Of those accusations, the first comes from professional paranoid schizophrenic Barbara Kay whose columns have long been out of touch with everyone that isn't a hard-line Zionist anglophone from Westmount. That demographic though, is well-served by Kay as her recycled topics are repeated week in and week out. The second accusation tries to reshape the political career of Jack Layton to fall into a predetermined Conservative narrative: those radical Lefties have some naive and bad ideas, don't they? It's a narrative that is rhetorical, shallow and persuasive. Finally, the third is the kind of fear-mongering that is perpetually employed by the Right that tries to convince voters that a party whose ideological cousin is the Labor Party of England should be perceived as an extension of Hugo Chavez's socialist revolution.
Then there are the reporters suggesting that the NDP will increase your mortgage rate that is based on pure speculation. However, the crowning achievement in fear tactics was Sun News and the Toronto Sun for its yellow journalism suggesting impropriety at a massage parlor some 15 years ago. If people aren't buying that their policies are wrong, personal attacks are the measure of last resort. It leads me to my pick of the week.
I watched An Unreasonable Man (2006) again recently. It reminded me how vital consumer advocacy, government and corporate accountability are to a country. It's a biopic of Ralph Nader from his early time as a consumer advocate taking on GM and details his work all the way to his candidacy as President of the USA. Finding out what depths GM was willing to go to discredit him makes it worth viewing alone. It opens with the George Bernard Shaw quote: "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
|Ralph Nader: An Unreasonable Man?|
The early parts are revealing to see the extent of his consumer advocacy. It's spillover effect was felt in Canada especially in automobile safety. The documentary gets really interesting when you see Nader move into Presidential politics. The early flirtations from the traditional Democrats regarding his candidacy are replaced with condemnation when Al Gore is not elected President in 2000. All of a sudden, he's a pariah and an enabler of George W. Bush. Reality is demonstrably different but political interest in maintaining the incestuous 2 party system that is dependent on corporate donations marginalizes Nader. It's an interesting contrast Canada and the United States as the pleas to have a "united Canada" simply mean diminished alternatives and the marginalization of political parties such as the NDP and the Green Party.
As a supporter of the NDP this election, I still find it shameful that Elizabeth May wasn't included in the debates despite the support of 1 million voters last election. While the NDP has benefited from the diminished popularity of the Green Party, it still makes our democracy weaker to have fewer political viewpoints reach the larger public. And for all those Anglo Canadians complaining that Quebec gets its own debate and find it exclusionary, I'd suggest not to disparage those that fight for their rights and simply demand more debates from your elected officials. There's no reason why there shouldn't be 3 English debates over the course of an election. It could cover a greater variety of issues as well as regional subjects that are often ignored. Don't despise Quebec for having a voice, follow its lead.