Canadian Election Media Coverage: 5 Questions Not Being Asked…Why?
As Canadians gear up for yet another federal election — the fourth in seven years — voters, at least those who give a toss, are turning to media coverage in hopes of gaining insight into the parties and the issues. Good luck! So far, the media has chosen to zoom in on Jack Layton’s cancer battle and the possibility of Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff forming a coalition government if Canadians return another minority government to power.
It’s hard to escape the fact that despite having only six weeks to give Canadians as much information as possible, the media continue not to ask questions that need to be answered:
1. If Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not want another election, why has he been running attack ads against Ignatieff since January this year?
2. Why did Stephen Harper refuse to work with the other parties on the budget? It would not be the first time he would have had to make concessions that would benefit Canadians, not just the ones he considers not members of “left-wing fringe groups” such as women.
3. Why is Stephen Harper repeatedly referring to the electoral process as a waste of time and money? Elections are the cornerstone of any democracy. By any stretch of the imagination, the G8 and G20 summits Harper hosted in Canada — which cost taxpayers $1.1 billion dollars and stripped hundreds of Canadians of their democratic rights to protest — was a far bigger time and money waster. Let’s not even talk about the fighter jet price tags — $23.9 billion and counting. Note to Canadians still under the delusion that Canadian forces focus on peacekeeping: You don’t buy fighter jets to keep the peace and you don’t buy them if you don’t intend to use them.
4. Why has Stephen Harper consistently withdrawn funding from the most vulnerable groups in Canada, especially women’s groups? We Canadians cannot continue to live under the pretence that we are a charitable, compassionate nation because we continue to donate money to countries ravaged by earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes. Not when we continue to prop up a leader who openly oppresses and suppresses women’s groups.
5. How could a coalition government be any worse for Canadians than the current Conservative government, which is stripping the majority of Canadians of their rights, including closing down key Human Rights Commission offices? How could it be any worse than a Harper government that has been involved in electoral fraud, doctored public documents, suppressed the rights of civil servants to speak out and fired or put pressure on key public officials who do not agree with them?
Harper Forces Election Just in Time for Launch of Right-wing TV Network
You would think that the media would be anxious to take the opportunity of an election to bombard Harper and his ministers with these questions — especially when Harper has consistently and without shame manipulated and controlled the media. Instead, they continue the insipid, repetitive media coverage we can be assured not to see with the new right-wing Sun TV News channel set to launch in Canada…on April 18, just in time to influence the elections.
Oh, and in case you hadn’t heard, in 2009 Stephen Harper lunched with Rupert Murdoch, owner of the right-wing American network, Fox News, as well as the network’s president, Roger Ailes. Also present at that meeting was Kory Teneycke, a former spokesman for Stephen Harper who later became a pivotal player in making Quebecor’s SUN TV News a reality.
Let’s hope that the boob-tube’s networks start doing a better job of exposing Stephen Harper. If not, they’ll continue to close in on irrelevance. They’re up against a plethora of websites and social media that are doing a much better job of asking the hard questions and getting important messages about the election and Canada’s shaky democratic future to Canadians.
Get Informed and Get Out and Vote!
In the meantime, Black Canadians — and minorities the Conservative government is specifically set to woo on the heels of tightening immigration and refugee policies — may do better to get their news from more proactive media and social media sites. They should also take a close look at the Harper government record of corruption and their tactics straight out of the racist, right-wing Tea Party handbook.
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