Saturday, May 26, 2007

How very Freudian

I re-read Jim Traver’s excellent article in today’s Toronto Star entitled “Conservatives know it's true because they say so” and realized that I had missed the two most concise and revealing observations.

The first was about Stephen Harper’s intellectual thought process: “More troubling than the decisions is the absence of quantifiable justification”. This supports what I have been saying since the outset. Unlike a debate about same sex marriage or the merits of the Afghan mission, all the cornerstone assertions being made in support of taxing income trusts are quantifiable constructs. So where’s the quantitative analysis and justification? If our government is allowed to subvert parliament by not presenting facts when facts are available, then why even have a representative democracy, if it’s not accountable to the truth?

The second is an insight into Canada’s news gathering reality which is that virtually all of Canada’s news gathering and reporting is conducted by corporately owned media. The income trust issue is one that pits the capital providers against the capital users, Corporate Canada wants to preserve its dominion over Canadians savings alternatives and choices. They have successfully enjoined this government in this end purpose. They have helped concoct and propagate the myriad falsehoods about income trusts ranging from the fraudulent (tax leakage) to the absurd (ponzi schemes). The proud captains of Corporate Canada behind this grand rouse obviously consider a $35 billion loss to be a trivial matter since it only works out to an average loss of about $20,000 to $35,000 per investor. This is trivial in the minds of these players, as we recently learned that most of these folks have company funded pension plans with values in the neighbourhood of $25 to $35 million, This after years of hard work and stock option gains of, pick a number, $8 million a year for a lowly Bank CEO to the pretax equivalent of $57 million in 2006 for the Desmarais brothers.

To think that the corporate ownership of media in Canada, and thereby the corporate agenda, isn’t working its way into the coverage of the income trust issue, is to suggest that Corporate Canada is a spiritual order with the most lofty of altruistic goals. If that were the case then why is an honest and seasoned reporter like Jim Travers saying: “ it ultimately rests on the press and its corporate barons to defend democratic freedoms enshrined in the Constitution.”

Now that we have finally acknowledged who calls the news media shots, it’s time for these corporate barons to step up to the plate in defense of our democracy and the integrity of our capital markets. Failing which they will only becoming certified robber barons, rivaling those at the turn of the century. No one, not even the barons themselves, will benefit from that in either the short term or the long term. The larger world we live in, will see to it.


Anonymous said...

If it weren't for the complicity of Canada's corporately owned Globe and Mail. National Post, BNN, Toronto Star, La Presse, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Sun, CTV, Chum Broadcasting, CITY TV, Regina Leader Post etc., etc., etc. ad nauseum, this income trust tax would have been dead by Christmas '06. Thanks to you stalwart shills of the Canadian media scene, notable exceptions being Diane Francis, and a small minority of others who are able to temporarily free themselves from the shackles of their media barons without losing their jobs. By the way, why was Debra Yedlin fired from the Globe and Mail shortly after her scathing piece on the negative outcomes of the income trust tax on Canada's energy sector, the beat she covered from Calgary before BCE, Teachers', Torstar and Woodbridge saw to her departure from the pages of the aptly named ROB?

Meanwhile, where the hell is the CBC on this issue or does their funding source control them as well?

More ROBotic TV, ROBbing Canadians of their access to the truth.

nineofiveland said...

Maybe we need a "Mr Floatie" type character to raise public awareness.

Now I realize we are not talking "poop" here .. but hey .. there seems to be a lot of it flying out of Ottawa.