Globe and Mail's top politics writer on "grassy-knoll types" in Parliamentary Press Gallery

The Ottawa Citizen‘s Glen McGregor and Postmedia’s Stephen Maher have spent a great deal of time digging away at what in Ottawa is called the “robocall” story, a story that reports on incidents of the use of automated telephone calls during the 2011 election. McGregor and Maher’s reporting has won them acclaim from their peers in the form of many awards mostly (I believe anyway) for the creativity and doggedness in which they’ve tried to sort out what is a complicated story about what will turn out to be either a marginal event in the 2011 election or an epic event in the 2011 election.

Elections Canada is investigating many of the allegations of potential skulduggery that McGregor and Maher report on and, nearly two years after the election, Elections Canada appears set to recommend the laying of some sort of charge. (We know that because McGregor and Maher reported it.)

And, today, partly as a result of their work, Elections Canada is recommending Parliament introduce some new laws that Elections Canada says will help prevent any future problems. The Harper government says it will review the recommendations but might — or might not — have its own ideas about this issue.

Now, I mentioned up top that the Robocall affair will either be marginal or epic — largely depending on what investigators come up with and can prove in court. The Council of Canadians believe this to be epic, arguing in court that there was a massive conspiracy organized by the Conservative Party of Canada to use robocalls to suppress the votes of non-Conservatives and, in doing so, win ridings it otherwise would not.

A new book says McGregor and Maher, columnist Michael Harris and others in the Parliamentary Press Gallery are “grassy-knoll types” for buying into this meme, most loudly advanced by the Council of Canadians, that runs though the Robocall reporting that somehow the majority government of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives is illegitimate. Continue reading Globe and Mail's top politics writer on "grassy-knoll types" in Parliamentary Press Gallery

Harper "Birthers" and other Laurentian media conspiracies

John Ibbitson, the chief political correspondent for the Toronto Globe and Mail and Darrell Bricker, the CEO of polling firm Ipsos Global Public Affairs, have a book that I think will cause many of John’s Globe readers, at least, as well as many other government, academic and cultural elites in the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal  corridor to be cluck, cluck, clucking in disagreement over some uncomfortable ideas — uncomfortable to those elites, in any event —   the authors advance. For example: “The Conservative Party will be to the 21st-century what the Liberal Party was to the 20th: the perpetually dominant party, the natural governing party.”

Or:  “From the time of Confederation until quite recently, the political, academic, cultural, media, and business elites in the communities along the watershed of the St. Lawrence River ran this country. Continue reading Harper "Birthers" and other Laurentian media conspiracies