Saturday, July 01, 2006

Canada in 2020...The Progressive Propaganda Offensive Begins

This seemingly innocuous article on the tax payer funded CBC website (ironically enough published on Canada Day) tweaked my intuitive spirit. In other words my spidey senses were tingling.

Being a proud "right of center" Canadian and this being Canada Day (Dominion Day), I decided to follow my intuition and see where it led. What I discovered may well be the first salvo fired in a concentrated and co-ordinated "communications war" by the "progressive left" to gain control of the hearts and minds of the average Canadian. This excerpt from the CBC website:

What will Canada look like in 2020?

How would the country change if the cost of oil double or triples in the coming decade? Where and how would we live if global temperatures rise dramatically? What will our cities, our health-care system and Canada's role in the world look like?

The CBC and the Dominion Institute have invited 20 leading thinkers to comment on the single issue or event that they think could transform Canada by 2020. will post the essays here as they are released over the next six months. Coverage on CBC-TV and CBC Radio includes interviews, commentary and mini-documentaries on the ideas raised by each of the thinkers. Tune into CBC News: Morning, The National, The Current, The Sunday Edition and local CBC radio stations across Canada for more.

Canada in 2020 is an initiative of Dominion Institute in association with La Presse, the Toronto Star and the CBC.

This brought to mind some interesting questions. What does the Dominion Institute stand for? How, if at all, are they linked to the recent 2020 conference held in Mount Tremblant, Quebec? What are the proven editorial tendencies of the MSM partners in this initiative? Who are the driving forces behind Canada 2020? Where and when was this initiative born? What do they hope to achieve? And finally, Why is the CBC committing the considerable resources noted above, to this effort?

As far as La Presse goes I have no basis for formulating an opinion on their editorial proclivities, being fluently uni-lingual. On the other hand the Toronto Star is a noted left leaning publication and is often refered to derisively as The Red Star by right leaning commentators. Finally, the CBC. As a taxpayer funded broadcaster the CBC claims to hold no editorial bias. I beg to differ. That said lets look at a CP article on the 2020 Conference in Mount Tremblant, Quebec.

Canada 2020, the brainchild of a troika of federal Liberal backroomers, fluttered to life this week, aspiring to be a non-partisan breeding ground that allows the airing of progressive public policy ideas unconstrained by immediate electoral considerations.

In fact the two-day conference, anchored by a keynote speech Wednesday night by former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, is expressly designed as an antidote to electoral-cycle policy making.

Most participants said a conference of this sort - focusing on a "small 'p' progressive agenda rather small 'c' conservative," in the words of organizer Susan Smith - is long overdue.

Others, perhaps less starry-eyed, see the conference as the third leg in a Liberal party reconstruction that will augment and provide some intellectual heft to the leadership race and the party's internal "truth and reconciliation" exercise.

Peter Donolo, Jean Chretien's former communications director, said the progressive or left side of the political spectrum has been outmanoeuvred over the past decade by conservative think-tanks, which have generated much of the public policy buzz in North America.

As I noted in a previous post on this site (More Inconvenientt Truth) the 2020 Conference participants were largely LPC operatives. The above quoted CP article confirms this fact and suggests that this conference was in fact "the third leg in a Liberal party reconstruction". Am I off base?? Lets see what The Toronto Star had to say about the 2020 Conference. This link from a progressive website carrying an article by Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star.

MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec - "Father knows best" isn't just an old TV show any more, it's where Canada and the U.S. beg to differ, according to Environics pollster Michael Adams.
And the difference between Canadian and American attitudes toward big daddy may reveal something larger about how to rebuild the centre-left of the political spectrum in Canada, a task now under way at a big, "progressive politics" conference at the Mont-Tremblant resort.

One of Adams' most stunning illustrations of Canada-U.S. differences to the conference was on the question of family dynamics, specifically the idea of the father as head of the family.
In Canada, that notion has been slowly eroding since 1992. In the United States, it's been growing.

Conference attendees were excited by the Adams' finding.
They believed it underscores the idea that Canadians are far more wary overall of authoritarianism, hierarchy and other hallmarks of conservative politics.

Though this is a non-partisan gathering, it is organized around the idea of reinvigorating political policy that stands in opposition to conservatism and all that Harper appears to represent.

Justin Trudeau, son of the former prime minister, told attendees at the opening of the conference Tuesday night that their focus had to be on getting the left's act together so it can regain power.

"What are we going to do as progressives if we return to power? That's a big challenge and it's one that we need to think about it," Trudeau said.

He summed up the aim of this conference as a search for "what it takes to take over this country once again and make sure we are moving in the right direction."

So it seems pretty clear to me what the goals of the 2020 Conference are. As the eldest son of "himself" put it..."what it takes to take over this country once again"... As I pointed out previously, the 2020 Conference is the opening salvo in a propaganda war and the Toronto Star is clear about their role in this aim. But what are others saying about the 2020 Conference? This from The Hill Times.

MONT-TREMBLANT, QUE.--Former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, whose Liberal Party was booted out of office in the last election, says all party members have to play an active role in its policy renewal process since it's the first time in 12 years that policy-making is coming directly from the grassroots and not from Cabinet or the PMO.

"Policy renewal process is important after you've been in government for 12 years, most of the policy is driven out of Cabinet, out of the government itself, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, the caucus. It's very important for grassroots Liberals to get back and involved in the policy process. They're the people who live in the streets, in the communities, go to the churches all over, mosques all over this country and they're the ones who know what the real challenges are for Canadian families and what those families and communities need to succeed, to be cohesive, to avoid conflict to be able to seize the opportunities that exist here. So, they have to drive this policy renewal process," Ms. McLellan said in an interview with The Hill Times in Mont Tremblant, Que., at the Liberal-dominated Canada 2020 conference.

Ms. McLellan co-chaired the conference entitled "Progressive Policies, Practical Solutions: Policy Choices for the 21st Century," along with another former Liberal deputy prime minister John Manley and Francois de Gasp Beaubien, chair and CEO of Zoom Media.

The Liberal Party currently is undergoing a policy renewal process and has set up 32 task forces under the leadership of Tom Axworthy, a Liberal policy guru, academic and a former senior adviser to former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. The policy renewal process will culminate in the form of policy resolutions to be voted on at the December Liberal Convention in Montreal. If passed by a majority of the delegates, the policies will become party policies.

Hmmmm.....By all accounts this "non-partisan" effort seems to have a decidely partisan bent. What I find particularly interesting is the timing. It seems the Canada in 2020 exercise will culminate in December at the same time as the LPC leadership convention.

But then again maybe I'm a paranoid right wingnut. Being a good Canadian I defer to the "most trusted news source" in Canada. Of course I refer to our nation public broadcaster...The CBC.

Where does the CBC stand? Now herein lies the rhetorical twist, the CBC is selling their ongoing coverage of Canada in 2020 as a "non-partisan" initiative by a "non-profit" institute and go so far as to describe these decidedly left opinion pieces as "News In-Depth." Of course they do not identify Canada in 2020 opinion as orginating in a "left wing think tank" as they do with Fraser Institute pieces which come with the "right wing think tank" moniker. A sample of the CBC's characterization of Canada 2020.

Canada in 2020 is an initiative of the non-partisan Dominion Institute in association with CBC News, La Presse, and The Toronto Star.

Canada in 2020 is a four month public dialogue initiated by The Dominion Institute to discover what Canadians think will be the single most important issue facing the country in the year 2020.

The Institute has brought together twenty leading commentators from across Canada to write essays on the single issue or event that they think could transform Canada by the year 2020.

The essays will be published in La Presse and The Toronto Star over four months starting July 1. CBC News will take the discussion started in both papers to a national audience by featuring interviews, commentary, and mini-documentaries on the ideas raised by each of the twenty contributing authors. The public will be encouraged to add its voice to the debate through the project's website and a $2020 essay contest. Canada in 2020 will conclude in December 2006 with a one-day citizens' symposium in Ottawa.

Well that all sounds very inclusive and afterall this is a "non-partisan" effort. So if I read this correctly the "non-biased" CBC is going to take these "non-partisan" essays and expand on the "ideas" they raise. This will be achieved through interviews, commentary and mini-documentaries. I can hardly wait!!

BTW I point you to the questions that were asked in this poll that coincided with the 2020 Conference. Once again back to the CBC. And just in case you didn't see the significance of the this type of polling I suggest this piece from Stephen Taylor on June 20th. (you will have to scroll down.)

Anyways.....I think I've made my point that Canada in 2020 is a propaganda exercise by the LPC and is supported by the usual suspects. Unfortunately right leaning taxpayers are funding a portion of this garbage through government funding of the CBC.

What is not clear are the personalities behind this propaganda push. In my next post I'll make the connections between the LPC, the Toronto Star, the CBC and at least one MSM columnist that I thought knew better.



Stephen Taylor said...

Hey Synchrodox,

if you want to link to an individual post on my blog, or any other blog, you have to look out for what's called "the permalink".

On my posts, the permalink is found by clicking on the time after it says: "Posted by Stephen Taylor". If you click on that link, it will take you to a separate page with just the post.

The same is true for Kate's Small Dead Animals blog (and for your blog too - the link is the time after "Posted by Syncrodox at")

Saskboy said...

What exactly is the role of the propaganda? It appears it just people preparing for a possibly different future in 2020, and based on past history that's a wise thing to prepare for changes. Even if the space stations, and maids of the Jetsons don't come true, it doesn't hurt to think about it.