Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Then There Was Silence

The Canadian Association of Journalists are starting to make a stir about the level of secrecy being displayed by the Conservative Government*.  To quote The Globe and Mail:

The federal government was named for keeping information out of public hands on files such as the F-35 program, avoiding questions at media events and for restricting both public and media access to contentious information.

The article also notes that the Conservative Government almost exclusively communicates with the media by email. As one of the comments point out, the most amusing part of this story seeing the light of day is The Globe and Mail's endorsement of Mr.Harper. Like many Canadians, The Globe should take these actions as something of a point of introspection. It's not coming out of left field that the Government is withholding information from both the press and therefore public. In fact, it's the reason behind the impending motion of contempt that was only avoided by a vote on the budget. This was the exact reason for Andrew Coyne's endorsement of the Liberal Party in the last election.

Our citizenship has become so disengaged that the relevance of the media outcry is limited at best. The electorate is far more interested in the anniversary of William and Kate's wedding than they are in having information on how their government is behaving.

There are those of us that see the light, that feel like people will at any moment wake up and demand accountability from their government. There's little evidence to support this theory. Sure, polling numbers say that the NDP has drawn even with the Conservatives but years away from an election you can hardly count on that. There's an Omnibus budget bill on the way that will pass without much fuss, because after all it's nearly summer and people have more important things to think about than the future of our nation.

*It's recently occurred to me that anyone discussing or writing about the practices of the current government should withhold from referring to the Harper government. Only recently has this become a thing, but it paves the way to suggest that once Mr.Harper has been removed from power that the new Conservative government would act in a significantly different way. What the Conservative Government has created is a structure of information distribution and governance that citizens should expect to see carried over once a new Conservative leader is installed. The policies of this government are not only Stephen Harper's but also that of the Conservative Party of Canada - a distinction that we should not allow Mr.Harper to have us forget.

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