Monday, June 22, 2009

A Media Opportunity

Here's a copy of a letter to the editor I submitted to the Irving big-three papers and the Kings County Record. It is a reply to a seemingly innocuous Telegraph (a friend calls it the Tele-graft) Journal piece. Keep up the struggle.

Saturday’s Telegraph Journal mentions that the NDP’s polling numbers have increased significantly despite the fact that “most people could neither name nor recognize” party leader Roger Duguay (‘Poll has Liberal party trailing Tory rivals’; A2).

The print media in this province could easily rectify this democratic deficiency.

First, provide a profile of Mr. Duguay as he has received minimal media coverage. Second, provide Mr. Duguay and each of the party leaders with a monthly column in which they can explore issues they feel should be important to the public.

If we, as citizens of New Brunswick, are to perform our civic duty and participate in choosing good governments, we need to know where all the parties stand on a variety of issues. Moreover, we need to know our potential leaders. Print media can go a long way to strengthening our democracy by enhancing the public’s ability to make informed choices.

I hope the big three provincial English-language dailies see fit to contribute positively to the democratic process by giving all party leaders a forum for discussion.

Paying More Taxes

Sorry folks. Keeping up with work, e-mails, and 2 blogs (join my Social and Environmental Justice Book Club at keeps me busy. Add a family into the mix, and not everything gets done. I saw Richard Smol's interesting post on the CBC website on "Why I should pay more taxes."

I too recognize the importance of paying taxes to build a functioning civil society. That's why I get so upset when neo-liberal ideologues like the Fraser Institute use the media to spread the notion of "Tax Freedom Day." Here are a few alternative names we could use:

Freedom from Public Healthcare Day
Freedom from Police Force Day
Freedom from Clean Water Day
Freedom from Environmental Regulation and Enforcement Day
Crumbling Bridges Day

Taxes pay for stuff we all use. Blame our governments for investing tax dollars unwisely, ask them to to account for their investments, but don't buy into the simplistic notion that "taxes are bad."