Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30: The Moncton Times&Transcript - Bo-ring

The front page headline is a real heart-stopper. "Who are ordinary Canadians?" Everywhere  you go in Moncton people are talking about that one, I'm sure. The rest of the front page is stuff you wouldn't be able to get anywhere but New Brunswick - like a big picture promo for the hockey team, and a free ad for the Casino, "Casino offers free games for gambling newbies". Great. Just what New Brunswick needs to go along with its campaign to get people to drink more booze.

Whatever it takes to save the rich from paying their share of the taxes.

The big item in the NewsToday section is "Confident Harper pursues majority government". Gee. And all this time I thought Harper called an election because he wanted to lose.

 Normally, the Moncton Times is at least annoying in its pandering to big business and the political views of its owners. And in its ceaseless propaganda and its verbal abuse of anyone who who has no way to hit back. Today's paper was different. It was just utterly boring and pointless.

Have you seen Snapshot? I think that's what it's called. It's one of those freebie papers that pays for itself with ads. This one, though, is different. It seems to aimed at the illiterate and terribly, terribly bored. It consists entirely of photos of people you have never heard of smiling at the camera. It's a sort of preview of hell, in which we are forced to spend eternity looking at some stranger's photo album of childhood pictures.

The world news section of The Moncton Times  is not only boring but, ever since the invention of radio and then TV, it is stale news, already at least a day old. Unless The Times&Transcript has something terribly original to say about world news, it should just drop it. As to whether Harper is confident, that's an opinion. A news item can say, "Harper appears confident". That is clearly stating it as an opinion. It cannot say, "Harper confident", not unless The Times has reporters who can see around corners.

As to the election, who gives a damn who ordinary Canadians are? That's not what the vote is about. Nor do I much care to waste time on reading who is attacking who. Save that for the supermarket tabs.

We are voting in a national election. I would really like to know what the parties stand for. That does not mean I am interested in whether they will give a new arena to Mudville. I would like to know the general principles on which the party would govern.

No, I do not mean another assinine statement about being fiscally responsible. Many pirates were fiscally responsible when they buried their treasure, then killed the men who knew where it was. I mean such things as what they stand for as a guiding principles of foreign policy for Canada? I mean what do they see as the balance between human needs and our resources. What do they think is the role of government in our society? (Do they all, like Allward, think that the only requirement to govern is to have ears?)

Precisely what do they propose to do about environmental concerns?

Does any of them think we are a colony to the US far more than we ever were to Britain? Of are they convinced we must always do whatever the US wants us to - because that's the way Canadian big business likes it?

What are the likely consequences of their proposals? That does not mean we HAVE to do something because... It means what are ALL the likely consequences? For example, if we intend to fight a major war in the next twenty years, we MUST have the F-35 fighter.

Likely consequences:
1. Since we cannot engage in such a war by ourselves, it must mean following the US lead in foreign policy and in deciding who to go to war against. So much for an independent Canadian policy.
2. The F-35 will almost certainly prove so expensive we shall have to neglect other elements of our military, leaving us as, essentially, a small addition to the US air force -  with the rest of the military only big enough for parades.
3. We might well also have to cut back on areas like health and education.
4..Informed estimates are that such a war would go nuclear within two weeks, maybe less. So what's the point?

Democracy rests on an informed and involved people. New Brunswickers, thanks in large part to their newspapers, are among the least informed in Canada. For the same reason, they are among the most heavily propagandized in Canada. And, thanks to the fears invoked by a few powerful families, we are among the least inolved people in our own public affairs. (The last provincial election was won by a party whose only platform plank was that it would use its ears. There was virtually no public debate or public involvement.)

Today's Moncton Times was not just boring and irrelevant, it is an example of the most serious threat to democracy. That's not an exaggeration. It's a reality. This is a province in which a businesman announced he and his friends had formed a coalition with the government. Such a statement from any unelected person is anti-democratic and  unconstitutional.

But nobody said a word.

No comments:

Post a Comment