Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Once Again, The Critics Are Full Of B.S.
From the Ottawa Citizen: Throne speech timing will cut off critics, opposition says. Opposition MPs are accusing Prime Minister Stephen Harper of manipulating Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean and her speech from the throne next week to maximize government control over news at the expense of opposition parties. But the Proclamation Summoning Parliament to Meet reveals Mr. Harper has broken longstanding convention by scheduling the speech to be delivered at 6:35 p.m., at least three hours later than the tradition. Liberal leader Stéphane Dion may have the most to lose because the late start means his Commons response to the outline of government intentions for the new session will be pushed into the evening. More important, his divided party may have difficulty hammering out a clear and prompt response in time for nightly television broadcasting and newspaper publication cycles, says the NDP. "It's all about spin," said Liberal House leader Ralph Goodale. "It's all about trying to enhance the government's message by focusing on prime time and then minimizing the opportunity for response and reaction. It's bending parliamentary convention and protocol to suit the government's convenience." It's not easy at first glance to see who's more upset at this after-supper delight; the opposition parties or the media. The media tells us what the response from the politicians is. In the case of the Throne speech, it's the media that are going to have to stay up late(r) to present to us the various responses to the speech. This begs the question: If 9/11 had occured at 6:35 PM, would there not have been enough reporters around to give us the story? It still happened, just as this Throne Speech will happen. If it's so important that the critics have a chance to pour their opinions on us, they'll just have to do what most Canadians in other fields of work have had to experience: work overtime. The funny thing about this speech from the Throne is that everything points to it being a positive speech that will be acceptible by the majority of Canadians. If you can't attack the message, and you haven't been able to put a dent in the messenger, what else is left to attack but the delivery of the message? H/T National Newswatch. Update: I'm not the only one with this opinion.