For weeks, as municipal and institutional election campaigns were held throughout New Brunswick, The Moncton Times and Transcript told us almost nothing about the candidates or the issues. All that appeared were very brief press releases about the candidates, and written by the candidates. There was no probing, no questoning. There was no discussion of major issues - except for some newspaper lobbying for an overpriced hockey rink.
Anyone who did vote almost certainly did so in fog of ignorance about what the issues were and who the candidates were and what they stood for.That was reflected in an anaemic turnout of voters: at 39%, it was some 10% lower than the last time we went through this farce of democracy.
That was the big news for the result - that the word democracy has no meaning in New Brunswick.
But the Times and Transcript, which could not be bothered informing its readers about the elections, today devoted almost the whole paper (except, of course, for the really important stuff like sports and celebrity birthdays) to non-news about the election.
A big headline on p. 1 is "Riverview makes history". Wow! It elected its first woman mayor. Boy, we'll have to postpone the Second Coming. Nobody would even notice the tarantulas tortuing sinners, or the righteious rising naked up to Heaven when they've got the big news that Riverside elected its first woman mayor.
It was the usual New Brunswick election. The Moncton Times and Transcript muzzled any discussion, debate or probing during the campaign - except things the boss wants us to know like the terrible, terrible urgency of going into heavy debt in the midst of a recession that has no end in sight, all so we can built a hockey rink.
Result? Very few people have the information they need. All the artificial excitement gets stirred up around a triviality like a hockey rink. Voters, both uninformed and long disillusioned in this make-believe world created by the Moncton Times, just say the hell with it.
Their is nothing harmless about a press which is bad all the time, and dishonest and manipulative most of the time. Thirty-nine percent turnout. There's nothing there for even the winners to celebrate.
The editorial, even more fat-headed than normal, and written with such excitement that I should hope the editor was close to washroom, says ...the people of Moncton and New Brunswick have spoken..."
Like hell they have. over sixty percent didn't say a word. But I guess that's the way the boss likes it.
Today is the day Norbert presented his final thoughts on how wonderful the world of the future is going to be. To save time for yourself, just say geewhizgollygosh two hundred times. That will give you as much information as Norbert does in his teeny-bopper gush..
Kelly Lamrock offers an op ed column of new ideas for the Liberal Party. Well, some are new ideas - if you're a Liberal and if your name is Kelly Lamrock. And some aren't ideas at all. They're just words that sound good.
Only two things save the whole paper. One is Alec Bruce. The other - surprise! - is the staff op ed column by Alan Cochrane.
Did they miss anything important? Well, the Quebec student strike, like it or hate it - is not merely what it appears to be on the surface. It's certainly not just about lower university fees. It has implications that, probably, even most of the strikers aren't aware of - and it has the potential to erupt into a national crisis. Even now, the American embassy has issued an warning to Americans to stay away from Montreal this summer.
Mind you, we may soon hear a similar warning about visiting the US. For example, there's the case of the American government moving to cut back on the food stamps that are keeping over fifty million Americans alive. It needs to cut back so that it can spend that money on the military, and so it won't have to raise taxes on the very rich.
There will be consequences.
There is a severe risk of a war very soon on Iran and Syria. If it happens, there is a very severe chance of it turning into a world war, and maybe with nuclear weapons. That may help to explain the little-reported story that the US is redeploying tactical nuclear weapons to Europe. Gee! I hope that won't affect summer tourism in New Brunswick.
Then there's something that might seem small. New China News Agency is setting up newspapers in Africa. No big deal? If you think it isn't a big deal, then you have no idea at all what is going on in Africa.
It is quite possible we are getting close to events that will have a direct effect on us, and that will prove even more important than Riverview electing a female mayor.----maybe even more important that borrowing money for a hockey rink.