Monday, December 15, 2008

CPC Spin & Public Ignorance: The Chicken Or The Egg?

A few days ago, Steve V over at Far and Wide posted about the reality of seemingly overwhelming public disapproval of the coalition. In general, I agreed with most of what he had to say. But I couldn't escape the nagging feeling that public views on matters of government are largely shaped by knowledge about the way government is supposed to work. Today, some numbers have come out which confirm that, in general, Canadians are rather poorly informed about our system of government.
For example, results of the Ipsos Reid survey show 75 per cent of Canadians asked believe the prime minister, or the Governor General, is head of state.
It's a telling statistic, and I have to wonder how a misperception of our PM being the head of state may have influenced public acceptance of the legitimacy of the coalition.

All of which brings me to the point of my post. The Conservatives have been busy in recent weeks denouncing the coalition as "illegitimate" and "undemocratic". Harper himself has said:
"The opposition does not have the democratic right (to replace the Conservative government)...without your say, without your consent and without your vote"
This is of course a falsehood in our constitutional monarchy. So by repeating a lie, is Harper creating ignorance, or simply feeding off it?

In either case, I think a strong case can be made for mandatory civics classes in our elementary and secondary schools. As citizens of a democratic nation, we owe it to ourselves and to future generations to take our obligations as electors seriously. As Marc Chalifoux (president of the Dominion Institute) said:
"Canadians certainly were interested by what was going on in Ottawa, but lacked in many cases the basic knowledge to form informed opinions"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gretchen Carlson: The Festivus Grinch

In response to a Washington man's request to place a Festivus pole amongst the holiday displays at the state capitol in Olympia, Gretchen Carlson of FauxNews expressed her phony outrage at yet another attack on Christmas by the heathens. Said Carlson:
I am tolerant. I'm all for free speech and free rights, just not on December 25th.
You can watch the whole video below.

And for those of you who lived in a cave during the 90's, here is a bit of info on Festivus: The holiday for the rest of us.