Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tipping Point

I find it quite telling, that the Conservatives have managed to alienate their most "friendly" media outlets. In the past, no matter the issue, the Conservatives could count on some cover from certain sources, which tended to blur reality. With that in mind, it must be quite concerning for the PMO, when they see editorials in the National Post, basically arguing that the Conservatives are WORSE than the dirty Liberals:
It's easy to argue that this government clutches information even tighter to its chest than its predecessors. This is an ongoing disappointment. But this week, the non-disclosure instinct produced farce.

Yesterday, Sun Media's Greg Weston ripped into the Conservatives for being controlling, secretive, the ANTITHESIS of accountability and openness. Today, we get a rare critical editorial from the National Post. Basically, we have reached unanimity on this score, the idea that this government shuts down dissent, fires or belittles those that dare challenge its assertions, willingly avoids disclosure, rules with a Stalinesque manner. It's an extremely dangerous gelling of opinion, and one that could ultimately send the Conservatives into opposition.

This latest debacle over access to information is something of a tipping point, from which the government's reputation isn't easily recouped. You often hear the "death by a thousand cut" analogy, and in this instance, it is probably true. The Conservatives have done so many things during their tenure, that one can present an almost irrefutable thesis, to argue otherwise bordering on the absurd. The fact that apologist sources are now jumping on this thesis, speaks to the overwhelming presentation.

In the past, many of us have wondered when people would "clue in" to how this government operates, a frustration that they acted with impunity, preying on apathy, that allowed free reign. All the controlling measures, the lack of access, the "one day story" moves, it all seemed to go unnoticed, emboldening the Conservatives. Finally, now, it looks that the consistent pattern is starting to catch up with the government, and they are framing themselves in the worst possible light.

When you've lost the public trust, when people see you as sneaky, secretive, controlling and actively suppressing dissent, it is representative of final days for any regime. The fact that the media conduit is now in rare agreement speaks to the gravity, it shows how pervasive the erosion in moral authority has become. History offers no repreive for the Conservatives, if past examples hold true, these are ultimately fatal wounds.


Jesse said...

Nice one.

The only thing I want to add (and I was thinking about writing on today) is that their outrageous (actually outrageous, not the casual use) abuse of process hasn't been done to achieve anything. We didn't avoid recession, we're in massive deficit, and they haven't even achieved the handful of things they promised.

So what's the point?

Obviously, I think it's all just to achieve a majority... but they won't say what they want to do with one, because swing voters would run screaming.

RuralSandi said...

You know things are getting rather tense when Mr. Drooly (L. Ian MacDonald) comes to the rescue of Harper.

Northern PoV said...

Steve, lets hope this trend holds, but I suspect that after this knuckle-rapping the media will get back in line as it usually does.

Reasonable folk on the "light-side" think of achievement in positive terms.
Harper's minions, by their own aspirations and standards, have achieved much:
* dysfunctional Parliament
* dysfunctional committee system
* no national daycare
* no Kelowna accord
* political ads (attack-ads) run outside of the writ period (with no spending constraints)
* court challenges
* independent bodies neutered or shut down (Nuclear, R&D, PBO, Elections Canada, Meat Inspection, etc etc)
* Tar sands expansion unfettered by GW concerns
* no environmental progress

and the list goes on.
These are the "thousands cuts". Lets hope Canadian notice before we bleed to death.

Steve V said...

I don't have any faith in the media on that score. I do think much of it will depend on the Liberals, if they maintain an air of competence and credibility, it might not swing back. Let's not forget, it was Liberal unforced errors which led to Harper's fall surge. No election threat, no Denis Coderre, no majority terrority.

rockfish said...

It was the CONs main promise and from their actions it was obviously a ruse. Accountability is what got so many people to buy-in in 2006; that it remains a sham and not even a well covered up one makes the media's 'slow discovery' all the more disheartening.
It's also why Harper stepped up the defensive position, getting Dmitri to do his dance of the seven veils and lie.
Here's hoping that Harper and co.'s botching of the isotopes crisis isn't a critical mass for needy patience...

The Mound of Sound said...

It's no accident that the Tories have embraced these odious affronts to Canadian democracy.
That's bound to happen in one-man rule when these are the very traits and personality quirks of that one man. The Tory party is the face of Stephen Harper. This is what he is, the inevitable product of the dark recesses of his mind.

Now if only Ignatieff can figure out how to sink the hook.

Steve V said...

Set the hook indeed.

Northern PoV said...

It seems "tipping point" is the meme of the day
"The more I think about this, the more I think it could be the tipping point for ordinary, non-political Canadians."

- but perhaps this butt-ugly farce she is ranting about might tip the more viscerally oriented.