Insight BC

Insight and Discussion Concerning What’s Important in BC

Month: September 2017

The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But … ?

Separating propaganda from journalism is becoming increasingly difficult.  Not because we (hoi polloi), the common folk, don’t want to know the truth and factual information, but because getting ‘unfiltered’ honest untainted information is becoming increasingly difficult.

Daily, incessantly, we see bias of commentators on all sides of the political, social, economic and cultural debate who have become so entrenched in their ideology (the dogma that they have chosen to embrace) that any semblance of rational, objective thought and expression has become a distant memory for most of them.  If ever they were concerned with ‘journalistic integrity’.

I want to know the facts.  Not just the facts you want me to hear.  Not just the facts (or near facts) that support your own narrow perspective and belief system.  Not only the facts (or edited facts) that are supported by your agenda, the agenda of those who pay for your services or the agenda of those who are attempting to socially engineer our collective belief system and focus.

I have a keen and ravenous mind.  I thirst and hunger for information, for facts, for truth – for relevance.  I don’t think that I differ all that much from most folks.  I embrace the challenge and the opportunity to make my own decisions – based on factual information that I can process, assess and ultimately utilize to make informed, intelligent decisions.

Sounds pretty fundamental, doesn’t it?

Trouble is, over the past number of years, my ability (and yours) to obtain that factual information is becoming less accessible.  There are a number of reasons why the Marshall McLuhan ‘The Medium is the Message’ paradox has distorted and perverted our perception of reality.

I’ll use the Wikipedia definition.  ‘a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in any message it would transmit or convey, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.’

An example.  Statistics indicate that individuals are becoming increasingly distrustful of the information being provided by television, radio, newspaper and other ‘conventional’ news sources.

So how does the ‘conventional’ Fourth Estate combat that embarrassing fact?  By embedding even more propaganda in their delivery system.  I cite the recent television ads from a major Canadian network wherein the lovely news anchor looks sincerely into the camera and articulates that ‘integrity’ is the stock in trade of their network.  Sincerely spoken – but utter nonsense.  There is growing realization that the writers, editors, directors and producers of ‘news’ programs are adhering to an agenda, a philosophy –  a social engineering belief system.

There is no balance – and without balance, there can be no validation of the truth.  If I don’t get to hear divergent points of view and perspective, how can I guarantee that I am hearing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Fortunately, we have the means to get the facts.  The problem is most people are intrinsically lazy.  We would rather have someone tell us what we want to hear rather than going through all of the hard work to investigate and establish the facts (and the truth) for ourselves.

Unfortunately, as a result, we rely far too heavily on others to do the ‘heavy lifting’ for us.

The worst offending propagandists are those who refuse to enter into a fair and balanced discussion.  My question is why?

If you are sincere in your belief that your point of view or that your opinion is the correct one, you should be willing to defend it.  Vigourously.  Enthusiastically.  Forcefully.  With conviction.

If you do not choose to do so, why should I take you – and your point of view, seriously?

Anyone who chooses to ignore another point of view – or chooses to falsely pretend to embrace discussion and input while dismissing it outright – is a propagandist.  Simply put.  Put up or shut up.

Perhaps we should look up the definition of a ‘sycophant’.  Wikipedia again has perhaps the best two word definition, an ‘insincere flatterer‘.  In essence, a sycophant ‘flatters’ an idea, an individual or a political, economic, social or cultural idea without casting any light on its imperfections, its shortcomings or its alternatives.  In short, it is an obvious unbalanced, self-serving approach to the dissemination of information.

I consider it rather creepy.  Also kind of sad.

So why this long diatribe concerning ‘truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Because some people pretend to be ‘fair and balanced’ when there is no question that they are anything but.  And if we don’t call them on it, who will?

I cite the example of an individual who has committed, in writing, to me and to others that he publishes all comments that are uploaded to his (mostly political) blogsite.  Some opinions will invariably differ from his own.

Unfortunately, in spite of that apparently disingenuous lofty claim, he has now, on multiple occasions, either overtly or covertly refused to post comments to his blogs.

I am pleased to advise that the gentleman in question has ultimately approved my comments – and hopefully will continue to do so if he invites meaningful, balanced discussion and debate.   Did he do so gracefully?   Not particularly – challenging me on another Twitter rant intended on deflecting the true nature of the factual information I have outlined.  His choice, not mine.  I can keep this up all day!  😉

Do I really care?  Yes – and no.  I don’t agree with this individual on many issues – and there is no harm in that.

There is harm in saying one thing – then doing another.  I am going to call you on it every time.  That is the responsibility of each and every one of us.  If you are going to claim that something is the truth – then be prepared to take criticism if turns out to be false.  That is our individual, and our collective, responsibility.  To expose falsehoods wherever and whenever they exist.  Whether intended or otherwise.  One of the things that would keep politicians honest, if we held their feet to the fire on every issue.

We, as a society, have abrogated our responsibility to ensure that those who would seek to direct us do not deceive us.

The political swamp needs to be drained.  Accountability, transparency and integrity must be restored.  An avalanche of political change may depend on that one last small pebble to tip the balance.

I am resolved to do my part.  So here, Alan, is the comment that you have refused to post (another comment has been uploaded since mine was provided so I know that you have the ability – if not the political will).

‘Words are cheap, Alan.  If the BCCP thinks it can put all of its problems behind it by changing its name, it is naive in the extreme.  If the BCCP thinks that making its constitution even more punitive – censoring members and requiring a $1,000 payment to file a formal complaint against legitimate concerns for unethical and unconstitutional practices, it is as corrupt as the BC Libs, perhaps even more so.
You speak brave ‘Pollyanna’ words but I have spoken to defenders of constitutional issues, including John Carpay of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.  Any political party that seeks to suppress the rights of members to participate fully and freely in shaping policy and direction by punitive draconian measures is exclusive – not inclusive and it is an abomination.
Thousands of members have abandoned the BCCP – because a small self-serving group abandoned those members.  Your words will be cheap rhetoric falling on deaf ears if the BCCP passes another even more restrictive set of constitutional amendments that further alienates the BCCP from its diminishing membership base.
That, Alan, is the litmus test.  If the BCCP changes its name, if it allows a myriad of constitutional changes with a reduced percentage of members required to ratify such changes – and if it does not recognize that the members – not the directors’ self-serving interests, are the strength and future of the BCCP, then the BCCP deserves to be treated with the same cynical disdain and distrust as the BC Liberals and all other parties who preach one thing and practice another.
The BCCP does not have the trust of the BC voter.  An indisputable fact.  Less than half of one percent popular support after the May election.
Trust must be earned – through supportable policies and through a transparent and inclusive process that actually practices accountability (one that does not requiring a $1,000 payment to address unethical and unconstitutional practices).
At the moment, the BCCP constitution only requires that a BCCP leader maintain 40% support from membership.  Think hard on that.  Even if the BCCP had a leader (it doesn’t), that leader doesn’t even require a majority of member support.  And you want to call this a progressive democratic entity?
Give your collective heads a shake.
Tired, old empty words from tired, old dogmatic political wannabes will not change the fate of the BCCP.
You are correct in observing that an infusion of younger, progressive ‘attuned’ individuals is what the BCCP requires – if it has any hope whatsoever in becoming anything other than a fading fringe political dinosaur.
If the BCCP re-elects the same self-serving directors this weekend who have driven the party into the ground, that bright future of which you speak will be another empty bucket of lies and deception.
If the BCCP membership allows another ill-advised set of constitutional amendments to pass which even further throttles the ability of members to speak out and contribute as individuals (even through dissenting points of view), then the BCCP deserves to be relegated to the scrap heap.
Like it or not, the BCCP has become irrelevant.  The results of the BCCP were not even followed on air  by radio and television during the May, 2017 election.
If you want the ‘Great Pretenders’ to become the ‘Great Contenders’, then a Great Paradigm Shift is necessary for the BCCP.
Own your name – don’t change it.  Articulate and define what you stand for.  Create a constitution that protects individual freedoms (including the right to freedom of speech and freedom of opinion) instead of suppressing independent thought and action – as the new constitutional changes will inevitably cause.  Restore true democracy to the BCCP.  Don’t pass a slate of officers and directors ‘recommended’ by a nominating committee.  That is what the People’s Republic of China totalitarian leaders do to ensure the Communist Party always prevails – unopposed.
Require accountability from the directors.  Require accountability from the Leader (if ever you find one willing to lead this dysfunctional fading political entity).  That means requiring a strong majority of support from within – not a 40% minority.
Face the facts.  This is a broken – and failed, political party.  You (on the inside) are pretty much the only people who care.  The platform from the May 2017 election was a miserable joke not even worthy of legitimate political contenders.
Does the BCCP have an opportunity to become relevant?   Of course.  
Will the BCCP become relevant after this weekend?   I have my doubts – but there is always a possibility.
I know the BCCP will not become relevant to any other than its loyal sycophants if it ‘stays the course’.  If any of the BCCP insiders who have driven the party into the ground get re-elected, there is no hope.
If the unwise and draconian constitutional changes are ratified by a small number of people sitting in a small room, there is no hope.
Alan, you have confirmed to me (and others) that you post ‘all comments’ on your blog, even though we appear to have evidence to the contrary.
You will understand why I am making a copy of this discussion (to post elsewhere), just in case.’

Now, there is still time for the aforesaid individual to update his blog and post the above comment.  The question is, will he do this in time for informed discussion on these, and other issues, before the scheduled AGM set to take place in Langley this Saturday?

Even more importantly, will the principles of transparency, integrity and accountability even enter into the discussion – or should we cynically be discounting all posts from this individual as self-serving propaganda?

Not really up to me to decide – on behalf of other folks.  For myself, I have my personal opinions – and I’m not afraid to share them.

For the record, I have no personal animosity whatsoever toward the individual to which this comment was posted.  In fact, to my knowledge, I have never met the gentleman.  My sole objection is a claim that may prove disingenuous.  He is simply just another example of political enthusiasm gone awry.  Just don’t say one thing – and do another.

And yes,  Alan, as previously indicated to you, I am fully prepared to debate the foregoing points with you, and others – now or at any time in the future.  

Publicly.  With full transparency.  With full disclosure.

I believe that the members of the BC Conservative Party who will be meeting in Langley, BC this weekend should have another perspective on recent events – so that they can make an intelligent, informed decision – with as much disclosure and transparency as is possible.

If those paid party members choose to continue with the status quo, in spite of its recent obvious failures, that is a decision that they alone can make.

Do not abrogate your democratic responsibilities by ignoring issues and challenges that must be faced if the BCCP ever has any hope of becoming a viable, meaningful alternative for BC voters.  At the moment I, for one, would not be giving the BCCP any keys to the BC legislature.  The party (whatever its name may be after this weekend) hasn’t earned that privilege – or the trust of the voters.

Glen Walushka, BA, AICB

insightbc.org, advocatebc.com, rightforbc.com

 

 

 

Darryl Plecas, BC Speaker: Who Defines Integrity?

Kudos to Darryl Plecas, newly appointed Speaker of the BC Legislature, for being a man of courage, conviction – and possibly, of high integrity.  Only Mr. Plecas’ constituents should be allowed to decide the latter.

BC Liberals (no one’s definition of paragons of integrity) released a statement saying “Constituents must be able to trust their elected representatives,” it said. “Party members must be able to trust those who hold positions of leadership in the party. And members of the legislature must be able to trust one another.”

As usual, the BC ‘Party of Entitlement’ (and the Party coming under increasing scrutiny for questionable ethical practices and self-serving greed at taxpayer’s expense) has told only part of the story.

Constituents must be able to trust their elected representatives.  Complete agreement.  Full stop.  End of story.

The matter of ‘Party members must be able to trust those who hold positions of leadership in the party. And members of the legislature must be able to trust one another.’ is another matter entirely.  Idealistic, but definitely not based in fact.

The BC Liberals have just exposed the fatal flaw in the myth that it is ‘the Party’ that constituents and voters elect to the legislature.  It has long been the contention of many that the voters in any constituency vote for a ‘trustee’ or steward to represent first and foremost the constituency’s best interests in the legislature.  The political party affiliation is an overlay that helps voters determine the predisposition of the elected representative when pursuing policies and creating legislation in accordance with values and stated intentions.

It is the totalitarian nature of political parties to attempt to wrest control of the elected representative from the electors and to try to replace the voter’s best interests with the self-serving interests of the political party – and that party’s benefactors.

Caucus is the formal vehicle for that process.  Party whips (thugs and bullies) are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring a legislator’s loyalty is firstly to the Party.  Free votes and allowing party members to ‘vote their conscience’ have almost become a novelty – exceptions rather than the norm.   Party loyalty is professed by political party elites to supersede loyalty to the very voter who elects the MLA.

This utter nonsense  has been exposed by a courageous and intelligent Darryl Plecas who recognized that the business of governing BC, of debating and enacting legislation and of serving the people of BC was far more important than party loyalty.

The whiners and thugs within established political party structures are unsurprisingly critical of Mr. Plecas’s decision.  Self-declared ‘leaders’ of political parties rarely allow MLA’s to exercise self-determination and independent thought.  Extreme internal pressure is exerted to show ‘solidarity’ and the best interests of voters are often put on the back burner in order to further the Party’s bias and doctrine.

Recently, Mr. Plecas was the only Liberal MLA who dared to speak the truth concerning the status of departed ex-Premier Christy Clark.  Intelligent people of all political persuasions knew it was virtually impossible for Clark to claim the myth of ‘universal and total’ caucus support within the BC Liberal Party.  Only Darryl Plecas had the integrity and courage to expose that obvious lie.  Other Liberal MLA’s should be ashamed of themselves for putting the self-serving interests of the BC Libs before the truth.

It is no wonder that public opinion concerning integrity and honour of elected politicians continues to diminish in the eyes of astute, increasingly cynical voters.

I have little doubt that Mr. Plecas was subject to immense pressure from the self-serving BC Liberal elite before his monumental decision to seek the Speaker’s important role in the BC legislature.

Now, Mr. Plecas has been ostracized by the Liberals, shunned and ‘thrown out’ of caucus.  The silver lining? Mr. Plecas will now serve his constituents as an independent, rather than as a Liberal.

Do I think that Mr. Plecas did the right thing according to the voters who elected him?   The fact is that Mr. Plecas must have that conversation with those voters, himself.   It is not for me to judge.  It is only marginally more appropriate for the Liberal Caucus to judge.

The ‘Swamp must be drained’.   The absolute power and control of established political parties must be broken.   Power (and the thirst for power) corrupts.   Corruption within political parties grows at an alarming rate.

Is there a way to restore integrity and accountability within the existing political status quo?

Absolutely.

Elect legislators whose loyalty and accountability is first, and foremost, to the voters who elect them.

Elect legislators whose loyalty and accountability is second to their own consciences and personal code of ethics.

Elect legislators whose loyalty and accountability is lastly to their political parties.

Darryl Plecas is now an independent MLA, accountable first to his voters and second, to his conscience.

That is the way it should be.   BC Liberal Party be damned.

Congratulations to Darryl Plecas, MLA, for putting his constituents and his conscience ahead of the self-serving interests of the BC Liberal Party.

The challenge? 

To find other MLA’s with the courage, conviction and personal integrity to do the same.

 

 

 

 

 

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén