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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
And did you get my message / On the People's Radio? I wrote it in Alberta /Across the prairie spine.
— Rheostatics, Northern Wish
March 29, 2006
Mr. Harper and the Media

As much as I had grown to detest the hubris and arrogance with which the Chretien/Martin Liberals were governing, I was always uncomfortable with the Conservative Party of Canada. I saw one decent hope in the city of Vancouver, and when it failed I could see the future.

Mr. Chretien may have been a thief, and a liar — playing fast and loose with Canadian taxpayers dollars — but at least he communicated with Canadian tax payers.

Mr. Martin’s brief (but too long) stint in the PMO set the stage for what Mr. Harper has now created — a PMO based on vagueness and a lack of communication.

This is no more evident thatn in the Harper government’s dealings with the media, which are few and brief. Mr. Harper, taking a lesson from the south, has not simply restricted his communication with those that elected him he has (in effect, as well as essence) shut down the podium. In doing so, he has denied that which is deemed to be the right of a modern democratic society: a press with free and (relatively) unrestricted access not only to government but also to question every step which that government takes.

In the past, governments which did not allow and encourage this were chasitised by those that did: the Soviet Union, the current regime of Vladmir Putin in Russia and the Chinese government stand out as examples, although extreme ones.

The difference, Mr. Harper, is one of degrees — the intent is the same. Control the message and control the lines of communication.

The next Prime Minister will be a man who demonstrates the opposite skillset: it will be a man who engages in a conversation with the nation, and allows Canadians to engage in one with its government. It will be a man who can stand up and speak from the heart and not from the script.

To date, I have only seen one of the many candidates who is able to do this effectively — I can only hope that I am right.

I do not want a Canadian government that mirrors that of George W. Bush in its fear of conersation.

Posted by skooter at 9:13 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

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