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.