Monday, October 19, 2015

The Moral Authority to Govern

As I recoiled from one lockstep Harper endorsement to the other in our nation's newspapers over the weekend, I repeatedly had to ask, "how could you?"

Then Benjamin Perrin, law professor and former counsel to Harper and his PMO, on Sunday issued a statement denouncing his once boss as having "lost the moral authority to govern."

With those few words Perrin did a great service to the Canadian people. A survivor of the bunker, he experienced Stephen Harper's skullduggery first hand and was uniquely positioned to pass judgment on the man he had seen in action. Not fit to govern. That is a powerful indictment coming from a professional who watched the great man up close, face to face.

Yet Perrin did more, much more and it will be Canada's loss and our own if we don't heed his deeper message. That's the veiled warning about Canada's corporate media cartel, just whose side they're on and whose side they're plainly not on. It's a message of how the corporate media has betrayed the Canadian people.

Did these CEOs and editors in chief not read their own news reports over the past several years? Did they not understand the critical role that moral authority plays in any liberal democracy?

I knew Harper had lost all moral authority. So did you. That's been apparent for years. Apparent, obvious, blatant.

Guess who else knew that? Every corporate operative pulling the strings at all of these media outlets, they knew. They knew full well but it didn't matter to them. Harper is good for the economy, they chimed, meaning he was good for their bottom line, the safe bet. Sure he was a snake, a man bereft of respect for the constitution and the Rule of Law and a bully morally unfit to govern but who cares? The plebs don't matter. The country doesn't matter. And so they threw away their own moral authority to back the man who threw his away so many years ago.

I hope that Ben Perrin has made out the case that I've been arguing for years. We have to break up Canada's corporate media cartel if we're to have any hope of restoring real democracy to our country.  Democracy dies a slow death without an informed electorate able to vote freely.  An informed electorate depends on the people having access to the greatest number of voices expressing the broadest possible range of opinion from the reaches of the Right to the reaches of the Left and everything in between.

Boardroom Journalism is what was on glaring display this weekend. It serves to manipulate, even defeat informed public thought. It is a low thing and, make no mistake, it's septic, utterly toxic.

We've done this before and it's time to do it again. Smash the corporate media cartel. Force divestiture of media outlets wherever the malignant tumours of media concentration (concentration of ownership and cross-ownership) are found and, by that, I mean coast to coast to coast for it has metastasized.

We know how to do this. We just have to reinstate the rules. And there's no time better than now to get this underway.

Just a word of caution. As I am not supporting either of the main opposition parties, the danger you have is from the party you are supporting. Your democratic freedom is under attack. Canada's liberal democracy is in peril. What is your party, be it Liberal or New Democrat, doing about it? I know the answer and so do you. Now you need to ask yourself why?

Unless they act, and soon, the 'moral authority to govern' will become just another quaint notion.


As you may have heard Andrew Coyne's election piece was spiked by PostMedia because he wouldn't toe the corporate media line. That led Coyne to resign his position as editor of editorials and comment at National Post.

The one political leader, whose party openly opposes the corporate media cartel, the Green Party's Elizabeth May, applauded Coyne for his integrity with this tweet:

Thanks for maintaining your principles in an increasingly controlled corporate media. As ever, much respect.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for reminding me why I just voted for the right party.


Owen Gray said...

I admit that I misjudged Perrin, Mound. He has much more integrity than I thought.

Anonymous said...

Anyong said....Having listened to the "Current" this morning perhaps Canadians ought to read the following: Daniel Bell's new book is, "The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy." In it he speaks of how the Chinese must take a test before being allowed to run for government on morals, ethics, relationship to past family government officials, and planned model of growth and other priorities. Bell has worked at a University in Beijing for eleven years. Perhaps Canada would be wise to institute some sort of test requirement before people can run for government in this country. Imagine hobnobbing with the Fords to advance the voting percentage in this election. Whom is Harper addressing? The illegals?

UU4077 said...

And now Andrew Coyne has stepped down from the National Post editorial board over a disagreement on editorial policy - apparently, he hates Harper.

Dana said...

And then there's this. Another of my predictions struggling to come to fruition. A leading dipper candidate who says the dips could "work with" the Harperians. Uh huh.

Anonymous said...

@Anyong 1
People, especially those possessing weak ethical fiber, will cheat on most all tests or else they will have someone else to do it for them; that is cheat. However, if there is anything which we could ask our elected official to do, perhaps also our corporate leaders too, is for them to emulate the Olympic athlete, who must summit to an invasive search of their most private self and ethics. Of course it wouldn't be a drug test per se, but similar in the depth of its intrusion. I suggest they willful summit to being recorded constantly, yet not be monitored endlessly and only at random, over a certain period of time. Seems to work for the athlete; just look at Lance Armstrong's example and even though he evaded justice, for a little while, it eventually caught up to him in the end, and for which he has been punished severely.

The Mound of Sound said...

Remember this. If your party doesn't move clearly and soon to tackle this they're just putting a friendlier face on this same rotten business. And that makes you their mark.

the salamander said...

.. the statement from Benjamin Perrin re 'lost moral authority to govern' is a cannon shot taking out the rigging or the rudder of the foundering Harper plague ship. The Conservative ship is on the rocks regardless. Hell, they could win or steal a majority today and still be on the rocks & breaking up. When will Loreen have a breakdown.. or Stevie.. or Ray Novak? After Duffy resumes or before? Do we believe a guy that stands up - or a guy that hides, like Ray or Stevie? This is a zombie evangel Harper buffalo jump underway - hellalujah !! Where the hell is Tony Clement? Joe Oliver? On vacation? And Jason Kenney? Off sucking his thumb with mom?

I hear the dam creaking & breaking.. and the dark swans screaming overhead .. the truth will out ..
& All's well.. that ends... for Stephen Harper
Wrapping up his toxic legacy with a Campaign in a Closet ... apropos eh ? ?
the creep from Leaside in Toronto - with the big yellow streak - like all bullies with a gang

When Canada is through with Stephen Harper
he won't want to be recognized.. in public

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Sal - the point you're missing is that this rot isn't exclusive to the Conservatives. I caught hell in recent years for arguing that endlessly criticizing Harper was pointless if we didn't avail ourselves of the opportunity to make changes we had a chance of implementing - within our own parties. We did nothing and so now the lap dogs will settle in to the next lap occupying the throne.

I wrote about this a few days ago when I realized that, while I would celebrate the ouster of this despot, I would almost immediately be fighting the next government for all the change this country needs and demands.

All they're doing is putting a friendlier, slightly less egregious face on what we've endured for the past decade. They might even throw electoral reform our way, who knows?

Here's the thing. In an illiberal democracy you still get to vote. It's just that the political clout that normally attaches to that vote is discounted to the point of insignificance.

Look at the States. Both Republicans and Democrats are bought and paid for. People still vote but their votes don't really matter. Corporatism prevails, not the public will or the public interest.

Sal, it's time to recalibrate your sights. You've got new predators to hunt even if they are your own.

the salamander said...

.. your point is valid Mound... and well taken.. but truly speaking we have to break the set of chains Harper has locked Canada in.. and for sure cannot afford him 4 more years to start setting our feet in concrete barrels.

Trudeau Mulcair et al yes... our public servants must be forced, one way or the other to be responsive to us..
and I believe shedding Harper from power & investigating him.. is part of the process to protect Canada and Canadians
from a system that served him just fine.. and could do so again for the next attempt.. by anyone or any entity

Tonight we discover who and what we're collectively made of...
Tomorrow we determine what we will do about it... the call to action
Its been a disastrous decade for Canada... with a consistant wake up wake up call.. going off
Yet so few heard it, believed it.. or did a damn thing

Let's reconvene in the AM .. tomorrow. this is just a battle.. not a war.. yet, nor uprising
There are exceptional people who rose to the occasion in Canada in the last decade
and among them the foremost exemplars and leaders who deserve to be heard and believed
and I believe they see and feel very much as you do...
Its among these Canadians we will find the complete opposite of Stephen Harper
the antithesis of shrill partisanship, ignorance, ego and greed

On this particular day... thank you for your intense loyalty, effort and belief
the intelligence, coherence and concern... along with all the others..
In the flatlands of Toronto, the sun is shining, winds from the west

I have a good vibe.. that Canadians will win this harsh skirmish
punish the creeps.. and begin to move forward.. resolving to fumigate
Let's see what Canadians have to say today Mound ..

Props to you... to the west

Pamela Mac Neil said...

When I read what Perrin said about Harper not having the moral authority to govern, I thought this powerful statement could bury Harper.First I commend Perrin for saying it. He didn't pussyfoot around, he revealed the core essence of who Harper is. As a lawyer I think it makes what he says even more indicting. Lawyers usually plead client confidentiality and people understandably accept that. Perrin I think having a front row seat to Harpers unethical, corrupt political behaviour was alarmed enough to come out publicly and pretty well say Harper is unfit to govern.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I agree Mound that whoever gets in will still follow the Neoliberal mantra. That actually is going to be the most important battle to fight.For tonight though we are witnessing a tyrant being slain.I'm going to sit back and enjoy the show. Time enough to prepare for the next big battle.Your writing by the way has contributed to the fall of this tyrant. Feel proud.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi, Pamela. Interestingly enough I found that Perrin merely said publicly what a number of old school Conservatives were saying quietly among themselves.

Yes, tonight I will enjoy the show. This evening is about dispatching Harper. Tomorrow the fight for a progressive restoration resumes.

Enjoy your evening.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I forgot to add Mound that your writing contributed more then anything the Neoliberal agenda of all 3 governments. For me it was truly enlighting. I have to understand what fundamentally underlies all political ideas. Understanding Neoliberalism was crucial to understanding mainly what Harper was doing. I had read Von Mises, Hayek, Friedman and Rand(extensively), but I had not been aware that what I was reading was called Neoliberalism.I understood the ideas that gave rise to Neoliberalism, but it was in reading your blog I came to understand that Neoliberalism domestically and globally combined with militarism is the real source of world domination and destruction. So there you go. Enjoy the evening.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Anyong said...has anyone laughed at the above? Cheers.