Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Harper The Totalitarian ... What's Next?

If you are a politician in Canada, the media is a fact of life. If you are a politician in a governing party, the media is omnipresent in your life ... get used to it.

In Stephen Harper's world, though, it seems that it's okay to use police muscle to distance yourself from the media.

Okay, Harper doesn't like the media - I get that - it's quite clear to me...and has been ever since his first official hissy fit with the Parliamentary Press Corps.

However, this is another thing altogether:

"There's a time and a place for the media," a Mountie told a small knot of print reporters, making it clear the issue was not a matter of security but of communications strategy.

The unnamed officer said he was acting on orders from the PMO.

Now, a reasonable person might look and say that this is nothing more than security. But if we are talking about a security precaution, how do you explain this?

While tour bus groups freely wandered the lobby of Charlottetown's Delta Hotel, plainclothes Mounties rebuffed reporters who had convened for the Conservative party's three-day summer strategy session.

Granted, it's a strategy session - I get that. However, the Con$ are not an opposition party now, they are the governing party. While I do not believe that the media needs to be "in the room" at their strategy session, the Con$ have no business using the RCMP as hired muscle to keep the media away.

This is not the actions of a party that respects democracy, or for that matter even touches on the shores of accountability in government. This kind of heavy handedness is sending a clear message to Canadians -> "Let us do what we want, and screw you to hell" is the message.

The Harper government's approach to the Canadian media has been insulting to both the media and Canadians. It smacks of cover-ups, dishonesty and a disrespect for the Canadian voter. Using the police to enforce your will when you don't want to be held accountable for your own bad policy is the act of a wannabe dictator.

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