Attention Politicians: the Middle Class IS Mad as Hell and Not Taking it Anymore!

In 1976, that was just a rant by a fictional character Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch) in the movie Network: today, it’s reality, being acted out more and more by angry middle class voters in elections worldwide.

This past week, India’s Narendra Modi was expecting his BJP would comfortably win 370 seats in Parliamentary elections; it captured only 240 … forcing the super-confident Modi to humiliatingly seek a coalition with smaller parties to hang on to power.

What a shock! After all, in only nine years since 2014, Modi’s government had lowered India’s poverty rate from 29% to 11% … raising living standards for 24.8 million people.

India’s rich had also done very well.

According to the Economic Times, “India’s wealth inequality is at a six-decade high with the top 1% owning 40% of wealth …. Foreign investments led to a surge in billionaires post-1992. PM Modi’s tenure saw a widening rich-poor gap amid rapid economic growth.”

But Modi clearly didn’t do enough for the middle class.

So they took their revenge at the ballot box!

And although, much of the media still have not yet linked the dots, it’s not just India: the middle class in many of the world’s democracies, are exacting revenge!

Incumbent left-leaning governments, like Canada’s, are showing a definite swing to the right in voter polling; where governments are right-leaning, like the UK, polls are showing a definite voters’ swing to the left.

The middle class want change.

The 2023 Netherlands election saw “one of the biggest political upsets in Dutch politics since World War II:  the right-wing populist Party for Freedom (PVV), led by Geert Wilders, won 37 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives, becoming the largest party for the first time,” according to Wikipedia.

“The PVV leader won after harnessing widespread frustration about migration, promising “borders closed”, the BBC reported.

“Last year net migration into the Netherlands more than doubled beyond 220,000, partly because of refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the issue has been aggravated by a shortage of some 390,000 homes.”

Sound familiar?

Qatar’s propaganda “news” network, Al Jazeera, had a different explanation:

“Anti-Islam and anti-EU rhetoric are historically the main elements in Wilders’s agenda. This proved too marginal for Dutch public opinion when he became the spokesperson for the People’s Party in 2002, and he was dismissed from the post.

“Anti-Muslim sentiment rose in the country after filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed in 2004. His film Submission depicted Islam as a religion that encouraged violence against women. The attacker, Mohammed Bouyeri, was a second-generation Dutch Moroccan. The Guardian newspaper called the incident “the murder that shattered Holland’s liberal dream”.

But it was more than that one incident: for years, many Dutch had felt too large numbers of Islamic immigrants, instead of fitting in, were demanding Netherlanders adapt to them, accept Muslim women wearing hijabs or even niqabs, there were several incidents of Muslims intimidating or beating up gays and, according to one report, Muslims were responsible for 70% of the anti-Semitic incidents in Holland.

The historically, very liberal and tolerant Dutch clearly had enough … and the election of Wilders was testament to that! (Having been to Holland five times, I personally find it hard to see most Nederlanders as right wingers.)

Holland’s fed up middle class majority were fed up, wanted change … and voted for it.

Similarly in Poland in October 2023, the right wing ruling Law and Justice Party was tossed out … change.

And in South Africa, just weeks ago, the ANC that had ruled for 30 years, suffered major losses. forcing it to seek coalition partners to stay in power.

The “dissatisfaction” factor with whoever is in power has become a worldwide theme among voters.

In Italy, far right populist Giorgia Meloni rode to victory in late 2022, forming a coalition the BBC described as “the most right wing government since World War II”, defeating her centre-left opponent.

“Earlier this year she outlined her priorities in a raucous speech to Spain’s far-right Vox party: “Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology… no to Islamist violence, yes to secure borders, no to mass migration… no to big international finance… no to the bureaucrats of Brussels!”, the BBC said.

Enough people had become mad as hell to get Meloni elected.

In Germany, France, US …like Canada … polls have also shown growing dissatisfaction with incumbent governments.

Why? Because the middle class feels left out.

Many voters feel their governments have focused too much on programs/services catering to their political bases, their financial backers, special interest groups, immigrants, refugees, and the loudest-shouting, disruptive agitators/activists.

At the same time, the rich have still been getting richer and richer … but the middle class, most of the world’s work force, feel they are getting nowhere, or worse, losing ground. (Read about it here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2024/05/14/why-the-rich-get-richer-and-the-poor-get-poorer/.)

So, despite all the improvements in productivity, automation and technology … people in our democratic, highly developed society are working harder, but ending up with less!

In fact, by today’s standards, the average middle class family in the 1950s and 1960s seem to have had comparatively little: usually only one TV at home (likely black and white), one family car, one phone (land-based), no Internet, less free time, travelled only rarely, ate out much less frequently and even had to line up to withdraw money from their bank account (10 a,m, to 3 pm. Monday to Friday … and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m Friday, closed Saturday or Sunday).

BUT middle class families back then could afford to buy a home … even without both parents working! Singles could rent an apartment, without sharing with two or three others! Own a car too! And go to university without racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt!

And, my favorite, put $1 worth of gas in your father’s car and drive around all evening!

Today’s middle class … and tomorrow’s too (Millennials, Gen X and Gen Z) … feel they are being screwed by governments, lied to by politicians and shaken down by corporations … all of which see the middle class as only a resource to be milked, mined, drained any way they can to fill their own pockets, reward their base and mostly serve only a small number of preferred groups.

Taxes, rents, mortgages, groceries, gasoline, transit , Hydro charges go up, up, up … while service levels go down, down, down … and overruns mount: millions, billions … it doesn’t matter: it’s only taxpayers’ money!

No wonder the middle class, worldwide, is mad as hell … and so many feel the only thing they can legally do about it is throw the bums out … whenever they get a chance to vote.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld on “X” for FREE First Alerts of all new posts on this Blog.)

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13 Responses to Attention Politicians: the Middle Class IS Mad as Hell and Not Taking it Anymore!

  1. Chuck B says:

    Good one Harv. But, big but … when the opposing party gets in … they just follow the same pattern (promises etc, not kept) … middle class loses either way …

    (Response: I almost ended my piece with the line “Only to elect a new group of bums who will do the same thing!” 🙂 However, I decided not: because I am a hapless optimist, who believes things CAN get better, there ARE good politicians who want to serve the majority … and, by suggesting nothing will change, I could discourage people from even voting and trying to make things better. h.o)

  2. Marge says:

    There are so many things the middle class is frustrated with. We are tired of paying and paying and paying and getting nowhere. We see money shooting out the door going to the strangest causes. Tax after tax eat at our incomes. Seniors who have contributed to Canada all of their lives go hungry while the politicians bring more “voters” in from lands far away and give them housing and medical – in order to secure their votes at a later date.

    Another thing the middle class is mad about is all the programs that go nowhere but cost tons of money such as the drug program that has resulted in the homeless taking over streets and streets of Vancouver and other suburban centres while businesses who pay taxes shut their doors.

    They are also tired of the lies that are fed to them, such as the carbon tax. We are constantly preached at about our carbon footprint while the likes of Trudeau jet around the world on our dime no less.

    And we have more lies from the provincial party, run by Kevin Falcon, who now says they will axe the tax. Does anyone remember it was brought in by his party (under a different name though LOL). Now we are supposed to forget what he did originally and vote his party in! Like hell we will. Also forgot to mention that he was the transportation minister who made sure the bridge to Surrey was tolled but not bridges elsewhere in the Lower Mainland. Guess what group of people were the most impacted by the tax? The middle class of course!

    Now I hear BC Hydro wants to put a surtax on high usage times (evenings of course, when everyone is home) and expects people will accept it with flying colors.

    Then we watch the likes of Mr. Singh who only wants to keep Parliament going so that he can collect his massive pension. No matter how much he protests about the Liberals, he always supports them, lock and step. I hope that his party is decimated come election time! He deserves it!

    And at home, we have the likes of the NDP who insulted and demeaned an MLA because she was Jewish. If she were Palestinian, she would have been welcomed with open hours. Name one thing the NDP under Eby has done to better the lives of the middle class. I can’t!

    The middle class see the impact of immigration on the school systems, the medical system and the housing market and shudder at what is to come next with the bringing in of more and more unqualified, uneducated people that they will have to support for years while not being able to either own a decent home or get to see a real doctor if they need one. Go to any specialist appointment and note how many people don’t speak English there but are ahead of the Canadians who have paid taxes forever and are still waiting to be seen or who have to wait months and years to get an operation that is desperately needed. I am not against immigrants but when they cause the grief that we see on a regular basis, something has to be done. Everyone I know cheered when the Dutch elected a government that finally has the nerve to say enough, we can’t handle it anymore.

    To say the middle class has had enough is an understatement. I just wish the politicians realized how mad, how frustrated and how loathed they all are! Unfortunately, they only learn on election day. Provincial and federal elections here in BC, wait for it!

    (Response: Every politician and political strategists, at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.in every province and just about every Western country, should pin your comment up on their wall … and read it every morning. I believe you are reflecting exactly the sentiments felt by the vast majority of the struggling, declining middle class … people who have studied/worked hard all their lives but feel poorer and poorer and only thought of by governments when they need to squeeze them for more money … often to spend on others or cover up their own insatiable thirst for taxpayers’ money … and the waste/incompetence/overruns we now see so often. h.o)

  3. D. Malcolm Johnston says:

    Yes we are mad as hell, but for most the complaining comes from motor-homes in Palm Springs, Condos in Phoenix or time shares in Mexico. Voting the “bums’ out only means a new lot of “bums” are in.

    How many people are informed on national and international news, not aired on FOX?

    How many people read multiple news sources and then fact check on Snopes?

    How many people have taken interest on local issues, such as transportation, local politics, local government?

    How many people have written a letter to the Editor of a newspaper or news magazine?

    How many people really understand how our particular form of government operates?

    Voting the bums out is easy, holding a new government feet to the fire is another thing.

    As I take interest in transportation I have been told by engineers both in Toronto and Ottawa Poilievre’s people have told them, federal money for transit projects will cease and that includes the current agreements and is why planners and engineer are scrambling to spent what federal monies they can to secure the many needs of a public transit system.

    Locally it means no more extensions to the SkyTrain light metro system and why the provincial government and TransLink are promoting buses.

    But it gets worse because the pseudo Evangelical/anti-science/GOP Lite politcans are going to get even with the great unwashed for voting other than their mob and I can see four years of pure politcal hell, till we throw those bums out.

    Meanwhile we maybe in a not so cold war with both Russia and China and Trudeau, to his best ability as virtually castrated Canada’s military into a rump force of paper pushers.

    I am a baby boomer and I am mad as hell, my oldest son is a Millennial and my youngest a Gen-Z and from what I can gather Trudeau, his brand is as dead as Marley’s ghost.

    I am naive to think of it but give me a politcans who puts Canada First and their politcal friends second, but that is as rare as hens teeth.

    (Response: I disagree that “for most the complaining comes from motor-homes in Palm Springs, Condos in Phoenix or time shares in Mexico.” Millions of voters in democracies across the world are throwing out incumbent governments and politicians …and I dare say none of those casting ballots fit the relatively comfortable retirees fit the description you offered. There is an uprising of the much larger middle class taking place: in EU voting just completed, the far right scored major victories … and this should be of great concern for our democracies. Our politicians and governments must pivot from inviting, welcoming, coddling so many immigrants, activists, agitators who aren’t fitting in with the majority, but in too many cases, are trying to turn their new homes into the same hate and ethnic/race based cultures and governing systems we thought they had fled! h.o)

  4. D. M. Johnston says:

    Though not quite in the title of “Attention Politicians: the Middle Class IS Mad as Hell and Not Taking it Anymore!”, after reading Terry Glavins news letter “NSICOP: Enemies On Parliament Hill.”

    https://therealstory.substack.com/p/nsicop-enemies-on-parliament-hill?utm_source=post-email-title&publication_id=748248&post_id=145338301&utm_campaign=email-post-title&isFreemail=true&r=1eu537&triedRedirect=true&utm_medium=email

    You want names? You’ve come to the right place. You want criminal charges? That’s exceedingly unlikely. A link-rich primer for what’s to come. He leaves little doubt who has been in the pocket of foreign interests.

    If the names go public, as they should, the Middle class will go from “ballistic” to “super nova” and woe to the political parties involved.

    Mad as hell? Oh, I think we have now past that and it’s now “pitchfork” time.

    Makes we wonder why a former Premier, Horgan by name, was made ambassador to Germany? I wish some of our main stream media types have a look at that, instead of treating news releases as news!

    (Response: Your comment may seem a bit off topic, but I think the issue of foreign interference in our domestic politics at any level is something all voters should be concerned about these days. It’s a crime! However, although I share that concern, I don’t agree with those who believe anyone (MP, MLA, City Councillor or private citizen) believed, suspected, alleged to have “wittingly or unwittingly” been involved in helping any foreign power should be publicly named, just on the basis of a report by any committee. Reminds me of the McCarthy days in the US! It has long been the rule in Canada that people suspected or alleged to have done wrong are only named AFTER police investigate and only if charges are laid in Court. That’s the way things should stay … although I’d sure like to know too! h.o)

  5. e.a.f. says:

    If people don’t get what they want, they vote out the party in office and then vote in another party which doesn’t improve things either. However, regardless of the complaints most people don’t do much to try to change things. Don’t wait for a politician, they have other interests. The first order of business for any politician is to stay in power/office. Everything is secondary.

    When you compare life in the last century to this one, there is a world of difference. Not only could people purchase their own home, by the 1970s a lot of working families had also been able to purchase a weekend/summer place.

    In some countries people have elected new governments or reduced majorities because they don’t like change. The world has changed a great deal since the 1970s. In the mid 1970s you could purchase a lovely home in McKenzie Heights, with ocean view, for $125,000. Today a parking spot in a new condo will cost you $125K.
    The Netherlands had a lot fewer people and although there were housing shortages in major cities, it wasn’t as bad as it is now. In Rotterdam they were able to control where people lived. When I was there in 1969, and there was still a housing shortage, if you didn’t work in downtown Rotterdam you didn’t live there. Eventually more housing was built and those regulations were removed. That would never have worked in Canada.

    Last week’s local paper in Nanaimo had letters to the editor complaining about health care, how they needed a bigger, better hospital and they wanted it now. People in the Lower Mainland want better highways to get around. Surrey NEEDS more schools and teachers. Every one wants more doctors and nurses. People want lower taxes. Some say Ottawa has to start paying for these things. Don’t people understand that Ottawa is a city and that is only where Parliament is located. there is not a big room filled with gold. To pay for things, Ottawa needs to increase taxes and voters don’t want that. You can’t have it both ways.
    There is very little government housing in Canada. The Co-op program was cancelled in the last century. Provinces didn’t build much affordable housing for decades so of course as the population grows housing just isn’t there and what is, prices are driven up. No one thought that the doctors of the 60s, 70, 80, 90s were going to retire some day. The provinces certainly didn’t plan for it because as in B.C. no new seats were created at the Universities or residences created. Now its an emergency.

    Voting for PP and his gang is not going to improve the lives of any one, except the rich. Yes, he’ll stop sending money for transportation. I’m O.K. with that because if B.C. wants all sorts of new transportation, we can pay for it ourselves. Mulroney and Harper both left larger deficiets than the prior Liberal governments. Don’t recall a single federal social program brought in by a Conservative government. PP says he won’t change abortion rights. I’m sure he won’t start the ball rolling but any one of his MPs can bring forward a private member’s bill. There have been roll backs in Europe and the U.S.A. If you don’t think it can’t happen here, just watch if they had a large enough majority. PP was part of the Harper government and that government passed 9 pieces of federal legislation which Harper was told was in violation of our Constition. He passed them any how. He and PP had a majority. Up shot, all 9 pieces of leg. were taken to the Supreme Court of Canada and over turned,. Do we really want that type of government again? If you want to have a review Conservative government find an old copy of On the Take, the Mulroney Years by Stevie Cameron.

    No government has spent enough money on the military as far back as I can remember. It was like no one ever noticed the country sitting at our northern border is Russia. No one ever thought the U.S.A. might return to its isolationist ways. We did all of this ourselves to ourselves by voting for candidates who did not care about us and how the future worked out for the country and its children.

    Foreign interference in Canadian elections by other countries, that is not news. nomination meetings can be manipulated to have a candidate more favorable towards another country voted in. Knew about it by the 1980s. Its just that now people are talking about it because some one got murdered and others spoke up about foreign police offices in Canada. These countries were not our friends and never will be. We need to take a good look at the world and figure out what is best for Canada and its citizens, not the politicians and their financial supporters and the corporate world.

    People were very happy when prices of houses/property went up. They were making money, retiring early, selling in the lower mainland and moving to less expensive areas in B.C. In the late 1990s things started to get expensive and many people moved to Surrey, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, etc. Then they had to commute. No one seemed to think things could get just a tad crowded in this country. No government did any real planning for the future. Over the last few decades the world population has grown. I remember when it was 5 billion, now its over 8 billion and still going up. First world countries didn’t do much to improve conditions in second and third world countries and now we have what we have today. The IMF did some real damage back in the day and some countries were not able to recover. Things got very bad in some areas of the world and now people need to move. Where do they want to move to? First world countries but we don’t want them anymore. Some of the countries became “shit holes”. Why? Graft, corruption, enviornmental destruction. How, western corporations moving in. Ever had a look at what Rio Tinto did in other countries while they mined? There is an old CBC documentary and it deals with Canadian mining interests in an African country and the impact. It was awful. Then they showed a group of men celebrating all of this, There they were, Canadian politicians partying with murdering dictators. Soldiers routinely murdered citizens who didn’t like the mining. Of course people are going to leave countries like that.
    We sent our factories off shore for cheaper goods and to avoid enviornmental standards in our own countries. It created unemployment here and enviornmental problems here and there.
    People object to the carbon tax but they are also unhappy about the forest fires, etc. No one is interested in dealing with it. Carbon created by the gas in cars isn’t the problem, its the carbon created by the making of plastics. Its considerably greater. Climate change is costing us money. Not only do taxpayers have to cover the costs of fire fighting and flooding, but insurance rates go up or you can’t get insurance. It all impacts society and people feel like they don’t have any control over their lives. They never really did, but now its staring them in their faces.

    When we look at the increase in wealth of the billionaire class, its a lot more than what working people have, even if its pro rated Yet business still want tax cuts for themselves, less regulation, etc. Last evening news was describing them as the innovation . omg, the conceit. Every time there is an increase in taxes for business they want grants or no increases. They carry on as if its the end of the world. They don’t want to pay their employees more or they’ll go out of business. So they want people to work for them for wages which don’t meet the poverty level but they themselves want more money at the expense of those workers.

    If you want more schools, more medical staff, more hospitals, more highways, sky trains, better pensions, more medication paid for by government, fewer homeless people and drug addicts on the street we will ALL have to pay more taxes. The new capital gains tax will certainly go a long way, as a start.

    (Response: Several times over the years, I have noted that it has been my observation that unhappy voters often vote incumbents out, rather than enthusiastically vote a new party in. Looks like federally that will be happening again. (I currently doubt that will happen this time in BC provincially). So we need Poilievre and the Conservatives to do more than just push buttons with slogans/phrases … like “Axe the Tax”. I like that promise … but they really need to tell us exactly what they WILL do, when it comes to replacing the lost revenues, address climate change, solve the housing crisis, deal with the labour shortage (especially in the health field), immigration, or if they’ll cut services etc … which ones? And it sure looks like there are growing concerns and unhappiness by the middle class about all these areas across the world, so to avoid swings to the radical right, politicians had better start paying attention to the majority! h.o)

  6. nonconfidencevote says:

    @ e.a.f.
    “If you want more schools, more medical staff, more hospitals, more highways, sky trains, better pensions, more medication paid for by government, fewer homeless people and drug addicts on the street we will ALL have to pay more taxes. The new capital gains tax will certainly go a long way, as a start.”

    +++
    Unfortunately….the debt comes first.

    https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/federal-and-provincial-debt-interest-costs-for-canadians-2024-edition#:~:text=The%20federal%20government%20will%20spend,childcare%20benefits%20(%2431.2%20billion).

    $46 BILLION dollars PER YEAR in taxpayer funds to pay the INTEREST on the National debt.
    WE are paying for 9 years of Liberal/NDP largess.
    They have NEVER balanced a budget.
    Disgraceful….. and it should be against the Law.
    Why are they ( especially when they are a Minority govt) allowed to dig us so deep in debt hole we may never get out?
    To buy popularity?
    Disgraceful political opportunism.

    And yet it all amounted to nothing.
    They will lose in the next election.
    Good riddance.

    (Response: I think what we need now, and until the economy recovers, is “back to basics” governments (municipal/regional/provincial/federal): ones that will review all possibly expendable programs and capital projects, put them on hold, and redirect funding to only the basics (health, education, social services, transportation etc.) so that the majority of the population (not just the active, loud minorities) start believing they are getting the benefits of the huge increases in taxes/fees that have been imposed on them over the past decade. Clearly the majority don’t feel that way now! h.o)

  7. r says:

    Quebec= Trudeau bucks 3/4 B for migration? BC ZERO and all others.!

    Mr T -MP riding = Papineau, in Montreal, Quebec.

    Blacklocks.

    https://x.com/MBDan7/status/1800668870862123501?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    (Response: Premier Eby is quite correct: readers of this blog and those who saw my work on BCTV (including Eby) have been well aware for a very long time how I sounded that alarm over and over … Quebec does get far more than its “fair” share in federal spending AND POWER than it should. The Premier should release detailed figures I’m sure have been calculated by BC and the Western provinces proving his point. (Maybe some intrepid reporter should ask??? I would have sought that as soon as he said it!) h.o)

  8. RIsaak says:

    Recently the truth that carbon pricing costs the economy 30 billion per year.

    BC Hydro now about to introduce time of usage billing, like I saw coming when the smart meters arrived.

    EV sales plummeting as the reality of electrical grid limitations are about to be exposed, site C is mostly to compress LNG for export, not for domestic use.

    Massive govt. hiring spree, both federal & BC governments. What is the correlating increase in service or efficiencies from these fresh hires?

    The economy is not taking care of itself, interest costs skyrocketing with zero real attempt to decrease money borrowing charges? Every tax paying business wishes they could borrow endlessly without ever attempting to amortize their debt, but the magical govt. can function endlessly in red ink?

    Bureaucratic red tape, over regulation and the looming capital gains increases will only chase investment capital away. This nation is built on investor confidence, investing “risk capital” funds, not on government largess with a never ending debt spiral. This troubles folks who understand what built this nation and also causes dissent as well t should. If you support increasing taxes with no real attempt to find efficiencies or increase productivity, you are a part of this delusional spiral into national junk bond status.

    I cannot help but wonder if the supporters of increasing capital gains have ever paid capital gains, ever submitted an employers tax return, had to compete for investment funding against regions who have no such tax or really thought about the “law of unintended consequences” and how ideology almost always fails on fiscal issues?

    (Response: In reading your points, it occurred to me (again) that various levels of government are so lucky that the old BCTV style of grilling politicians on camera no longer exists. Imagine how we would have pursued them ON CAMERA re the cost overruns for the North Shore treatment plant, the junket to Amsterdam, the NDP purchase of hotels on Granville for homeless from all over the province/country and crack users, destroying Granville Street and the city’s mid-range hotel stock … now, so badly needed, the “student” occupiers and so weak responses by administrators … and a whole slew of other stories/spending abuses, like how the middle class are really getting screwed by governments. The print media try …and some still do great reporting …but the politicians know MOST people now get their news on-line (where hard questioning is difficult to show) or on social media (no filters at all) or on TV (where hard questioning was long ago abandoned and governments largely get a free ride …by media “messengers”.) The polls … and voting results … show almost everywhere a revolt by the middle class IS taking place … with potentially very dangerous consequences for our democracies. h.o)

    • D. M. Johnston says:

      You are dead on.

      doing the transit gig for almost 40 years, I have had the pleasure of talking to real experts on transit, planning, and engineering. I also have been told a lot of “hush, hush, you did not hear this from me stuff” and it has added to my dystopian view of things.

      If the mainstream media ever recovered from their present stupor and actually did what media did in the Webster, Mair, Oberfeld era the voting public would be apoplectic, looking for grandad’s pitchfork.

      Very few journalists and reporters are holding politician’s feet to the fire and most media outlets treat politcal news releases as actual news.

      What we get today is more “puff” from the electronic media and fish wrap from the newspapers.

      Those who get the news online seldom go to google or Snopes to verify veracity. today’s voter knows that something is very wrong in this country; politicians, civically, provincially and federally, treat their riding’s or cities as fiefdoms, where the average person has no say and is not listened too.

      A noted planner in Vancouver (I read his blog) was given 3 minutes to try to convey a complicated planning issue on Broadway and of course no one listened, because politcans do not listen anymore.

      A side note: I was related by marriage to a prominent Vancouver federal politicians and despite being a cabinet minister, he always had time in his Vancouver Office to receive those who had issues.

      My current MP has never replied when I asked for her help to get some information in Ottawa, she is an important person, a cabinet minister and has no time for the common man.

      Personally, I find the leaders of the Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP are not fit for office as will those who run in my riding. If an independent runs (unless he/she is a real nutter), I will vote for he/she, but for the rest, it will be a crap shoot, nothing more. Ho, where is Screaming Lord Such, when you need him!

      (Response: Something I noticed in a recent poll that most of our political reporters have missed … or have not given sufficient attention: The Angus Reid poll of May 30, not unexpectedly, still gave the NDP the lead, with 41% support, followed by the Conservatives at 30%, BC United at 18%. BUT, when it came to ISSUES, those emphasized so heavily in recent years by the NDP government… drug use, poverty, homelessness, education … were at the bottom of voters’ concerns; the top five were where criticism/unhappiness with the NDP has been highest: cost of living, 66%; Health Care 52%; Housing affordability; 43%; Environment 24%; and, Street crime, 23%. (Read the full results here: https://angusreid.org/bc-election-may-2024/. I can’t help but wonder whether, if the Conservatives and BC United emphasize these in their campaigns/platforms, it could have a huge impact when the voting actually takes place…with an upset! Of course, the split vote on the right, could still save Eby and the NDP…but with a much smaller government. h.o)

    • RIsaak says:

      https://thebreaker.news/business/patrick-brown-vancouver-united-front/

      This article is exactly why I will not vote for either Eby or Falcon, read this article to the bottom where Provincial issues and staffers are mentioned. Bob Mackin is one of the few media folks that should be required reading.

      Search for any similar story in the CBC, CTV, Global or CP realms….

      (Response: Fascinating article. Mackin is a very good journalist and writer. However, I would caution that a basic tenet of Canadian jurisprudence is that no one is to be considered guilty of any criminal wrongdoing until proven so in a Court of law … not the media. And so far, I have not seen a charge of any kind levelled against anyone, including anyone named in Bob Mackin’s piece. h.o)

  9. nonconfidencevote says:

    Hi Harvey.
    I was just reading your Bio and wondered.
    Are you ever going to write a book about your 38 years as a reporter?
    Back when journalism actually meant digging, exposing and hold people to account?

    (Response: I did consider that at one point … especially the real behind the scenes stories from 8 years at The Vancouver Sun and 26 years at BCTV … the good, the bad, the ugly. However, I would very likely have been sued by both: not because what I would have written would not have been true, but just to tie me up with their corporate lawyers in very costly, long legal fights, making it all a miserable exercise. Plus, I never forget that my first seven years at The Sun and 18 years at BCTV, they were terrific companies, with great management and superb journalistic visions …so sad to see what has happened to it all! Instead, although I have preferred to enjoy my retirement, but still try to keep stirring things up and encouraging democratic dialogue through my blog, pointing out shortcomings with governments, media etc. … and occasionally, reveal through personal anecdotes a little of what would have been in a book! 🙂 h.o)

  10. Stu de Baker says:

    HO…”MOST people now get their news on-line (where hard questioning is difficult to show) or on social media (no filters at all) or on TV (where hard questioning was long ago abandoned and governments largely get a free ride …by media “messengers”.)”

    MOST people have lost the ability, or will, to think for themselves, research for themselves, or ask questions for themselves, therefore MOST people would not make it past the first sentence of an excellent piece by RIsaak.

    We can’t really blame the powerful for what we have elected/neglected to do to for ourselves.

    (Response: I don’t blame MOST people for failing in the areas you quite correctly mention … they are too busy trying just to pay their bills and stay afloat. That’s why the role of the media is so important and should be doing much more to research, ask tough questions … but are not: either because they don’t have the resources anymore (with so many staff/budget cuts) or they’ve just become bored, boring or just too friendly with those they cover. h.o)

  11. Gilbert says:

    I agree that those of the middle class in many democracies are now very upset. Though the term “far-right” is supposed to frighten voters, many are no longer afraid of parties that still believe in secure borders, legal immigration and policies that help the middle class. It’s very nice to say that electric vehicles are good for the environment, but the reality is that they aren’t cheap and the mining of the materials for the batteries is not environmentally-friendly.

    Nobody is saying that Pierre Poilievre is perfect, but many Canadians are ready for a change. The Liberals have really added to the debt and they’ve had a few scandals. One scandal from a previous government is the sponsorship scandal. The way I see it there are two possibilities. Jean Chretien knew about it, or he didn’t. If he didn’t, he should have. I agree that Brian Mulroney was far from perfect, but if I’m not mistaken, he and Justin Trudeau were quite close. As the saying goes, bird of the same feather flock together.

    Canadians want a government that takes foreign interference in our elections seriously, a government that is fiscally responsible and a government that prioritizes the concerns of the middle class. Canada is a country with lots of natural resources and lots of land. It should be a far more prosperous country than it really is.

    Look at Norway. It has a sovereign wealth fund, and it provides its citizens with many services. Though it has a small population, I don’t think the government is increasing immigration at Canadian levels. It appears to be a well-managed country. If the polls are right, Canada will soon have a new prime minister.

    (Response: The far right, like the far left, still scares me. Both have far too simplistic answers to very complex questions … too often based on naive, unrealistic or even hateful “solutions” that would overall make things worse, not better. But I don’t think the vast majority of middle class masses in so many countries voting for right wing parties have become extremists: they just don’t like what left-leaning “liberal” leaders and governments have brought to them and done to them …. too many rules, regulations, ever-rising taxes, much higher housing costs, skyrocketing food costs, soft-on-crime policies and too many immigrants and refugees, who instead of fitting in are sowing hate, division, violence. What they want is “change” … so they indeed are ‘throwing the bums out”, left or right. h.o)

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