Monday, May 02, 2011

Ah, Jack, Here's a Thought

Assuming the NDP rally translates into the harvest of seats predicted by some, I hope Jack will be smart enough to make peace with the Libs and forge some viable cooperative relationship.  When you've got an ego as oversized as Layton's somehow stuffed into such a diminutive frame that won't be easy but it will be a fair measure of his fitness to lead.

Where to begin?  Well there's going to have to be some sort of interim budget of course.  But beyond that?  Well, here's an idea of something badly needed and on which NDP and Liberals alike should be able to agree - the state of press freedom in Canada.

We need to scrutinize the corporatism rampant in  Canada's media outlets.  It's a core principle of press freedom that a healthy democracy depends on the public having access to the greatest diversity of opinion.  Democracy is crippled when the public is left to but a handful of voices all reading from the same page of self-interest and shared advantage with the powers that be.

What is needed are powerful curbs on both concentration of media ownership and media cross-ownership.  No one "voice" should be able to control all the newspapers or television or radio in any market nor should any one corporation dominate the gamut of media in a defined market.  Say, for example, in a particular province publisher "A" can own not more than a fixed percentage of the major dailies or the regional weeklies.  Whichever owns the big city paper may not also own a television or radio station within that same market.   Split them up.  Force divestiture.

This won't be easy to accomplish.   It will require some pretty favourable tax treatments, perhaps even start-up grants.  Yet it will be the best thing that's ever happened to Canadian journalism.   Newsrooms, long gutted of staff and nearly shuttered, will re-open.  Journalism may again be competitive, independent, lively instead of the moribund sham we find soaking up ink in today's papers.

Just an idea but I think it's a great way for the Libs and NDP to forge a working relationship that will be sorely needed if we're to reverse Harper's abuses and excesses.


LeDaro said...

Mound, don’t be too harsh on Layton. He took advantage of a weak Liberal leadership. However, co-operation between the two parties is important. Maybe there will be not a big sweep by NDP as polls are suggesting. We will find out tonight.

Chrystal Ocean said...

"When you've got an ego as oversized as Layton's somehow stuffed into such a diminutive frame..."

Suggestion: that Liberals on the negotiating committee with hands out to form a "viable cooperative relationship" not begin with that assumption.

Uncommoner said...

I really like your blog and this post drives home why - you're as much a dreamer and idealist as I am, deep down (under my crusty cynical exterior).

You're entirely right, and nothing shows just how bad the state of Journalism in Canada has gotten better than a close look at this election.

We are not well served when a handful of corporations control what we see, hear and read every day. You've gotten right to the point. Thank you.