There's a new sickness sweeping across Canada that medical experts have diagnosed as Selective Parochialism Disease. It afflicts mostly the ideological, and in particular those who think that cooking the planet for our children is a good idea.
Even the Prime Minister has caught it. In China, when he wasn't cuddling baby panda bears (aww), he was denouncing foreign interests in the Gateway tar sands pipeline battle. Yet, his parochial disease meant selectively failing to mention that his Chinese hosts have dumped tens of millions of dollars into lobbying and PR campaigns in Canada on behalf of the pipeline, via their state owned oil companies' participation in Enbridge's Gateway war fund. Sickness indeed.
BC Premier Christy Clark is also showing symptoms. Just days after former Harper advisor and Enbridge lobbyist Ken Boessenkool became her Chief of Staff, she went on CTV and similarly questioned outside influence in the Gateway debate. Yet her illness prevents her from understanding how this will be seen in light of her $500-a-plate fundraiser for the B.C. Liberal Party at the Petroleum Club in Calgary, Alberta. Yes, that's the same Alberta which doesn't vote in B.C. elections, even though its oil money is paying to influence them.
Some think the epicentre of the outbreak is in North Vancouver with self-styled humble homemaker (and, by chance, ex fish farm PR worker and Conservative MP staffer) Vivian Krauss who claims to ask "fair" questions about foreign funding of environmental debates by exposing those secret, publicly disclosed financial information of charities.
"Fair" in this case neglects to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars that multinational companies spend in Canada each year donating to compliant provincial political parties, lobbying, and waging advertising campaigns on behalf of their interests. You know, that "fair."
Even the mostly rational aren't immune to Selective Parochialism Disease. Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason, usually not fevered, uncritically recycled Krauss' numbers in his column without pointing out how ridiculously one-sided they were. Get this though: newly uncovered investigative research reveals that this scribe who uses his podium to regularly coax and cajole B.C. politicians has bosses in, and gets his paycheques from -- gasp -- Toronto!
Selective Parochialism Disease is currently on a growth vector, its virulence enhanced and its transmission facilitated by Postmedia and Sun newspaper and TV properties. It threatens to overrun the receptive ideological sub-population in Ottawa, which unfortunately currently has the power to enact Selective Parochialism into legislation.
Medical researchers are working on a long-term cure for the disease and believe it has something to do with Canadian journalists rediscovering their nose for the patently absurd and doing their job by forcefully pointing it out, such that the lazy and fetid conditions where the disease thrives are undone.
Shorter term triage, however, calls for Canada's opposition parties to attend math class with the intention of arriving at that "eureka" moment whereby they finally realize how they can quickly remove the infected ideological sub-population from power by setting aside their useless tribalism and cooperating.