Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Toronto Journalism: Bad, Boring and Bland

The case against Toronto Journalism continues today with Exhibit 43-(t). The witness, David Crane of the Boronto Whore has been called to the stand to testify about his piece of obnoxious, error-prone, elitist piece of trite a Torontonian might refer to as "Journalism":

Can we see the piece in question?

Conservatives must look beyond neo-con agenda


My favourite headline after the recent federal election was one that appeared — no surprise here — in the National Post.

It read "Canada: a blend of Cuba and Sweden," with the accompanying commentary predicting higher taxes. "I'm already hearing from readers intent on emigrating to the United States or the U.K.," the author wrote, warning, "the trickle may soon become a flood."

The real flood since the election, though, has been in the flow of this kind of silly nonsense propagated by disappointed neoconservatives who had deluded themselves into thinking that Canada was about to embrace the same kind of thinking that characterizes the right wing of the Republican Party in the United States, with its emphasis on social conservatism and small government.

Mr Crane, is your contention that everything that a party proposes that happens to coincide with american policy is thus termed "american"? Americans, reportedly, have a democracy, but does that mean that democracy is American? Or is this the typical ploy of the Toronto Journalist (TJ), using 'American' as shorthand for 'unCanadian' which is really code for "neurotic, insecure Canadian drawing on the insecurities of other Canadians'?

Did you miss the part of the election, where Liberal candidates like the Uber social conservatives Tom Wappel and Dan McTeague (the pizza man himself) ran for their constituencies? Where was the public outrage over that?

Did you miss the public pronouncements of Mr. Harper distancing himself from any socially conservative policies? In Toronto, does it pay to report faithfully, or simply protect Liberal connections in the government by following their talking points?

The election result has not only embittered the neoconservatives, it has given a modest boost to professional promoters of Western alienation, particularly the so-called "Calgary School" of professors at the University of Calgary who constitute Conservative leader Stephen Harper's brain trust.

In their view, Harper was on the way to becoming prime minister, but Ontario voters, as a result of the Liberal campaign, turned their backs on the West and voted Liberal instead. One neoconservative National Post commentator accused the Liberals of a "sordid, brutish fear campaign" in Ontario.

Apparently it was all right for the Conservatives to call Prime Minister Paul Martin corrupt and to accuse him of supporting child pornography. However, it was unfair of Liberals to raise questions about how Conservatives would achieve major spending increases and major tax cuts and still balance the budget without major cuts somewhere in the system, raising legitimate questions of a hidden agenda.

In fact, the West will be well represented in the next Martin cabinet, with particularly strong potential from British Columbia, along with key ministers from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Mr. Crane, did you not note that none of the Liberals elected in BC, none come from something other than urban ridings in Vancouver, save David Anderson? Mr. Anderson, in voicing his 'Western' point of view from his home in Victoria, makes sure that the North Coast is mired in poverty and dependent upon government by promoting, despite public opposition, the offshore oil moratorium. Do ridings, opinions and geography of the area known as "the Canada outside Toronto" all blend together?

For all the talk of Western alienation in this election, it's worth noting, first of all, that nearly 55 per cent of voters in Western Canada voted for a party other than the Conservative Party, and, second, that the Conservative Party share of the Western Canadian vote actually fell in this election, a point emphasized by Sheila Pratt in The Calgary Herald.

In other words, as Pratt wrote, "the West is not the homogeneous place Harper and his mentors in the so-called `Calgary School' of firewall thinkers might like the rest of the nation to think. Not everyone shares its brand of right-of-centre, inward-looking politics." What Albertans in particular want is a greater voice in national affairs. But as Preston Manning has pointed out, this requires bridge-building with the rest of Canada.

Mr. Crane, did you realize that the Conservatives won the west? Outside of urban ridings, from Manitoba to BC, the Conservatives won. Outside that area, the Conservatives did not. Did you consider that outside of the absolute numbers of voters going down, the percentage voting for the Conservatives was the same or higher in the West? Did you also consider that the timing of the election, being at the end of the school year may have been specifically timed to discourage voting by Conservative voters, who are typically older, and have children?

The real story in this election was Quebec — where the Liberals lost their traditional base — and not Ontario or the West.

In Ontario, the Conservatives won the 20-plus seats in largely rural ridings that traditionally had always voted Conservative but went Liberal in recent elections because of the split between Alliance and Progressive Conservative voters. There were no surprises in these results.

No doubt we will face a flood of commentaries warning of an impending Liberal-NDP alliance that will plunge Canada into socialist policies, as well as predictions, by professional promoters of Western alienation, of Western alienation. Yet, on the big issues, the interests of Canadians in Alberta or other parts of Western Canada are the same as they are for Ontario or New Brunswick or Quebec voters.

Mr. Crane, I am not sure how well being a western seperatist pays. Do you have any specific examples? I hear that Quebec's blackmail has worked for several years now.

So neoconservative propaganda should not be treated as serious analysis — this is largely ideological rant.

Mr. Crane, you are correct in that no one in Toronto you know would consider being a neo con, so why would you be any different? And political cannot be tolerated in Toronto. Besides, everyone knows that a western party is intolerant, stupid an unCanadian. And why does the west bitch so much anyways? Why doesn't the west quiet down and get back to paying the bills, already.

We were treated to a similar outburst of neoconservative hysteria when the Bush administration invaded Iraq and Canada held back. Canada had no business holding back when the United States decided that war was necessary, we were told, with warnings that we would be harshly punished by the Bush administration for failing to follow orders.

One National Post commentator, Andrew Coyne, warned "we will be paying the price for generations." If we were to believe that, then in 2050 Americans would still be seeking ways to punish us. What nonsense.

Mort Glanville, a London lawyer and former president of the old Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, had wiser words this past weekend.

Conservatives, he said, should "accept that Harper has brought the party as far as he can and coalesce behind a moderate new leader who can bind the divergent groups together to recognize that moderation and compromise are concepts integral to the Canadian nation and those who would aspire to lead it."

Mr. Crane, are Toronto Journalists unable to see the difference between a Canadian Party and an American Party? Are the huge differences in policy meaningless. Are the democrats just like the Liberals? Should the court petition John Edwards to be the Coalition Commander of Canada?

Will central Canada ever come up with a better attack on the West than "unCanadian".

Do you think it is possible that the west will start believing that they are something other than Canadian?

I think it has already started.

No comments: