Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Why I will NOT vote for a “Harper Government”: Part 1 (Control of the media)

Harper Government’s Control of the Media

This is the first of a series of mini-blogs on 
Canada's federal election to be held 19 Oct. 2015. 

DaBa, pen name of a Guest Blogger, wrote the blogs. 
My brief comments follow each blog. 

While campaigning to replace the Martin Liberals, Stephen Harper promised more openness and accountability, however, throughout his term as Prime Minister, he has drawn
The Harper government has established more roadblocks to access to information than any previous government. For example:
  • Press  releases announcing events at which the PM would be speaking, often stipulate that photographers and videographers can attend, but no journalists will be allowed
  • As a result, broadcasts of the event show the PM speaking from a script without responses to any politically relevant questions. 
The role of the press in government matters is to monitor the different levels of government and report to the public. However, the Harper government's media policy is to prevent media access and subsequent reporting to Canadians. Journalists regularly report that 
  • Their calls are not returned;
  • They are given copies of speeches only when they are days old;
  • Cabinet meetings are held in secret allowing ministers to avoid the press who wish to meet with them after the meetings and ask questions about their portfolios. 

DaBa has it right and it follows that Stephen Harper's Conservative government actively sets out to stifle democracy in the pursuit of self-interest. This alone is sufficient reason for Canadians not to vote Conservative.

Excerpt from 'The Role of the Press' by Dmitry Fadeyev (Feb. 2014) 
Members of the public cannot sit still and be passive participants of their state, but must, for the state to be a democracy, take an active role in asserting their will.

For a democracy to be a true democracy, the people must be active participants in political discourse, and for this to happen, the press itself must be an active agent that brings this about.
Harper's policy of limiting media access lessens our democracy. He and his Conservative government do not deserve the votes of Canadians.

As always, comments are most welcome. 
Part 2: Harper's Censuring of Scientists

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