....except the Irving media had the big national story of the day. Just before the last federal election, automated phone calls were made to voters in targeted ridings across Canada. All were ridings in which the race between Liberals and Conservatives was close. The automated voice claimed to be from Elections Canada, and told recipients that their polling stations had been changed. The result was confusion and anger as voters arrived to find no poll at the advertised location. Many voters simply decided not to vote.
It is possible that this changed the election results to give Harper his majority.
Those calls have been traced to an Edmonton company with close connections to the Conservative Party.
Nor is it likely that this is the whole story. It is a reasonable guess that Conservative organizers knew of the phone calls, and so were able to give suitable advice to Conservative voters.
So much for Harper's respect for democracy. So much for the interest of the Irving media in keeping us informed.
Brent Mazerolle reported on the meeting of Moncton's of Moncton's Planning Commission to approve the building of a new Moncton High School at Royal Oaks. It's a very capably written news story.
You had to be there, though, to get the feel of it.
Most dismaying were the sketches of proposed housing and of the land layout at Royal Oaks. They screamed 1950s so loud that it was possible to imagine Ford Edsels on the streets. The housing was, to put it gently, well, uncreative. Still, with all its faults, the plan could have possibilities for tourism.
With pioneer villages drawing tourists all across North America, a 1950s village might work. It could have a drive-in movie theatre, a drive-in juice and chips stand with the waitresses on roller skates....
It could even be named after a TV show of the time - Father Knows Best Village, Leave it to Beaver Village....and all the TV sets could show reruns of episodes from Have Gun, Will Travel,...and outdoor speakers playing the hits of Frankie Avalon. Has it not occured to any of the TandT's ace editors that there's a bigger story in this?
Section A of the paper is normally devoted to local and provincial news. But for some reason, it frequently also has a national or internation story. This time, it's a story about an anouncement by federal defence minister and expense account magnate Peter Mackay that we may soon reduce our training role in Afghanistan.
Now, a nation sends out its soldiers to risk death or lifetime injury only when it is vital to the defence of the nation. There was nothing in Afghnistan that was vital to Canada. Harper effectively admitted that when he pulled out of the combat role. MacKay has now underscored it with the suggestion we reduce even our training role.
There never was any good reason to go to war in Afghanistan. It was done simply to please Canadian corporations which wanted to please US politicians.
We might remember that next November 11. As we remember those who suffered and died, we might also remember our responsibility to think of them BEFORE we send more of them to war.
Of course, we'll need news media that point these things out. We'll need journalists who know there's a difference between informing and cheerleading.
Interesting to see the big play given to the UN's attempt to investigate nuclear development in Iran. When was the last time you heard of a UN attempt to investigate nuclear development in the US, France, Britain, or Israel?
The editorial and op ed pages are (half of them) good. That's twice as good as usual.
Alec Bruce's commentary is a light read with heavy message about our reliance on fossil fuels.
Norbert Cunningham does well in his reaction to government spying on us. His point is well-argued, and with no resort to ranting or name-calling. Forget whether you agree with him. I'm talking about style and logic. This is commentary as commentary should be written.
Jody Dallaire, a consistently good writer with a well-argued point to make, is her usual, welcome self.
The lead editorial is trivial and inane. The second one is too brief to be coherent.
Rod Allen, as always, is wordy, begins with a long introduction that doesn't get to the point, then goes on to raise other points that he never actually gets to, either. Read it if you really, really have time on your hands.
I can never figure out why The Times and Transcript has those commentaries by staff writers (and Mark Abley). I'd rather look at ads.