By Victor Schwartzman
September 17, 2014
On June 24, Minister Brad Duguid wrote a 162 word letter to the AODA Alliance, thanking it for its 4,700 word letter on AODA to the former Minister, Eric Hoskins. His tiny response noted the Alliance’s concerns about AODA’s implementation. He also noted its request for information and did not provide it. But he did look forward to meeting the Alliance.
Well, readers, that ol’ implementation clock is ticking. Minister Duguid’s letter was almost three months ago. To date, he not only has NOT contacted the Alliance to schedule a meeting, he has made NO public announcements about AODA implementation. What could keep him so busy he could not schedule a meeting? Even if it was with people he did not want to meet, he could still be in the same room with them and ignore them. Politicians do that all the time!
Through diligent fictitious journalism, the untrue answer is now revealed. Perhaps you may think the following explanation makes no sense, but neither does Minister Duguid’s ongoing silence. And this fictitious explanation was obtained through a source in his office and was confirmed by two other insiders. All requested confidentiality not because of confidentiality but because no one in his office wishes to speak for him. That is why they have not, for example, scheduled a meeting with the Alliance for him or written position papers on AODA for him to issue. They also avoid him in hallways and are looking for other work.
One explanation lies in Duguid’s personal choice for a new communications strategy. It also explains the delay in hearing from him.
To prepare for his new responsibilities, Minister Duguid studied former Minister Hoskins’ approach on AODA. He wanted to emulate how Minister Hoskins conducted media conferences as charades. The concept was journalists would act out their questions and Minister Hoskins would act out his answers. Unfortunately, the Minister was unable to guess even the first question, so the media conferences all ended abruptly. While the journalists considered charades at a media conference a failure, the Minister considered it a success.
Now the new Minister wanted to continue the success but in his own style. The result? What communications strategy did he choose? For the past three months, Minister Duguid has studied mime.
The Ontario School Of Political Mime is located close to Queen’s Park, and has previously been used by politicians learning to simulate empathy and concern. On graduation Minister Duguid planned to conduct all of his AODA media conferences in mime. Unlike Minister Hoskins, journalists could ask him questions directly. His responses, however, would be entirely mimed. Minister Duguid also planned to use mime during meetings with community leaders.
Media conferences which did not involve AODA would be conducted normally. At least, until a question about AODA popped up, and then Minister Duguid would mime his response. At least, that WAS the communications plan. A snag arose which derailed it.
That came when The World Association of Mime Artistes (WAMA) threatened an artistic defamation lawsuit against him.
The Mimes had discovered the Minister’s plans. Mimes, it turns out, do not live alone in invisible boxes. They are organized! WAMA issued a statement: “We are outraged that a politician plans to take advantage of our ancient art form of saying something while saying nothing. He plans to say nothing while saying nothing. This is not what mime is about. Mime’s reputation certainly does not need politicians!”
The confidential sources said Minister Duguid took the law suit possibility seriously and within the past week has dropped the miming strategy completely. His new communications strategy involves making statements at media conferences and community meetings by using his fingers in front of a lamp, so his responses on AODA will be shadow figures on the wall.
Next: Why There Never Was A Column About The AODA Summer Blockbuster Sequel!
Victor Schwartzman contributes this weekly satiric column to Accessibility News nothing in these columns is true except what they are about. Buy the first nine chapters of his current satirical fantasy novel, King Of The Planet, for .99 on Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/King-Planet-Victor-Schwartzman-ebook/dp/B00NE0CCRC/ref .
Sales so far are one, and that was Victor himself. But he hopes this will change.
His graphic novel The Winnipeg Weakly Herald (where each chapter is one issue of a community newspaper) is serialized on the great Canadian lit site, www.redfez.net. He also contributes to www.targetaudiencemagazine.com. He has had poetry and short fiction published, has edited novels and hosts two writers’ circles. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.