Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Shell Game

One of the most frustrating parts of this campaign, the free pass given to the Conservatives, when it comes to their blatant attempts to delay anything that might cause embarrassment on the campaign trail. While everyone focuses on the supposed costs of the Green Shift, the Conservatives have the audacity to say Dion hasn't been forthcoming in their attack ad, nobody seems to care about the fact that Baird has buried his own plan:
Environment Minister John Baird later told The Canadian Press that the regulations will not be published during an election campaign.

How convenient, and how entirely disappointing that the media let's them get away with hiding their own plan, while simultaneously ravaging someone who speaks openly. It's actually appalling, and a complete indictment of our supposed watchdogs.

Then there is the Cadman case, the supposed biggest mistake ever made by the Liberal Party. Why is it then, that the Conservatives are going to ridiculous heights to STOP the case during the election?:
Chris Paliare levelled the charge after Harper's lawyer sought to postpone a hearing into an earlier application to postpone a hearing into Harper's request for an injunction to prevent the Liberals from using a controversial tape recording at the heart of bribery allegations in the Cadman affair.

In his 37 years practising law, Paliare said he's never seen a case where the plaintiff requested an adjournment on an adjournment hearing.

"It's sort of adjournment squared," the Liberal lawyer said in an interview.

Paliare said it's evident that the Conservatives are foot-dragging because they don't want the case to become fodder during the election campaign.

"I don't know what their motives are, but they don't seem anxious to have this matter dealt with expeditiously," he said.

Asked if he believes the election has anything to do with it, Paliare added: "I think it has a great deal to do with it."
Something to hide tough guy?

Speaking of hiding, why don't the Conservatives want the cost of the Afghanistan war released during the campaign:
That's the question being asked today about whether Stephen Harper will give the OK to release a potentially explosive report on the true cost of Canada's Afghan mission. Parliament's budget officer has tallied the cost of the six-year mission and says he would like to release it.

But he's worried about interfering with the election and wants all-party consent.

No problem, say the opposition parties, but the prime minister has been vague.

Couple all of the above, with the tightly controlled photo-ops, and you really have a Conservative campaign which trying to bury anything that might lead to scrutiny. As a matter of fact, we see a coherent pattern of basically "trying to pull a fast one" on the electorate, the truth delayed until after a potential victory. I guess the question then becomes- why are the Conservatives getting a FREE PASS, why isn't someone connecting the dots and holding people to account? If this type of behavior is condoned, then doesn't it effectively endorse the tactics?

What's important here, a question on fruit or vegetable, or a question of co-ordinated secrecy, stonewalling and basically trying to hoodwink the electorate? Oh, maybe it's just me.

7 comments:

Susan said...

Not just you - there is a massive failure to get out the real goods on this awful man. Canadians are going to be regreting they didn't pay attwetion. But they don't seem to be listening to his campaign promises either: breaks for his oil and gas buddies, more foreign ownership and oh, he's not really worried about the economy!!

Dana said...

CTV and The Globe seem firmly in the pocket of the Conservatives. Both CanWest and the Sun chain publish more that is critical of the Harperites than does the Globe. They've even managed to completely avoid any mention of the Cadman suit delaying tactic or any mention at all of the Jaccard report.

The fourth estate in Canada appears to have been more or less co-opted by the first three.

The Cloudwalking Owl said...

Learn how news people think---.

I think that instead of railing against the press, it is important to learn how they operate. News people do not report the "news", they relay what "important people" say to the public. That is what is meant by the phrase "objectivity". (I know that this is a weird way of using the word, but it is what it means to most of them.) It shouldn't be this way, but that is the way it is.

So any story that isn't being flogged by an important person---such as Dion---simply doesn't exist for the media. So the direct result of Dion's refusal to get "negative" is that nothing that Harper has done in the past will stick to him as far as the official media is concerned.

Having said that, it is important to realize that ordinary voters usually don't hear "Harper did something bad", but instead "Dion said something negative about Harper". This turns off voters and results in Dion losing votes. What is really pernicious about this is that right-wingers are less likely to be affected by this than lefties---so it actually helps Harper to be negative but hurts Dion to do the same thing.

This is why blogs are so important---you can get the word out but without having the negativity stick to Dion.

Steve V said...

dana

You will note links to Duffy's program on the G and M election site.

owl

I partially agree, but then again, we have all of these "in depth" features, which tend to drill down into issues. The problem, these stories are a novelty, and the media uses their occasional glance at substance as evidence of journalism, when it's really just a side show to make them feel better about the rest.

If you listen to talk radio, or voter feedback, their number one complaint- nobody is talking about things that matter to me. They blame the parties for puffins and such, but everyday, all the parties are releasing policy that is relevant to you and me, they just aren't aware, because the media is consumed with the juicy.

Joseph said...

While I would like to think blogs disseminate the word to the masses, that just isn't the case. Blogs assist only when concerns bubble up to the mainstream media.

That is absolutely NOT happening in this election. It is, however, happening in the US - for sometimes good reasons and sometimes not. But it is happening there.

For the past two mornings I have watched Harper almost drone on to a compliant press in his daily briefings. That along convinces me just what an uphill battle this is. Harper is rarely if ever questioned on anything to any great degree, there are no follow-up questions (1 per news agency seems to be the rule), and no matter what Harper says (even when it is clearly fiction) just floats out into the room before he points at someone else.

It's like the "press" is just there to prompt the next layer of spin. I keep waiting for someone to say in their turn, "But that's not what happened. You're assessment of situation "x" is inaccurate. Why would you say "x" occured when in fact "y" is what happened." Or anything that might at least cause a ripple in the room.

It seems obvious to me that doing so would probably mean it would be your last visit to the "war room briefing" and so no one goes too far, and the lies just keep wafting about.

I still think the other parties have to start having some type of response, or counter-briefing each day so those in the press willing to do so could at least offer official response instead of just tacitly complying with the "Harper mythology of past events."

Steve V said...

joseph

It is fascinating, the difference here and down south, almost light years ahead on so many fronts.

I like the counter-briefing idea, done immediately, before anything goes in the can.

Steve V said...

Forced to cave here. The hesitation means the cost over runs will be substantial.