Editorials - Aug. 12, 2022
The ties that bind...
Just two weeks ago, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper endorsed Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre in a move that was widely seen as the momentum needed to put Poilievre over the top in the upcoming leadership race when ballots are counted and announced on Sept. 10. After all, Poilievre cut his teeth as a member of the Harper government and this endorsement should solidify the image of the kind of “populist conservatism” to which both adhere.
But, apparently, the endorsement from Harper may not be the “advance to go” card that it first appeared to be.
While Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be on the verge of overstaying his welcome, voters may not be quite ready for a return to Harper-style leadership either. A new Nanos Research poll showed that 35 per cent of respondents said that Harper’s endorsement made them think more negatively about Poilievre and only 19 per cent said that it improved their view of him.
So, the ties to Harper may bind the Conservative membership base that could elect him leader, but those same ties might make moderate Conservative and disillusioned Liberal and NDP voters wary of a shift when it comes time to mark their X. – DS
The Icarus of lies
Alternative facts, ignoring the truth and questioning reality have all become ways of life for an entire sect, especially in recent years as the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the world. We have seen people ascend to some of the highest stations in the land riding on wings of lies, but Alex Jones and his Infowars empire seem to have been caught flying a little too close to the sun on those aforementioned wings.
The radio host and noted conspiracy theorist is no stranger to denial and has cast doubt on the veracity of official stories tied to historical events like the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Oklahoma City bombings and, most notably, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting of 2012. But now, after years of court proceedings, Jones finds himself in need of almost $50 million to pay damages after the family of a Sandy Hook victim took him to court, pushing back after Jones spent years discrediting the event as a hoax and dismissing factual evidence. With many more families hurt by Jones, this could be just the beginning and just the first person to put their hand in Jones’s pocket.
Many have pointed to this as a win for the truth and a blow against the fake news that fills questionable Facebook posts and Tweets every day. Surely the persistence and strength of the families is to thank, as most would have likely walked away at a certain point. The world will never, unfortunately, fully rid itself of its Alex Joneses, but this verdict does feel like a win for those who champion the importance of truth.
Freedom of speech is essential, but this is someone, finally, saying no, you can’t deny easily provable facts. “A lie ain’t a side of a story. It’s just a lie,” reads one of the most famous quotes from HBO’s The Wire. Jones (and hopefully others like him) learned a valuable (and very expensive) lesson on telling the truth, freedom of speech and that a side of a story can’t be convenient fiction, crafted out of thin air. – SL
Get up, stand up (or shut up)
While it’s great that Huron County voters are seeing competition for some of the highest municipal offices in the land, the fact remains that, with just over a week before the deadline, there are a number of wards in Huron County that will, at best, see candidates acclaimed, and at worst, see some areas underrepresented or not represented at all.
As of last Monday, the competition was heating up for local municipal council leaders in communities like North Huron and Huron East, with the former having three people running to be Reeve and the latter having two to run for Mayor. It’s a nice change of pace from previous years where many Mayor or Reeve positions have been acclaimed or had little competition for them. However, some areas, like a number of wards in Huron East, North Huron’s Wingham Ward and Morris-Turnberry, won’t have enough people to fill their seats without some late-breaking moves from municipal council hopefuls.
North Huron’s Wingham Ward has only one of two needed council members running, while the Blyth Ward currently has its two incumbent council members running unopposed. Morris-Turnberry, with its at-large election system, couldn’t hit quorum if the deadline was on Monday. Huron East’s Brussels Ward has only one candidate, the same as McKillop, Seaforth and Tuckersmith, while its Grey Ward had no one running at all. Central Huron has competition for its Mayor and Deputy-Mayor positions, but only four candidates for six positions between its East and West Wards, three of whom are incumbents.
Now is your chance to make a difference and influence change in your community, and there are few positions better to do it from than councillor, as they vote on every issue before them. So, stand up now or hold your peace for the next four years. – JDS