Monday, February 22, 2010

Demand The Bland

The jaded media love to lament the lack of independent thinking coming from our elected representatives. Constant criticisms of the bland, scripted flavor, delivered with robotic precision and partisan zeal. And YET, the truth of the matter, our political discourse, or lack thereof, is entirely a reaction to the media lens. In other words, independent thought and honesty are suppressed, as a result of LEARNED response. The media lament is really an internal creation, a strange criticism of themselves, when taken to a BASE level.

I like Adam Radwanski, so this isn't necessarily directed towards him, just so happens he writes an example of my thesis today:
With friends like Kennedy, McGuinty needs no enemies

It was only a matter of time.

Even when he's in your caucus, it's hard to keep Gerard Kennedy on message. Michael Ignatieff, who recently watched the Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park call for a debate on raising the GST, could attest to that much.

So it was all but inevitable that Mr. Kennedy would eventually run afoul of his former colleagues in Dalton McGuinty's provincial government, where he served for three years as education minister. And he's now done so in fairly spectacular fashion - stepping all over the Liberals' signature transportation policy.

The title ridiculous, the "loose cannon" characterization in reference to past HONESTY, indicative of a failed perspective. Not the first time we've heard this theme, in regards to Kennedy and really the implication demonstrates why REAL politicians are an endangered species. How dare Kennedy represent his constituents and fail to artificially support a policy, in the name of past party loyalty? What kind of a fool muses openly about the GST, much better to simply PARROT what you're told and sing in key. Anything less, be prepared for these type of stories, to the determent of your party and their chances.

Kennedy is a guy who went to Bob Rae, during the leadership question, when there was no realistic hope, there was no political upside. This decision was made on principle, part of a now defined pattern. Rather than being applauded for putting self interest aside and effectively backing an obvious loser, Kennedy is characterized as reckless and politically stupid. Give me 307 similarly "naive" and dangerous MP's and we'd have the best Parliament this country has ever known. Period.

You want to sarcastically comment on the stale state of affairs, that's people's prerogatives. You want to create said climate through your own sensationist approach, desperate to find "controversy", that makes you fundamentally hypocritical. Next time a MP takes to the airwaves and says nothing, just remember his/her saying so little says so much about the flawed model you demand.


Northern PoV said...

not that I am a stickler for accuracy ... and I do admire Gerard .. but after he dropped out of the balloting ....
"Gerard Kennedy withdrew and moved his support to St├ęphane Dion, but he has otherwise released all of his delegates."

per my faulty memory backed by wiki

Steve V said...

I don't get your point??

Tof KW said...

"How dare Kennedy represent his constituents and fail to artificially support a policy, in the name of past party loyalty?

I guess the media now considers the CPofC's MPs as the gold standard then they lament the lack of independence in Parliament. And they wonder why newspapers are dying?

Steve V said...

I see the Harper approach as a by-product of the media climate. Look at how the Libs get killed everytime anyone dares utter an independent thought? As much as I despise, you can hardly blame the iron fisted message control, because it's the best fit for gotcha journalism.

As for Kennedy, it would be nice if just one pundit actually complimented his forthright commentary, as opposed to characterizing him in an almost fool-like manner.

Tof KW said...

"I see the Harper approach as a by-product of the media climate."

I'm uncertain if the media began this, or if this came about from Harper's communication control. Chicken or Egg argument?

I watched with fascination during the bad years of Bush Jr, while the media continued their complicity with whatever nuggets of wisdom that Rove/Cheney would release, and thought 'that would never happen here'. I forgot that rule of whatever happens to our south eventually reaches us through osmosis.

Steve V said...

Message control and party "discipline" are reactions to past problems. If you put your head up and get it blown off every time, you learn to keep it down.

Frunger said...

I thinkyou're absolutely right Steve.

To T of KW:
Iron fist message control is a reaction to the media. Harper learned it from Mulroney's days, where the PC government would show the Canadian media to Thatcher and Bush Sr with a "Look what we have to deal with!" attitude.

I'm not going to get into media bias. The truth is they look for gotcha moment with members of all parties. They may be more sympathetic to the Liberal version of the world, but let's not overstate it too much.

Harper knows that when a conservative says something off message, it's a certainty to be all over the news, and they will drag it out as long as they can. A Liberal may have to push a stupid comment a little further before it gets widely reported, but they'll learn not to stray too far as well.

The most successful political parties in the world right now are the ones that understand how the media can torpedo you if they are so inclined. A Conservative party knows that the media is likely to enjoy it more when they are the target.

Northern PoV said...

I don't get your point??

I was talking about the convention in 2006

I now realize you were talking about the aborted leadership contest during the great coalition days

that move may have been principled but it does not display much acumen

RuralSandi said...

It's how they twist what was said that's the problem.

Kennedy talked about a debate/discussion. He did not say the Libs would raise taxes.

Cons afraid of debate and discussion? Yup.

I'm not personally that struck on Kennedy, but it was much ado about nothing by the media. Helping Harper is their mission.