As I read, listen to, and very occasionally watch the News, I find much to bother me, and little to console. That is, of course, how its (or is it their?) purveyors wish me to feel, possibly because they think I will be more properly informed that way, or perhaps more entertained.
“The Sky is falling!” says Chicken Little. “I must go tell the King.”
“Chicken Little Incorporated, a national think tank, released a report today concluding that the Sky is falling,” says the News. “A copy of the report has been sent to the King.”
“The Sky is not falling,” says the King, “because I am holding it up, and will continue to do so as long as you let me keep my job. If you fire me, however, it will fall.”
The CBC this week published an “Analysis” under the title “Stephen Harper more open with Americans, UN than with Parliament” (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stephen-harper-more-open-with-americans-un-than-with-parliament-1.2777071). I waited some time before reading this article, because I found its banner less than compelling. After all, what do we expect? Neither the Americans nor the UN are trying to thrust regime change upon Stephen Harper, unlike a vociferous element in Parliament, all of it, in fact, that he does not personally control. He does not need to inform his own side of Parliament, because it will do what he says. He does not like informing the other sides, because they want him fired, and will turn his words against him to that end. The purveyors of News will report what he says wherever he says it, and thus the Public will be just as informed one way as the other. Elementary politics, my dear Watson, and not News at all, nor worthy of being called “Analysis”. That particular sky has already fallen.
Let us toy for a while with the not-quite-fiction that our parliamentarians (and legislators and councillors at other levels) are hired and delegated by us to ensure on our behalf that necessary work gets done, that some of them are delegated by our delegates to do the work, and that the rest are delegated to make sure that the first group is doing the work properly. They “supervise” on our behalf. The whole affair is vastly more complicated, of course, but not necessarily in its essence.
In what model of supervision, taught or not by our keen-edged schools of business, does it say that a sound method can be found in constant public bellowing of assertions that the persons supervised are incompetent, unworthy, and ought to be replaced at the earliest opportunity? How would you behave if you were routinely supervised in this fashion?
“Let them say I’m incompetent and unworthy, and let me say I’m not.” John Henry Bagshaw knew how the system works. It’s patently absurd, and evidently does not serve us very well. It serves, and is designed to serve, combat-minded politicians, because they designed it, and like to play it. And as long as combat remains the model it won’t change, unless it gets worse.
So let’s talk about change.