Politicians, listen very carefully.
This pattern of not taking questions has to stop. It is an obligation of the office you were elected to.
The media is here to keep you honest. They are our over site committee of your actions. Ignore them at your peril.
This is for all of the parties.
Liberal, NDP, green and especially Conservatives. Federally and provincially.
You work for us, and do not have the right to refuse to answer questions from your employers.
The News Media plays a crucial role in maintaining and monitoring that balance. They report the stories, they ask the questions on behalf of their readers/viewers and publish the results for us to see. This strange recent fascination with vilifying the Media, is a construct of ignorance. An attempt to slander those who provide us with information to consume. The Media Party they are named, and claims are made that they interpret or twist the facts to suit some hidden purpose. When in fact they produce only what their public wants. Sometimes that is an opinion on the information, sometimes it’s a simple factual report and in some cases a biased narrow view of the situation. Regardless the one thing they all do to one degree or another is inform.
Walter Lippmann believed it was the duty of the media to interpret the news for the masses, while his contemporary John Dewey believed it was just to disseminate the information for the public to interpret and contribute to on their own. Both I am sure would be shocked to see how our Canadian Politicians are now handling the media. Not as partners but as antagonists, viewing reporters as the enemy. That in itself should be a red flag regarding the fitness for office of the political figure. If you fear the public be aware of your intentions, why are they your intentions? How can someone in office in good faith enact policies that they feel are disingenuous?
Yes there are some items that are not for public consumption. Issues that are of national security, items currently under review for legal reasons, unrelated questions designed as a trap, but certainly not everything. If a question is raised by a reporter that would endanger the public or a valid secret consideration, then a political figure can say so. “That question cannot be addressed at this time.” “That question is not related to the issue at hand”. “That question is not valid, and here’s what you are trying to do by asking it” BUT ANSWER THE DAMN REPORTER! He has a job to do and is literally in a position that is remarkably rare in out Capitalist society. A private industry who’s market goods are the public domain. Where intellectual property is shared rather then shrouded in secrecy, and the reporter most disseminated, is the most successful.
Reporters and the news preform an essential service for the public. They keep the government honest, and reveal those government figures who are not. From Nixon to Clinton, from Chrétien to Harper, it was the media that reveled their errors, omissions, and at times crimes to the citizens of our nations.
So when you see a government seeking to criminalize the media like in Egypt, seeking to imprison reporters like in Ferguson, or simply refusing to interact with the microphone of public opinion as we are seeing in Canada and Ontario, there is something to be very concerned about.