Friday, September 01, 2006

Lest we forget ...

Just a thought for the long weekend, thanks to another astute reader...

You may have seen Lindor Reynolds' column this week, extolling the virtues of Stonewall entrepreneur Heather Campbell-Dewar's "Baby Sherpa" child carriers. The origin of the free publicity for Heather seems to have originated with a press release stunt connected to the Emmy Awards (here).

Ms. Campbell Dewar has gotten a fair bit of free press over the past few years with these sorts of things. Most would say "more power to her". The interesting thing, though, is the apparent amnesia of the news media, because the news reports never mention her previous claims to fame.

You may remember the 1999 attempted repeat of anti-democratic Tory hijinks in the Interlake, centring around Campbell-Dewar's role in an ugly, amateurish attempt to smear NDP candidate Tom Nevakshonoff. Details on the charges, eventually proven, can be found here.

The point here is that either the media has decided she is a special case and doesn't deserve to bear the burden of her law-breaking past, a privilege most of us would not be granted, for sure -- or that one of the media outlets most outraged by Tory vote rigging no longer has a corporate memory of some of the key players in the worst afront to Manitoba democracy in our lifetime. In essence, a few short years later, we have a major case of collective political amnesia.

We submit, that this amnesia is not confined to such specific cases. But it applies much more broadly to the general view of Manitoba politics currently, and the Doer government in particular.

That is, many do not remember how much so many things have improved over the past seven years. Health care delivery, despite Brodbeck's rants, is much better -- although things still need to improve. The state of our schools, colleges and universities is much better. Many gaps in the justice system have been fixed. Manitoba Hydro has not been sold off, as it would have been, but instead strengthened. Front line delivery of services across the province are better. The North is part of the province again, not a forgotten second cousin. Downtown Winnipeg has seen a raft of needed investment.

People, especially the media, have forgotten how the Filmonites ran down the province. While achieving modest fiscal records, the disinvestment from the province had it fraying at the edges on almost all fronts.

We can't go back to that.


On another note, we're happy Fletch is back after a brief technology-induced hiatus. (We might comment on how easy this technology is supposed to be, but we'll leave that for one of Fletch's blogging fellow travellers.)