Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The People Won, the Media Lost

There were many winners in the federal election. Stephen Harper, Jack Layton, and of course, the Canadian people. The people were big winners because they brought in a two-party Parliament in which the Conservatives and New Democrats ignore each other at their own future peril.
The big losers, aside from the Bloc Quebecois and Liberals, were the news media. The media tried desperately to deny the Conservatives another win. In almost 50 years of journalism I have never seen such biased reporting, pretty much throughout the media.  
The media just can’t seem to accept the message that its role is to shed the huge egos, find unspun and unvarnished facts, report them clearly and fairly, and let the people decide for themselves what kind of government they want. The media must take blame for much of the increasingly dysfunctional politics we have seen during the last decade.
The people have demanded a return to a sane, functional and productive system. Harper and Layton and their parties must start performing their jobs with respect, constructive criticism, and a willingness to listen to the ideas of others.
Where I live, Helena Guergis was defeated, which is not a surprise. She exhibited poor judgment on several fronts. However, what she and the riding which elected her originally did not deserve was the shabby treatment from the prime minister. Harper had every right to fire her from cabinet and have her driven from the Conservative caucus. His haughtiness, and the fact he did not come to the riding and explain to the people why he dumped their representative, is inexcusable.
Maybe with the New Democrats breathing down his back, Harper will learn to be more open and more tolerant of other people’s views. And, now much closer to real power, perhaps Layton will become more realistic about the serious problems that face this country.
Most Canadians are fiscal Conservatives and social democrats. They will be watching Harper and Layton closely and in future will not hesitate to swing between the right and the left to get what they want and need.

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