I told you I’m retired! Really! Just to prove it, I’m going travelling again … this time for more than a month. :)
The blog will be down until mid-November.
But some good news too: all of us who read, write and talk about this blog are drawing a lot of attention … MUCH more than I ever dreamed of when I began this hobby. In September alone, we had more than 87,000 visits … 763,000 hits (items looked at) … and as I’ve said, there are NOW many, many people “of influence” monitoring our discussions.
The blogosphere rocks!
Meanwhile, especially for those who are new in following this blog, while I’m away exploring and relaxing, you might want to check out some of our previous HOT topics … just by going to the Search box to the right and typing in your favorite … such as Harper, Clark, Mulcair, Trudeau etc. …or my favorites: Media or Global or CTV or CKNW.
It’s one of the few things politicians at ALL levels of government in BC and Canada now have in common: a heightened DISRESPECT for the people who elected them!
Sure they tell us BEFORE the election how they will be “transparent”, open the books, make public reports we paid for and answer all kinds of questions about policies, procedures, performance and practices.
But AFTER getting into power, ALL of them now move almost immediately to shut down public or press inquiries, access to publicly-paid-for reports, documents and all but press releases, propaganda and photo ops.
Whether it’s at the municipal level under Vision in Vancouver, the provincial level under the Liberals in Victoria or the federal level under the Tories in Ottawa, governments of ALL political stripes are OBSTRUCTING the public more than ever from obtaining details about how, where, why and how much PUBLIC monies are spent; preventing us from seeing documents behind, supporting or criticising various policies; and, even accessing some very basic program details and data.
This is an INSULT to our democracy, our freedom and our right to know.
And I believe this arrogance and disrespect for the public by government’s and politicians … so often reported by the media … is contributing to DECLINING VOTER TURNOUTS. What’s the point if, whoever you vote for, turns their backs on you if they win and dismiss any interest you might have in following, knowing or , God forbid, investigating their decisions, actions and behind the scenes manoeuverings.
It’s OUR money they are spending. The public should have the RIGHT to all documents, reports, studies and analyses WE’VE PAID FOR. The ONLY exceptions would be personnel or legal matters, etc.
However, the politicians know most of the public … even those who vote … get easily distracted after elections by other happenings in their lives, at work, at home, with friends, family, sports, what’s on tv or even what’s happening elsewhere in the world.
So WE let them get away with it. Because except on Voting Day we are basically powerless.
BUT so do the media. And this need not be the case!
If I was still working, I would have ENJOYED taking up the cause of freedom and asking the Mayor, the Premier, the Prime Minister AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY questions like:
* Why are you blocking the public’s right to know about (insert the appropriate topic, report, data)?
* Why are you denying the public access to (insert topic, document, request)?
* Why won’t you let (whatever ministry or official) answer questions or provide information on (you get it!)?
There’s a whole variety of tough questions that should be asked OVER AND OVER .. and their squirming answers reported OVER AND OVER … not just once and then accepted and go on to cover their photo ops and press releases … so the politicians learn it’s the PEOPLE who will set the agenda and the politicians who will be exposed OVER AND OVER for their duplicity, arrogance and disrespect for those who elected them.
Believe me, if the media …at any level … took up this cause IN UNISON and FOUGHT for the public’s right to know ..not just occasionally mention its breach … reporting it OVER AND OVER, every day or every newscast, in every newspaper … the politicians will get OUR message.
And NOTHING moves a politician more than PUBLIC PRESSURE .
The media should take up this public cause … with any effective tough-questioning reporters they have left!