That the Conservatives won a majority on Monday should have been no surprise to much of the Canadian media, had they not been busy cheerleading for anyone but Harper throughout the election. When it became apparent early in the campaign that Ignatieff was as woeful a campaigner as he is a politician, the folks at CBC, CTV, Global and the print media abandoned the Liberal bandwagon and clambered aboard the NDP express.
The cheered (by the media) NDP “Orange Crush” was much more an invention of the CBC and their friends at other media, than a seismic shift in Canadian politics. Despite the best efforts of the media the “Crush” became a “fizz” and finally a “burp” as the vote count rolled west.
Quebecers have traditionally voted for whichever party appears with the highest bid. When convenient, our francophone minority has voted for the Liberals, the Conservatives, the Bloc and now the NDP. Quebec now appears to have run out of parties to blackmail. The Toronto media and particularly the CBC have always been way out in front of the Quebec voter, providing cover for Quebecois to justify choices that perpetually leave the province on the outside and forever play the victim card. Given these realities, the NDP’s apparent success in Quebec is not at all surprising.
Leaving aside the dereliction of duty demonstrated by much of the media, (with the exception of the newly minted SunTV) in helping the NDP sidestep the little issue of Jack Layton’s comings and goings at a Toronto massage parlour, the media also failed to adequately vet the “slate” of NDP candidates running in Quebec. One would think as the NDP rose in the polls in the last two weeks of the campaign, a responsible, impartial media would put the spotlight on the “up and comers” in the NDP, particularly when so many have such unique backgrounds and qualifications. One can only imagine the ink spilled and air-time spent had a Harper candidate decided to spend the campaign in Las Vegas.
West of Quebec the media led “Orange Crush” lost steam as the Conservative’s consistent messaging and superior ground game delivered a solid majority to Harper. Harper’s campaign won seats in Greater Toronto and urban Vancouver, traditional bastions of Liberal/Socialist culture. The NDP failed to ride the wave in Quebec to any substantial gains in the West. The mainstream media was chagrined.
Many Canadians voted for Harper. Most Canadians voted against something, whether it was against Harper, Ignatieff, the “Rest of Canada” or in the case of the Greens, all common sense. However, the fact remains the Conservatives won a majority of seats with the support of a plurality of voters who agree with the Conservatives’ vision for Canada.
The media continues to ponder why their anti-Harper campaign didn’t work. They will also continue to deny the fact that, as a result of their political correctness, advocacy for their favoured causes and disdain for most Canadians living off Danforth, the influence the media has over Canadian opinion is no longer a factor.
Traditional media and in large part the “left” in Canada have drifted so far from the values and beliefs of most Canadians that they have become irrelevant. A big clue for the media/left is that when the only people following you on twitter are like-minded journalists and your favoured candidates, your message isn’t being heard by anyone who matters. The Conservatives understand this, and for the next four years at least, Canada will be better off as a result.
Mark Walker is the publisher of the Penticton Western News.