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While the Liberals concern themselves with the conspiracy of foreign election interference, seeing Russian bots behind every corner, Canadians should really be worried with how the federal government might stack the 2019 election in their favour.
Here are five methods Canadians should pay attention to that might enable the Liberals to sway the upcoming election in their favour.
Influencing the parameters of the leaders’ debates
For the first time in Canadian history, the Liberal government is introducing a panel that will be in charge of organizing the two leaders’ debates of 2019.
While the Liberals maintain the Leaders’ Debates Commission to be politically “independent”, critics have already pointed out some of the panel’s appointments which include former Governor General David Johnston, and CBC executive Michel Cormier.
“Essentially what this is doing, this is silencing Canadians,” said Stephanie Kusie, former opposition critic of Democratic Institutions, claiming that the commission is an attempt to limit the scope of the debate.
Censoring independent media as “fake news”
As part of its plan to combat “foreign interference”, the Liberals are spending $7 million on a panel of “fact-checkers” intended on monitoring online news.
While the panel will pay exclusive attention to alternative news sources, government approved mainstream media will be left off the hook for spreading patent falsehoods like the “hijab hoax”.
Employing handpicked column writers to sway public opinion
One of the most startling realizations to come out of the SNC-Lavalin scandal was Justin Trudeau’s Chief of Staff, Katie Telford, admitting to the fact that the Liberals are willing to employ go-to column writers to sway the public opinion in their favour.
“If Jody is nervous, we would, of course, line up all kinds of people to write op-eds saying that what she is doing is proper,” Telford told Wilson-Raybould’s chief of staff.
If the Liberals are willing to have handpicked op-ed writers spin their mistakes favourably imagine the kind of media manipulation they would employ to win an election?
Financially pressuring mainstream media
While the Liberals allege that the $595 million media bailout will be handed out indiscriminately and without any strings attached, it is difficult to see how such a sum might at least warm up some struggling legacy media companies to the federal Liberals.
Considering the Liberals tendency towards political interference it is entirely within the realm of reason that the fund will guarantee them some favourable coverage during the 2019 election.
Creating a list of “government approved” news sources
Hidden away in the 2019 Liberal budget is a stipulation that would have the government determine what is a “Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization” (QCJO) in order to access desperately needed government funds.
The organizations will be determined by a Liberal-appointed panel and will be granted certain tax credits if approved.
“We’ve heard from some of the most respected members of the craft who are opposed, and highly critical of government getting involved in this sort of direct subsidy to what is supposed to be an independent estate,” said Conservative MP Peter Kent on the initiative.
While the original purpose of the list is to pick media companies which would benefit from Liberal generosity, the Liberals intend on publishing their list of “qualified” new organizations on the Government of Canada website.
It doesn’t require a stretch of the imagination to see how such a list might be used in the future as reference to disqualify other independent news sources as illegitimate.