular with the Conservative base for his stern questioning and rhetorical attacks on the Liberal government, Poilievre’s brand skyrocketed during the party’s leadership race following Erin O’Toole’s ousting in February. 

YouTube is a favoured outlet for Poilievre. He has released dozens of short to medium-length videos on the platform and received millions of total views. The videos are marked by grabbing slogans like “Remove Gatekeepers” and “Justinflation”, targeting issues affecting Canadians like the rising cost of living, or more specific topics like delays at Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

Ginny Roth, who is the national practice lead for government relations at Crestview Strategy and who worked on Poilievre’s leadership campaign, says Poilievre’s audience is far too broad to be properly classified as an influencer. 

“Where influencers are looking to sell something to a niche group of people through a marketing channel…Poilievre is trying to build a movement that’s really broad,” says Roth. “He’s doing it through a variety of different channels, and he knows that a lot of Canadians are on social media, and they’re casual users…they’re not niche expert users.” 

Others have different opinions.

In March, Ben Woodfinden, Poilievre’s freshly-hired director of communications, and former Hub contributor, described the then-Conservative leadership frontrunner as having an “influencer kind of vibe”. 

“In many ways, yes, there’s an influencer part to his discourse,” agrees Vincent Raynauld, associate professor of communications at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. “But there’s also a populism part to his discourse, and I think this is where social media is really pushing politicians to become ever more populist in their approach to political communication.”

Poilievre is frequently described as a populist, an assessment Raynauld agrees with, but notes that the Conservative leader is not alone in his approach. 

“When you talk to folks, they often associate populism (with) your political ideology, but increasingly you can look at populism as a form of political communication,” says Raynauld. “An everyday, charismatic person talking about associating themselves with the people, and so making sure that they connect on a more personal level.”

In the recent U.S. midterm election in Ohio, Democratic senate candidate Tim Ryan released a video of himself throwing footballs at television screens showing the phrase “Defund the Police”, and politicians who Ryan accused of signing bad trade deals with China and selling out Ohio workers.

This contrasts with more conventional campaign ads from 10 years ago produced by other U.S. politicians, like Republican presidential nomination contender Rick Perry, who stood in front of a camera to outline his political principles in a 30-second, single-take monologue.

According to Raynauld, Poilievre is also bringing politics back to what Raynauld refers to as “kitchen table politics.”

Fittingly, Raynauld points out a Poilievre video titled “Breakfast with Justin”, where Poilievre eats breakfast at a diner while listing the rising costs of his meal due to inflation.

“He’s really trying to connect on a more personal level with members of the public and he’s trying to take a more informal way to reach out to the people,” says Raynauld. 

Raynauld mentions another video where Poilievre tours his childhood neighborhood in Calgary, and how his upbringing made him well-suited to become prime minister. 

“These are all things that I think are meant to be personal, they are meant to be, in some ways, private,” says Raynauld. “They are really meant to foster this sort of intimate connection between the social media user on one end and Pierre Poilievre on the other.” 

Poilievre is a controversial politician due to his promises to fire Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem, defund the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and most recently, his critiques of drug-addiction policies in British Columbia. 

Furthermore, Poilievre’s lack of engagement with members of the parliamentary press gallery in Ottawa, in favour of reaching out to smaller community papers read predominantly by Canada’s many immigrant communities, has led to additional criticism.

Writing in the Toronto Star, commentator Chantal Hébert asserted that Poilievre’s momentum has stalled due to his communications strategy of avoiding the press gallery and unfavourably compared him to former Conservative leaders who made more time for mainstream media outlets.

Poilievre is routinely criticized or praised in traditional newspapers, but Roth says those publications’ influence has declined since their heyday.

“People get their news and information and content from a variety of sources now, and they don’t inherently trust the mainstream media in a way that they used to,” says Roth. 

Recent surveys suggest Canadians’ trust in the “mainstream media” has declined to historic lows of 42 percent in recent months. 

Susan Smith is the co-founder of Bluesky Strategy Group with experience working on Liberal Party campaigns. 

“People are influenced by their families and peer groups, and by others in the social media and news funnels that they live in,” says Smith. “The traditional media are just one voice in the cacophony that accompanies a campaign.” 

Smith says that if the endorsements of traditional publications do have an effect, it is only towards the end of the general election, and among older demographics. 

While Poilievre’s videos don’t necessarily attract millions of views on an individual basis like a celebrity or influencer, they are far more popular than the average Canadian politician’s media output.

For example, among Justin Trudeau’s twelve most recent videos published on the prime minister’s official YouTube channel, the most viewed video garnered less than 8,000 views. By comparison to Trudeau’s channel, Poilievre’s most viewed video among his last twelve released, titled “The Message”, has been viewed just shy of 100,000 times. Others, though, like his leadership campaign launch video, have reached numbers well into the hundreds of thousands.

“Poilievre is unencumbered from the responsibilities, realities, and the experience of governing so has more time to film rants on his topic-du-jour,” says Smith. “Less scripted is better for Trudeau. I expect you’ll see more of that in the weeks and months to come.” 

The Liberal Party’s official YouTube account’s videos typically garner a similarly low view count to Trudeau’s.

“I think people are now their own curators of what’s true, and what’s interesting, and that’s compelling to them,” says Roth. “The benefit of that is that people with a strong message don’t need to be filtered through those outlets necessarily, they can speak to people directly on social media.” 

Raynauld says the use of social media in political communication has radically changed over the last two decades, listing the campaigns of viral U.S. political figures like Howard Dean in 2004, Barack Obama in 2008, and Donald Trump in 2020 as exemplifying instances of this shift. 

Of those three candidates, only Dean never became president. Raynauld also singles out 2006 as a Canadian election year where personal blogs became prominent in Canadian politics, contributing to the change in communications. 

YouTube itself launched in 2005, providing a popular platform for video blogs, better known as vlogs.

“Campaigning has really evolved over the past years, and I really think that Pierre Poilievre probably is one of the few first ones in Canada that has adopted more of an informal tone when it comes to the approach to political campaigning online,” says Raynauld. 

Poilievre is not the only federal party leader attempting to harness the power of social media to grow their presence. 

New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh frequently uses Tik-Tok as a platform to try and connect with younger voters by taking part in dance trends, and also shared a Twitch stream with prominent American progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

However, Singh’s strategy appears to have had little effect on his party’s fortunes, with the NDP making only marginal gains in the last election. 

“I think Mr. Singh is really mimicking trends and other people are innovating, and that gives him some reach, but not the same kind of reach as Mr. Poilievre,” says Roth. 

Noting that Singh’s Tik-Toks backfired, Smith says Poilievre’s strategy is effective at targeting politically conservative and youthful demographics, with some surveys suggesting the latter prefer the Poilievre-led Conservatives. 

Yet Smith says that by taking a non-traditional route, Poilievre, like Singh, is missing out on communicating with large swathes of the public who want to see him tested outside his bubble. 

“Poilievre is giving lots of voters an opportunity to explore on their own time whether they like or dislike him,” says Smith.

Raynauld says that people have different expectations for traditional print media and more modern mediums like YouTube. 

“When you open up a newspaper…you have different expectations than for example, when you are on the metro…and you open up your Facebook account, or you open up your YouTube account, and you start looking at videos that have been posted by politicians,” says Raynauld. 

Roth states Poilievre is not the first politician to utilize social media, saying the federal Liberals have successfully used targeted paid advertising on Facebook during general elections.

Prior to his ouster, Erin O’Toole also published videos on his YouTube channel to try and connect with voters but reached vastly smaller audiences. 

“What makes the Conservative leader (Poilievre) different is he, I think, has understood from day one that the kind of content that people engage with in a YouTube environment is just good content,” says Roth. “That sounds simplistic, but good communication [is using] compelling communications that actually deliver a message that people can connect with, and speaks to real concrete issues with real concrete solutions, and words and phrases that connect with people, that they can understand, that they could see themselves using.” 

Influencer or not, the biggest test of Poilievre’s communications strategy will be the next general election. Jagmeet Singh found little electoral success with Tik-Tok the last time Canadians went to the polls. Can Poilievre do better?

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This kind of week could break Donald Trump – CNN

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CNN
 — 

Former President Donald Trump’s bad week is bad news for his comeback.

His family business was convicted Tuesday of criminal tax fraud. On the same day, his hand-picked candidate lost a winnable Senate race in a red state. The House January 6 committee has decided to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department – possibly of him or his close associates. And his call to terminate the Constitution has once again backed Republicans into a corner.

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CNN
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Hear how Pence reacted to Trump’s call to terminate Constitution

04:42

– Source:
CNN

So many premature political obituaries have been written for Trump that it would be foolish to write him off as he embarks on his third consecutive White House bid.

Warnock will win Georgia Senate runoff, CNN projects, in final midterm rebuke of Trump’s influence

But it’s getting more and more difficult to figure out how the man who rewrote the American political playbook can come back from weeks like this.

“I think Georgia, after this midterm, after what happened in 2020, may be remembered as the state that finally broke Donald Trump,” senior CNN political commentator Scott Jennings, a Republican, said after CNN projected that Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock would win a full six-year term.

Jennings is no Trump fan, but he is an astute follower of GOP politics.

“Losing Georgia in the presidential election, losing the Senate race, this is not a state Republicans ought to be losing,” he said.

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CNN
” data-fave-thumbnails=”"big":"uri":"https://media.cnn.com/api/v1/images/stellar/prod/221206232133-alyssa-farah-griffin-trump-split.jpg?c=16×9&q=h_540,w_960,c_fill","small":"uri":"https://media.cnn.com/api/v1/images/stellar/prod/221206232133-alyssa-farah-griffin-trump-split.jpg?c=16×9&q=h_540,w_960,c_fill"” data-vr-video data-show-name data-show-url data-check-event-based-preview data-network-id data-details>

Alyssa Farah Griffin/Trump split

Ex-Trump White House official says Trump is liable for Walker’s loss

01:21

– Source:
CNN

Walker’s loss, despite a massive infusion of cash from Republicans in Washington and the borrowed ground game of recently reelected Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, a Trump antagonist, provided another painful reminder for Republicans that their general election losses come when election deniers and Trump allies face general election voters.

“Every Republican in this country ought to hold Donald Trump accountable for this,” said Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who noted that the difference between Walker and the Georgia Republicans who won statewide office this year was Trump’s involvement. He said the party must pivot to stay competitive.

Conviction by jury vs. witch hunt

Trump will dismiss all setbacks as part of the “witch hunt,” but that may be a harder catchall to use against a jury of peers than of public officials.

And it’s more difficult to say the case against his companies is flawed when it’s built on the testimony of the former chief financial officer he worked with for decades.

Trump Organization found guilty on all counts of criminal tax fraud

The Trump Organization was found guilty on all charges, which stemmed from a years-long scheme in which prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said generous perks and benefits were paid to Trump employees but not reported to tax authorities as income.

Neither Trump nor his family were personally charged in this case. But Trump and three of his children face a separate civil suit brought by the New York attorney general that’s not likely to go to trial until next October.

Many shades of scrutiny

The scrutiny New York authorities applied to Trump’s company’s finances has yielded these tax fraud convictions.

An even larger question racing to its conclusion is whether the scrutiny applied by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack and the Department of Justice will lead to federal criminal charges for his effort to overturn the 2020 election and his role inspiring US Capitol rioters.

The notable legal clouds that continue to hang over Donald Trump

The January 6 committee can recommend that the Justice department bring charges against Trump or his allies and CNN has reported that members on the panel have been in wide agreement that Trump and some of his closest associates committed a crime by pushing a conspiracy to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.

But the committee, which includes outgoing Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, has been split over what to do.

What kind of criminal referrals?

Committee chair Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said Tuesday the members would issue criminal referrals, but did not elaborate, saying the panel has not narrowed down the universe of individuals who may be referred.

As CNN has reported, the committee went so far as to appoint a subcommittee of members to assess “how to present evidence of possible obstruction, possible perjury and possible witness tampering as well as potential criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, according to multiple sources familiar with the committee’s work.”

A criminal referral by the committee, which could come in conjunction with its much anticipated final report and just before an incoming GOP House majority shuts the inquiry down, could help focus a sprawling Department of Justice investigation into the effort to overturn the election and the riot.

“We know the committee has really been ahead of the Justice Department,” CNN’s Jamie Gangel said Tuesday, noting the Justice Department has sought testimony and evidence gathered by the January 6 committee.

Helping alleged rioters

Instead of focusing on the next election, Trump continues to fixate on his 2020 loss.

Among his few appearances since announcing a 2024 run is an effort, by video, to help raise money for a group that helps people put on trial by the government for joining the Capitol riot.

Trump’s obsession with his 2020 loss continues to motivate his public statements and is complicating his plan to consolidate power in the party and clear anticipated GOP primary challengers out of his path.

Call to terminate the Constitution is not catching on

The bizarre call in a post on his Twitter-like Truth Social platform to terminate laws and the Constitution in favor of a 2020 re-do continues to reverberate in a party whose rhetoric is often built around fidelity to the nation’s hallowed founding documents.

“It would be pretty hard to be sworn in to the presidency if you’re not willing to uphold the Constitution,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.

There’s little surprise in the Kentucky Republican’s criticism of Trump. But the dodges of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are more telling.

A split in the GOP

McCarthy’s mission impossible is to find 218 votes from 222 House Republicans to gain the speaker’s gavel when the full chamber votes in January.

His problem is that the far right of the party – the roughly 40 Trump-aligned Freedom Caucus members – want assurances he’ll adopt a damn-the-torpeodes approach to using the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip in government funding. He needs their support and is having trouble getting it.

McConnell criticizes Trump’s comments on the Constitution

Against that backdrop, the California Republican only said, “I fully support the Constitution,” when asked about Trump’s call.

Other top Republicans were caught off-guard when asked by CNN about the comments.

Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 Republican in the House and a possible fill-in if McCarthy can’t get the support among Republicans to become speaker, said he doesn’t support terminating the Constitution when Trump’s comments were read to him.

“Next to the Bible, it’s the most important document in the history of the world,” the Louisiana Republican said, refusing to comment on whether the former president should move on from election denialism.

Scalise and McCarthy are relatively mainstream Republicans and Trump’s recent taste in company has veered more extreme, such when he dined with the White Nationalist Nick Fuentes and the antisemitic rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye.

That was last week’s controversy. But this week is off to just as bad a start.

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