Saturday, October 21, 2017

Seeing With Clear Vision

H/t Toronto Star

Those who believe analysis must trump hyper-partisanship will enjoy this backgrounder provided in today's Star as part of its transparency series. The piece makes the point that The Star is guided by the progressive Atkinson principles and has endorsed in the 12 federal elections between 1968 and 2008 ... the Liberals nine times, the Progressive Conservatives twice, and the NDP once.

Those endorsements, however, do not give free reign to winning governments of the day:
Andrew Phillips is the Star’s editorial page editor. He and his team of writers and editors craft endorsements at election time.

“(While) it’s more likely that a Liberal or NDP government will be closer to the Star’s values than a Conservative one, all governments fall short,” he said. “We don’t let Liberal governments off the hook when they don’t live up to what we believe they should be doing.”
Speaking truth to power is the guiding ethos at the newspaper:
...a review of 180 editorials dealing with political matters written in the first half of 2017 shows that the Star’s editorial board is usually critical of the current provincial and federal governments.

While not exhaustive, the review found that 37 of 60 editorials dealing with Kathleen Wynne’s provincial Liberal government — 62 per cent — were overtly critical. Of 120 editorials concerning Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals, 70 — or 58 per cent — were overtly critical.
To ignore the wrongdoing of a government with whom one is ideologically akin would be an abdication of its responsibilities:
“Most of the editorials we write about the Liberal governments in Ottawa and Queen’s Park are critical, even though we endorsed the party in both cases,” said Phillips. “But governments have to earn the trust of voters every day, not just on voting day, and we reserved the right to call them out when they fall short. They have plenty of PR folks and spokespeople to defend them every day. That isn’t our job.”
The editorial board has come down hard on the federal Liberals on a range of issues, from the government’s retreat from an election promise to end the first-past-the-post system of voting, to its handling of “cash-for-access” fundraisers. The board wrote that the government’s “fumblings and reversals” on the electoral reform will likely do “democratic damage,” and called on the Liberals to end cash-for-access events entirely.

The board has also been critical of the federal government’s handling of First Nations issues, including calling out the Liberals for taking too long to fund mental health supports on reserves.
Now more than ever, having a newspaper of record present its views in logical and coherent analysis is crucial. Otherwise, we are left only with the strident ideologues who know only one truth: their own.

No comments:

Post a Comment