An election campaign is one of the times when the belief that repetition matters really comes to the forefront. If you hammer on any point long enough, the belief goes, it will eventually penetrate the collective consciousness and be accepted as true.
There were two news events this Monday morning, as week three of the campaign begins, that are connected to this belief. The first was an item I heard on CBC radio's World Report at 7 a.m. about the NDP platform that had been released the day before. It's of interest because, in two different clips, it countered what has become common wisdom by virtue of having been repeated so often.
The NDP is always scoffed at as the party that can't manage a government's finances, so often still portrayed as a bunch of Birkenstock-wearing, granola-munching hippies who don't know their way around the economic issues. But this news item had NDP leader Jack Layton referring to independent research that showed that the governments that have managed their economies best over the past several years have all been NDP governments. And the CBC editors left it in!
In the same item, Brad Lavigne, national director of the NDP, was quoted saying that the NDP has to be much more diligent than the other parties in presenting a costed platform because they will be scrutinized much more closely than the other parties are. He referred to the $11 billion that the Harper Conservatives say they will find in savings -- without saying where. Lavigne asked what would happen if the NDP dared to say such a thing -- and the CBC editors left it in!
I only heard that report once, here in the Atlantic time zone. I'm wondering if it made it all the way across the country.
The other news event that caught my attention was on The Current wherein Senator Pamela Wallin, as a panel member, was pathetically laughable. My goodness. We've grown accustomed to hearing Stephen Harper invoke the "coalition" in the same tone of voice he'd use if he were talking about the anti-Christ. But Wallin's answer, in her familiar honeyed former-journalist's voice, to the question, "What would a Michael Ignatieff government look like?" was just mind-blowingly stupid.
In the fantasy world where Pamela Wallin lives, it would look like this: Prime Minister Michael Ignatieff; Finance Minister Jack Layton; Defence Minister Gilles Duceppe.
I had to give my head a shake.
I keep waiting for the tide to turn against Harper and I haven't lost hope. I follow a number of "national" journalists on Twitter and they're talking openly about everything that is happening in the campaigns. I don't see that yet reflected in the broad media coverage of the campaign but maybe that will turn too.
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