Posted by: energyblogwalter | December 2, 2008

680news radio not informing public about role of Parlimentary Democracy

(As emailed to  680AM radio, “680news” is the most popular news radio show in Toronto.  I use it like most people to get up in the morning)

I’m disappointed to hear 680news misrepresent our own government every 10 minutes.

Concerning the current issue with a possible coalition government: I haven’t a clue if it’ll work or not and I’m not here to argue one way or another, but it turns out we do in fact live in a Parlimentary Democracy.  This can be easily looked up.  Thus it turns out that this is much ado about nothing.

Therefore I see now that 680news fails us every 10 minutes when it does not underline how our democracy works: Parlimentary Democracy.  This is a fact, and not open to political opinion, nor the editors of 680news.

By not including this caveat to any of your reporting it seems you’re making this issue bigger than it needs to be and in doing so also performing a disservice to all your listeners.

Any political scientist prof will tell you that Canadians do not elect governments, but Parliment forms a government from a majority of the House with the approval of the Governor General.  That it is trying to reorganize itself isn’t illegal or undemocratic but a benefit of this type of democracy.  Sure, we haven’t done it since the 20s (Byng) but nonetheless it’s there. Will it work?  Probably not, but again it’s in the rules.  The reporting from 680news never accounts for these basic facts.

On the positive side for 680news this is an important civics opportunity to remind us how we in fact achieve democratic majorities in this country.  Much is made about voter turnoff yet here 680news can make a postive presentation showing us that our vote matters and governments can change.  Failure to mention this just turns voters off even more and unwittingly places 680news listeners into confusion.

Without a newsmedia reality check that this is in fact how a Parliment works, I’m afraid 680news is doing a disservice to itseslf and all its listeners by unwittingly becoming an instrument of a political party.  Today it’s the current PM.  Tomorrow it could be the coalition.

By not taking this into account it gives listeners like myself the impression that 680news is not respecting our political system.  Please take a step back.  If you are to really inform people to sift through either the coalition’s or Harper’s message, you have to know the context.  Your reporting without this leads to perpetuating a lie.  This lie then gets reinforced every 10 minutes due to your news format.  Thus compounding the lie.  If you truly represent this community, and the whole community, you have an obligation for cogent corrections.

Please inform your listeners that we live in a Parlimentary democracy.  If people don’t know what their vote is actually for, a vote for Parliment, they and 680news are going to continue to be easily manipulated no matter who is elected.

I’d like a reply, as I’m quite concerned that the most basic of civics 101 are not considered important enough to you.  Surely this turns people off your station?  Yes I listen in for the weather and top stories, but please, don’t become Fox News.

Thank you

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