OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Paul Martin will take to the airwaves tomorrow in a U.S.-style address to the nation that will become a weekly event.
Everyonce and a while some high flying politicos from all political parties from the high rungs of power in Ottawa get these crazy ideas. "Look at the US, why don't we do the same thing here?" That's the mantra. That's the rationale. Look to the US, 'cuz politically they're just so much more advanced than we are. After all dangling chads, and crab like jerrymandered congressional districts are something we have a high need for in the Great White North.
First of all, we aint the US. We do a lot of things differently, not because we're stupid Canucks, but because we drink more coffee, eat more donuts, and play more Hockey than the Yankees. That alone is going to lead to some minor differences. We have Prime Minister, not a President. The idea was we didn't want to give to much power into the hands of one man... Now, Paul Martin has more power in many ways than the Bush does, because some high flying politico though "Hey we should get with it. The Prime Minister is the leader. The President is the leader in the US. We need to give him the same powers as the Prez of the Yanks or else we'll look like fools..." And we got a little too excited, and gave the PM the a whole lot more than just that.
But that don't matter. All that matters is that the Prez has national radio addresses all the time... So what are we doing being so backwards in this country? Oh they probably sold it to Martin, telling him that this is something politically savvy that he can do... My eye... My friggin' eye!
The last time I remember the politicos convincing someone to do something "innovative," was with Ernie Eves's autoplant budget fiasco. Newsflash: budgets are delivered in Canada in Parliament or Legislature. Eves decided to deliver his budget outside, in front of an autoparts plant... Kinda like a US Governor... To heck with tradition, or Canadian responsible government.
See delivering the budget in the house is a good thing. There is nothing wrong with it. It's Canadian and unique. It gives the opposition the chance to respond and critique the government. That's Canadian democracy - not perfect - but it's one of the few checks on power we got. You see, in Canada, Ernie Eves is not a Governor - he's a premier. Maybe the politicos should've realised that before they pulled they jumped out of the plane and pulled the ripcord only to find that their parachute was filled with pots and pans. 'Cuz they did make a "splat" sound when they landed on that one.
"Given that there may be occasion to speak to political matters, the prime minister has instructed that the cost of these broadcasts be borne by the Liberal Party of Canada," said a news release issued last night.
Conservative campaign co-chairman John Reynolds called it "paid advertising" disguised as a public address as Martin gears into election mode. Reynolds said if it were truly a public address, the Opposition leader should have a chance to reply.
I wonder how much it costs to have a the Supreme Leader himself grace every radio station with his presence?... Depends how they plan to do this. It will probably be "voluntary" to air the address I'm guessing. They'll pay for major stations to air it, but probably they're all in cahoots with the media so the price won't be such a high factor. After all I wouldn't put it past the Liberalismos to put a couple phone calls to the CRTCC about certain radio station licenses if there happened to be some wayward opinions that didn't snap in line to the Supreme Leader's wishes. So I'm assuming were talking about most radio stations airing the darn thing regardless if they want to or not.
Though I can finally see some good reason to do this, not from the Liberals, but from John Reynolds. This is advertising that the Liberals don't have to account for to Elections Canada. They can bill this as a "public address," when really it's election spending. And this is one way to get around election spending rules.
Though it still has that stench of the politicos "modernizing" efforts. I can't stand the whole idea. Let the Yanks take care of themselves, and we should mind our own business and not forget our own good history and valiant traditions. There aint nothing wrong with us. That's who we are, and part of us will always be linked to that. We shouldn't be afraid of it, and we shouldn't apologize for it.
Look, there's a ton of stuff the US does, that we are behind in. And there are a ton of things that don't fall into that category either. We should do what is right, and what is Canadian and what is in our best interests. Keep what is good, let go of what is not so good.
Though I gotta say, I'm hoping that this "modernizing" effort will make a familliar "splat" sound when she lands...