Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Who's more emasculated, the media or parliamentarians?

I follow lots of parliamentarians, policios and political media on twitter, and it's amusing sometimes to watch some of the discussions and debate that goes back and forth. Take last night. I was treated to a bevy of snarky tweets back and forth, and the topic can be summed up thusly: whose is smaller?

On the one side, you had the media types snickering at the politicos for allowing themselves to be emasculated by the government/PMO, for not standing up for the righteous principle of parliamentary supremacy, for letting the PMO (multiple historical PMOs, they say) neuter MPs and render them virtual nobodies, even on Parliament Hill.

And on the other side, you had the political types snickering at the media types for allowing themselves to be emasculated by the government/PMO, for submitting to question lists controlled by the PMO at their infrequent news conferences, for attending every photo-op and statement-only event where they can't ask questions but just duly transcribe the talking points, for standing meekly by while the government restricts access to ministers and civil servants, and using their rare opportunities to question the PM for lame softballs.

It was rather amusing to watch. Who is more emasculated? You are! No, you are! Nuh uhh, you are!

A few points.

One: You're all emasculated and slightly pathetic, so maybe work on that before you call out others for faults you share. You all doth protest too muchly.

Two: You wonder why Canadians are generally tuned-out of the political debate? Because you've rendered yourselves irrelevant with dumb-ass debates like this instead of doing your respective jobs.

Both sides in this debate are right. And both sides are lame.

UPDATED TO ADD: While both sides are right in that the other side is emasculated and lame, they should also each acknowledge that it's not as easy as they'd like to us to think it is for the other side. On the politico side, there's the risk of triggering an election to factor in. And the party whip. On the media side, the risk is loss of access and being "beaten" by competition that don't take a moral stand. Not that these are excuses we should accept. It's just not as black and white as each likes to think it is for the other side.

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thwap said...

I think the Liberal Party has to face up to reasons why they're afraid to face the electorate and really address that above else.

(The reason that I'm an NDP supporter is because I don't beleive the Liberal Party can seriously address the causes of their low polling numbers and their lack of an alternative to the harpercons, but I submit you must face that issue nonetheless.)

The media has less of an excuse. Swallow one's pride and become a stenographer? Show up so you can get the lies first-hand, straight to your face? What's to report?

The media should trash the harpercons by relaying what their opponents say and make harper beg them to allow him a chance for a rebuttal.

Jeff said...

I won't attempt to defend Liberal unwillingness to trigger an election.

But I will point out that signalling-out one party completely misses the point.

The NDP is just as afraid, and they use the LPC for cover. When they can hide behind the Liberals, they talk tough. When the Liberals pull their support (like they did last fall) it's the NDP's turn to cave.

Again, EVERYONE is emasculated. Period. No one has excuses.

Niles said...

Does that mean the Cons -aren't- emasculated if everyone else is afraid to face them?

Possessing spiritual balls, no matter how badly employed, is what it takes in this country?

I prefer the word spineless. At least all genders are supposed to have one of those.