Monday, June 20, 2011

The Press Is The Enemy?

Two weeks ago, Conservative Party President John Walsh sent a missive to party supporters: "During this election campaign, we faced an onslaught of negative attacks like never before from the media, from pundits and from anti-Conservative lobby groups and union executives,” he wrote. The clouds were gathering: “The fear among the opinion establishment is that if our government is successful, and Canadians see the benefits of lower taxes, sensible and less-interventionist government and more personal freedom, the Conservative Party of Canada will continue to win future elections.”

Based upon Pamela Wallin's performance yesterday on CTV's Question Period, one would be well advised to take that forecast with a grain of salt. Debating Senate reform with the NDP's  David Christopherson, -- who suggested such basic constitutional change should be put to a referendum -- Wallin responded that the result of the last election, "in our system, sir, is a mandate."

When Christiopherson shot back that Wallin was being "arrogant and elitist," Ms. Wallin lost her cool. Mr. Christopherson, she said, was being "simplistic and ill informed."

Mr. Harper appears to be having some difficulty commanding the loyalty of certain Conservative senators. Obviously, Ms. Wallin is not one of them. She has undergone an interesting political evolution. Starting as a member of the NDP's Waffle, she was later appointed Consul General to New York by Jean Chretien, and -- most recently -- to the Senate by Stephen Harper. Harper also appointed former journalist Mike Duffy to the Senate. Both members of the chattering class are still chattering. But they know who the boss is.

Mr. Harper's strategy seems to be to co-opt whatever opinion makers he can -- and then use the same attack machine, which doomed Stephane Dion and Micheal Ignatieff, against the others. Our prime minister is quite a piece of work.


Anonymous said...

"...Wallin responded that the result of the last election, 'in our system, sir, is a mandate.'"

In our system, 40% of the popular vote (or less) may be a mandate to govern the country for four years (with the confidence of the house, of course). It's not, in our system, or any system that I can think of, a "mandate" to change the system.

Or so I thought. I guess I'm ill informed and simplistic.

Owen Gray said...

The Harper government demonstrated long ago that it has no respect for the constitution.

Perhaps like Humphery Bogart, who came to Casablanca for the waters, they were "misinformed."