Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Canada Isn't Bush Country

Peterborough Politics has a post, which delves into the familiar Conservative rallying cry- the liberal media that conspires against all things Conservative. Anyone who actually pays attention knows full well that Canada's media is hardly a liberal bastion, a quick peruse of who owns what actually suggests otherwise.

Yesterday, Harris-Decima released a poll of Canadian opinion, as it relates to the American Presidential race. These results are quite telling:
A new poll suggests Canadians so massively favour the U.S. Democratic party that they'd back any of its leading candidates in a presidential race against a Republican.

The Harris-Decima survey suggests the Democrats would trounce the Republicans by a four-to-one margin if the voters were Canadian.

U.S. President George W. Bush's Republican party would get creamed even in a hypothetical election in which only Canadian Conservatives voted.

The survey, provided exclusively to The Canadian Press, says 49 per cent of Canadians expressed a preference for Democrats while only 12 per cent did the same for Republicans.

Even self-described Conservatives — who are supposedly more ideologically in tune with the right-leaning Republicans — favoured the Democrats by a 47-23 margin.

What does the above tell us about Canadians, and how should that translate to our newscasts? In my mind, the above proves a basic truth, Canada is a center, center-left country, and true conservatism is really a fringe player in our discourse. With that reality in mind, why is that Conservative bloggers rail against outlets like the CBC, when it would appear they merely reflect the politics of the people? What we have here is a vocal minority, playing the martyr card, who can't stand the fact that they are basically out of touch with mainstream Canada.

Canadians actually like David Suzuki, for the most part. Canadians don't see a show like The Nature Of Things as a vehicle for the CBC to project it's socialist agenda. Canadians do believe in global warming, Canadians don't support capital punishment, Canadians do believe the state has some role to play in our lives..... The CBC, our network, merely reflects the majority perspective.

We can all pick out items and point to bias. For myself, I wonder how a CBC political roundtable can call itself fair when it includes a known Dion hater, the former guru of the National Post and a pollster who worked for Mulroney. If I was a conservative, I would extrapolate this simple fact to the entire network. However, when you step back, you see a balance elsewhere and it becomes more acceptable.

Our current government feeds the conservative rallying cry, with its paranoid and hands off approach to the media. Is that because the media is biased against them, or is it more correctly an acknowledgement, through the reactions, that this government's core belief system is out of step with mainstream Canada? Is the paranoia really a shrewd calculation, the need to hide?


A gigantic yawn, the unwashed will be heard.


rabbit said...

On the political spectrum I consider the American Democrats to be about midway between Liberals and Conservatives in Canada. The Clinton administration, for example, was decidedly centrist (although to the frustration of many Democrats).

As well, the Republicans have a substantial social-conservative dimension that is largely missing in Canadian politics. Bible thumping just doesn't work well here.

Thus I am not surprized by the results.

Steve V said...


I would move your spectrum somewhat. The Clinton administration did frustrate many Dems, what amounts to the NDP wing of a two-party system. The American Dems are closer to the Liberals than the Conservatives, which might explain why Clinton and Chretien got on so well, a certain affinity there.

Johnathon said...

It's amazing how fascinated you are with USA politics.

The USA gets more liblogs.ca atention than you own leftist party.

The Liberal Party of Canada is in no way close ideologically to the Democrats in the USA.

THe Democrats actualy are bipartisan, working with Bush to middle the ground.

The Canadian Liberals, have the attitude that "everything" the Conservatives want to do is 100% wrong.
Everything.Everytime.All year round.

USA politics is a more manly game than this bullshit communist system in Canada.

You would have to admit that you know more about USA politics thanb you do your own.

Steve V said...


"You would have to admit that you know more about USA politics thanb you do your own."

Judging by your comments, I would be willing to admit that you nothing about anything :)

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

I would say the Democrats are if anything closest to the old Progressive Conservatives although they have some like Kucinich who could easily fit into the NDP and some Blue Dog Democrats (mainly from the South) who would easily fit in the Conservatives. Although the Conservative Party has a lot of members that are ideologically akin to the Republicans, they would get created at the polls if they were that right wing.

That being said I don't think being centre-right necessarily makes one outside the mainstream, rather the ideological conservatives are outside the mainstream, but so are the hardcore socialists. Both have a support of around 15%. Economic conservatism, although still a minority opinion, is at least somewhat more acceptable than social conservatism. This might explain why Mike Harris could win in Ontario while Stockwell Day got clobbered there, even though both could arguably said to be as far to the right, although with an emphasis in different areas. Now off course I am not suggesting a Mike Harris leader could win in Ontario now, but they could probably still get around 35% as opposed to only 20%.

Steve V said...

"That being said I don't think being centre-right necessarily makes one outside the mainstream"

I don't think so either. I agree with your distinction between the social conservatives and the PC conservatives. The ones whining about the media, tend to be the right, that is the vocal fringe.

Gayle said...

Does anyone care about CBC-gate besides S. Taylor and his minions?

They are doing their best to make this a story - I will give them that.

Steve V said...


They are trying, maybe Duff will pick it up for them when he returns.

Gayle said...

Maybe, but I think the problem is that most media outlets do what the CBC is alleged to have done. Craig Oliver was interviewed by Duffy at the time and he made it clear he thought the whole thing blown way out of proportion.

Steve V said...

Conservatives love to bash the CBC. One of the funniest was Kate at SDA, who uncovered a photo of a smokestack, that apparently was doctored by the CBC to look more ominious. They just lie in the weeds, scanning and waiting to pounce.

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

I think it is mostly the far right that loves to bash CBC. There may some on the centre-right who support privatizing it since the believe the market works better than the government, but you won't hear those types constantly bashing it. People such as Andrew Coyne or even former Liberal MP Stan Keyes (He is on record as saying it should be privatized), I would put under this category.

I am okay with privatizing the television but not the radio as the television already gets a lot of its revenue from advertising and many of its programs such as Hockey Night in Canada could sell on their own. On the other hand CBC radio services many rural communities and areas that wouldn't have access to. However, its not something I get too worked up about either way. And I do on the whole think the CBC is quite fair in its reporting. Yes, they do have some reporters that have clear left wing bias, but they also have some who lean to the right as well, so it goes both ways.