The Conservative-logo-on-a-cheque issue is flogged to death on our national television news and public affairs shows, but the issue does not seem to be gaining much traction among the general population, most of whom see all politicians as crooks or nearly so.
Decades of scandal after scandal on both sides of our border have created a jaundiced view of politicians—not much is expected of them. I hold a somewhat jaded view myself. I especially dislike the hypocrisy of gotcha politics and the building of mountains out of mole hills by rival political parties of all stripes.
And this is especially egregious when our television networks heap scorn on one party while using material they are fed by partisan party insiders. Watching Tom Clark, et al, on CTV’s Power Play these past few days is to see broadcast journalism at its tawdry worst.
Tom was flogging the fact that there is a link on the government’s economic action plan Web site to the prime minister’s recent piano-playing debut at the National Arts Centre. Of course there was a link. There are many links on the site. One link was to a site that happened to be featuring the piano-playing video—and what’s wrong with that?
This is nitpicking at its worst.
By the way, the link “exposé” was sent to the CTV staff by Grit hit man, Warren Kinsella, according to Jane Taber a CTV staffer who is frequently on the show.
I noticed also that when one panelist pointed out that Toronto—a Tory MP free zone—has received hundreds of millions in stimulus funds, even before the latest dustup, Tom Clark quickly cut him off to talk about some nonsensical trivial nitpick he’d discovered about signs touting stimulus spending on a government building.
Even on the day the show aired, Stephen Harper was announcing another federal handout to Toronto.
Liberals are supposed to critique actions and policies of governments—we all understand that. But really, should the purpose of public affairs shows be to provide a soapbox for the likes of ultra partisan Warren Kinsella?
To hear Tom Clark and his Grit puppeteers tell the story, no Conservative can ever link his or her name or image to any government action—a ridiculous concept. If the Liberals want credit for government actions, they should dump Michael Ignatieff and get an effective, committed-Canadian to lead their party and force and win an election at the polls.
And listening to Clark, one gets the feeling he can’t wait for Canadians to start dying from H1N1 flu so he can blame the PM for that too. I thought the delivery of health care was a provincial responsibility. How about him directing his “probing” inquiries at the provincial premiers and health ministers?
One cheque with the Tory party’s logo on it does not a scandal make. As to the other dozens of examples offered, “inoffensive” would best sum them up.
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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