Jan 11, 2012

Who’s really “skewing” the pipeline debate?


Apparently the Harper government and its echo chamber in the blogosphere (e.g. Vivian Krause) think that philanthropic funding of environmental groups is “skewing” the debate on the northern pipeline project.

Presumably they would like to return to a more “normal” debate.  You know, one disproportionately influenced by well-heeled corporate-funded market fundamentalist think tanks and pseudo-grassroots “astroturf” industry front groups (see Donald Gutstein’s book, Not a Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy); by tax-deductible corporate lobbying, subsidized to the tune of $100 million a year, according to Democracy Watch; by a public relations industry that now outnumbers under-resourced professional journalists by three or four to one; and by a “majority” Conservative government that was opposed by over 60% of Canadian voters but that avoids democratic accountability and steamrolls its agenda through Parliament as much as it can get away with.

One commentator suggested that Canada may be descending towards becoming an authoritarian petroleum state.  Now is the time for anybody who cares about a democratic and sustainable future to make sure that doesn’t happen.