Friday, March 21, 2008

Screw the 'At-Issue' panel, read Susan Riley instead

After last night's unfair pistol-whipping on the National, it's important to remember that the CBC's 'At-Issue' panel (or other members of the chattering media establishment) never elected anybody to anything. These same folks declared Stephen Harper dead politically as late as November 2005, let's not forget.

It's clear that Chantal Hebert continues to hold a massive grudge against Stephane Dion, perhaps over the Clarity Act; she has had almost nothing positive to say about Mr. Dion since he won the leadership. In that leadership race, she spared no opportunity to grill him over the coals for being "out of touch" with modern Quebec. At least modern Quebec as she sees it. She's merely been lucky that the Conservative advertising campaign against Dion has been so effective, and many of her Ottawa colleagues have bought into it.

Also what qualifies Gordon Gibson to speak for British Columbia? Just asking.

It does seem strange that a guy who wins 3 out of 4 byelections and 41,136 votes on Monday night (Stephane Dion) is declared the bigger loser over the guy who won zero seats and only 10,297 votes (Jack Layton).

Stephen Harper won one seat and took 24,780 votes, but he's declared the big winner of course. The Greens took 8,645 votes, but still managed to steal Jack Layton's and Stephane Dion's thunder.

Last night's panel was the kind of commentary particularly condemned in this excellent piece today on the Obama effect by Susan Riley, easily the best read in the paper's this Good Friday.

Here's a snippet:

"Is there an Obama here (in Canada)? Not yet. But the Green Party and its articulate leader, Elizabeth May, while still on the political margins, offer a glimpse, at least, of less destructively competitive, more positive, vision. It started with May and Liberal leader St├ęphane Dion's agreement not to run candidates against one another in the next election, an unorthodox, principle-based alliance aimed at advancing a green agenda. As the Greens become more threatening -- their surprising surge in Vancouver Quadra apparently came at the expense of Liberal votes -- the relationship may fray. For now, however, says May, "if St├ęphane Dion can keep trying to be collaborative, I'll try too, even if we're in a system that discourages co-operation."

Let's not forget the 'At-Issue' panel, led by Chantal Hebert, had little but condemnation for the Dion-May move in Central Nova.

For more on this, check out my friend Mushroom's similar post on Obama's authenticity today as well. Sobering reading after so much crap in the MSM this week.


Steve V said...


I missed that panel, but Newman's Politics political roundtable panel earlier in the day was extremely harsh towards Dion. That panel included supposed Liberal friendly Delacourt and Russo. It was like Dion was a pinuata.

Matt Guerin said...

It's called group-think. That's what happens in Ottawa when you live and work in a media bubble. The best spinners win the day and the rest just fall in line.

RuralSandi said...

If I recall correctly, it was Coyne and Paul Wells who thought Dion was the man during the leadership race - they were for Dion then.

Koby said...

The Conservatives vote went up 2.3% overall and Liberal vote went down 2.3% overall. In terms of the overall numbers that is all that matters. As for individual ridings, it was Quadra that provided the only true litmus test and the results were far from promising. Dion deserved all that he got from both panels. Indeed, he deserves to be smacked around mercilessly until he resigns as leader, calls a policy convention or starts trotting out policy himself.

Things are extremely dire. If you take away Toronto, the Conservatives are way ahead in the rest of the country. Moreover the Conservatives are competitive in virtually every province. Last election they were above 30% in every province except two. In Quebec they were at 24.6% and in Nova Scotia they were at 29.69%. By comparison, the Liberals were at 27.6% in BC, 15.3% in Alberta, 22.4% in Sask. 26% in Manitoba and 20.7% in Quebec. In other words, in terms of population and in terms of the Provinces, in half the country the Liberals are well under 30% and those numbers promise only to get worse. At a minimum, the Liberals must hold onto what they have in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Right now even that looks extremely unlikely.

Antonio said...

I don't mean to rain on your parade or anything but the media group thinkers chose Stephane Dion.

Hebert said it was a mistake. She was from Quebec. She knew what was gonna happen. All Quebecers did. It is why between 75 and 80% of Quebec chose somebody else on the last ballot rather than Dion.

That speaks volumes. Chantal wasnt the only Quebecer who thought this was gonna happen. Quebec Liberals don't like Dion. Quebecers from other parties really don't like Dion. What makes people think things are suddenly gonna change overnight?