Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Time for media to get off the pot and do better job covering the federal election issues instead of endless fluff and polling

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column

Tuesday September 23, 2008

Nothing but fluff in this campaign


Let me win the election, and after that you come and ask me questions about how I run the government.

- Jean Chretien, then Liberal leader, 1993

Poop dropping puffins. Puffin' pot politicians. A prime minister who's a fruit, not a vegetable and an insensitive agriculture minister who's a cracker.

A Green Shift-less Liberal leader. A debatable Green Party MP. And seemingly endless regional, rolling and frolicking polls.

Is this why we live in a democracy with free elections? Is this why countless refugees flee repressive dictatorships where even advocating that citizens should have a vote leads to jail or death?

So far the federal election has been remarkably void of a serious discussion of the issues that matter most to Canadians.

And the media, not politicians, are significantly to blame for refusing to give us substantive information and instead focusing on horse race stories and the latest candidate going up in smoke.

Here's what I want the media to get from parties and their leaders, instead of puffin poop.

Healthcare: I have one friend dying of cancer, three friends with multiple sclerosis, one family member with a chronic illness and another who is on a long waiting list for surgery to fix a debilitating condition.

They and I want to know how the parties can help make their lives better. How will they deal with the shortage of family doctors, nurses and health care workers?

How will they help the provinces provide faster services to those in need?

And don't simply tell me you'll spend more money than the other parties - I'm not buying it - I'm just paying for it.

I want to hear good ideas, new approach and a plan, not a blank cheque.

Afghanistan: Canada has lost the lives of almost 100 brave men and women soldiers and the security situation is deteriorating. This despite taxpayers spending an estimated $21 billion in military costs and development aid there.

Now Prime Minister Stephen Harper says our troops will come home in 2011 regardless of the situation - if so, why not right now, to save more lives?

Jobs: British Columbia has seen 11,000 workers in the forest industry lose their jobs since 2007 and the disastrous free trade lumber agreement with the United States. Canada has lost 500,000 family-supporting manufacturing industry jobs in five years.

What do the opposition parties propose to do about it, since the Conservative policy appears so far to be to simply wave goodbye?

There are lots more important challenges facing this country.

It's time media and politicians got off the pot and got onto the issues that actually matter to the people who are affected by them - Canadian voters.


Anonymous said...

Why is the media being so evasive about O/C?
Or, the violation committed by the governments on basic and charter of rights?
Or, whats been done for the MANY victims of identity thieft? As stated by US officals, on W5!
Why is the media not reporting on the multi-billion dollar criminal industry of filming violence, IE; rape and murder(snuff movies)?
(with todays digital technology, coming soon to your Canadian TV!)
The politicans aren't talking because the proceeds(POC) go to the feds. Except in BC, where Harper legislated the proceeds of crime to go to the BC government! To cover the cost of the many,multi-million dollar investigations that have tanked! BC, also has a film production co. whose share holders are memnbers of H.A. and a high profile teamster, as reported on CTV.
Why is the media being silent on thoses who have had their freedom of speech, their right to defend themselves and their right to a fair and just trial???
I listen yesterday to you on CKNW, and I don't agree with you when you said, "your vote counts" . Because as a victim of organised rape for over a decade,
Forget protecting/respecting the on-going investigation, which has been on-going since '98! Clearly, we now know who the puppets are, and who is pulling the strings...

Anonymous said...

I have just heard that our NDP candidate Julian West has quit. I was so mad yesterday at CHEK news yesterday for going after him over this story of 12 years ago. It was just useless fluff and want to see the issues asked of our potential MP's, not this crap!. I clearly could see his discomfort in this blatant in your face questioning. No wonder good people (who actually want to help Canadians and not corporations) don't run for political posts. Really, Bill, I am so f'ing dissillusioned over this election.

Anonymous said...

Kim Cambpell said"Elections are no time to discuss issues" or words to that effect.
Maybe West quit, I havn't seen anything about that. But the guy was stupid to undress in front of teenagers, and do it more than once. No sane adult, unless on a no clothes beach does that sort of thing. The interesting thing is that three NDP candidates got into trouble and all three used to be Green. If any of those clowns had been my candidate, I figure I'd simple sit this election out. The odds that West would win that riding are very low. He is hardly known in that area. The Liberal candidate is well known and the Greens have a lot of support there. Lund is laughing all the way to the polling booth. I would love to see Dr. Brioney drop him as he is rather useless. I'm no LIberal but have tried to encourage my friends on the peninsula to go with Brioney. Both she and my MP Denise Savoie are endorsed for their work on environment issues. Good people deserve to get elected, but it doesn't always happen. Oh well , next time for sure

Anonymous said...

Another NDP candidate in BC quits federal campaign


For the third time in a week, an NDP candidate in British Columbia has quit the federal election campaign.

Julian West is stepping down as the NDP candidate in Saanich-Gulf Islands, saying he doesn't want his candidacy to detract from the campaign.

Last week he apologized for a skinny dipping incident 12 years ago but this morning he issued a statement saying after thinking about it, he doesn't want to continue as a candidate.

Two other NDP candidates - Dana Larsen in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast and Kirk Tousaw in Vancouver-Quadra resigned last week after online videos showed them using drugs.
It seems anon
1012 was correct, the flasher is gone. Maybe he has learned not to expose himslef in front of kids. He didn't only skinny dip . What an idiot.

Dirk Buchholz said...

I hear you Bill,but that said we also know part of the problems lays with the media and it's propensity for 30 second sound bites as opposed to in depth.
Then there's that matter of sensationalism,a favorite of the media.
Serious Policy etc can not be explained in 30 seconds or less.
Its a tough situation,politician are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
Not to put all the blame on the media,but they do play a very important role in allowing political party's to get their message out.

Anonymous said...

How come that Conservative MP from the Caribou has not resigned. Her nude photos appeared on TV and the Internet. She claims the image was stolen. How dumb is this cougar? Posting it her computer. Was she so dumb she did not understand it would be used? Lying to the RCMP that it was stolen. Shame, shame.

Just part of the NO STANDARDS for the Conservatives.
BTW a former BC cabinet minister is married to a guy who makes gay films. Porn, anyone?

Anonymous said...

So Canadians are faced with the dregs to cast their vote for - what a bunch of bozzos offering themselves up for election! what an embarrassment on the world stage with this smorgasbord 'offerings' before us.

Is this the best we have in Canada to represent us, THE PEOPLE????

Many people I have spoken to recently will not be voting in this Federal election, including me.

I'm all for the suggestion from a 'thinker' I ran into the other day: everyone in a democracy must vote . . . . with the addition of another choice on ballot:


There has to be a massive 'CHANGE' at the top, as there will hopefully be in the States . . . including ownership of the MS Media that believes in investigative, probing journalism instead of pablum.

Anonymous said...

Never in Canadian history has the voter been left with such dreadful candidates. Really, it is an embarrassment and a sure sign that the major political parties do not give a damn for Canada, nor the Canadian voter.

Harper - A Fascist tyrant in minority clothing.

Dion - Runner up in a dumb and dumber contest.

Layton - The national windbag.

May - Best know for the Blair switch project.

And the media - good god! What a bunch of limp wristed idiots. The whole thing is a national tragedy.

With our corrupt political system, the voter has to choose the lesser of four evils; even Solomon couldn't solve this one.

Anonymous said...

Please vote for your local candidate and ignore the idiocy that circulates around the national campaigns. The subterfuge and sabotage is endless, and evidenced by the now obvious pro-marijuana infiltration of the NDP.

Remember, the Marijuana Party consists largely of young libertarians who agree with the fiscal policies of the Conservative Party, but are afraid of the tough on crime policies of Stephen Harper.

The vast majority pro-pot people have no love for the "pro-regulation" NDP.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

All of the 'leaders' leave me cold . . . what made me ill was watching Layton on the video unearthed from a 'Pot tv' taping with airhead Emery.

What was Layton thinking????? Not clearly - that is for sure!

Anonymous said...

I gave up on "the system" back in 2003, and nothing that has happened since has caused me to change my opinion.

I spent over a decade in the federal-backroom, and when you come to dislike, and on many days hate your own team as much as your enemies you know it is time to go.

This election is as much a fraud as all the other corruption and stupidity we get on a daily basis from our "leaders" and their parties.

An organized national . . . NONE OF THE ABOVE . . . campaign maybe the first step.

On 14/Oct. if 59% of Canadians turned out to vote, and of that group 60-65% wrote in "None of the Above" on their ballots, imagine how the spindoctors and party flacs would explain (BS) that one.

Canadians must take back their government and democracy and to do so means not playing by our enemies rigged-rules.


Anonymous said...

Uneven Steven, Jack? , Backstepping Stephen and pleading May are just trying to play to the worst sort of pandering possible. Health care does not even register. Where is our leadership?

Anonymous said...

My sentiments exactly, Great Satan: "Canadians must take back their government and democracy and to do so means not playing by our enemies rigged-rules."

The 'NONE OF THE ABOVE' movement would be a start for the people to take back their own power. I intend to cast my ballot as you suggested!

Bring on the bumper stickers, Satan!! I suspect they will be a best seller, don't you?

The "rigged rules" are pervasive in all parties; the cross pollination of vested interests at of string pullers is entrenched, with one feet in all camps to protect a small cabal's vested interests vs the PEOPLES'. It's all just smoke & mirrors - same old agendas.

For example, the Campbell BC Libs (a conglomerate of club members) are entrenched with both the Federal Conservatives and Liberals through their 'lieutenants' eg the 'leaping Liberal' Emerson turned 'club Conservative' is a perfect example now running the Conservative campaign - choke & gag. ENOUGH.

Like you, I have had it up to here, with the manipulations in our tainted politicized systems now playing out in the States with a crashing economy and a massive FBI investigation into financial institution fraud.

Canada is falling in lock step thanks to a small web of club members selfish, shadowy actions.

Today, I am so proud of the majority of decent Amercians who are standing up and saying "NO!" to the the 'Bush Bailout', including Democrat/Republican reps who have found their ethical voices, above politics.

Anonymous said...

None of the above sounds great on paper, but would result in a perpetuation of the same old Neo-Conservative Libertarian agenda.

BTW - There was a great line on CBC1 this a.m. - the Bush bailout represents the birth of a new breed of socialism reserved for the super-rich.

Anonymous said...

As I have said before and say again, the only way to make a significant change is to change the way we elect our reps. WE MUST endorse the Single Transferable Vote system to make any change at all. All representatives MUST be elected. Porportional Representation does NOT do this. Please put your efforts into changing to the Single Transferrable Vote.For those who say it is "too difficult" are you really saying we are dumber then the Maltese and the Irish? = Jo5ey

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

STV is no panacea - and if its history in Malta, Australia and Ireland hold true, it will perpetuate a plethora of new (and old) political parties.

STV is a one-way ticket to multi-party minorities forever, somewhat like the Italian style of democracy.

Now that might be all fine and dandy if you want to see a resurgence of the federal Social Credit and Canadian Communist parties, but who really wants an election every six months?

Anonymous said...

I always liked the "None of the above" movement, but I would add this: If None Of The Above, is in a majority then a by-election must be held within 30 days, paid for by the political parties that receive federal funding.

At least it would give the voter some power, as it is, the voter is powerless.

Anonymous said...

On election day,
press the pencil hard and write across the ballot,

Anonymous said...

My concept of None of the Above has certainly generated some hostile and fearful reaction.

I've found over the decades that the people most opposed to any real reform or anti-corruption action are always those who defend The System the most religiously.

The individuals who trash the concept of "NONE OF THE ABOVE" at the ballot box are usually the most fanatical seekers of political patronage themselves.

So to the fellow-travellers of Pork, remember . . . Only the Guilty Know Fear !


Anonymous said...

Anon 4:12pm: "BTW - There was a great line on CBC1 this a.m. - the Bush bailout represents the birth of a new breed of socialism reserved for the super-rich."

With all due respect, anon and CBC, this "socialism reserved for the super-rich" is well practiced here in BC:

Remember the Whistler bailout by the taxpayers led by senior land bureaucrats hand n' hand with politicians and their pals with big interests at risk????

What do you call the taxpayer bailout of all of those massive cost overruns and other shenanigans connected with VANOC wheelins' & dealins' for vested interests . . . . .

Aren't they the same guys - all members of the 'special club' that has operated for decades at the majority of British Columbians expense?

Aren't they the same bunch 'at play' in our so called "election issues" that gets thrown out with the spin cycle by the MSM "fluff" all in the name of coverup for the club - afterall, don't 'club' rules reign?

Anonymous said...

Hey come on, time to find out which candidates are for free speech. When the Vanoc can copyright part of our anthem and nothing is said it is a joke. The lower mainland Olympics are not for us pee-ons. Please Boycott this farce.

Anonymous said...

We could easily get much worse if large numbers of voters refused to participate. The "void" will be filled, by people who disagree with you!

This 'None of the Above' campaign is part of the NeoCon agenda.

Anonymous said...

The massive bail-out south of the border has highlighted fundamental ideological flaws that underlie much of what has been assumed as fundamental to how you run a country successfully.

We are dreaming if we think this is not about us too, or that we are not witnessing a fundamental shift, the likes of which we haven't seen since Ronnie & Maggie. But while Americans are vigorously confronting and debating the issues, we have been slow to catch on.

I'm sure Stephan Dion, Gordon Campbell and their adversaries appreciate the harsh reality that the green agenda that might have played well for them just a year ago has turned into a really tough sell. But it's more than that - if the financial crisis starts hitting home here on Main Street, the popular notion that those on best terms with the captains of industry are best qualified to run a country is going to be losing credence faster than a sinking financial stock on Wall Street.

The populist backlash is already building down south, with ordinary Americans challenging their politicians' urgency to save their investment portfolios & the greedy/ corrupt friends who caused the mess vs. decades of inaction on poverty and other crises that affect "the other half." Or the hypocrisy of all those who worshipped deregulation and slagged welfare until deregulation came back to bite them and they were the ones with their hands out!

We've had whiffs of this around the listeriosis crisis and yet another Chinese tainted products scandal, but we haven't seen anything like a tipping point yet.

Anonymous said...

I find it strange that people would spoil a ballot. Folks fought and died for the right to vote. Women were not people till part way through the century. Same for Indians,and assorted other minorities. People served in war , came back and couldn't vote. I don't particulary like some of the folks running, but have absolutly no problem voting for my present MP. Denise Savoie.NDP She has done a lot of good work, is endorsed by the enviroment groups as has Brioney Penn Liberal. Sure there are are some jerks but there are jerks all throught society. Don't vote, don't bitch is an old expression. IN the military, no matter what part of the world we were sent, the voting booth went to us. Democracy is flawed but what is the alternative?

Anonymous said...

One would be pretty foolish to assume that "our" current version of dollar-democracy has achieved God-Like perfection unless you were Sarah Palin.

Yet for many of these defenders of the ON-THE-TAKE faith in the 21st Century their arguements seem almost Evangelical, and as reactionary as those who were opposed to the religious-reformation in the 16th Century.

We should look at democracy as a constant work in progress . . . and not some ridgid doctrine.

A None of the Above campaign would only be a first "tactical" step in a strategic move to reform, renew and evolve a currently dormant, ineffective and corrupt process.

But in the 16th Century the Catholic defenders of the "only true" faith would burn anyone who said different.

But then the strongest defenders of the status quo were profiting greatly from their defence of the only true and profitable faith.

Wait a minute, isn't that what our current political parties and their leaders do now too ??!!


Anonymous said...

Before Canadianscan take back their electoral process, they have to first take back their political parties. Its the backroom deals in the political parties that are responsible for giving us the current sorry lot of candidates.

Anonymous said...

"An organized national . . . NONE OF THE ABOVE . . . campaign maybe the first step. Wrote the Great Satan."

I likewise, certainly not without extensive working class organization and political experience either, gave up on both some time ago-, and now, for the first time in my life, do NOT intend to vote for ANY OF THE ABOVE. There really are only two Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum party choices, both agreed on the status quo, that are The Cons and The Liberals. The NDP and Greens self-proclaimed as third and fourth choices, are both as well nothing more than Liberal Wannabe vanguardist parties.

None of them represent a future that is in the interests of myself and my family.

Great Satan has, in my view, the answer to the question of where this needs to go next, at least with those of us seriously enough disaffeced to have made a decision to otherwise "NOT PARTICIPATE" in these sham ruling class "System", stage managed and controlled elections. (If I recall correctly, almost 40% of citizens that are eligible to vote, do not. I understand entirely why.)


Martin Campbell said...

Uh, this isn't exactly JUST a federal issue. Why don't you address the limp wristed BC Media and how they tip toe around the government?

Case in point. Gord had a 'technical briefing' explaining the governments decision to increase wage caps for DMS and ADMS by 43%. NO QUESTIONS WERE ALLOWED. The only questions Gord would answer were those that were asked in private in a one on one meeting.

Okay Bill, riddle me this. How many attendees boycotted that blatant attempt at manipulation by Gord? And how many gave in to get a quote?

Main stream media is letting down the public every single day. Now the blog owners are caving too.

You don't need to look to Ottawa to find sniveling spineless toadying sycophants in media. We're growing them right here in BC.

Martin Campbell said...

On a light-hearted note, how would I go about changing my legal name to "None Of The Above"?