The Western Star of Corner Brook published a rather skewed editorial last week regarding (Liberal) voices of the past and their chiming in on current affairs in this province, as if they had no right to do so.
I understand editorials by their very nature are slanted, and that we all have our own biases and myself certainly included, but this particular one was so blatantly partisan that it concerned me that a media outlet such as this newspaper would not only be so partisan and hypocritical, but also far less scrutinizing of this government than The Telegram, which rightfully takes this government to task as media, and ordinary citizens, ought to do in a democracy as we have here - in theory, at least.
We clearly still have this culture here whereby if you are not a supporter of this government, you are effectively a pariah and should shut your mouth and do as the editorial suggested: "They (Liberals of yore) should let those in charge now do what they think best ... without all the harping from has-beens in the cheap seats."
Yes, all-knowing Western Star, we should just sit back and let this government do whatever it likes, never "harp", and let them be the caretakers of Newfoundland and Labrador that they have been since Danny Williams took over in late 2003.
In fact, The Western Star has identified the fundamental problem in our politics right now, whether the editorial writer intended to or not. And that is the seriously misguided, jingoistic notion that if you speak out against this regime, and merely ask any questions about policy - heaven forbid - you are "negative", anti-development, a "traitor", a "Danny hater" (next to "traitor" - my favorite), and a whole host of other things that personally attack your character and sense of pride in this province of all of ours.
But, of course, that's nothing new here in Newfoundland and Labrador the past decade.
It was also revealed last week that the Government of Canada is now to be referred to as "the Harper Government" in official government communications. Stephen Harper has merely taken a page from our former Premier, as our government here in Newfoundland and Labrador, the one belonging to you and me just as the Government of Canada does, was known in official government press releases, correspondences, and the like as "the Williams government".
Should we keep mum on this too?
So, what do we do, folks? Do as that Corner Brook daily suggests, "let those in charge now do what they think best", including Harper and Co. upalong, without any question or scrutiny of them at all, or do we stand up for what we believe in, use the constitutionally enshrined democratic right we all have in this free society to speak our minds on government directives and actions - and on politicians, past and present, especially when their directives and actions still affect us?
I will take the latter over the former any day, and I don't accept our politicians, media outlets, and fellow citizens telling us to, in effect, "keep your mouth shut."
Because doing that takes away our voices and our agency as citizens. And it continues this democratic deficit that has effectively strangled democracy in Newfoundland and Labrador as we have known it. And I am not personally prepared to be a part of that and I will never heed the words of politicians, editorial writers, and anyone else who tells me and the rest of us to pipe down and just let Kathy and company do "what is best for us".
Ultimately, we all lose when that is the prevailing attitude in our society. And that is never something to keep quiet about.