Free Trade or Scandal?
The Toronto Star had an excellent, if somewhat strange, editorial the other day complaining about the lack of public debate on the possible Canada-Europe “free trade” deal. Apparently the negotiations are well advanced and the negotiators are most certainly dealing with issues of vital importance to Canadians – but, as the editorial puts it, all below the radar. We are too preoccupied with Guergis-Jaffer, says the Star, to focus on issues far more important for our future. Absolutely. Who can disagree?
But whose fault is that? Yes our politicians. Question Period has become a festival of accusation and counter-accusation in a battle of who is least bad.
But where are our journalists? Where is The Star? My guess is that if we do a count of articles in The Star or any other Canadian newspaper, Guergis-Jaffer beat free trade with Europe by a country mile. (That’s what an unscientific test using the Star’s search revealed.)
The information on the negotiations is out there. Paul Wells has written quite a bit on the deal and for a while, but he has been pretty much the exception.
Scandals sell but surely there’s more room in our media for the seemingly boring but far more consequential issues of public policy.