Monday, June 13, 2011

Conservatives 'lay track' to attack media, real opposition party in new Parliament

The recent Conservative offensive against news media and columnists suggests the government is "laying the track" to take on members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Ottawa as the real opposition in the new Parliament, says pollster Nik Nanos. But NDP MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay, Ont.) said the tactics—former Conservative Cabinet minister Stockwell Day's unexpected and lengthy criticism of the media during a speech to the Conservative convention on June 9 coupled with a pre-convention fundraising pitch focusing on "left-leaning" opinion makers—are the hallmarks of a government that does not respect the role of independent media in a democratic society.
While Conservative commentator Tim Powers argued it is normal for a Prime Minister to try to "frame the agenda" in a new government and condition party supporters for attacks it expects.
Mr. Day visibly pleased Conservative Party members on Thursday, at the convention's opening night, when he launched into a pointed criticism of "personal attacks" by the media against Conservative politicians during his years in Parliament, including members of the Canadian Alliance party Mr. Day briefly led. Mr. Day compared news coverage of Parliament to what he said appears to be a "new era" of civility in the House of Commons compared to the bitter confrontations that characterized the past three minority governments since 2004.

Click on the title to read the whole story in the Hill Times

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