No shortage of drama heading into the final weekend of our oh so gripping 78-day election campaign as both the PostMedia chain and the Globe & Mail endorsed the Harper Conservatives as the best choice to keep Canada’s blah blah blah… blah.
The unsigned PostMedia editorial came from head office in Toronto, and was tweaked to fit the different provinces/regions in which the papers operate. The Leader-Post version even referred specifically to residents of “southern Saskatchewan” in urging readers to grant the Cons four more years. Can’t get more authentically local than that.
The National Post is part of the same chain, and it endorsed the Harperites too. Political columnist Andrew Coyne is on the National Post editorial board. He would have participated in the discussions around the endorsement decision, but he planned a follow-up column of his own in Saturday’s paper that would endorse a different party.
Word is circulating, though, that the column was killed by higher-ups in the National Post. By any objective definition, Coyne qualifies as a centre-right journalist — but with a reputation for presenting well-reasoned arguments to support his position. So no left-wing media conspiracy bullshit here folks.
While supportive of the Harper government in some areas, he’s been scathing in his criticism at other times. Below is a quote from a column in May about the Conservatives’ contempt for democracy:
If one were to draw up an indictment of this government’s approach to politics and the public purpose, one might mention its wholesale contempt for Parliament, its disdain for the Charter of Rights and the courts’ role in upholding it, its penchant for secrecy, its chronic deceitfulness, its deepening ethical problems, its insistence on taking, at all times, the lowest, crudest path to its ends, its relentless politicization of everything.
Editorial staff at other newspapers in the PostMedia chain had no say in the decision to publish the endorsements, it was all done from head office. So score one for corporate media.
As for the Globe & Mail, it unleashed a shit-storm of scorn by endorsing the Conservatives, but then calling on Harper to resign to defuse the massive fracturing that’s occurring in the country due to his toxic leadership style. Make of it what you will — but with the Cons having earned the tag “Party of One” because of Harper’s vise-like control through the PMO it’s hard to envision how the party could transition away from him while still performing competently in government.