It’s come to my attention that the opinion piece I wrote in the Midnight Sun News about Idle No More has generated quite a bit of controversy and discussion.
As a political observer and writer, I consider this a success. What purpose, other than generating discussion and argument, should an opinion piece in a newspaper serve?
Where I am disappointed, however, is in learning that the Liberal Party official, Cherish Clarke, has decided to attack the newsmagazine and organize a boycott of local advertisers over her personal dislike and disagreement of the column. Such a blatant partisan attack under the subterfuge of a grassroots movement is unsavoury behaviour, to say the least.
Worse still, a current executive member of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce approved of this ridiculous boycott which doesn’t say much for his appreciation of the purpose of his position.
I wish I could say I’m surprised. This is rather typical of the “bully tactics” I described in my column, both of the political left and of the Idle No More movement in a general way. Most reasonable people can agree to disagree without trying to stifle the other person.
The sad thing is in this instance is that it’s not even me being stifled, but an unfair and unjustified attack on businesses and the Midnight Sun News. Firstly, it’s a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms right for a news organization to publish opinions that may seem disagreeable to other people. Shocking, I know. I would even argue it is the responsibility of a news organization to do so. And trying to coerce a newspaper to censor or omit a variety and diversity of opinions under threat of financial ruin is misguided at best, and prone to totalitarian tendencies at worst.
It isn’t the job of the media to publish only those stories that the Idle No More approves and agrees with. That’s one of the reasons that Chief Theresa Spence so rapidly lost public support among us, the ordinary Canadians, who were informed that we were either with them or against them. Friend or foe.
Some have suggested I am a “self-proclaimed reporter” with “no journalistic merit.” I’m not a reporter, I’m an ordinary Canadian with an opinion the Idle No More movement doesn’t like. I never pretended to be anything else.
I applaud the Midnight Sun News for having the courage to publish opinion columns like mine, from ordinary Canadians, despite the “Idle” threats of leftists to harm businesses in Whitehorse. But truthfully, I think the threat of an Idle No More boycott has the force and effect of a vegan threatening not to buy bacon. Let’s not pretend these people have a discretionary spending habit in anything other than whining.