Thursday, September 25, 2008

I hate to sound like a broken record but...

There is still a distinct disconnect with what the media is telling us about this election and how the campaigns are fighting it.

In the last three days Mr. Harper has pandered to his base twice, (youth crime announcement and comments about the arts) and he has made statements that folks should not vote for the NDP because they would just wind up electing a Liberal government.

These are not the actions of a man enjoying a massive lead with less than three weeks to go before an election.

As I have stated before Mr. Harper has to expand beyond his base to win his much sought after majority and both the crime announcement and arts comments are extremely counterproductive. Both will not play well in Quebec. Both provide Gilles Duceppe with something to pound the Conservatives with for the remainder of the campaign. The arts in particular is a big issue as Quebecers look at the arts as a way to promote and elaborate the French culture and a political party threatens or is perceived the threaten that at its peril.

As for the NDP statement that was just weird. Someone should inform Mr. Harper that according to the media he has a huge lead and no one is taking the idea of the Liberals winning the election very seriously right now.

As for the Liberals, they are supposed to be history. In fact, Jane Taber wrote today that according to "senior Liberals" the party was now looking just to save what they have and forgetting about winning the election. I guess those "senior Liberals" should have told the campaign that because they have Mr. Dion in Quebec City and Trois Rivière today, rather safe Conservative and Bloc areas respectively. If the Liberals are indeed toast and pretty much a political corpse in Quebec, as the media claims, why are the Liberals not campaigning in their strongholds and trying to shore up their base?

That is what is so weird about this campaign. The "frontrunner" is acting like they are ones in danger of losing the election. It is the Conservatives who are campaigning in safe areas and pandering to their base. With the lead the media says they have Mr. Harper should be going into Liberal strongholds to try to cause some upsets in those ridings. As well, the one perceived to be losing by a big margin is acting like they are leading. Their is no sense of urgency (my pet peeve) let alone panic in their campaign and they are not a party trying to shore up its base, which is what I would expect it to be doing if the polls saying they are around the 25% mark are true.

As I stated before, at the moment, this election seems to be much closer than the media is telling us.

Not that I believe the Liberals are leading. The Liberals are losing this election right now and they are on their way to losing it October 14. The reason is simple. They utterly failed to foresee the toxic media atmosphere for the Liberals and they have completely failed to adapt to it. I have never seen a media atmosphere like this one during any election. Even in 2000 when the media completely dismissed Stockwell Day as suitable material for being PM they did not give Jean Chretien the free ride that Stephen Harper is receiving. It is unprecedented and a sight to behold.

The upcoming debates will not save the Liberals either. I would wager a fair amount of money that the media already has their spin for those nights. Short of Mr. Harper growing horns and a tail they have already decided that he will win the debates. As well, Mr. Dion could speak English as clearly and eloquently as Sir Ian McKellan and they will still have a problem with his English. Most Canadians do not watch the debates (they are a ratings dud) they make judgements based on what the media says about them so the Liberals really are screwed.

This has been the weirdest election that I have ever witnessed. The media is telling us one thing but the actions of the parties are telling another. I have no idea which one to believe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just needed to ask someone who seems to have some understanding of this.

What the hell is going on with G&M.

There is a practical deathwatch tonight, with at least 4 articles offering different perspectives on the death of Dion and the Liberal party.

Did I miss the election?

Did I miss the polls showing Harper with a 50% plus polling?

It just seems irresponsible to devote so much ink to a "conclusion" 3 weeks before an election.

Irresponsible and Bizarre.

Any thoughts? At all - not expected a real answer, just hoping to hear someone else's opinion on the matter. I respect your observations on this election.

September 26, 2008 1:58 AM  
Blogger ottlib said...

Like I said in my post the media atmosphere in this election is unprecedented.

A few posts back I blogged about how the media has decided who they want to win this election and the reasons why.

That is the reason for the actions of the G&M, and CTV. Hell, even the CBC and so called "Liberal" newspapers like the Toronto Star are indulging in it.

And as I say it is the reason why the Liberals are going to lose the election.

Sad really, they have run an uninspired and competent campaign but Canadians have not noticed because the media did not bother to let them know. Not that the situation would be any different if they had run an inspired campaign. The media still would not have reported on it.

A colossal abdication of responsibility by the MSM.

September 26, 2008 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you. What I don't understand is why? Are they simply in love with the narrative they are spinning (and on some level in love with the idea that Canada is "changing" and they are on the front lines exposing it?).

Or do you think there are selfish reasons?

Or is it just foolishness, like a bad fad of msm as the "fire" and future of journalism moves on to the internet?

I think I am one of those people who is of an age when journalism had RESPECT! I was too young too fully appreciate watergate, but I was old enough to get that "good reporters" exposed a "bad lie." I was raised in the era when newspapers reported bad things that were being buried (like toxic waste, literally).

I've watched the media - particularly in the US where I spent many years as a youth and adult - grown increasingly horse-race oriented on Presidential elections. But there, the coverage does seem to have matured a bit beyond that. Yes, you have faux news and the great abdication on the Iraq War build-up. But on the "trail," they do a much better job showing candidates on the trail and attempting to compare plans and policies.

What shocks me in this election in Canada is I see NO policy coverage other than the announcements. And even then, it is on how the announcement plays or as a springboard to discuss the latest gossipy narrative.

It just seems sloppy and unsophisticated, more than malice.

Are journalists simply that immature and unskilled here? Or are they intentionally dumbing down their coverage?

I don't know if you have any answers, but I know you do comment on it often.

Why is the media reporting this the way they are? Why do they so blatantly seem to want the conclusion they are driving at?

September 26, 2008 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hasten to add I did re-read your earlier post, but forgot to mention above.

I guess you believe it has something to do with the Liberals choosing Dion when they didn't expect it. And I suspect that makes some sense, but as an overt act it seems bizarre.

So are they the "disgruntled" liberals they "project" in their writings? That would certainly make sense with Jane Taber at the G&M.

Perhaps she is her own former top liberal insider - would explain why she is so productive with her shadowy tales. I like that image. It will make it easier to stomach the dozen similar articles she is sure to write in the next 3 weeks. "Dion at risk of poisoning by disgruntled insiders" "Liberals mull drive-by assault to salvage campaign" (as the conservatives edge towards 39% in latest polls ; ) "Insiders consider switching parties to remain relevant"

Much easier to swallow imagining her source is really just her, holding a mirror and a joint, locked in her attic with a tape recorder running ; ).

September 26, 2008 11:31 AM  
Blogger ottlib said...


I think the biggest reason why they are doing what they are doing is because they can.

Like I said they made life hell for Mr. Day in 2000 and they did not do any favours for Mr. Harper in 2004.

So, I do not buy for a second that the media has a liberal or conservative bias. Instead they have the a herd instinct that would put the African Wildebeast to shame.

The only thing I find so amazing is the single mindedness of it. I have never seen them give such a free ride to one politician while trashing the other so relentlessly.

September 26, 2008 6:16 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I think the economic forces that own the MSM are afraid of a Dion win because he will do what he says and they don't want that, they don't want change, so they've given their minions their marching orders.

October 01, 2008 1:27 AM  

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