25 October 2016

Small town politics in the big city newspapers #nlpoli

The federal Liberals created a new process to pick judges for federal court appointments.  The process - as the Globe pointed out on Thursday - was to ensure they could ensure future appointments would be more reflective of the diversity of the country.

On Saturday,  the Globe editorial praiased the recent announcement of a white, middle-aged man with no experience on the bench before taking a political appointment to the trial division in NEwfoundland and Labrador in 2001 as the first appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada from Newfoundland.

This appointment, heralded widely in Newfoundland as recognition of the province's identity, was not a case of playing identity politics, according to the Globe editorialist.

And,  the appointment of yet another grey-haired white guy was an affirmation of the government's new diversity process in appointments.  This was a triumph of qualifications over political connections.


A vintage Globe performance all-'round.

The editorial is quite obviously the result of something other than an unbiased assessment of anything.

Is it the result of some connections between the Globe and the folks behind the appointment?

Or is it yet another case of the Toronto Globe passive-aggressively poking at the Toronto Star?

The Star featured a story on Friday about Rowe's decision in R v. S.B.  “I think, by and large, what (Rowe’s) decision shows is that the criminal justice system is really quite bankrupt when it comes to dealing with our huge social problem of sexual assault,” [University of Ottawa law professor Constance Backhouse told The Star], “I think it says more about that, than it does about Justice Rowe.”

And a couple of days earlier, the Star editorial pointed out  - no d'uh - that Rowe hardly stands an appointment that reflects diversity. Qualified - yes.  Diverse - no even close.

News and editorial opinion, as it seems, is like politics. It is nothing if it is not local.  And, as in this case, it is nothing but local.

Why people ever thought the Globe was more than a small town newspaper is amazing.

Why people put so much stock in anything in its pages is an even greater mystery.