Saturday, May 28, 2011
Articles like this are rarely seen in our West Coast media
BC Mary says: Here is an extraordinary Globe and Mail article about Jack Layton. It's the best I've seen, answering so many questions with fairness and dignity.
Here's the URL:
and here's a quote from:
Layton stakes his biggest bet as Jack of Hearts
By John Allemang
The Globe and Mail - May 27, 2011
... That's why Mr. Layton appeals to NDP colleagues who refuse to accept that a high-minded belief system is a losing proposition. “He's put the elements in play for a victory,” says Pat Martin, who initially opposed Mr. Layton's Toronto-centric urbanity when he was chosen as leader in 2003. “Jack is the master of a personalized management style, which is a rare skill set on the left. … He's slowly but surely rebuilt the NDP from a dysfunctional group of activists, without losing sight of our founding principles, and that's why people trust us now. People know we've evolved into a modern social-democratic party.” ...
BC Mary: A detailed study, highly recommended. We'll never see this article (or anything like it) in a West Coast newspaper. Might be a good idea to pass it along to others. - Mary.
BC Mary says: Holy smoke, here's another commentary which also begins to level the playing field for Canadian citizens ... !! Also, be it noted, from an eastern newspaper.
By Haroon Siddiqui
Toronto Star - May 15, 2011
Still sorting through the multiple meanings of the stunning federal election results — the regional, not national, trends that saw the NDP sweep Quebec and the Tories make inroads in Ontario, leaving the Maritimes and the West largely unchanged; the Tories making the most of their 2 per cent increase in popular vote; the hand-wringing over whether the Liberals should merge with the New Democrats — we have yet to fully absorb the emergence of the NDP as Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition for the first time in our history.
The media have attributed this sea-change to Jack Layton’s cute moustache and his cane. The triviality fits the times in which the collective political memory extends to yesterday’s TV images. This does an injustice to the NDP’s long and distinguished track record as the single biggest intellectual and practical force for egalitarianism in Canada.
It was Tommy Douglas’s NDP government in Saskatchewan that pioneered medicare. It was the NDP that put pensions and unemployment benefits on the national agenda. It was the NDP in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia that ushered in affordable public auto insurance, which we could use in Ontario.
NDP also has had a solid track record of fiscal prudence.
Allan Blakeney in Saskatchewan (1971-82) produced 12 balanced budgets. When his successor, Tory Grant Devine, left a huge deficit and a $14 billion debt, the NDP’s Roy Romanov (1991-2001) balanced the books. In Manitoba, Ed Schreyer (1969-77) produced surpluses in eight of his nine budgets. When his successor, the Conservative Sterling Lyon, racked up a deficit of $200 million within four years, his NDP successor Howard Pawley cleared it and created a surplus. (Pawley’s memoir, Keep True: A Life in Politics, published by the University of Manitoba Press, has just been released).
Only Bob Rae in Ontario (1990-95) left a big deficit, a legacy of a debilitating recession as well as poor management.
By contrast, look at the conservatives’ record — the deficits and debts created by Ronald Reagan, Brian Mulroney, Stephen Harper and Mike Harris.
The NDP has had iconic leaders — quintessential Canadians: honest, principled and brave, wise and witty, amiable and approachable, averse to wedge politics.
The most fun to be with was Douglas, who after being premier (1944-61), became federal leader (1961-71). The “the little Scot” always had a joke, sometimes at his expense. He was once debating a Tory at an outdoor event, using a manure spreader as a platform. He began: “This is the first time I’ve spoken from a Liberal platform.” To which a farmer sitting up front shot back: “Let her roll, Tommy. She ain’t had a bigger load yet.”
His successor, David Lewis, also an immigrant (from what’s now Belarus), was so articulate that if you reproduced his extempore comments verbatim, you’d be reading perfect sentences and paragraphs. Remarkable, given that English was not his first language — he had learned it reading Charles Dickens with a Yiddish-English dictionary.
His son, Stephen, who became leader of the Ontario NDP and has distinguished himself working on AIDS in Africa, is easily Canada’s most eloquent speaker today.
It was David Lewis who forced Pierre Trudeau’s minority government (1972-74) to start Petro-Canada as a crown corporation.
His successor, Ed Broadbent, (1975-89), proved one of our best parliamentarians. His successor, Audrey McLaughlin, was the first female leader of a national party. Her successor, Alexa McDonough, (1995-2003) courageously led a campaign to repatriate Maher Arar from the torture chambers of Syria.
What can we expect from Layton?
I spoke to Schreyer, Pawley, Romanow and Stephen Lewis. Here’s what they expect him and want him to do:
• Restore civility to Parliament.
• Put economic equality front and centre. “It’s in the economic realm that the body politic is hurting,” said Schreyer. After five decades of building an egalitarian society, “we are moving in the opposite direction, with 1 per cent of the population in North America controlling 26 per cent of the wealth, and with unconscionable levels of compensation for the executive echelon. Yet here’s Harper cutting taxes for those already enjoying a standard of living that’s beyond the wildest imagination of most Canadians.”
• Define the NDP platform’s cap-and-trade proposal for climate change. Come to grips with a carbon tax.
• Try to align Quebecers’ social democratic values more permanently with a federal, as opposed to a separatist, party.
• Articulate a foreign policy that would restore Canada’s role in the world, not as a warmonger but as an advocate of peace, human rights and development.
• Lead a values debate at home to help reverse the right-wing tilt of our public policy.
P.S. from BC Mary: I have decided to celebrate this auspicious occasion by invoking the first and last of these Expectations. This means that two mud-slingers bit the dust in the comments section here today ... proving the point about the knee-jerk reaction as taught by the corrupted BC media. It sure didn't take long before the nasties started throwing mud - any old mud (correct, false slogans, and/or just plain stupid) -- and I call those comments for what they are. I think we've all heard enough of that B.S. in the past. Don't need it now. Let's look on the bright side, and discover what a functioning democracy looks like. For example ...
Puget Sound Radio - May 24, 2011
Read Elizabeth James' summary HERE.
I have started to make it a practice to read the Globe first, make note of some articles, then when I browse the Province and Sun, look to see if anything was written here. It usually never is. Then I wondered if Harvey was going to do a piece on this obvious hiding of news from BC residents.
Much appreciated, what you say. The extreme bias of B.C. media is a difficult message to get across to those who rely upon BC news media.
And, in my view, the damage the Campbelloids did to the media is unforgivable. How are citizens to know what's happening in our day-to-day world -- and why it's happening -- if they can't trust the local media? And, in my view, Big Media in BC isn't deserving of the citizens' trust. How differently these two issues were handled, when
a BC premier:
* had a neighbour's help in building his sundeck
* had about 40 influential helpers keen on giving BC Rail to CN
Every twist and turn of that faked-up sun-deck trial was published, in which former premier Glen Clark was accused of accepting help in building his own sundeck. Can you imagine the uproar if he, as premier, had shut the trial down early? before he was declared innocent of the charges?
But year after year, we tried (like pulling teeth) to obtain courtroom evidence about how BC Rail was lost -- knowing perfectly well that the author of that stupid act was another premier from the "right" party -- and blammo, after messing with our lives for 7 years, and paying $6million to the Defence lawyers for the hapless guys who were "the accused" -- what have we got? Zilch.
The difference is that the "right" party has the unsavoury allegiance of the West Coast media which owns all the dailies and most of the weeklies.
But, on the other hand, when we see the words "New Democrat" and the BC media can be relied upon to give a guaranteed knee-jerk response:
NDP = bad, bad, bad. Ignore the NDP.
Or find a way to make them look bad.
Photos, photos, photos of Gordon Campbell; endless fawning and boot-licking over Campbell and now, Christy.
There. I've allowed myself to say a few of my worst thoughts about the BC media ... me, BC Mary, who holds good journalism as one of the highest public service professions. To me, a tainted journalist is just as horrifying as a corrupted medical doctor.
And that, in truth, is what's so distressing: media is a vital part of a healthy democratic society. Media's duty is to inform the public of everything -- all sides of what they need to know about the functioning of our province. Then, given the facts, it's our duty as citizens to speak up, take action, and put things back on track.
But it doesn't. So we don't. Which means we can't take action very easily.
In BC, the media works industriously on hoodwinking the public ... they wink, they nudge, they sneer, whatever it takes to point the public away from anything but Campbelloids.
But, ha! when Campbelloids do NOT want us to know something, the lock-down is impressive: like, how did BC lose the nation's 3rd largest railway, against the majority wishes??? Or: try looking up Lara Dauphinee. She worked closely (smerf) with Campbell for approx 13 years "never far from his side" and she left NO record of the hundreds of thousands of $$$s BC taxpayers tucked into her wallet. Imagine. Such a co-incidence.
Neither can I imagine Vancouver Sun publishing a 6-page story on the new Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in British Columbia??? That's another topic the Campbelloids don't want to read about or hear about.
Sound like democracy in parctice - not a chance. This has the hallmarks of a dick-tator-ship, only now we have a different dick in charge - with an equally spotty record.
Sorry Mary, I just could not resist this one.
Thank you for sending us the good news updating Paul Battershill.
There will be many others who will pleased to hear that he's well, and active, and doing the things he's so good at.
Some day ... some day I hope we hear the whole story from his point of view ... and by that, I mean, the Legislature raids.