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April 27, 2007

Scott's Call to Action

Wayout
Scott Tribe is ready to pull the plug on the Harper government -- and, frankly, who can blame him for having had his fill of the most branded government in Canadian history -- the people who brought you such memorable phrases as Canada's New Government, Getting Things Done (a term that productivity guru David Allen came up with, made famous, and has trademarked in the U.S. market), among others.

"It is a disgusting display to watch as Canada’s 'tarnished and definitely no longer new' government desperately flails away (though I admit to some amusement and hope people see the irony as minister after minister got up yesterday and demanded apologies from the opposition parties)," he writes.

Reading Scott's passionate call to action got me thinking and typing as well. (Confession: I kind of took over his comments section of his blog in much the same way as certain Members of Parliament take over the floor in the House of Commons and have to be forced to sit down and shut up. Sorry, Scott.) Anyway, here's what I had to say, just in case you didn't make it over to read Scott's diabtribe du jour.

What has shocked me since I really started paying attention to the actions of the Harper government (about six months ago) are

  • the way it refuses to answer legitimate questions that are posed in a direct and civilized manner (usually by answering a totally unrelated question or by attacking the record of the previous government);
    how it treats other members of the House of Commons and members of the media with such disrespect -- like it is above any standard of accountability;

  • how little of substance it has achieved during its time in office -- and how little legitimate concern or interest it has shown for some of the most pressing issues of our time: aboriginal issues, children's issues, healthcare, youth issues, social justice in all its forms, and the environment;

  • how it doesn't seem to care about anything else but achieving the all-might majority (which has to make you wonder what it intends to do with that majority if it gets it);

  • how it is willing to do u-turns on the facts -- and what it allegedly stands for on a daily -- if not an hourly -- basis. How can Canadians have confidence in a government that doesn't appear to stand for anything but principles of self-interest and getting re-elected?
  • The Conservative Party spin-doctoring has been impressive, which means there is a greater need for media literacy and political literacy education at the grassroots levels -- teaching people how changing the subject when you don't want to answer a particular question, providing a partial truth, and other tried-and-true message management tools have allowed the Harper government to misuse the privilege of power and waste Parliament's time -- time that could otherwise have been used accomplishing something of substance.

    Related:
    The Guardian -- Quiz: Could You Be the King of Spin?

    The Center for Media and Democracy

    Politics and the Press Bibliography

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