A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Stark Contrast.

I dont often comment upon the daily actions of politicians on this blog preferring to look at the broader picture of how their actions affect our democracy but one recent report realy got my attention in its stark contrast between a potential leader and the current one.
The way in which our 'leaders' interact with our local and national media, be they the press, television new outlets or simply citizen bloggers has much to do with democratic freedom and our need to know and understand what 'government' is doing on our behalf.

This item from Matt Guerin outlines the contrast.....
“As we know, Stephen Harper has such tight restrictions at his events, only card-carrying Conservatives with long party histories can get in.   No one except the most elite gets anywhere close to him.  And most definitely, uninvited guests or average Canadians get zero chance to interact with him, let alone speak to the crowd.   It's probably been almost 10 years since Harper had any meaningful and unscripted interactions with average Canadians who weren't pre-screened for party loyalty.”

He quotes from the CBC article
“Meanwhile, yesterday in Toronto at the Reference Library, Justin Trudeau was holding an event that was briefly interrupted by some protesters carrying a banner against the Energy East pipeline.  Trudeau may not share the protesters' position on the issue, but rather than ignore them and wait for RCMP to tackle them and remove them (to audience applause from Conservative party seals), Trudeau invited these Canadians to state their positions for all to hear and even called for the audience to applaud them.”

Now I can hear Harpers 'followers' saying that security concerns negate allowing 'protesters' to attend one of his public appearances and that may be true to a point. It does not however account for the accredited press being unable to ask any but 'approved' questions, and only 3 at that, on the rare occasions when such an appearance is not just a 'photo op' where no questions are permitted. It does not account for major announcements made with great fanfare (but no questions permitted) at staged and carefully choreographed 'events' or at some foreign event rather than in the House of Commons in front of his peers.

That many of these expensive staged 'events' are paid for out of the PMOs ever increasing 'advertizing' budget, i,e. Taxpayers money, adds further insult to his refusal to to be 'open and honest' with the press, the public, and even our elected representatives in the House. It is the outward symptom of a far greater malaise, one in which respect for any opinion but his own is missing, where parliamentary oversight is just an annoying itch to be ignored or smothered under bullshit.

It is in fact the outward signs of a want-to-be-dictator who insists upon total control over every piece of information issuing from not only the mouths of his herd of sheep but from all government departments, committees , researchers and diplomats. First control the message then control the people!

So I applaud Mr Trudeau in his effort to be open and available to the press and the public, it may lead to some difficult moments but the difference between hiding in the closet (both figuratively and literally) and standing proud before Canadian citizens is one to be encouraged and talked about.

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