Don’t be deaf to the threat of dog whistle politics: Collenette

Good piece by Penny Collenette, former senior PMO staffer under Jean Chrétien:

So what can we do to stop the spread of this inflammatory and destructive force? How do we halt the powerful right wing of Trump’s America from spilling over our borders with their vicious messages? There are a number of ways.

Canadian politicians who use coded messages of race-baiting or values testing should be “named and shamed” by political opponents. Already this is thankfully happening in the Conservative leadership race.

Strategists and pollsters who practise this type of dangerous communication must think twice before posing questions designed to whip up prejudice. Clients and investors may equally become concerned about provocative behaviour.

Civil society and individuals are watch dogs for truth and fairness. Don’t allow friends or colleagues to discriminate against others or to disseminate hateful information. Whether a message is in a tweet, during a conversation, or on Facebook, point out errors or bias.

Main stream media and social media equally have responsibility to verify facts and to report without bias.

And never forget the power of words. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard noted that “Words can hurt. Words can be knives slashing at people’s consciousness.” But words can also heal and soothe, especially when they are spoken with great sensitivity by a member of the community, which has just been devastated.

“What the Daesch is doing in the name of Islam is an affront to Islam, decency and humanity. What took place in Quebec was criminal and horrible. But the response of Canadians with love and solidarity represents Canada at its best and offers us pride and hope,” said Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan, a former journalist and Order of Canada recipient.

Let’s not let our communities and ourselves down. Let’s support each other with understanding and strength.

And while we are it, let’s throw those dog whistles in the garbage.

Source: Don’t be deaf to the threat of dog whistle politics: Collenette | Toronto Star

Advertisements

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: