The Globe and Mail Jumps the Shark

We’ve reached that point in the election cycle where the mainstream media peppers us with political endorsements telling us who, in their learned opinion, we should vote for on Oct 19.    

Once again the mainstream media does not disappoint.

The Globe and Mail, the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald threw their weight behind the Conservative party.

The Journal and the Herald made the usual arguments: these are uncertain economic times, the Harper’s Conservatives have a solid economic record and only Harper can be trusted to deliver the sensible leadership necessary for Canada’s economic good. Sure, the man’s not perfect, but who is?

The Fonz: shark jumper

The Globe on the other hand, jumped the shark.

“Jump the shark” is a term arising from a Happy Days episode where the writers, utterly bereft of ideas made Fonzie decked out in a leather jacket and water skis, jump over a shark.

The phrase entered the vernacular to signify that point in time when something of quality descends into idiocy.

The Globe endorsement  

David Walmsley, writing on behalf of the Globe’s editorial board, jumped the shark with magnificent finesse. He endorsed the conservatives of yesteryear under the leadership of tomorrow.

Here’s Walmsley’s argument:

  • Election 2015 was driven by a desire for change
  • The key election issue should have been the economy but turned into a referendum on Harper
  • Even though the Liberals and the NDP ran on the rhetoric of change they had so much respect for the Conservatives’ economic policy that they adopted it with some tweaks (*cough*)
  • Harper’s secrecy, narrow vision on crime, lack of respect for science and the courts distracted voters from the Conservative’s accomplishments
  • Harper created a “rotten” government culture
  • Harper is dragging the Conservative party back to its Reform roots
  • The Conservative party was great once and could be again if Harper wasn’t its leader
  • So re-elect the Conservatives in the hopes that Harper will resign and the old conservative party will rise again

Leaving aside the obvious question—why would Harper resign if Canadians returned the Conservatives to power, and if by some miracle he did, why would his replacement be any better—there’s still the niggling technicality that a voter can’t put an “X” next to their local Conservative candidate’s name with the proviso “but only if Harper resigns”.

Walmsley gets feedback

For some unfathomable reason Walmsley decided to conduct a Q and A session on Facebook after he posted his endorsement on line.

It was brutal.

He was swamped with over 500 questions in less than an hour. Virtually all of them were variations on the have-you-lost-your-mind theme.

David Walmsley: shark jumper

Readers disputed the premise that the election should have been about the economy and that Harper had done a good job with it. They challenged the idea that the rotten culture in government and corruption in the prime minister’s office was solely Harper’s doing, pointing to the corrosive influence of ministers like Jason Kenney, Chris Alexander, Pierre Poilievre and Julian Fantino and loyalists like Nigel Wright. They reminded Walmsley of the laundry list of Harper’s failures including his negative impact on Canada’s international reputation, his lack of action on climate change and his refusal to deal with missing and murdered First Nations women.

They said it was impossible to divorce Harper from the Conservatives—it wasn’t called the Harper Government for nothing.

They noted the absurdity of an endorsement asking voters to vote for the “not Harper” Conservative party when it’s not on the ballot.

Some kind souls asked whether Walmsley had hurt his head. Others wondered whether he was smoking crack.

Walmsley tried to respond but was soon swamped by the tsunami of questions and faded off Facebook altogether.

The politics of an endorsement

When asked why the Globe published this flaky endorsement, Walmsley replied “We have a role in society and that means taking a position that is a close to our values as possible.”

But who exactly are “we”?

Certainly not the majority of the journalists who contribute to the Globe. Even Margaret Wendt, the Globe’s most right leaning journalist, suggests it’s time to ditch Harper and the Conservatives, hinting that it’s Justin Trudeau’s turn.

Are “we” the Globe’s owners? Walmsley acknowledged that he sent the endorsement to the owners but staunchly denied that the Thomson family made him write this illogical bit of nonsense. This makes things worse. Walmsley may have been forgiven for caving to the owners and endorsing Harper’s Conservatives, but he won’t be forgiven for the intellectual flame out that caused him to endorse the non-existent Harper-less Conservatives.

Does it matter?

Editorial boards have the luxury of time and access. They interview the candidates, research party platforms and (presumably) are better placed to develop informed opinions than the rest of us, hence the eagerly awaited and generally unsurprising endorsement…but does it really make a difference?

Gail Collin, editorial page editor for the New York Times says any editor who thinks their editorial will change public opinion is “deluded”.

Diana Owen, a political scientist, says this lack of influence is partly caused by the public having little faith in the media in the first place.

Walmsley’s endorsement confirms that Collin and Owen are right. When the Globe endorsed the old Progressive Conservative party under the as-yet-to-be-named leader it utterly destroyed its credibility.

Given that goofy endorsements are par for the course, Ms Soapbox would like to offer an endorsement of her own. I endorse the British monarchy but not Queen Elizabeth. Oh and while I’m at it I’d also like to endorse the Seven Dwarfs but not Snow White.

Your turn…

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53 Responses to The Globe and Mail Jumps the Shark

  1. Roy Wright says:

    Great dismantling of the G&M editorial. I have a few comments to add to the fire.

    I find the discussion of supporting Harper and his economic salvation without any basis in fact. I have previously relied on the G&M for what I thought was objective reporting, with bringing knowledge and facts together to make wise statements in the form of opinion pieces including editorials. I looked at average annual GDP since 1945 and Harper, since 2006, came in at an average 1.6%, the lowest in more than 60 years. Mulroney came in at 2.3% while the best ranking came from Pearson at 5.4%. The next measure is our cumulative debt. Looking back a bit, Mulroney doubled our debt from Trudeau Senior at under $300 billion to turning over the economy to Chretien and Martin with $600 billion who managed to keep it under $700 billion. Mr. Harper increased our debt by 50% and increased it each year with a minor blip in 2013-14. We now owe $1,000 billion, compliments of Harpers astute financial management. So how can you say Harper has done well on our economy? So if someone tells me the Conservatives can manage money, please show me the proof.

    The second issue is that Harper is the Conservative Party. Few are allowed to show up at debates, fewer speak their mind, so if you throw Harper out, it would result in a bunch of headless lemmings trying to regain their brains to think. No thank you.

    Looking forward to the Tuesday editorial in the G&M. Hope they don’t choke.

    • Roy, every right leaning newspaper trotted out Harper’s “successful” record on the economy. Like you I can’t understand how they get there given all the evidence to the contrary. But the G&M endorsement took willful blindness to a new level of idiocy when it said the Liberals and NDP: “…have so much respect for the Conservatives’ record on economic, fiscal and tax policy that they propose to change almost none of it.” Sure, Mulcair wanted to increase corporate taxes, but that was a “small” increase, practically negligible, and yes Trudeau was proposing deficit budgets, but “…leaving aside a few billion dollars’ worth of extra borrowing, key planks in the Liberal economic platform were cribbed from the Conservative textbook.” An astute reader asked Walmsley if he really believed that Mulcair and Trudeau adopted the Conservative’s economic platform, why didn’t he endorse either Mulcair or Trudeau who have much better platforms with respect to criminal justice, national security, climate change, etc. Once again, no answer, just crickets.

  2. David Hay says:

    Nice! The g&m piece was so farcical Walmsley should be resigning in shame and embarrassment … Fingers crossed for an ABSH election result! Cheers, D.

    David Hay 250 589 9295

    • David, I agree! Dozens of people who participated in the Facebook Q and A cancelled their subscriptions on the spot. While the G&M may have hoped to provoke discussion I’m sure it didn’t intend to drive down readership. I will be glued to the TV to the bitter end–and it will be bitter if Harper manages to squeak in somehow. *Fingers crossed*

  3. Liane Sharkey says:

    I agree with all three of you – could not believe when I saw that endorsement, either! On a different endorsement note, this morning’s Toronto Star displayed an absolutely delightful photo of Harper with the arms of Rob Ford and his entire family – from mom, to Doug, to the kids – keeping him warm and cozy and close! I didn’t think assisted suicide was legal yet but now I’m all in favour of it!

    • Liane, I’d read that Harper’s campaign manager Jenni Byrne was behind that bizarre photo op. I suppose it’s a desperate effort to keep the 905 vote, but looked like political suicide to me. I believe Byrne is behind the “ka ching” ads as well. My 87 year old father was incensed by that ad, he said in all his years of following politics he’d never seen an ad so stupid and demeaning to a Prime Minister. If all goes well when this is over Harper will have all the time in the world to hang out with his BFFs the Ford brothers.

  4. anonymous says:

    The globe and mail did jump the shark on this one. But why the rush past the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald for doing the same shark jumping? I guess Alberta sharks are just a better class of sharks than all other sharks, right? 😉

    • Anonymous I was expecting a clip from Happy Days, instead I got got a matchbox car and a little shark…cool!
      PS You’re right about the Alberta sharks, the main difference is they didn’t twist themselves into a pretzel to argue the economic policies of the Liberals, NDP and Conservatives were virtually the same and they endorsed Harper and his party. Nevertheless, they dutifully repeated exactly what Postmedia told them to say. It’s going to be a great day!

  5. Elaine Fleming says:

    That cock-eyed endorsement of the Conservative Party has got me giving the hairy eyeball to everything in the Globe and Mail now. Just like the Postmedia papers, I don’t feel I can trust what I am reading: I am assuming bias in every story, thinking what information I am getting is filtered, wondering if important news is being reported on, and so on. I guess the subliminal and overt paranoia that has thrummed through our country these last years has gotten to me!

    • Elaine, you put your finger on the consequences of the G&M’s endorsement. We all knew it was a right leaning paper, we all expected it to endorse Harper and his Conservative party, but the intellectual dishonesty of endorsing a party but not its leader makes you wonder how far it will go to promote the conservative agenda. Some of the readers in the Facebook Q and A suggested that unless Walmsley knew something we didn’t know–that Harper was planning to retire–he could not justify his endorsement.

  6. #MoreGlobeEndorsements: Common but not Sense, Hell but not Fire, and Ottawa’s new Rock Band – The Servatives, but not the CON

  7. GoinFawr says:

    hahaha!

    I endorse the Hogwart’s School of Magic, but not Dumbledore!
    I endorse his merry men, but not Robin of Locksley!
    ps
    According to Tolkein, it’s “Dwarves”

  8. Carlos Beca says:

    Gosh do we need any more proof that most of the media including the Globe and Mail are in the hands of the big boys.
    Is it possible that a person that has advertised that Justin Trudeau cannot be prime minister because he smoke weed, accepts the support of the Ford family? Am I going crazy or the Conservative Party has lost it. Still 39% believe in this garbage. It is Mugabe politics in Canada. Harper has lost his marbles. I am not a Liberal because to me they are still too right wing but gosh will I be happy with a Liberal reality rather than this extreme right wing paradise.

    • Carlos, you’re right about why we can’t trust the mainstream media. The multi-billionaire Thomson family owns the Globe and Mail. Multi-billionaire Paul Godfrey owns the Postmedia chain. Their interests align nicely with the Conservative party, and as you correctly point out, the Paul Martin Liberals (we’ll get a better sense of what kind of Liberal Justin Trudeau turns out to be if his party forms government). But I’m with you, either the Liberals or the NDP will be a welcome relief to the Reform/Conservative government we’ve endured for the last decade. Here’s hoping!!!!

  9. carlosbeca says:

    After reading your post I remembered MacFarlane from the Walrus also saying that Harper brought a sense of identity to Canadians like they had not had before!!!! What is happening with editors? Well their reputation, to start with, is as bad as politicians these days and, in my opinion, because they abandoned journalism in favour of this semi-intellectual that knows it all. Another 5 years and they will be useless anyway. I much prefer to read good blogs like yours. Many other people do as well. Journalists are making themselves redundant, Now they all say the same and the motto is corporatist and elitist. I will not be sorry to see them go. During the 80s and 90s when it was ‘in’ to cut jobs as fast as possible, they suggested over and over that people to adjust and find other work even if at MacDonalds. They were the biggest supporters of those measures. At the time they did not know their turn would come soon. Now they do not like it of course. They claim that what we get on the net is not quality news or posts. I do not agree. There is a lot of very good media in the net already.
    Well today we will know what will happen from now on but I think the Reformists are going to take a beating. Harper is becoming like the leader of the Freedom Party in the series Borgen. His name is Svend Åge Saltum. 🙂

    • Thank you Carlos for including me in your list of “good blogs”…very much appreciated!
      You raise an important question with respect to mainstream editors. I’m very interested to see how Andrew Coyne handles his disagreement with the National Post. Coyne is on the NP editorial board. The majority of the editorial board endorsed Harper, Coyne did not but he signed off on the endorsement because it reflected the majority view. Apparently he was planning on writing an endorsement of another candidate in his capacity as a columnist, but the NP refused to print it. I find this very interesting because when Walmsley was asked how the Globe editorial board could endorse the Conservatives when so many of its columnists were critical of the Conservative government, Walmsley replied that articles written by “columnists” don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of the “editorial board” and it was OK if they were not aligned. Given the NP’s refusal to publish Coyne’s article written in his capacity as columnist it would appear that the NP does not grant its columnists the same freedom. Just another nail in the coffin of mainstream media.
      I haven’t heard of the series Borgen. I’ll have to check it out. 🙂

      • carlosbeca says:

        Yes Andrew Coyne as resigned and believe it or not he is voting NDP. Almost hard to believe considering that not too long ago he was an obvious Conservative. Not sure the FP will keep him.
        If you do not know Borgen, you would like it and it is available at TVO and some episodes at Youtube. Go to this link http://tvo.org/programs/borgen. I have watched all 3 seasons and it is a series in Danish and English subtitles. It is quite good and it gives you a perspective on Danish politics that we do not know about here at all. You also learn about Danish society, not all is well as it is painted here. It is also a nice story. I enjoyed it. This is by the same producer of ‘The Killing’ which is excellent. Danish productions are very good and there is one out their called ‘The Bridge’ which is great. Do not watch the American version. The Danish versions are better.
        Yes you have an excellent blog and I try to help with discussion because as far as I know you are the only blogger I know that tales the time to reply to people that enjoy (or not) reading your thoughts. That is a true blog in my opinion and forces some discussion. I would hope to see more discussion but it is not easy to get people going. We have so few avenues for real political discussion as it is. In 78 days of campaign we, not once, forced the discussion on health or war in the Middle East or Education costs……on and on. The number one issue was the Niqab. Pathetic. We have to change this. I was hoping the provincial NDP would change this a bit but again I am not seeing much difference so far. Gosh do we need democratic renewal. Not one person in the current NDP provincial government has anything to say about anything? Is everyone happy with the system?

      • Carlos, I put a hold on Borgen at my local library. I’m number 25 in line so it must be very popular. I’ll see if they have the other two shows you’ve mentioned. Have you seen the PBS production Worricker? It’s a British production. What I liked about it is that it shows how big corporations manipulate governments and the security service in a way that the ordinary viewer can understand.

        Thank you for your kind comments on the blog. I find your comments and those of the other readers very helpful, and while we don’t always see eye to eye on everything we share our perspectives in a respectful way–that’s the only way we’ll learn from each other.

        I too have been wondering when our provincial NDP government will kick into high gear. I have contacts in education and healthcare who tell me that not much has changed. This is troubling given Rachel Notley’s promise to put more money into the front line. Hopefully we’ll see more action once she tables her budget.

        And wow, wasn’t that an amazing election last night!? Harper is gone, gone, gone.

      • carlosbeca says:

        Susan I forgot to mention that on youtube Borgen has all the episodes in Danish and so you have to find the ones that have English subtitles. I believe it is better to watch season one at TVO. Season two is starting there this week. If you want season 3 I have it – I bought it from ITunes.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        Nope I have not heard of Worricker. I am certainly going to check.
        Yes it was a good election. I still do not like the opening of the ballots before it closes in BC but I guess it came back. I think it is disrepectful of those that went to vote already knowing that Justin Trudeau was prime minister. I am not sure why this is allowed.

        The provincial government seems to be paralyzed. Other than the cancellation of the Health contract with the Australian company nothing else has been done. After so many years in the wildeness they have no ideas. Where is Bryan Mason? Where is the doctor that was going to fix the Health system? I have contacted his constituency and did not get at least a courtesy reply. I am not surprised you mentioned that there is no change. It does not even feel there is a government. I appreciate the lack of scandal and bombastic statemements but no communication of any kind is not much better.

      • Carlos, I too worried that Election Canada’s decision to lift the blackout before the polls in BC closed would depress the vote, but the people came nevertheless. One newscaster asked the people in line at a BC polling station how they felt about CBC declaring Trudeau the Prime Minister. The reply was, I guess we’re voting to determine whether he’ll have a minority or majority government. That was a pretty sophisticated answer. The only rationale I’ve heard for lifting the blackout is that social media gets the news out anyway. I don’t buy. No one would know how the parties are doing in the east if the media didn’t start reporting the results until after the last poll closed in the west. I’m still not comfortable with it. It’s hard enough to get people out to vote at the best of times, no need to give them another reason not to bother.

  10. ust to follow up on my comments to you Carlos, I just caught the story: Andrew Coyne quit as editor at the NP, he’ll stay on as a columnist. Here’s the link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/andrew-coyne-exits-editor-role-at-national-post-will-remain-columnist/article26868832/

    • GoinFawr says:

      Mr.Coyne is also a 2015 Bilderberg alumni. Perhaps in his professional capacity he wrote an article regarding his experiences at the meeting, but I have yet to find it.
      That said, I am wholly nonplussed at his openly supporting the NDP.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        Andrew Coyne has always confused me. How can you be a Bilderberg alumni and vote NDP is a bit like fishing without a bait. 🙂 I like him sometimes but I do not understand his logic and many times his articles do not make sense to me. I would not be surprised if the FP will let him go.
        Another election is over and no one can say it was a boring one. My vote went down the drain again but much better having Justin Trudeau than Stephen Harper, At least I think the scientists will be able to talk again and climate change and pollution will be issues rather than distractions. My riding was the same old same old and only 32% of people voted. Why even bother having a riding at all.
        I hope Justin Trudeau is not another Obama and that he hopefully realizes that democratic renewal is as important as all the other social issues. I sincerely am not convinced he is committed to it but I will patiently wait.

      • Carlos, Coyne is bright and writes well, but is something of an enigma as the Bilderberg/NDP strategic vote scenario demonstrates. I’m looking forward to his next column to see whether he has anything more to say about leaving the NP editorial board or whether he’ll just move on (seems to me he’ll have to move on if he expects to stay employed). I think Trudeau is committed to the political agenda he outlined during the campaign, the big question is whether he’ll be able to pull it off once he gets into office. I think his challenge is greater than the one facing Rachel Notley. Notley has a big job ahead of her, undoing two decades of PC abuses and getting public service to work with her not against her, but at least her caucus knows she’s the boss and they’ll support her all the way. Trudeau has the same challenges of undoing years of bad laws, plus the centralization of the PMO and a seriously weakened public service; over and above that he needs to manage the influence of various advisors, insiders and politicians who’ll be working more to their agendas than his. Peter Mansbridge described Trudeau as very determined and focused. It will take everything he’s got to stay on top of this bunch.

      • GoinFawr, on the topic of Bilderberg, the Globe ran a piece today on Harper’s future. One of Harper’s good friends said Harper has an interest in the Bilderberg Group, which the Globe described as “the organization that convenes annual meetings of senior figures in the conservative movement”…that sounds like a good place to park him, don’t you think. (I didn’t know Coyne was a Bilderberg alumni. You’re right, that makes his decision to vote NDP all the more interesting. Coyne tweeted that he was voting NDP for strategic reasons, it would have been good to see his column on the topic because he could have explained this decision in more than 140 characters.)

  11. Kathleen Lowrey says:

    I endorse being pregnant, but only a little bit.

    🙂

    • Kathleen, given yesterday’s rout of the Conservatives, it looks like the public (if not the Globe and Mail) understood that it’s impossible to endorse the Conservatives but not Harper, or to put it in our terms, to be pregnant but only a little bit. 🙂

      • Carol Wodak says:

        Not really; that’s exactly what they did. Unless they got lost and thought they were at the races…

      • Carol, maybe they did think they were at the races. What a bizarre world we live in. I’ve been reading the postmortem articles posted by the mainstream media online and the comments posted under these stories (I really shouldn’t do that, most of the commentators drive me bananas). Anyway, many of the right leaning commentators blame the left leaning media for putting Trudeau into office. This is odd given that two thirds of the mainstream media leans right not left (this according to Lawrence Martin who writes for the Globe and Mail). The Cons think the media is in cahoots with the Liberal “elite”. I think the media is against any party that smacks of anything that looks even vaguely progressive (whether it is or isn’t is a discussion for another day). Does it all boil down to the eye of the beholder and whether a story reinforces our bias?

  12. Malcolm says:

    Another excellent blog, we really enjoy and look forward to them.

    But it occurs to us that the media should pay more attention to the comments of J Patrick O’Callaghan, publisher of either the Calgary Herald or the Edmonton Journal at the time, when Peter Lougheed got a huge majority in a provincial election. O’Callaghan wrote that his paper would act as the opposition to the government. In short the media should be more willing to keep the government’s feet to the fire.

    • Thanks Malcolm! Excellent point about the role of the media to hold government accountable. Sadly with Paul Godfrey and the Thomson family pulling the strings behind the scenes for most of the major media outlets across the country the media has lost its way…I wonder whether we’ll see an onslaught of partisan attacks on the Liberals. As you point out, we need the media to hold the majority government’s feet to the fire, but we need them to do it in a nonpartisan factual way.

  13. Frank Horvath says:

    I yearn for the days when the media served as the “fifth estate”. Yes, I know about yellow journalism, but that’s a different problem. Your blog,Susan, is a perfect model of what we should be seeing as editorials.
    I get that newspapers can’t exist if they fail to make money for the owners, but I have no idea how you increase readership by passing off the views of wealthy owners as the views of editors. If the Thomsons or the Godfreys want to express their views in their papers, they should do so, but under their own names. I’d read that. It’s the deception that troubles me. I guess I am also troubled about the loss of credibility of a once respected institution.

    • Frank, the irony of the whole situation is that the mainstream media doesn’t seem to understand that the loss of credibility from goofy endorsements and partisan puff pieces causes a drop in readership which leads to a loss of advertising dollars. Dozens of readers cancelled their G&M subscriptions immediately after the Walmsley endorsement appeared on line. Many said they were switching to The Tyee, the Toronto Star, the Vancouver Observer, and Rabble. I wonder how many other readers did the same thing after they read the print version. Surely that sends the owners a message. Perhaps now that the Liberals have been elected the CBC will get the resources it needs to perform its function of holding the government’s feet to the fire.

  14. DHT says:

    I left a breakfast meeting this morning where the four conversationalists agreed that the next four years of democratic suspension will be interesting for no other reason than, Canadians “AREN’T YET” voting for – or against – “EACH OTHER”.
    To explain: For all intents and purposes, a majority gov’t sets policy until such time as the law states that their mandate is up, thus their mandate holds or is “suspended above the lawmaking apparatus” until it is brought down due to completion of term. I believe that Mr. Harper and the Conservatives took out a much more expansionist interpretation of the rules, and literally believed they could suspend the dialogue of Canadians in the name of order, stability, and the maintenance of some semblance of their definition of continuity; all in the face of global factors which Canada (and it’s small population) are having some difficulty adjusting to.
    The conservative’s method for achieving this feat, was to find generational, gender, and economic segregators that made Canadians see our differences under an intense light (via multi-million dollar campaign funding efforts), while shadowing those cultural traits that differentiate us from the rest of the world -i.e our historical sense of collective collaboration; when coming together as a country creates better outcomes for all citizens. This, for the Conservatives, was a bet against history. Where other countries have had their history of civil unrest that led to their moment of self-destruction/civil war, Canada has always been able to determine less antagonistic/catastrophic ways of managing differences – of realizing less xenophobic ways of resolving issues.
    Not to sound too alarmist, but without the reassuring results of the Alta spring provincial election and the now federal election, Canadian citizens could have questioned if a tipping point had been achieved by those who wanted to prove that self-interest could dominate Canadian political dialogue…that the historical paradigm had in fact shifted. Every one of the media generated editorials I read, tested this hypothesis, and yet the voting public chose to follow a path towards conciliation as a reflection of who the majority in Canada, are. Even out here in the Calgary Signal Hill riding, the Green Party member received over 1500 votes…take notice Mr. Liepert.
    So despite the group-think-i-ness of some editorialists, I put my faith in Canadian voters to continue to want to aspire as a group and as a nation. As for those among us who would love to shift the perception for voting for or against a political candidate, to voting for or against each other, I have one piece of advice…never underestimate Canadians’ respect for, and our desire to maintain our, love of conversation with each other…we’ve still got more people sharing dialogue, than dialogue ‘dividers’ who only speak, when they want to tell us what we should do.

    • DHT what an interesting perspective. I could see Harper working the selfish it’s-all-about-me angle (you shouldn’t have to pay taxes, you shouldn’t have to support those other guys, you’ve worked hard for your money, let those guys make their own money or suffer the consequences) but I hadn’t taken it to the logical conclusion which would end with Canadians voting against each other. This election, particularly Trudeau’s comment that Conservatives aren’t our enemies, they’re our neighbours, seems to have confirmed that Canadians still respect each other (for the most part) and are prepared to dialogue with each other about the things that matter. Having said that the Conservatives will continue to push their agenda. Jason Kenney is quoted in the Globe as saying: “I think our obvious weakness has been in tone, in the way we’ve often communicated our message. I think we need a Conservatism that is sunnier and more optimistic than we have sometimes conveyed.” The problem with the Conservative message wasn’t tone it was substance and no amount of sunny optimism is going to change that.

      • carlosbeca says:

        I fully agree with your conclusion. Unfortunately Jason Kenney with his highly developed us versus them thinking does not understand that lack of substance. I am sorry but I believe that most of the people that served in the Harper government are followers. They are the ideal people to work with a strong stubborn minded person like Harper. Just go down the list starting with Alexander who like Joe Oliver could only repeat the mantra given to them in the PMO office I never heard Chris Alexander say anything other than the party line. The same applies to most of them. This was a disaster 9 years for Canada and more will be written about it. I am not sure Jason Kenney will easily take it because I have a feeling that the Conservative side of the current ‘Reform’ party is lifting its head and it may very well be that they will be able to get the control back. Do not discount Peter Mackay who, I learned last night, is still around and involved. I believe he was one of the ones that was waiting for Harper to leave. Furthermore Justin Trudeau will have to work very hard because I truly believe that just like Quebec in 2011, most of the votes he got in Atlantic Canada is more a vote to get rid of Stephen Harper than it is a vote for Liberalism especially when in terms of trade and economic policy they do not differ that much.

  15. carlosbeca says:

    You do not need to wait for the library. Just go to this link and I just checked and the whole season 1 is there and the very first one for season 2.

    http://tvo.org/programs/borgen

  16. GoinFawr says:

    Perhaps it is a bit premature, but I thought I would just let you all know that I plan on running as a candidate in the next federal election ~2019. I am currently in the process of undergoing age-defying plastic surgery, and changing my last name to “Lougheed-Chretien-Douglas-McDonald-Mulroney-Notely-Pearson-Broadbent” in order to cover all my constituents’ bases and secure victory. Not sure which party will pick me up, but if they want a majority they’ll certainly figure out fast whom to call.

    True (rather than reflecting any of the values those names once stood for) in order to fund this success my policies will merely continue to increase the national debt as a means to chip away at Canadian sovereignty and public services on behalf of private international banking interests whom I will shamelessly sell myself out to, but judging by yesterday’s results it is quite plain that that is irrelevant anyway as while Canadians have amazing memories for family names, they’re really short when it comes to recalling the actions for which they were responsible.

    Wish me luck in 2019!

    • GoinFawr says:

      Seriously,

      Canada has given The Liberals and Mr.Trudeau their rope, let’s see what they do with it. He’s young, there are young mp’s; maybe some ‘fire in the belly still’.

      Congratulations all.

      • GoinFawr, I was sitting here on pins and needles waiting for you to announce which party you were going to run for (the NewLibGreenCons?) and you tell me you were just kidding…? Harumphfff.

        Seriously, Trudeau and I think Mulcair to some extent, energized the youth vote which is a very good thing for democracy. On election day my husband, my daughter and I had dinner at a local restaurant. My daughter asked our young server whether she’d voted yet. The girl said absolutely, she had to drive from Calgary to Airdrie to do it because her permanent address was still her family’s home, but she made the effort to do it nonetheless. She also said she’d never seen so much political activity on her Facebook book page. I think it’s ads like this that got her attention: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/10/17/justin-trudeau-hair-ad_n_8322968.html Yes, it presents a superficial overview of the three parties platforms, but it’s a 50 second spot that’s pretty effective. It also doesn’t hurt that the kids can relate to Trudeau and his pretty young wife more easily than Mulcair and Harper.

  17. Kathleen Lowrey says:

    This is an old thread but this article is a good take on what went wrong for Canadian newspapers in the lead-up to the election:

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/nov/01/election-blow-canada-postmedia-stephen-harper

    I read it eagerly because having bought a house this summer, I finally got a daily newspaper subscription to the Journal. I like the city news coverage. But shortly after my subscription began they had their splashy new “redesign”, which means on a daily basis I get a dose of conservative garbaggio delivered to my door in the form of the National Post being tucked into the Journal as the source of “world” news. Today’s lead story was red meat for the “argle bargle coddling criminals” crowd, about Luka Magnotta wearing a Versace t-shirt in prison. Seriously? On a day when the lead story could be forest fires in Indonesia, or the refugee crisis in Europe, or the Russian airliner crash, or, hey, maybe something about the quiet awful little war in Yemen — *anything*, really, of actual global significance. But nope, a gross outrage maker about a creepy little domestic killer.

    I’m not going to cancel — I think city newspapers are important — but it’s like they are begging younger (by which I mean middle aged as opposed to elderly, probably the truly young are a lost cause), non-curmudgeonly, non-reactionary readers to give up in disgust.

    • Kathleen, that was an excellent article. I too have a subscription to the Calgary Herald in order to follow the local news. It’s a hard line conservative paper but does have a few columnists like Naomi Lakritz to offset the Fraser Institute/Calgary School types. I was pleased to see today’s headlines about Elizabeth Cannon’s relationship with Enbridge in the context of the Centre for Corporate Sustainability and conflict of interest issues. I’ll admit I was surprised to see any coverage at all given the Herald’s unstinting support of the Calgary School, Jack Mintz and the energy industry, but I suppose the Herald had no choice given the extensive coverage the story is getting on CBC. This is the kind of thing Albertans need to see if they’re going to understand the impact that industry has on all facets of our lives from government, employment, education, you name it. It makes a welcome change from the Magnotta story–today we learned about Magnotta’s obsession with Karla Homolka. Good grief.

  18. Kathleen Lowrey says:

    I was also glad — and fascinated — to see the Journal covering it too today. Though honestly we should have been learning about it sooner from Alberta papers! This is always my dilemma…. If I don’t subscribe to local papers how will local investigative journalism get funded? But should I reward a paper that only tells me local scandals after the CBC does the legwork and feeds me meaningless scandals about creeps who have already been caught tried and sentenced? I really think they could expand their reader base by doing more meaningful local investigative coverage that is not done by anyone else (but not of the “my lawn care company mowed my lawn wrong” variety on the local CBC radio affiliate’s “go public” feature… about which I have a whole nother rant :). But I will put a sock in it.

    • DHT says:

      “Brown goes further, suggesting Postmedia’s dominance is actively suppressing the emergence of new media in Canada. “I would like to see a lot more small companies like mine pop up in this country, and for some reason they haven’t,” he says. “One of the reasons is that we still have this failed state of a newspaper chain that is able to suck up all the oxygen.””

      I was going to abstain, as I like to limit my commentary to my usual “one and done”, but you’ve both hit on something that has been brewing since the days of Kijiji and Autotrader were born. Classifieds played a huge part in generating the independence of the fifth estate. Multiple payers meant it was difficult for the (much fewer) advertisers to influence editorial independence. Now, take that kind of concentration issue, and apply it to the “Calgary School” situation and ask yourself, does Brown have a point, and is that point more ubiquitous than we acknowledge? Be it Enbridge’s naming rights, or Local Home Builders using there marketing budgets, the result is not much of a secret any more about who and how to bring media to heal. You can buy influence, and should, when it comes to how the media monopoly works in Canada.

      That leaves independent investigative reporting looking down the wrong end of the gun so to speak. I voted for CBC. As odd as that sounds, this was a clear vote for democracy. Kind of like my days as an independent auditor, I/we knew that government regulation (not corporate necessity) was what maintained our independence. Time to incorporate a revenue stream outside of Adsense and Dancing GIF’s into your blog Susan…any resulting cash flow could be used to hire the team to become the next local investigative empire 🙂 (That is not meant to be douchie sounding by the way…I’d buy a subscription)

      • DHT, you hit a nerve with your comment about how ubiquitous corporate dominance of the news media has become. And of course it’s not just the news media, it’s all media. I rarely watch television anymore because I can’t stand the commercials–both their frequency and their tacky tastelessness–so when I’m visiting someone (usually an elderly person) who has the TV on I’m mesmerized by the trash on the air. Seems to me all media (including social media) is simply a vehicle to sell stuff to the consumer and sadly we’ve become so used to the constant din (buy, buy, buy) that we don’t notice that we’re being sucked into the overspend-because-you’re-richer-than-you-think morass. Whoa, I’m getting a little off track here. Suffice it to say, you make a very good point and there are some wonderful independent news publications out there (The Tyee and the Vancouver Observer come to mind).
        PS I like your idea of becoming a local investigative empire…:)
        PPS There is no limit to the number of comments one can post on the Soapbox, so you can safely throw your “one and done” rule out the window.

    • Kathleen, you have such a delightful way of expressing yourself, I’d love to hear your comments on the local CBC radio affiliates “go public” features. 🙂

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