The National Post Editorial Board has this message to campaign leaders—"Grow up."
The Post advises:
"This election should be about substantive issues of concern to voters -- the economy, health care, the environment, Afghanistan, taxes, crime, land claims -- not pooping puffins, thoughtless wisecracks about tainted cold cuts, drinking natives, driving while stoned, "stupid" Canadians, or (most ridiculously) why Prime Minister Stephen Harper is like Hitler. Unfortunately, many politicians (with the media's encouragement, sad to say) would prefer talking about the latter than the former."
I wish I'd said that. Their article ends with this admonishment from the Post:
"It is still not too late to make this election mean something, to elevate the discourse from Keystone cops to key issues. But it is going to take a commitment by all the parties to stop dwelling on each others' slip-ups and start focusing on substance."
Couldn't have said it better myself. On the other hand, the MSM is not blameless in this regard. I see these episodes of mock outrage and mud-slinging repeated over and over throughout the news media, including the National Post. How often, for example, has CBC and CTV led off their newscasts with the latest outcry about some imagined, though obviously unintended, slight?
The MSM just can't leave these things alone, so they spread and spread until they overshadow serious debate.
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