About three years ago I asked myself if the Trudeau Liberals were making rookie mistakes or were they just “tone deaf“? Now I have to ask myself if they are still just “tone deaf” or is their own polling so bad that they are desperate?
The issue is the ill-conceived $600 Milion bailouts for some, selected, favoured media outlets and the choice of Unifor, the trade union, to sit on the panel that will select the “chosen.”
John Ibbitson, writing in the Globe and Mail, lays out the problem. “This writer,” he says “does not believe that supporting newspapers with almost $600-million in federal funds is money well spent. Market forces should decide which newspapers survive, or what replaces them … [but, he goes on to say] … if such a fund is to exist, then yes, an arm’s length panel should establish the rules for eligibility. And if ownership is represented on such a panel, then labour should be too … But Unifor? … [his point is that] … Because it’s so big, the union likes to throw its weight around. Currently, Unifor is waging a campaign to prevent Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives from winning the next election. It calls itself “the Resistance,” and “Andrew Scheer’s worst nightmare” … [and] … Mr. Scheer, understandably, objects to having a sworn political enemy given the job of helping establish the rules by which news organizations receive government funds … [and then] … For daring to complain, Unifor president Jerry Dias labelled the Opposition Leader, “Trump of the North.”“
It doesn’t matter if Justin Trudeau’s intentions were/are honourable or even sensible … and I think they are neither … it looks like he is going to play favourites with the media and that he has chosen a highly partisan anti-Conservative union leader to help him do that. It stinks of political ineptitude, cronyism and even corruption and, above all, of desperation. Gerry Diaz and Unifor should be nowhere near this project; it makes the >iberals look even more crooked and weak and, I’ll say it again, desperate.
My guess is that the Liberal Party’s own, internal, private polling is telling them that Justin Trudeau is well past his “best before” date and that Canadians have lost their enthusiasm for his brand of change and want real, adult leadership in Ottawa, again. I suspect that the Party is deeply divided and cannot, yet, condone a much-needed palace coup to replace Prime Minister Trudeau this spring with someone (like Marc Garneau?) who might win the October election or at least, hold Andrew Scheer to a minority. This decision, to give Gerry Diaz a say in how government money is funnelled to “worthy” media outlets reeks of the same decision making that thought persecuting prosecuting Vice Admiral Mark Norman and pressuring Jody Wilson-Raybould to offer SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement were good policy choices.
Mr Ibbitson concludes that “The government bailout undermines confidence in the impartiality of journalists. Unifor’s attacks on Conservatives do the same. We do our jobs anyway, without fear or favour, as best we can.” Bravo to those journalists … most of them … who are doing their jobs as best they can, trying to get to the truth of the matter and tell us what’s going on in the corridors of power.
Canadians need to tell Justin Trudeau that we object to the overt partisanship that he is applying to an already ill-conceived policy choice and that we will punish him at the polls in October.