Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Gaming the Truth

Kelly McParland takes Michael Ignatieff to task for daring to talk honestly, openly and truthfully about the prospects of a coalition government (official or otherwise) should another Conservative minority fail to win the confidence of the house.

His frank discussion with Peter Mansbridge was "far-out-nuts" and handed Stephen Harper a gift on a silver platter (and a side order of champagne, brie and Pâté de foie gras.) I am highly peeved at this analysis. Not that it is wrong, but that it may well be spot on.

Leaders are supposed to lead, to chart a course and to take the citizenry forward. This is what an election (in my fevered imagination anyway) is supposed to be about. I wish those running for office could lay out a vision of what they want to do, be open and frank about the possibilities. In turn the media and the citizens would have a rational discussion about the options and we would each vote based on how much we agree with the arguments presented. But time and time again, we prove Kim Campbell correct, "An election is no time to talk about serious issues".

We bitch, moan and complain about the spin of an election campaign. About how truth is the first casualty of each contest. But as soon as a leader dares speak the truth, the knives come out and endless ink spilled about the "gaffe". What is even more remarkable, journalists covering the story acknowledge that there is truth to the statement, and they still bash the candidate for daring to say it. WHAT THE FUCK.

This is where I cast my baleful eye of Sauron upon the media. Instead of arguing about how facts can be turned by spin, how about the media defend the truth?
Why doesn't the media attack the spin? Because covering the game of politics is more fun then covering the policies in politics. We are now (and have been for some time) in a system where politicians treat government as a game, the media treats it as a game, pundits and bloggers and partisans of all stripes treat it as a game.

If we keep treating our system of government as one big endless game, eventually the country is going to lose. Canada is not a game to me. It is my home, and if it is frittered away because of this frivolous nonsense there will be hell to pay.

Update: Exactly!

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