Nunc Scio
Friday, March 31, 2006
  Tory MP Wants To Jail Journalists; May Also Be An Idiot
Sometimes certain people display such a profound misunderstanding of democracy, it's a little disturbing.

When that person is a Member of Parliament, it becomes downright terrifying.

Conservative MP for Okanagan-Shuswap, Colin Mayes has advocated jailing journalists who write 'distorted' or 'inaccurate' articles. “Maybe it is time that we hauled off in handcuffs reporters that fabricate stories, or twist information and even falsely accuse citizens,” he said. If you listen carefully, you can actually hear his brain collapsing under the weight of its own stupidity.

Let's be clear on what Mr. Mayes is advocating. If we start locking up journalists for bad reporting, somebody will have to decide what constitutes 'distorted' news. If Mayes gets his way, the government will be making the call. Did you see that? George Orwell started spinning in his grave so fast, his coffin is now somewhere over the North Atlantic.

Journalism is not a profession in the conventional sense. It is the exercise, by occupation, of every citizen's right to freedom of expression. So really, what Mayes wants to lock up citizens for expressing opinions and stories he doesn't agree with. Has he even read the Charter? I mean, I know he's in the Conservative Party, and the constitution isn't exactly required reading over there. But he's been around for a while. He must have picked something up about inalienable human freedoms.

For all his proto-fascist bluster, Mr Mayes is not optimistic about the success of his plan. As he told the Globe, it will never happen “because the media would cry ‘censorship' and ‘authoritarian state'".

No Kidding, Sherlock. And I bet it won't be just the media, either. But I'll let the last word here go to the Vernon Daily Courier's editor David Wylie:

“If members of his government are trying not to paint themselves as extremists or fanatics, this is not the way to go about doing it.”

UPDATE: Mayes retracts his statements "without reservation". Apparently he does, in fact, respect the freedom of the press. Guess you got an angry phone call from Steven, eh Colin?
I live in Mayes riding North Okanagan Shuswap. I followed this guy's election campaign and attended public forums. It was not hard to tell early on when he was questioned about CPC dogma by local citizens. When put on the spot, he comes unglued and easily spouts of garbage such as this insanity about jailing journalists. Two issues that the CPC is obsessed with: outlawing abortion and making gay people second class citizens, are also Maye's pet issues and it is easy to get him spewing, roll em, camera, action! It is not that difficult to break the silence of Harpers thugs, that is now the job of the media to break this silence.
Good post, I will enjoy watching PMO try to spin this, as if relations with the press weren't bad enough.

I also posted on this, tho slightly less informative than you, but hey, if anything, its worth a laugh.
Excellent post!
"May also be an idiot"

Oh, c'mon. Mayes was just using hyperbole to spice up his messsage and to display boldness and clarity in his vision of governance. He was kidding, joking...don't take it so seriously. The fascist nazi brownshirts in the CPC are always using wit in this way.

Next thing we know, Colin Mayes will want to be first in line to be a gauleiter -- which according to Webster's is "the leader or chief official of a political district under Nazi control."
an embarrasment for our riding ...
glad i never voted for him
How much more of this lurks just beneath the surface of the CPC?
IMHO, since it seems that North Okanagan Shushwap (my home riding) will elect any candidate that the conservatives put forward, it has become a magnet for -- how do I put this -- politically incorrect politicians. I can't tell if this is accidental, intentional (either as a way to score points with like-minded people all across the country, to air politically risky ideas as trial-baloons, or maybe because they want their party to be ridiculed for tactical reasons that I don't understand.)

I was kind of thinking that they would try to fill Stinson's shoes with a life-size cardboard cutout of him... It couldn't put its foot in its mouth. But instead they kicked it up a notch with Mayes' musings.
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Jack of all trades, master of none, Graeme is many things to many people. Unfortunately, none of them find him very life-affirming in any capacity. He is a freelance writer, broadcaster, amateur cryptozoologist and occasional political commentator late of London, England and now based in Toronto. Most of the time, he's confused. And a little hungry. But mostly just confused and somewhat uncomfortable writing in the third person.

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