"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Special Interests 

Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Joel Connelly has a column in today's paper about the upcoming elections in British Columbia which will likely make most Americans yawn. I mean, Canada is almost like a foreign country or someting - who cares? But as he points out, some of the lessons of this contest are equally applicable to those of us south of the border (emphasis supplied):
Going negative will likely work here for a simple reason: On both sides of the 49th Parallel, news media have let the conservative movement go about defining and demonizing those with whom it disagrees.

Voters have grown conditioned to hearing outfits that fight for a living wage, or rights of consumers, or clean air and water, tagged with the label "special interest groups."

The 1960s-vintage cigar-smoking union "boss" continues to be made an object of fear, even as American unions now represent less than 10 percent of the private-sector work force.

Meantime, corporate chief executives can collect multimillion-dollar salaries and stock options, and ship thousands of family wage jobs overseas, while cable TV pundits channel public anger to Mexican illegals in the United States or Honduran teenagers in Vancouver.

Public servants have become "paper-shuffling bureaucrats." Educated people are scorned as "the elites." Advocates of women's rights are labeled enemies of "traditional values."

Yeah, that about covers it.




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