Harper himself to blame for manipulation of media

Prime Minister's Office staff simply following orders, reader writes

Re: Photo ops are not democracy (Our View, Jan. 10)

You illuminated how Mr. Harper  and his PMO staff have manipulated the local media here and in other Canadian cities. But it is not Mr. Harper’s “handlers” who are ultimately responsible for open, accountable  government – it is the prime minister himself.

As you rightly concluded, “Controlling and managing the message comes from the top down and is a poor replacement for transparency and democracy.”

However, I find the media manipulation of Justin Trudeau and his Liberal handlers is equally problematic. They have wittingly refused to engage in coherent, in-depth public discussion of serious issues, and have argued that they will not reveal any major policy pronouncements until 2015 – lest their precious ideas be coveted by their right-wing Conservative opponents.

Mind you, Trudeau’s support for the sale of Nexen oil and gas to the Chinese state oil corporation, and his support for the export of unprocessed bitumen – good, value-added jobs for Canadians – via the Keystone XL pipeline echoes the Conservatives’ corporate agenda.

The willingness of NDP leader Tom Mulcair to engage in open, public discussion of important public issues is a refreshing contrast.

The two local NDP members of parliament, Murray Rankin and Randall Garrison, complement Mr. Mulcair’s views on active, informed representation.

I can hardly wait until the 2015 federal election when the Harper government is held to account.

Ron Faris

Saanich