Strength and stability, continued
Further to a previous post, if you would like your news packaged, are busy with other stuff, perhaps it might be easier to give you -- click on the links -- these items culled from Ottawa as it now stands. We'd like to thank you for your interest in the state of our institutions, and assure you that if you do feel that you're dealing with a government that treats you like you're an idiot, we completely sympathize. Please stay on the line. Your call is very important to us.
“It’s disgusting,” said Queen’s University professor Ned Franks. “Politics is a blood sport but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to dirty blows.”
The government of Stephen Harper has gradually increased the level of political control over public information to an extent that is unprecedented in Canada or similar countries, to the point that we are starting to think it is normal.
Documents revealed by Canadian Press talk of news releases that are "Harperized" with bureaucrats expressing what they call "mild distress" at what they have been "instructed" to do. And now seasoned journalists on Parliament Hill are questioning the politicization of the public service. Today, the argument and the push-back, Jennifer Ditchburn, Lawrence Martin and Conservative MP Deal Del Mastro speak to the issue.
On the upside, I was in the Commons today, and when Bob Rae talked about "third party management" in Attawapiskat, I saw John Baird leap out of his chair, and delightedly feed his Prime Minister a clever quip. It translated to this:
Prime Minister: By the way, that is why the people of Canada placed the Liberal Party under third-party management.
So you may not get any information, you may feel that the government is turning your democracy into its own private club, you may even feel that it's abusing its power, but at least you get clever little lines, comparing the Liberal Party to third-world conditions on native reserves, and this may make you smile. Is anyone in government worried about your view on these stories tonight? No, they are not. They are hoping that you got some comedy from that line about Attawapiskat.