Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Oranges Anyone? Hefei, Anhui, China

Super PACS

Reflection upon the current Republican presidential primary season has caused me to wonder about some of the lexicon. For example, the discussion around “Super PACS” which was prominent in last nights candidates’ debate from Myrtle Beach. This newly minted term is an acronym for Super Political Action Committees, shadowy entities that now underwrite political messaging. Supposedly operating at arms length from individuals running for office, these committees are behind most of the attack ads that have saturated the political discourse. Anonymous money, if not foreign, can now ad infinitum legally pay for mud slinging advertising. Corporations, unions, banks, wealthy individuals, vested interests of all stripes now weigh in to denigrate the political enemy. Respect for the opponent has vanished, replaced by vitriol and negative messaging. This playing field has resulted from a US Supreme Court ruling that favours virtual limitless freedom of speech in elections. But as the quote says “freedom of the press belongs to the one who owns one.” And so to Canada. The Conservatives perpetually hold power with less than a majority of the popular vote. Dirty US style politicking has destroyed credible opposition candidates. Minister Oliver and his lambasting of Northern Gateway Hearing participants is a prime example. Attack the messengers, destroy the individuals. When will Canadians stand up to these reprehensible tactics?