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Why Kanye West should not be President of the United States

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The celebrity-to-politician transition that Donald Trump has been repeatedly criticized for during his time as President of the United States threatens to become a runaway train with Kanye West’s outrageous bid for presidency.

Kanye West, influential rapper, fashion designer and father of four married to popular reality TV star Kim Kardashian, announced on July 4, 2020 via Twitter that he would be running for President of the United States. 

West’s recent announcement only adds to the rampant timeline of peculiar claims and outbursts made in recent years that appear to depict the stars touch and go relationship with reality. After being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2017, which he publicly revealed in 2018, the 43-year-old rapper turned fashion designer turned presidential candidate has become increasingly controversial. 

After his famous interrupting incident with Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMA Awards, Kanye has become increasingly known for being prone to public outbursts that spark significant debate. West received major political backlash in 2018 for publically endorsing Donald Trump, launching a number of political rants where his controversial comments on the history of African-American slavery lost him support from many in the rap community. 

West’s meltdown has left the public further divided on the legitimacy of his run for presidency, and what it means for the future of the country. 

“The question is, what impact will he have on the election? In that context, it might not matter whether West is knowingly playing the spoiler, a man with a mental disorder being used as a patsy, or something else entirely – he is now on the ballot, and millions of voters will have Kanye Omari West as an option in November.” – New York Intelligencer

The controversial leadership of the Trump Administration over the last four years, highlighted by Donald Trump’s often outlandish behavior online and in the public eye, has contributed to the popular reality show type coverage of the United States Government. While the eccentric tweets and comments have been a source of ongoing public entertainment, it can be argued they have had the extremely negative impact of simplifying the originally elite position of the POTUS into that of a controversy driven public figure in a popularity contest. This notion becomes more apparent when contrasting the idea of the United States President, the democratic leader of one of the world’s most powerful economic and military bodies, with rapper Kanye West. 

An article by John Taggart discusses the Dangerous Allure of the Celebrity President, stating “a mix of charisma, media-savvy and anti-establishment airs” can help celebrities appeal to voters, while “increasingly blurred lines between entertainment and news have lowered barriers for celebrities to enter politics.” 

Although his success is highly unlikely, the dangerous precedent looming alongside Kanye’s bid for the presidency is a rapid departure from legitimate political leadership in the United States in favor of popularity and publicity, positive or negative. Requirements for proper experience, as well as an understanding of international relations and the political, social and economic landscape of America will be replaced by capacity for dramatic impact and social controversy. “The rise of celebrity politicians is not a sign of the democratic field becoming more interesting or open,” says Taggart, “The rise of such candidates is a sign of political decline of democracies.” 

In this reality, the institution of democracy is undermined by popularity contests, social influence and which outrageous celebrity lifestyle has the greatest car-crash effect on the public.

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

Positive COVID-19 tests at world men's curling championship deemed “false positives”

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CALGARY — The four positive COVID-19 tests that interrupted the men’s world curling championship are considered “false positives” from potentially contaminated samples, according to the World Curling Federation.

The men’s championship concluded late Sunday night with Sweden’s Niklas Edin winning a record fifth world men’s title.

No games were played Saturday because four participants, including one from a playoff team, tested positive for the virus in “exit” tests before leaving Calgary’s curling bubble. 

None had symptoms of the illness.

All have tested negative in multiple re-tests since then, the WCF said Monday in a statement. All tests were conducted via PCR throat swabs.

“According to Alberta Health, PCR testing remains the gold standard for COVID-19 testing,” the WCF said. “Very rarely, there are occurrences through sampling or testing processes when samples may become contaminated and a false positive may result.

“Following an investigation over the weekend, it appears that this may have occurred in this case and follow-up testing was undertaken.”

All athletes and personnel considered close contacts of the four underwent testing Saturday with all results negative. 

Every playoff team member was tested before and after each game Sunday with those results also negative, the WCF said. Hotel staff were also tested Sunday and cleared.

“With the original four positive test results now deemed as false positives, the integrity of the Calgary bubble remains intact,” the WCF declared.

“The change also allows international athletes who were considered close contacts, and who would have had to remain in isolation in Calgary for 14 days, will now be able to depart Calgary.”

The fifth of seven events in Calgary’s curling hub, the Humpty’s Champions Cup, gets underway Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Pulling the plug: Edmonton Folk Music Festival cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

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EDMONTON — Despite Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s hope that the COVID-19 vaccine will allow summer events like the Calgary Stampede to go ahead, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival has been cancelled

The festival says in a statement that without full vaccination, people won’t be entirely safe from the spread of COVID-19. 

It says that with virus variants and an uncertain vaccine rollout, the impossibility of social distancing at the outdoor festival could lead to community spread.

Kenney has said that two-thirds of the population should have a vaccine shot by the end of June and things should begin to feel back-to-normal.

He says the Stampede, which is held in early July, along with sporting events and other festivals will be possible.

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival says it will continue to offer online content and, if small gatherings are permitted, it hopes to add some community engagement.

“With so many variables at play, the complexity of planning and delivering a festival of our size makes it impossible to move forward in our usual manner,” the statement said Monday.

“As profoundly disappointing as this news is, we believe this is the only safe way forward. The safety of our patrons, volunteers, and artists was of paramount importance in coming to this conclusion.”

The annual four-day festival in the city’s Gallagher Park usually attracts thousands of music fans and boasts approximately 2,700 volunteers.

Alberta introduced new health rules last week, closing restaurants to in-person dining and further reducing customer capacity at retail stores in response to rising COVID-19 numbers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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