Flood Of Hyperbole

The Free Press on Saturday published the worst Editorial I can ever recall. And, I say that having read the Sun a few times. Facts were distorted, hyperbole compounded exaggeration, and the language used clearly indicated that irony has died a horrible death. This Editorial is proof of Mark Twain’s axiom that those who don’t read newspapers are un-informed and those who read newspapers are mis-informed. As a service to my four readers, I will now go line-by-line in an effort to expose this juvenile affective attack on the cognitive:

Title: Unholy Alliance

Right off the hop we have hyperbole! The devil himself has his paws all over this one! Either that, or the author is referring to the WWE’s Unholy Alliance between The Undertaker and “The Big Show” Paul Wight. The particularities of this unholiness will be revealed later. Stay tuned and say twelve Hail Mary’s.

THE gravest threat to Canada’s economic for­tunes has overnight become the unconscionable pact the federal opposition parties have struck to defeat the Harper government in the hopes of forming a coalition government and saving their $27 million worth of tax-supported allowances.

Point of Fact: As noted in the Free Press on the same day, this has nothing to do with the “allowances”, but deals with economic stimulus. But editors can’t be expected to read their own papers or be honest with their readers.

Point of Fact 2: “Their $27 million” is also ridiculous. The Conservatives will get a good chunk of that money. The Cons could refuse the money, as the Manitoba Conservative have done. So, we are exaggerating the total. And, let’s not mention two other facts: (1) This money represents less than 1 one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget; and, (2) Cutting government spending at a time of economic downturn is the opposite of prudent and will accelerate the downturn. 

More importantly, look at the language: “unconscionable pact” is another hyperbole. There is no attempt here to be reasonable. The language throughout indicates emotion trumping reason.

They invite a self-fulfilling prophecy by claiming such action is required because the country is in much worse shape than the government had reported to the country and the world in its economic update Thursday.

Again with the Biblical! “Prophecy” indeed. Are the Editors claiming that all was fine and dandy with the economy until the opposition started talking this week? Do the editors even read what international agencies have said about Canada’s economy?

Instead of going after the opposition for telling the truth, they might want to fault Harper for ignoring the lessons of history.

 Prime Minister Stephen Harper most certainly can be faulted for seeking unannounced to pull the comfortable financial rug out from under Liberals, NDP and the Bloc Québécois, but that was as nothing compared to the peril they create for the economy with the unholy and ludicrous alliance they are forging to try to usurp power.

Peril! Usurp! Unholy! Ludicrous! Read that last sentence again. If you read that with a Movie Announcer voice, it reads like the rise of Emperor Palpatine.

Name the peril, please. Again, the entire G8 is going about introducing stimulus packages and the international consensus is that Canada’s economy will shrink (some even suspect deflation…the worst of the worst). Failure to respond promptly will imperil the economy. Cutting back on spending and hiring will only speed up the downturn. How could an MP ever support such moves?

And, on usurp. Dictionary.com gives us three definitions:

1. to seize and hold (a position, office, power, etc.) by force or without legal right: The pretender tried to usurp the throne.
2. to use without authority or right; employ wrongfully: The magazine usurped copyrighted material.
3. to commit forcible or illegal seizure of an office, power, etc.; encroach.

None of these definitions applies in the slightest. There is a legal right. There is no force being used. The majority in parliament has the authority to act thusly. And, there is no illegal seizure. Therefore, the Editorial has committed libel. They have claimed a crime is being committed where none exists. I await a retraction tomorrow.

The proposed alliance is unholy because New Democrat and Liberal federalists will make common cause with separatists, and will join to bring a party sworn to the destruction of a united Canada into power in Ottawa.

Destruction! The common cause with separatists argument has been made now for years as each and every party (including the Conservatives) has made deals and been in talks with them. Why would they do such a thing? Because they are elected members of parliament and as such hold power in this country. Failure to acknowledge that power would be….USURPING!

And, there are two further points: (1) Not dealing peacefully with separatist movements is inviting the unimaginable into our peaceful nation; and, (2) If we want to get rid of the separatist power, we need to alter the electoral system so that it better reflects the opinions of Canadians.

It was bad enough that the Chrétien Liberal government, in order to ensure it got from taxpayers money it felt entitled to spend on party activities, extended the cash grab to the Bloc and thus ensured its survival.

This is an outright fabrication. Chretien’s Liberals enjoyed way more party support from Big Business than any other party and this financing move hurt them more than any other party. AS for the Bloc, again, do you want rules to apply fairly or do you want to ensure that separatists will take their fight outside of the political sphere? I spoke with Jean-Pierre Kingsley on this topic years ago – before I had grown up – and asked him if the system was broken if it allowed separatists into Parliament. He convinced me that it was quite the opposite. I have since matured. The Editors of the Free Press have not.

The alliance is ludicrous because the only thing the three partners have in common is that they are not Conservatives. Should they succeed, they would be led by Stéphane Dion, who doesn’t command respect even within his own party and who was rejected by Canadians in such an emphatic way that his party suffered its worst defeat ever just six weeks ago. His first lieutenant would be NDP Leader Jack Layton, who believes the way to attack uncertain times is by severely taxing business. His second lieutenant would be Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe, who would be demanding an equal voice for Quebec and creating international doubt about who speaks for Canada.

Nothing else in common. Nothing. Hyperbole alert! Evidently, the Editors don’t read platforms. Take CO2, for instance. All these parties would introduce either cap-and-trade or carbon tax and received 63% of the vote. The Cons got 37% of the vote and reject reason on this point. There are numerous other examples. Further, making compromises with diverse opinions is exactly what is needed in a Minority house, not Harper style Bullying.

The Dion issue is also a non-starter. Reading from the same paper as this Editorial reveals that he may not be the leader of the coalition. (This relates to a larger problems I have with Op-Eds and Editorials in the Free Press – They are not checked for correct facts)

For the Lieutenants – Jack Layton certainly has never said “The way to attack uncertain times is by severely taxing business.” The editors need to calm down. Emotion once again trumps reason. Balance gives way to fear mongering. And Gilles Duceppe will of course represent the interests of his constituents. That’s his job! As for “international confusion”, that is simply a ridiculous assertion not worthy of response.

It is impossible to believe that should the alliance defeat the government that it could present a credible argument to Gov. Gen Michaëlle Jean that three disparate factions somehow suddenly agree on tax policy, fiscal policy monetary policy and all the other levers of power that must be used in ways that inspire confidence at home but, more importantly at this time, in international markets.

“Rule of law ain’t got nothin’ on international markets.” Apparently, the Free Press is advocating that the GG refuse to grant the coalition a chance to form the government because of her reading of fiscal policy and international markets – not based on whether they can gain the confidence of the House. Again, the Free Press is advocating the the Royal representative USURP power and impose policy. This is a coup!

If they somehow, incredibly, passed that sniff test and formed what clearly would be an unstable coalition government, one that could collapse at any time or one that could be blackmailed into making bad choices or decisions, markets that already are more jittery than they have been in memory would most certainly react, and it wouldn’t be pretty.

I make predictions all the time. They are often wrong. Just note here that at the height of a political and economic crisis, the Free Press is cheering for chaos and collapse. Their crystal ball better be wrong – and I think that it is. To predict the future a few years out when no one could have predicted the last week is plain silly. Then, to use that prediction as “proof” that this is a bad move is simply intellectually bankrupt.

That the opposition would even discuss risking all this in a collective act of hubris is all the evidence Canadians should need to conclude the alliance is unfit to govern. Prime Minister Harper Friday urged Canadians to send that signal to the opposition parties. He was right to do so. Canadians, however, should also contact Conservatives and demand they find a way to allow the opposition parties to climb down from the precipice to which they seem intent on taking the country.

Collective act of hubris! Because we – The Freep – have predicted future calamity, they are unfit to govern. The logic jump here is unbelievable. I wouldn’t even think of passing a student who wrote something like this. Their “conclusion” is based entirely on a prediction that cannot be shown. Total tripe.

At least the last sentence has some sense. Canadians should contact their MPs. They should demand that our government be ruled by the majority, consider all opinions, work to end the economic crisis, and not seek to force through extreme ideologically-driven measures against the will of the majority. The Conservatives had a chance. They use their chance to plunge the country into political chaos. They used their chance to do nothing for the economy while accelerating the downturn and taking away rights of many Canadians. It’s time that the majority have its say.

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6 responses to “Flood Of Hyperbole

  1. Go see Paul Well’s look at Harper’s move.

    Nice to see that there are some commentators who prove that there is still reason in this country.

  2. Free Press editorials are so consistently out to lunch and filled with partisan finger wagging that I’m not sure many folks even read them any more. Why not simply cut and paste in press releases from Tory headquarters and get it over with?

  3. So in a nutshell, I cna reduce your whole essay to…they are so full of shit.

    I agree.

    1 of4

  4. Well, Sigh, brevity is a skill that you’ve mastered. I gleefully spit out some tea when I read your comment. Bravo.

  5. hey, apropos the Freep, did you see Progressive Winnipeg’s knee-jerk rant condemning it as being part of the left-wing, pro-coalition ‘MSM’?

    http://progressivewinnipeg.blogspot.com/2008/12/public-tide.html

    Because it’s online edition had at least temporarily had a leading headline for an article on the CPC media blitz.

    What he fails to realize in his ensuing rant is that this articles (which is no longer on their site) was probably just temporarily borrowed from the CP / Globe & Mail, & just reflects the poverty of their national coverage. If _he_ had read the rest of the Freep, esp. its editorial pages, he’d see how laughable it is to portray the MSM & the Freep in partic. as being even remotely anti-Conservative (tho’ of course some of its indiv. columnists & reporters are)

  6. I like this post, enjoyed this one appreciate it for posting. “Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.” by Ronald Reagan.

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