There was, again, only one story on the federal election in today's Moncton Times and Transcript. And it was the unavoidable story of last night's debate. At that, the Today'sNews section was topped by a bizarre article asking why Republicanism has not taken root in Canada. This is a crucial issue facing Canada? Must be. It not only led the NewsToday section; it was a longer story than the debate was.
The TandT also missed what was surely the oustanding story to come out of the first debate. Harper was caught in an obvious and blatant lie in the first debate. When charged with making it difficult for refugees trying to flee to Canada in fear of their lives,and also of making it difficult to immigrants to come to Canada with their families, Harper said it was not true. He said that, in fact, immigration has been rising.
Reporters who do research (hint - not from Brunswick Press) dug out the real figures. Immigration and acceptance of refugees has beein decllining dramatically for years - and as a direct result of government policy.
It is not possible the prime minister would not know that. He's a proven liar, and not for the first time. But The Moncton Times had no space for that story because they had a hot one on the burning issue of whether Canada should become a republic. (Hint to editor - republicanism is now more commonly used to refer to the Rebpublican party in the US. That's a confusing head.)
So far, I have seen nothing about the "greater Moncton" candidates.Nor have I heard of any political party meetings. Nor can I get the slightest sense of the general issues facing Canada and, in particular, New Brunswick from reading the Brunswick Press.
It's not as though the issues aren't pretty obvious.
1. Canada is militarily and politically tied, and in a subordinate position, to a nation that is in serious and rapid decline. It is a relationship that will draw Canada into an endless series of wars in Asia, Africa and South America - exactly as it drew us into a war in Afghanistan, and is now pulling us into one in Libya.
2. Our reliance on the US to buy our exports has, as most business leaders have recognized, become a handicap. We need to get into the great market places that seem to be developing in India, China, Brazil. But what are we going to sell them? Computers? Television sets? Cars?
The problem for large corporations is not such a pressing one. They can simply move their investment money from here to Brazil, India, and China. Lucky them.
But what about the rest of us? Do we all go back to the old days of selling off our natural resources for low wages?
3. We have a dangerous problem with the spreading gap between rich and poor. That is quite likely to lead to civil violence in both Canada and the US. (Harper and Obama both know that. That's why they've been working on a deal to use American and Canadian troops interchangeably in both countries, just in case the ordinary folks get restless.)
This is the most important election in the history of this country. It is also the most trivialized one. Except for a quick visit by Harper (in which he said nothng), one could easily get the impression that nothing is happening in New Brunswick. And, in that respect, The Moncton Times is an accurate reflection of the political indolence of this province.
That's what makes it so easy to plunder New Brunswick.
But, hey,I just bet the whole world is pretty excited about the talk of a new hockey rink.