Thursday, April 07, 2011

2015: A Media Odyssey

The Harper government has opened an entirely new campaign wrinkle, the reaction to the tactic simply irresponsible. For the third time now, Harper has made a campaign pledge that has no relevance to reality, some bizarre future commitment, contingent on a host of yet unforeseen developments, a complete and utter illogical proposition. The commitments are attractive, but the now reoccurring thread demands a reassessment of what exactly is fair game commentary in THIS election.

The Conservatives are free to discuss whatever they wish, quite different however when the media parrots the chosen theme of the day, only adding the context with subsequent commentary, more muted and secondary. It begs a question whether the media is obligated to report on everything, can they not- as they do with investigative pieces- decide what is relevant or not, use their own standards, to decipher worth of coverage? It seems the drill goes as follows, said entity decides the messaging for the day, the media report that messaging, then only in after the fact fashion is there any analysis of worth. To my mind, the battle is already lost, when you report everything, because the intent is to merely get it out there, that's part of the partisan strategy.

We are having an election in 2011. We are having an election, wherein Canada faces a herculean deficit. Within the Conservative fiscal framework, massive questions abound about their fiscal plan, their costing of certain expenditures, it all remains rather unclear. Add in the inherent fallacy of trying to accurately predict the future state of affairs, less reliable the further out you forecast, and this 2015 timeline becomes that much more dubious. The Conservative projections are questionable, then the added factor of future uncertainty, these 2015 goodies simply don't pass the 2011 smell test. In other words, the Conservatives are trying to game the system, and unfortunately they found a willing partner, one that thinks a bit of questioning after the fact amounts to journalism.

As I read Harper's fixed election law, we will have another election in 2015, it can occur NO later, that seems an objective truth. That translates to an almost surreal situation, wherein there is no possiblility of implementation, by the Conservatives own logic, PRIOR to another campaign. The Liberal platform ends in 2014, it's as though we are fighting two elections concurrently, one that deals with the realities as we know them, the other a concoction of possibilities. I'm sure all parties will offer new goodies once the deficit is tackled, what pray tell does that have to do with this election? And yet, TFSA is today's buzzword, one of the leads on all the telecasts.

We partisans quibble about this and that, in terms of coverage, but that reality shouldn't distract anyone from the sheer ridiculousness of giving utter fiction a hearing. Any sense of fairnes, let the Conservatives put out what they want, but actually reporting, not sure how that of any benefit to the public. Every time I hear the word TFSA mentioned in a broadcast, I'm going to say GOTCHA! This just might be the most absurd election any advanced democracy has been subjected to. Harper actually called it "a major step forward" as if reality, and people report it as though it will come to pass. It would be funny, if it just weren't so flipping sad.

12 comments:

Tof KW said...

Why don't the Liberal promise to eliminate income taxes in 2015 ...but only if they win this election, and only if the budget is balanced by then.

When the Reformatories charge that this is nonsensical, just say "exactly!"

Steve V said...

I know you say it in jest, but really if the media validates this strategy, I can guarantee others will follow, in future elections. It's all just an utter ruse, just read one prominent economist say he was contacted by a reporter about the TFSA. The Con war room must laugh themselves to sleep, sides so sore! Honestly and truly, such a joke.

Tof KW said...

By the way, getting to make election promises you know you'll never have to keep...
Welcome to the federal NDP way of doing things.

Steve V said...

Accountability is lost, you can just promise whatever you want, based on dubious future backing. It's insane, it really is and what's worse, willing enabler.

Tof KW said...

Oh and yes I jest, but not 100%.

Seriously the Libs should make a campaign promise under the same 2015 conditions as the CPC. Make it a serious income tax reduction even.

Maybe the media will figure it out once both major parties show them being played for fools.

ottlib said...

Our MSM gave up any kind of critical analysis with regard to policy proposals long ago. They care more about analyzing the various parties' strategies to give their audiences a sense that they have "inside knowledge".

We are seeing the same thing with the Liberals proposals. For the most part they have not done much of any indepth analysis of the Liberals proposals.

It will be up to the Liberals to point out the stupidity of the current Conservative approach. I would suggest a political ad. One with a mocking tone, instead of the usual fare we get of doom and gloom.

I have been kind of disappointed with the Liberal advertizing so far. I have only seen one on television and one on the outside of the Metro. Other than that nothing.

Hopefully, during the week of the debates and afterwards they will sharpen their message a spend the money for a decent ad buy to get that message out.

Steve V said...

Spot on.

Curtis said...

The Liberals ought to ask the Harper and his cabal what their 2011 platform is as we already know what their 2015 platform is. The command or request to the CPC should be "Why not live in the present?"

Steve V said...

Here's a decent piece:

http://www.brandonsun.com/national/breaking-news/harpers-what-if-spending-pledges-adds-new-wrinkle-to-election-promises-119432234.html?thx=y

Marshall said...

The media seems intent on reporting about five questions a day, teleprompters and people banned from rallies as opposed to Harper's record. Wells called them on it and he was spot on.

Alison said...

I'd love to see an ad featuring Mary Walsh and Cathy Jones doing their old lady skit about the possible future campaign promises. It would be a hoot and would get the message across. Any chance of that?

rajumadhur said...

Promises by politicians just remain as promises :D ;)











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