Monday, April 30, 2007

Harper's control freakishness coming back to bite him

Very interesting story the other day from the CP's Bruce Cheadle on how Harper's once famed communications acumen seems to have deserted him lately, with perhaps his still famed control freakishness to blame.

It's been rare to see the media turning a critical, or even uncomplimentary, eye on Harper of late. It will be interesting to see if it's an isolated incident, or if perhaps they'll begin to call him on some of his manipulations, distortions and flip-flops.

Either way, it has really not week a good stretch of late for the Conservative crew...

Unravelling story threads reveal Tory communications chaos

OTTAWA (CP) - It's like one of those little stray threads that Prime Minister Stephen Harper pays his stylist-valet to manage. Yank it the wrong way, and everything unravels.

After more than a year of wrestling the communications beast with grim-willed determination, the minority Conservative government spent the past two weeks ducking and deking and deliberately misleading in perhaps their worst fortnight since the 2006 federal election.

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wilson said...

4 of the 30 ex-prisoners claiming abuse & torture in Afghan prisons, interviewed by G&M, were handed over by Canadians.

Are the other Nato countries experiencing the same communications troubles?
Just wondering if this is only a Canadian Gov't screw up.
Anyone know?

Bailey said...

There was a good artical in the Globe today about Harper and his comments regarding crime. How the stats don't necessarily add up to what he has been saying about the increase in crime.

Ted Betts said...

On the CBC's At Issue panel over the weekend, guest pundit Andrea (?) O'Malley made an insightful comment. When the Conservatives control the script, they are deadly, but when they don't - when they have to respond without the complete communications strategy in place or respond ad lib - they are complete disasters.

Paul Wells made the same general point as it applied to the last two elections. In his book, Right Side Up, he said that in the 2004 election, everything was going well for Harper, everything going according to the election plans laid out by his campaign, but then they basically ran out of plans, ran out of script, and then we had the unscripted "Martin supports child pornography" screw up (not just the screw up but the refusal to apologize and the inability to get the story off the front page) and then the "majority" musings later in the campaign. Same thing happened in the 2006 to a lesser degree: according to Wells they planned to the day for a 35 day and a 45 day campaign but had nothing for the final 10 days when he fell out of majority polling territory.

I noticed the same thing. They've seemed rudderless, directionless and so they've had nothing to do but go on this nasty attack approach.