Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Evidence of Media Bias Early in Alberta Provincial Election

In case Albertans are not informed, there are NINE registered political parties competing in the 2012 Alberta Provincial Election. The 2012 registered Alberta political parties are:

Alberta Liberal Party
Alberta New Democratic Party
Alberta Party
Alberta Social Credit Party
Communist Party--Alberta
Evergreen Party of Alberta
Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta
Separation Party of Alberta
Wildrose Alliance Party

The unelected Premier Redford called the election on March 26, 2012. Two days into the election, the Calgary Herald publishes a front page article with photographs showcasing only five of the nine Alberta political parties. The article is based on a survey by the Leger Group which the Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal sponsored. There is no evidence that the survey included the four other political parties, and the article makes zero reference to these four political parties.

In the FDA's opinion, this is a common example of major media bias, whereby political parties are removed from the electoral discourse by biased, partisan major media (while elected officials and Canadian courts look away as if nothing happened). The most blatant example is from the 2011 Canadian federal election, in which a private media consortium allowed leaders from only four registered federal political parties out of 19 registered political parties in the two national debates. The irony as stated in the Canadian Supreme Court Case, Harper, on page 89 is that:

"the primary purpose of [limits on freedom of expression] is to promote political expression by ensuring an equal dissemination of points of view and thereby truly respecting democratic traditions." 

The FDA believes that the private major media in Canada can not be trusted with ensuring equal dissemination of points of view, due to its partisanship and profit motive. The FDA supports at least media ownership concentration laws like in France and Norway, which prevents an oligopoly of media ownership in television, radio, and the press like in Canada, and promotes plurality of media content.

Example: Alberta Election Media Bias

Media and Canadian Democracy

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