Saturday, April 22, 2006

Transparency in government.

The editor-in-chief of the London Free Press (it's a Sun publication these days, but don't hold that against it... it was independent for many, many years and was the paper I read growing up), Paul Berton, wrote an interesting piece on Steve Harper's attempts to control the media.

Berton's right, the media really are fascinated with themselves. However, being a media junkie of sorts, this sort of issue piques my interest. Steve doesn't have a history of working too well with other people — Preston Manning can, and has, attested to that — and his "my way or the highway" approach will only get him so far before people start turning off.

If you're trying to earn a majority in Parliament, Steve, I'd say that shrouding your party in fog is probably not the best way to go about doing things.

My brother turns 31 today. What an old man!


Tavis said...

I think this quote from the article is best:

"... Nobody ever said politicians were obliged to talk to the media. There's nothing in the law or the constitution forcing press conferences or regular media scrums. The government wasn't elected to spoonfeed journalists."

Harper's tactics make sense, and I would do the same if I was in his position. Why would you be like Martin, who would hold press conferences telling people what you're GOING to do, when later when you don't show results people can jump on you for failing. It seems like Harper is only going to talk to news reporters when there is, well, news to report.

Harper may be taking it a bit far though. I don't really approve of hand selecting only certain reporters to take questions from, but all the other stuff I have no problems with. Why should the government tell everyone when they're having meetings?

JTL said...

It's all about balance, really. Martin bent over backwards to make everyone like him, and look where that got him... and Harper really doesn't care what people think of him. We'll see how long he lasts before people start thinking of him in Wizard of Oz-like terms.

Call me crazy, but I'd like to know when my government has meetings. They're my government, after all. I elected them. (Well, okay, maybe the person for whom I marked an X didn't get in, but hey, the spirit is there.)