This is not going to be an ordinary election

August 31, 2008

Quote from Dimitri Soudas (who apparently hasn’t been totally silenced by his new boss’ expanding role) in the Globe and Mail:

We still expect it is going to be another minority government, but the question is, is it going to be a Liberal or a Conservative minority government.

I will leave to others the joy of pointing out how odd it is to go into an election to get a clear mandate from the people when the best you expect is another minority. My point is rather than it is a very un-electioneering thing to say just a few days before hitting the campaign trail. Usually it’s more along the lines of “we are absolutely confident Canadians will give us a strong majority, based on our accomplishments and the fact that our leader is a leader who leads.”

If such candideness continues throughout the campaign (hello, Kim Campbell) things might get very strange indeed.

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Taking out the trash by stealth

August 7, 2008

Ah yes, I was wondering if they would bury that report at Health Canada. They did. At first glance I thought that Don Martin was writing about that one too, but it turns out it was another one that has been taken out with the trash.

Now I’ve been a fairly regular trash-watcher for a few years now, keeping an eye on news releases sent out on Friday afternoons or other auspicious times when reporters quickly finish their work and head to the pub, the daycare or the psychologist. I’ve watched the Chrétien people do it, Martin’s people have done it with enthusiasm, and now Harper’s gang.

One thing though: It’s become more difficult under Harper, since very often they don’t seem to put out a news release. They’re not being sneaky as Martin say, they’re being stealthy.

UPDATE: Bill Carney is also blogging on this.


First Brodie leaves, now Buckler…

June 27, 2008

Yes, Sandra “Command and Control” Buckler announced she is leaving as Stephen Harper’s Director of Communications. For all the right reasons: her husband is moving back to Ottawa and she wants kids; 2.5 years in that job is enough for anybody and, well, the woman is fighting cancer.

Still, with Ian Brodie that’s two very big pieces of Team Harper now gone. With the government apparently incapable to push poll numbers into majority territory, that is not very reassuring.

I wonder who will replace Buckler. Dimitri Soudas is the most visible member of the comm team there, but it’s hard to transition from front-line media flack to DirComm. I bet Giorgo, the new Chief of Staff, will get somebody from outside. Update your resumes, people!


How to ask the Prime Minister a question

June 23, 2008

Very good entry on David Akin’s blog about the way reporters craft their questions in the oxygen-poor environment the PMO maintains around Stephen Harper – worth reading down to the last comment for anybody on the other side of the media fence.

Akin’s blog might be the ugliest web page coming out of the Hill, but it offers prime content.