Cornwall ON – I’m still a rookie in the journalism field. I’m not really a journalist although I portray one occasionally. I’ve not been burdened with some of the hypocritical rhetoric it takes to be a top notch network Newsy.
My eyes have really seen a bit of how news works; what gets reported, what doesn’t. Frankly it’s scary. Here in Cornwall I met someone at the local courthouse who shared that she felt it was not good that journalists don’t spend enough time watching the wheels of local justice turn.
I can of course understand where she was coming from, but it costs money to have people standing around watching to make sure people’s rights don’t get trampled. Just like it costs money to cover events.
The G20 really opened my eyes. Not the right or wrong of the many participants, but what was covered, what made the news; the clips chosen and of course the spin.
Friday I was emailed an alert to the Anti-Harper Rally in Ottawa. It was not broad casted around much. No big commercials. As I drove up to Ottawa from Cornwall I listened to CFRA which is a news format which weighs heavily on politics. Not a word was mentioned of the rally in the over an hour it took me to get to our Nation’s capital. CBC did release info about the upcoming rally,
When I got there the park was just filling up. It was the starting point before people marched to protest in front of the Conservative convention. I joked early on with another media person that there were more of us than them, but the park filled up rapidly. There was a huge police and security presence as well.
Opening speech at Anti-Harper rally.
The guest speaker was Brigette De Pape, the Rogue Page who this time would speak and not just hold up a sign. The messages were many; some of which I personally could support and a few which I could not in a million years.
To me, in this frighteningly and rapidly Conservative changing world it was Democracy in action. Democracy doesn’t mean allowing only positions you agree with. This week I read a story about a Blogger in China being sentenced to a year in a labour camp for writing something that simply upset a local party official. That’s 1984. That’s almost what it can be like in the US right now. That’s what it’s like in far too many countries on our planet. And that’s why many of our forefathers gave their lives in World Wars; so that facism couldn’t get its grip on the world.
What was even scarier was the response and comments to the Anti-Harper rally. It’s ok to disagree. It’s constructive to debate a position. When did our politicians and leaders become so thin skinned? When did some of the people that post messages become so deranged and hateful?
Brigette De Pape has become the poster child for a lost generation or two of Canadians who only now are inkling at becoming political. There’s a huge knowledge gap. There’s going to be a learning curve. There’s going to be herding mentality akin to how the Harper Conservatives gain and maintain their support; ie people repeating messages or staking out turf without really knowing what they’re talking about, but being caught up in the energy. That also isn’t unique; it was very popular in the 1930’s.
It should be interesting to see how Ms De Pape evolves and rides her wave of awareness. To those that attack her they should cut out the rhetoric as we live in a Country where a Bev Oda not only has documents changed, but pays no price and is actually re-elected. See what scares me isn’t what people like the Harperites do, but those that vote them back in.
And yes, now is a good time to start talking about issues in Canada. I was handed a card at the rally that documented that 6,201 votes was the difference in 14 ridings in the 2011 Election. Those 14 seats will be the historical difference to the limited safety of a minority government and the changes that may happen during Mr. Harper’s majority that had over 600 people marching from that little park in Ottawa through to the Conservative convention.
The good news is that young people and many other Canadians are starting to talk about our country and many of the issues that are key to all of our futures. Now if we can just get more people to do the same this will be a better place.
March leaves to Conservative Convention
[dih-mok-ruh-see] Show IPA–noun, plural -cies.1.2.a state having such a form of government: The United Statesand canada are democracies.3.a state of society characterized by formal equality of rightsand privileges. (from Dictionary.com)