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Sunday, May 30, 2004

The press cover Liberal woes

From today's edition of Norman's Spectator
(with articles hotlinked).

With week one of the campaign over, Ontario is shaping up as the key battleground. The polls are turning south for the Liberals everywhere but on the CBC, which is sparing Canadians the bad news about their paymasters.

Political preferences are increasingly obvious at both the Toronto Star--which would welcome a Liberal minority government supported by the NDP--and CanWest papers, which are apoplectic about that prospect; the Montreal Gazette applies its own Anglophone spin in following up disastrous stories for Paul Martin reported yesterday in French. And, here’s one by the Star’s CAROLINE MALLAN on McGuinty’s Fiberals that skips the reality check completely, neatly complementing Les Whittington's sympathetic coverage of Paul Martin’s Saturday.

Only the Quebecor-owned Sun papers follow up on Greg Weston ’s “scoop” yesterday about a Liberal-Tory backroom deal in 2000 to elect Joe Clark. On the brighter side, they’ve got some first class columns analyzing the campaign.

South of the border, the Washington Post’s Ombudsman writes about “megaphone journalism.” The New York Times’ public editor writes about the paper’s Iraq coverage, and does not spare the bosses. Both pieces should be of interest to Canadian newspaper editors and readers alike.


PM: I'll quit if I break my promises

Though the Star's Whittington skips over the biggest promise of all, the Ottawa Citizen fronts Anne Dawson’s report of Liberal desperation:

“Prime Minister Paul Martin said he would resign in two years if he breaks three promises he has made during this election campaign: improving Canada 's health care system; enhancing living conditions in cities; and maintaining social programs without going into deficit.

Mr. Martin's promise is seen as an attempt to distance himself from Ontario 's Premier Dalton McGuinty, who vowed not to raise taxes during last fall's provincial election, but in the May 18 budget, dealt taxpayers huge increases on everything from health care to alcohol.

Posted by Norman Spector on May 30, 2004 | Permalink


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Really unbelievable.

If this new "promise" by Martin is true, then he should have homoured that commitment and resigned long ago.

In the end, though, it's a hollow promise. The Elections Act (or some other piece of legislation) expressly prohibits a candidate from being held to promises made during a campaign. In other words, legally let's them off the hook.

McGuilty didn't have this "protection" in Ontario, which is why the Canadian Taxpayers Association is threatening to take him to court for breaking his *written* promise. I can only hope that they succeed in their case, and that another election is forced to take place.

No, we can't believe any Liberal promises, and especially this last-ditch effort by Martin to get re-elected at any cost.

I would think that Layton and Harper, not to mention all the columnists, will have a field day with this promise.

Posted by: Erik Sorenson | 2004-05-30 9:00:56 AM

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