24 Apr That “unnecessary election” – updated
On the morning after the English Language leader’s debate, CBC Radio’s James Cudmore ended his reaction piece from Brixton’s British Pub in Ottawa with an audible smirk: “One blessing: the campaign just has three weeks left to go.”[audio:http://contrarian.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/debate_react2.mp3|titles=debate_react]
This is one Harper meme (among several) that many press gallery reporters have embraced with alacrity: the May 2 election is an unnecessary, money-wasting, irritating, imposition on voters who have better things to do than contemplate national issues and chose among those who want to do them.
It is scarcely an original observation that, as we trudge begrudgingly to the polls, citizens of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen have been laying down their lives for the privilege Cudmore and Harper urge citizens of Canada to scorn. As if to heighten the contradiction, Harper enlisted Canadian warplanes in the effort to help pro-election rebels in Libya.
That a PM makes deprecation of democratic norms a centerpiece of his campaign is bad. That some reporters embrace this demagoguery is worse.
[UPDATE] Contrarian reader John DeMings avers:
No, not worse, and not even a tick on Harper’s failing. I think there may be some justification, however, in having entertainment reporters do election coverage and let the ‘political reporters’ stick to committee meetings.