McGuinty/Wynne gas plant cancellation vs PM Harper’s Duffy/Wright cheque

During the last year, blogging has become extremely tedious because of what is commonly called “the Harper Government derangement syndrome” and the constant anger expressed by my fellow Conservatives. Yet, conservative anger, whether small “c” or capital “C” is understandable.

I mean, read any comment under a column on the CBC or Globe and Mail websites and people go on and on about corruption and living in a dictatorship. Irrational hate hardly begins to describe that reaction particularly since we all know that political parties and governments are made up of people. Human beings. So, since no living human being is perfect, no government is perfect.

So, Prime Minister Harper has appointed people to the Senate who have turned out to be disappointments. That’s true. But, then again, Liberal Prime Ministers have appointed Senators who turned out to be disappointments as well. For starters, there is this one who was convicted of fraud and breach of trust and this one who recently retired under a cloud.

In other words, what those Liberal Senators did or did not do is hardly a hit against the judgment of the PM who appointed them. Rather, it is a hit against those individuals, or at the very least, against the Senate’s loosey goosey rules that got them into trouble in the first place.

So, if the anti-Conservative fear and loathing all around us have nothing to do with reality, what is its source? I believe that source, as subtle as it might be sometimes, is not the opposition (who are just doing their jobs) but the assumptions of the liberal media. Simplistic as it may sound those assumptions seem to be “progressive and liberal good, progressive conservative and conservative bad.

For example, check out the April 1st, 2014 column by the National Post’s Kelly McParland. Note the subtlety of his excuses related to Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynne. “Less than conclusive.” “Doesn’t mean she was familiar with….”

Yet, the assumption is that the PM would have had to have known about a $90,000 cheque. Why would he have to have known? Prime Minister Jean Chretien claimed he knew nothing about the details surrounding the sponsorship scandal, which went on for years and involved the loss of millions of dollars of government money to the Liberal Party’s coffers. Yet, Mr. Harper had to have known about the Wright cheque?

And yet the unfair comparisons abound, including the thousands in this Google search. Only in liberal Canada would misusing a billion dollars of taxpayers money be the same or worse than repaying those same taxpayers $90,000.

How the media use pollsters as propagandists for Canada’s Liberals

Read this Canadian Press article dated December 1st, 2013 with the misleading title: “Liberal lead solidifies as pollsters predict significant voter shift underway.” Wow! Talk about media and Harris Decima propaganda. The Justin Trudeau Liberals are not solidifying their lead.

In fact, one of the first sentences in the article, regarding the pollster, the writer admits that the Liberals have dropped from a high of 37% support prior to the recent by-elections to 34% now. So, how does a drop of 3% voter support show a voter shift towards the Liberals is underway — regardless of the 3% being within Decima’s claimed margin of error.

Plus, in the recent by-elections, the Liberals won only the two seats they have held for decades. Sure, they came second in Brandon Souris (Manitoba). But, sorry, second doesn’t count, particularly when the Liberal candidate (Rolf Dinsdale) had a very popular, beloved name. His father Walter served 11 terms as a Conservative MP.  Meaning, the only thing the increase in Liberal vote in that riding indicates, is that many of the voters supported the Dinsdale family.

So, no, there is absolutely no evidence that Liberal support is solidifying — particularly west of the Ontario border!

Then, there is the ridiculous claim in the article that the Harris Decima poll shows that the Conservative base are deserting the Conservative Party of Canada and the Conservative Government in Ottawa. Specifically: “He [Gregg] says traditional Liberals — the so-called professional class and women — are returning to the fold, while stalwart Conservatives — men and rural voters — appear to be wavering and expressing disappointment with the Harper government.”

Balderdash!!!!

As a former researcher myself, I have to say that there is no way any pollster can extrapolate the personal intentions they claim to have done from a few questions. So, it seems to me that this article and the Harris Decima poll are something else entirely.

Merriam Webster defines propaganda as “ideas or statements that are often false or exaggerated and that are spread in order to help a cause, a political leader, or a government.”

Does this poll truly indicate what the pollster claims? Or, is the media simply using its questionable generalizations to develop a positive Liberal and Justin Trudeau narrative in an attempt to influence voter intentions for 2015?

Obviously the answer is yes, it is pure pro-Liberal propaganda, since, as I said at the start of this post,  a decline of 3% Liberal support is not an improvement. In fact, even if we were to accept the 3% margin of error, it still leaves Liberal support static, not shifting upwards.

C/P Jack’s Newswatch. Welcome newswatchcanada.ca readers.

Reminder that Ottawa’s Senate suspensions are NOT expulsions!

For all those in the Canadian media and opposition who are wailing about how unfair and mean-spirited the Senate suspension motion pertaining to Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau is, keep in mind that said suspension is only for a two-year period.

Also keep in mind that if the Senate suspension motion passes, the three will be able to keep calling themselves Senators. Why? Because are NOT being expelled.

Let’s briefly review:

  1. Each of the three Senators involved expensed incorrectly — by huge amounts.
  2. Two of the three Senators have paid back their overpayments.
  3. One Senator has not paid back what he allegedly owes and is having his remuneration clawed back instead.
  4. One Senator paid her expenses out of her own resources.
  5. And, yes, one Senator paid his over-expensed debt back with a donation from someone working in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

So, what is this whole “scandal” about? Is it about when the Prime Minister learned about the $90,000 “personal” cheque? In my opinion, no, it isn’t.

Rather, it’s about an attitude of entitlement that seems to infect everyone, or almost everyone, who is ever appointed to the Senate or any government agency.

It is also about a mainstream media that over-reacts about almost everything connected to Prime Minister Harper or his Conservative government.

I mean, compare the media coverage of this so-called Senate scandal (when most of the public money allegedly misspent was repaid) with the Ontario Liberal government wasting one billion dollars of taxpayer’s money on e-Health, one billion dollars on Ornge and, more recently, one billion dollars on the cancellation of two gas plants — which was for an openly partisan political purpose.

Right, the reaction was a yawn. Time to move on folks!

Anyway, regarding the federal matter, the crux of the matter is that the three Senators affected by the motion to suspend them for two years need to accept responsibility for their role in this debacle, as well as some consequences.

Update 6pm 18/10/13:

As I just wrote on my post at Jack’s Newswatch, now we see what the media are really all about. Even when there is negative news about former Liberal MP and Mayor Fontana in London, the parliamentary media (particularly CBC) would rather be all atizzy over Senator Mike Duffy’s comments. The $13,500 cheque for legal fees paid by the CPC may tick off party members but there is nothing illegal about it. It is not a smoking gun to anything. Moreover, the CPC lawyer who made the payment can’t comment because it is private and client privileged information. Duffy had to know that. As far as the RBC allegations, they are more serious. However, I’d take the PM’s word over Duffy any day. As one Twitter writer wrote, paraphrased, Duffy tells us all now to disregard what he said before because now everything he is saying is true. Sure.

As far as I am concerned, they should, at the very least, suspend Duffy.

Biggest loser in election 2011 media coverage will be “truth”

There is a very well-known phrase – truth is the first casualty of war. Well, given what I have seen and heard during this Canadian federal election campaign, I would have to say that truth was the first casualty of mainstream media election coverage, particularly that provided by the state sponsored CBC, as well as the private CTV and, to a lesser extent, Global and CPAC.

Specifically, has there been equal coverage of all the political leaders? No, not even close. Have all the leaders been asked the same questions? No. In fact, I can recall few substantive questions being asked of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff or NDP Leader Jack Layton, such as the total cost of their promises, such as Cap and Trade and how that would affect the economy, as well as how they would change Canada’s role in Afghanistan or Libya.

The single exception would have been Peter Mansbridge’s interview with Michael Ignatieff, which was tougher than expected, likely because SunNewsNetwork had recently come on the scene.  

But, perhaps the worst example of media omission and untruth relates to a Conservative rally last week (H/T NewsWatchCanada.ca). The CBCs Terry Milewski asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper a three-part, very long four-minute question, that sounded more like a diatribe.

Did, in fact, the partisan crowd drown out either Milewski’s question or the PM’s answer — as was reported widely? No, it did not. I saw the event live and noted that the PM answered the entire question BEFORE the cheering started.

Why the cheering? Likely because the public, no matter what their political preferences, are fed up with the media’s lies, omissions, innuendo and daily faux scandals.

For instance, today’s news is a perfect example. On the one hand, we have a photo image of a volunteer working for Liberal MP Joe Volpe, actually removing Green Party campaign literature from a mail box within feet of Volpe, which, apart from blogosphere coverage, gets no media attention at all. Yet, sending an incorrect e-mail for a Conservative candidate is top of the news at SunNewsNetwork.  Why is this relevant? Because removing campaign literature is allegedly illegal according to Elections Canada rules, while sending a data base containing personal information to the wrong person via e-mail, while wrong and sloppy, is not illegal.  

Now, the questions are: (1) Why does the media have such blatant double standards? And, (2) Why is truth going to be the casuality of this election?

Well, here is an essay worth reading that might answer that question. It is by a well-respected investigative reporter by the name of John Pilger. It is not about the Canadian media per se but about how the Western media lies about war by omission and how that deliberate avoidance of the truth leads to a type of media corruption.

Thankfully, however, as the long list of Canadian journalists who are fair on my sidebar proves, there are many journalists who try to rise above the unprofessionalism — including most of those reporting for the new SunNewsNetwork.

The crux of the matter is then, is the media bias and censorship a type of self-censorship and individual bias or is it censorship by management, or a bit of both? Either way, once the dust settles after May 2nd, 2011, the biggest loser in this election will not be political candidates but “truth” in the Canadian media.

Why are Canadian media so afraid of a Conservative majority?

Given the severity of the anti-Conservative, anti-Harper, pro-Ignatieff spin right now on all the TV networks — particularly CBC, CTV, CPAC and even Global – how are the reporters and commentators going to deal with a Conservative majority government on the morning of May 3rd, 2011?

Funny that Wendy Mesley is reported to have said on last night’s National that the CBC studio is a “spin free zone.” Is she kidding? That is “THE” spin zone. And, CTV news readers have given up all pretense that they are balanced. Similarly, most e-mail and phone-in shows to CPAC are loaded with Liberal supporters and sympathizers, including pundits and those who call themselves professional journalists. 

Without a doubt, the Canadian media are destroying the profession of journalism with their non-stop day-after-day Harper bashing. How many times have I heard various versions of the comment: “We made Stephen Harper. He didn’t appreciate it. Now, we will destroy him.”

Well, they won’t destroy him because democracy itself is at stake. Do the media think they are smarter or more insightful than average Canadians? Well, they are not. As with the election of Rob Ford in Toronto last fall, on May 2nd, 2011, Canada is about to show the media what democracy really means.

Choice. Our choice, not theirs.

CBC & CTV pro-Liberal bias unworthy of journalists

I believe I speak for most Canadians, regardless of our political differences, that the pro-Liberal, pro-Ignatieff bias on both the CBC and CTV (and yes sometimes even the “non-partisan” CPAC) could have an impact on the federal election. Of course, what that impact will be, we won’t know until May the 2nd. But, it could just as easily have a backlash against Liberals as a negative impact on Conservatives.

It is not just what the reporters or news readers ask or say. It’s also what they ignore and deliberately leave out. For example, they rarely show the Prime Minister in a positive light, while they go out of their way to spin what Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is doing as positive.

I mean, the very assumption that Ignatieff would automatically win a one-on-one debate with Stephen Harper is ridiculous. I mean, just because Ignatieff was a professor does not mean he will be able to effectively debate issues relating to how to run a government.  

As someone who spent the latter part of her working life in a university environment, I think that former professors are probably the least likely to be effective prime ministers. Why? Because, far too many of them are narcissistic prima donnas. Just ask anyone who has ever had to navigate a master’s or doctoral thesis “committee” and they will concur.   

And, frankly, it is very similar with the NDP’s Jack Layton. It is like Layton is the guest the media forgot to invite to the progressive party. Could that be because the liberal media knows that as long as they can keep the Conservatives to a minority, Layton will be guaranteed his place in a Liberal coalition/parliamentary alliance Cabinet?

In any event, whatever the CBC and CTV’s reasons for allowing their journalists to behave like tabloid sharks, they are a disgrace to Canadian democracy and free speech. Peace, order and good government. Wouldn’t those principles ensure that the media, particularly the tax funded media, give equal time to all the main parties? Plus, whatever happened to the old-fashioned notion of professionalism?

Then, to top it all off, the CBC has a “Compass” poll program that is definitely rigged in favour of the Liberal Party of Canada. How do I know? I know because I took the poll this morning. I answered truthfully, including giving the highest marks to Stephen Harper’s leadership abilities and that I would prefer him as prime minister. Yet, as readers can see in the screenshot of my results, I turned out to be a Liberal.

What absolute nonsense. In order to be a Conservative, I would have had to answer in a certain way — to give the highest marks to getting rid of the long gun registry, extending funding to the military, increasing the involvement of the military in Afghanistan and be the least likely to agree that abortion on demand should be extended.

Look, the Conservative Party of Canada is NOT a far right extremist party. It is a big blue tent, with purple around the edges, which represents former PCs and red tories like myself.   

Anyway, you know what all this bias and unprofessionalism shows? It shows that the media is afraid, very afraid that the Canadian people are actually going to exercise their own judgment and elect a Conservative majority. Well, putting aside CTV which is a private company and should know better, the CBC is paid by all taxpayers. Where once I might have lobbied on their behalf, I will no longer. If their own self-interests are to such an extent that they would deliberately bias their coverage, then they don’t deserve one cent from the public.

But, they can still turn things around. We are only in the first week of the election campaign. No one is asking them to be pro-any party. All we are asking is for them to be fair and balanced. Isn’t that what professional journalists are supposed to do?

Endnotes:

  1. One name does stand out, however, for his deplorable and disrespectful coverage of the prime minister — and yes, he is STILL our prime minister – and that is the CBC’s Terry Milewski. When he was covering the Air India inquiry, I stood by him. No longer. The man is an embarrassment to all Canadians.
  2. For professionalism and balance, of all the journalists on CBC, I have found only Mark Kelly to be fair. Similarly, I have found that Global news, both local and national, is usually balanced and watch Dawna Friesen at 5:30pm for election news. I also look forward to SunTV News on April 18th.
  3. If readers have any other positive role models for fair election coverage, please leave a hyperlink in a comment on this thread and I’ll make a list and put it on my side bar. And, that includes links for such radio personalities as Charles Adler and Dave Rutherford.

Western media manipulation threatens our democracy

I may be looking through rose-coloured glasses but I remember the media of the 1960′s and 70′s as being the source of information and news. Now, however, apart from NPR and public television in the U.S., they all seem to be primarily the source of opinions, even when “news” is allegedly being reported. 

I mean, check out any CP story and it is editorialized — usually leaning towards a progressive or liberal viewpoint. For example, check out this story today. There are six sentences in all about NDP Leader Jack Layton having a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Note that the fifth sentence is editorialized. Subtle but editorialized nonetheless. The article should just have reported what Mr. Layton proposed, nothing more. But, they don’t seem to be able to help themselves.

Of course, a few journalists lean in the other direction and those of us who lean right know where to go — which is why we can hardly wait for SunTV. Not because we want the bias to go in that direction, at least I don’t want that to happen, but in the hopes that both sides of a topic or argument will be heard and debated.  

The problem, however, goes much deeper than even bias or a lack of balance. It is the way the media are actually trying to influence what is happening in our society. Examples are everywhere. Think about the recent mayoralty race in Toronto. Some media sources did their best to destroy Rob Ford’s chance of winning. Why? Because he was conservative leaning. Yet, the people of Toronto saw the manipulation for what it was and voted for him in droves. Had the media coverage been more balanced, and less patronizing, who knows what the outcome would have been.

But, the manipulation is not just anti-conservative. Think south of the border. During 2007, a good year before the November 2008 presidential election, the U.S. liberal media decided that Barack Obama should be president and so went after Hillary Clinton and even her daughter Chelsea in a very negative way. The result was that Clinton lost the Democratic nomination. Simultaneously, the U.S. media went after — and still go after — Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol Palin. But, did the media do the American people any favours? I think not because it is likely that Clinton would have made a far better president than Obama. But, that is not what happened because the media were able to influence public opinion.

In Canada, we have our own examples and they are not all anti-conservative either. Prior to the 2005/06 federal election campaign, it became obvious that the parliamentary press bureau (PPB) wanted to get rid of former PM Paul Martin and we did a lot of reading about him not being able to make decisions — the media referring to him as Mr. Dithers.  In my opinion, Martin actually did the right thing about the sponsorship scandal but was criticized and condemned for it. Remember the analogy the media used during the election campaign when the wheels fell off the sleigh he was riding — that it was indicative of the wheels falling off his campaign?

Also, because of the media’s dismissal of Martin as a serious contender, many conservatives don’t seem to remember how positive that campaign was for Stephen Harper. In fact, I remember being pleasantly surprised. But, therein lies the reason the western media threatens our democracy. As long as we agree with them, we are happy.

Well, as Joanne (Blue Like You) indicated in a comment she left on yesterday’s post (related to one Lorraine left at BLY), we only need to look a little deeper and we will find that the media is likely behind the current anti-conservative/pro-coalition campaign as witnessed this week with the Bev Oda pile-on.  Need proof? Greg Weston is alleged to have said on CBC’s P&P something to the effect that: “It was “good for US” if the Bev Oda affair continued as it would make civil servants upset and THEY are the ones with the brown envelopes.” For his exact words,check out this link and fast forward to the 18:45 mark (H/T Joanne).

 Brown envelopes. Public servants leaking information. That is wrong on so many levels and, no matter what our political affiliation, clearly a threat to democracy. Canadians are not stupid. We know the differences between the various political parties. We can make up our own minds.  We can also see how fickle media support can be.

The crux of the matter is that, given the silence on my television screen these days, some of us have simply turned them all off and that can’t be good for democracy either.

C/P at Jack’s Newswatch.

The Liberal & media attack on Bev Oda is mysogny!

I have been on hiatus for a couple of weeks and during that time I have been able to sit back and watch television and read the blogs. And, what I have seen and read is not pretty. In fact, in the nearly fifty years of following politics, I have never seen and heard the opposition parties and most of the mainstream media, behave as they have in the last few days, with their over-the-top allegations regarding Conservative Cabinet Minister, the Honourable Bev Oda, and “not” continuing funding for Kairos Canada.

In fact, the venom they are spewing is an embarrassment to all Canadians, regardless of political affiliation. Clearly, what we are seeing is the extent of the desperation of the federal Liberals, NDP and Bloc, for power,  not what is best for the country — just as we are coming out of a severe economic downturn.

As many know, I worked for an Ontario MPP from 1995 until 1999 who also happened to be the Parliamentary Assistant to a minister. In that role, I know first hand that staff use the electric pen to sign documents for their bosses all the time. It is not considered “forgery.”  On the recommendation of the PA or Minister, staff might also be instructed to insert words like “not.” It is not rocket science. It is business as usual.  And, given how many documents are signed by a Cabinet Minister in any given week, it is not lying to not remember who inserted a particular “not.”

In other words, Oda did not perjure herself. She did not lie. She did not forge her own signature. It is all exaggeration and bullying and, like with Helena Guergis, is nothing short of mysogny.

Yesterday, for example, the Liberal Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff said outside the HOC in his scrum, “this woman, this minister.” When did he or anyone in his caucus refer to a male MP as “this man, this minister?”  He also said: “She has to go.” Why? She didn’t do anything wrong. Everything that is being alleged is heresay and bluster, information they have known about for two years!

I have tried to recall a time when a male member of the Liberal Party has been treated like this? Either by the media or the Conservatives. Yet, when the Conservative Party of Canada ads came out, using Michael Ignatieff’s own words, the Liberals and many in the media called them “attack ads” and the Conservatives, bullies.

Well, this blatant media bias and embarrassing nonsense in the House of Commons has to stop.  And the Speaker of the House should be doing his job instead of playing partisan politics with people’s lives and traditions. When the royal couple’s wedding and subsequent Canadian visit was announced yesterday, for example, he should have put a stop to the disrespectful screaming and yelling. This is Canada, for goodness sake.

So, where are all the feminists out there decrying the treatment of Oda? What is it about conservative females that it is okay to treat us like scum? Can professional females like myself not be considered feminist simply because we currently support PM Stephen Harper and the federal Conservative party? And, why not? Isn’t that what choice is supposed to be about?  Not that all women must choose the same options, but that we have the right to make different choices.

On reproductive choice, for example, my choice would have been to not have an abortion. I also chose, along with my partner, to have both a career and a family.  However, I respect women who make other choices, particularly those who choose to work full-time in the home. The irony is that feminism began (and yes, I was in school during that decade and remember well the separate “male and female help wanted ads”) in the 1950′s as a reaction to not having those  types of choices.

Is it any wonder, then, that women do not want to run for political office? Oda chose to run for a seat in the House of Commons. Her voters elected her. She is accountable to the people of her riding and the country. As such, a quiet dignified parliamentary committee investigation should be allowed to examine all the facts. In the meantime, she does not deserve to be treated like a piece of dirt to be stepped on and laughed at. 

Yet, that is how Canada’s federal opposition parties and the media are treating Oda — which, in my opinion, is mysogny.

C/P at Jack’s Newswatch.