Monday, May 25, 2009

Reality Check

If you read and heard today's story, you'd be inclined to think that Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan was at odd with federal Liberals over the EI debate. Duncan doesn't want an election over EI, that is the way the story is being covered, and then interpreted to strangely put the Liberals on the defensive. CTV did just that to Martha Hall Findlay today, as though the pressure is on the Liberals to climb down, using Duncan as reference point.

Here is what Dwight Duncan ACTUALLY said today. You be the judge, because I don't think it takes much to see where the real PRESSURE lies:
Tom Clark

"You did say very clearly today, that you don't think there should be an election over EI reform. You're calling on your federal brethren not to call an election over EI."


"What I'm calling on is for the WILL of Parliament to be done. And, if the majority in Parliament says the Employment Insurance rules should be changed, I don't believe the federal government should force an election. Our preference is to get those changes, if it's the WILL of Parliament."

The WILL of Parliament, the MAJORITY in Parliament and the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT should not FORCE an election. CTV, although it was the widespread interpretation today, heard these words, but then ignored them later on, only to act as though Duncan was warning his "brethren". Seems to me, Duncan was telling the government to listen to the three opposition parties and quit saber rattling. Maybe the "Reality Check" section on Clark's show should come with a MIRROR.


Anonymous said...

Oh, Steve, you and your factual data and all that fancy high-fallutin' logic. When will you learn?

CTV can't very well achieve Fox News of the North status without learning to twist everything to suit their news agenda. They got their talking points just like every other good conservative supporter today.

Parliament is back in session, and they are just doing their part.

Why can't you just let them be?


Steve V said...

I know, I know. The trouble is, everyone was reporting Duncan today, without mentioning who he thought needed to avoid this showdown. That said, I just laughed at the REALITY CHECK segment after listening to the gross mischaracterization just prior.

Miles Lunn said...

We could avoid an election if the Tories agreed to the EI changes. The EI changes Ignatieff is proposing are hardly unreasonable. For starters they would be temporary and would not involve raising payroll taxes. If the Tories are so concerned they would stay permanately they could include a sunset clause which I am sure the Liberals would agree to. I suspect the Tories reluctance to agree to any EI changes is most of their donations come from the right wing base not your centre-right swing voters and that group is already angry at the Tories over the budget for not being conservative enough so anymore so called "non conservative" policies could hurt them in terms of donations. Off course this group is only about 10% of the population, but the Tories wouldn't have the money for their attack ads, frequent polling, and other financial advantages if it wasn't for this group. If Canadians only realized how beholden the party is to this group, they would be massively defeated as the remaining 90% by and large cannot stand this group even those who lean to the right.

Steve V said...

"If the Tories are so concerned they would stay permanately they could include a sunset clause which I am sure the Liberals would agree to."

Miles, that's the compromise position, that addresses all the bogus claims. If you were an honest broker, there's your out, but I suspect we won't see that because this is about disinformation, not solutions.

Steve V said...

What you said though, the Liberals should get that out there as a negotiating tactic. That stance, agreeing to their supposed criticism, could box them in further. It would be interesting to see how the NDP and Bloc would react, could give them an out.

Miles Lunn said...

Steve V - I agree the Tories likely wouldn't agree to it. But since we had an election less than a year ago, whoever triggers one now would get some blame so by offering this compromise, the Tories not the Liberals would take the blame for the government falling. Never mind, some caucus MPs who narrowly won their ridings might put pressure on Harper to change as despite his iron grip of the caucus, I have a tough time believing those who are grave danger of losing their seats will stay silent in caucus.

I will admit I don't want an election more for personal reasons as I will be in Europe on vacation for most of June so I would rather not have an election when I am out of the country, but thats a side issue here.

Steve V said...

There is a real risk with the electorate, particularly because it's under a year. People never want an election, but the short duration almost plays to a sense of opportunism. Plus, there's the "middle of a recession" argument, where people might just throw up their hands and wonder why we can't focus on the prize. Tough call.