Thanks, British Columbia Liberals!
A couple of points of information. Just to clarify.
1. Some genius emailed me directly and said, C'mon, Paul, the BC Liberal Party are loons, you can't blame the federal Liberals for anything they do. So, just in case anyone else needs the civic lesson: This resolution comes from the British Columbia wing of the federal Liberal Party, not from the provincial party that no longer calls itself Liberal.
2. I've seen a couple of tweets that showed a misunderstanding of details of this post, which is fair because I wrote it quickly and it's all a bit arcane. First, this is not one of the "fast-tracked resolutions" that go straight to the convention plenary; this is one of the "Top 20 resolutions" that take the scenic route, through a preliminary workshop and then, if they pass, continue to plenary. Second, the resolution wouldn't require that sources be in government. It would require that they "can be traced," though as far as I can tell they could be any kind of source.
An interesting and scary read.
It is the elitist attitude permeating through the Liberal party which is the scariest. They are good, others with opposing viewpoints are bad. Thus, the good folks must disempower the bad folks. They do not see themselves as the authoritarian government they are becoming.
“Two thoughts. First, if there’s a fund for good journalism, the Liberals should appoint Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative MP who was in charge of election rules in the last Parliament, to run it. And if they’re not comfortable doing that, there should be no fund, because one day, after some future election, somebody like Pierre Poilievre will run it anyway.
Second: ask any Liberal MP how much stock they put in stories about cabinet ministers showing up at party fundraisers, or about the prime minister’s vacations. I asked one this week, and she lit into me for “not telling the whole story.” Put those people in charge of deciding what journalism rises and what doesn’t? No thanks.”
Bill C-11 sadly passed and is now the Online Streaming Act. The move by governments worldwide to curtail the revolt of the plebs is not fake news. The Twitter Files are further evidence of the new reality.
I encourage people to follow Martin Gurri, Michael Shellenberger and the Public Substack, and Matt Taibbi. We need to fight the Censorship Industrial Complex. I love my freedoms and I do not want government to tell me what to read or say.
We are well down the slippery slope Wells warned of years ago. Whatever is at the bottom of that slope is not democracy. Brought to you by a government and a PM whose statements are frequently not factual, let alone true.
The totalitarian impulse is a very strong one. It amazes me only that people are surprised when it appears, given our recorded history as a species.
This government is already operating in the spirit of this resolution, and the only way to stop them from doing so is to vote them out. If the crazy conservatives get in and give in to their own excesses (likely) then in four or less years it will be time for the electorate to give them the boot as well.
Voting a government out is the only recourse short of armed revolution we have as individual citizens to periodically upend the boat from which these control freaks (politicians and their unelected staff) steer the ship of government from, to confuse and scatter them temporarily in the cold water. If we don't, eventually they would find a way to remove our ability to do so. The situation in much of the world, if we care to look around, is that 'elections' are a calculated theatre controlled by each country's 'Natural Governing Party'. Eventually they become emboldened enough to try and extend that control to other countries (as China is attempting, with considerable success around the world, including here in Canada).
We need your voice, Paul. Time to take the polite gloves off with your writing. Help us upend the boat.
Minister of Media and Information. That has a very scary ring to it. Maybe they should just call it the Ministry of Truth.
This resolution is entirely asinine for so many reasons - as I was saying on here earlier this week, there's a certain movement ascendant that I just can't get behind, wherein if someone has ideas different from you, they must have been tricked into them by dastardly foreign disinformation. (I had initially identified this as a Liberal problem, but really, it's a problem for everyone - it's just that the Liberals call it "disinformation" and the right calls it "fake news" or "the mainstream media".)
I'm an information scientist, getting a doctorate in this stuff, and I tend to believe that consumers of information have a level of personal responsibility - that is, if someone publishes some false information and you believe it, that's a you problem. I believe the government's role in combating disinformation should be limited to providing a stronger education system that teaches critical thinking skills. But most people disagree with me, and, troublingly, a lot of people can no longer distinguish between "false information" and "an opinion I don't like".
It's worth emphasizing something Paul mentions briefly - and Paul's more sophisticated readers know this, but most people don't know this - which is that party policy resolutions do not tend to represent the general opinion of the party. Of the tiny fraction of Liberals who can afford to cough up thousands of dollars to schlep to Ottawa for a weekend, only a tiny fraction of those are wonkish enough to attend the policy sections of these meetings---which used to be held first thing in the morning after a late night of parties, though I haven't been to a party convention in a decade and this may have changed. So I don't consider this to reflect on the Liberals. On the other hand, if someone introduced an anti-abortion plank at the Conservative convention under the same circumstances, you're damn right I'd consider it to reflect on the Conservatives, so I can't per se blame anyone who does hold this against the Liberals.
Paul is justifiably irked. As someone who spent many an hour at various Canadian political conventions watching the stupidity that at times comes out of the grassroots policy process, I can only sympathize. One does not look to biennial policy conventions for policy coherence.
Love the pillow fort analogy! Very funny.
Policy conventions...they make you a believer in electoral colleges...
Just remember their ultimate purpose, which varies by Party:
Liberals go to them to get laid;
Conservatives go to get drunk;
New Democrats go to get pamphlets.
There are no words to describe the controlling mindset at play here.
Pardon my ignorance because I'm not sure how much Fife relied on anonymous sources for his work on the SNC Lavalin and China interference stories, but would such a law have stopped those reports from being published in a timely manner?
Does this only apply to independent online journalists such as yourself?
It is a rather disturbing thought, especially as more reporters are using Substack to ply their trade.
You are surprised that the Liberals are contemplating a Ministry of Truth?
It sounds awful. There isn't a Liberal who doesn't simply spouts party line. Anyone who thinks or writes differently would be out. Let's hope the floor of the Liberal Convention is as far as this silliness goes.
Never happen. The very suggestion is this big gift to Poilievre, of course, since they are proposing "gatekeepers", if the word has any meaning at all. Now we have to listen to him crow about this for a week.
Millions of legal gun owners and hunters in the country are comforted by your assertions that Liberals are sane.