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Harper’s communications strategy and some principles of propaganda

By W.T. Stanbury      

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a 'control freak,' who prides himself on being a top-flight political strategist, and central to his strategy is tight control over his government's messages. But let the pundits wail, thrash about, and pontificate. They a

On Nov. 16, The Hill Times published a feature column on the effectiveness of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “iron message control.” The column noted that the PM “has become legend for the iron control he exerts not only over the messages his government sends out over the heads of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, but also the messages his staff and MPs project.” Harper has sought “to manage the government’s information flow to the media as well as the public appearances and statements of his own MPs and Cabinet ministers.” Critics have said that “the wall of selective silence and control that shrouds the entire government undermines the free flow of information citizens could normally expect in a western democracy.”

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‘Beirut is bleeding’: Lebanese-Canadian MPs express horror, disbelief in wake of massive explosion

News|By Mike Lapointe 8:12 PM ET
'I’m sure with the will of the Lebanese and their friends from all over the world, Beirut will shine again,' says Liberal MP Fayçal El-Khoury.

Introduction of remote voting in the House could come without unanimous support

House leaders continue to hold talks over the summer, but whether an agreement can be struck to get Conservatives on side with a recent call to allow remote voting in ‘exceptional circumstances’ remains to be seen.

‘No gotcha moments’: Trudeau’s gambit reflects lessons learned from past ethical entanglements

News|By Beatrice Paez
Though late and largely unconvincing, the PM's testimony helps ensure the government’s points, rather than mere speculation, are litigated in the public square instead, says Garry Keller of StrategyCorp.

Deepening COVID-19 impact raises the stakes for Canada’s future choices

Opinion|By Les Whittington
As the epidemic reshapes everything, it’s time for the country to put aside traditional convictions and economic frameworks and try to pull together to build a future better suited to a changing, endangered world.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s new premier is one to watch

Opinion|By Tim Powers
Furey’s greatest challenge will not be enthusiasm or passion, but rather the provincial political system that has rarely rewarded disruption and provides benefits for ward keepers who do not shake things up.

Lewis courts dairy farmers, Sloan attacks WHO as Conservative leadership underdogs burn through cash in late advertising push

Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan spent roughly $20,000 in a week on a last-minute bid to shore up support, while Erin O'Toole's campaign slowed its online ad spending to a trickle.

‘There has never been anything like this before’: experts split on GG’s fate as PCO launches Rideau Hall workplace probe over harassment, bullying claims

‘It’s got to the point, I think, with this particular story, that the governor general should resign,’ says Emmett Macfarlane, professor of constitutional law at the University of Waterloo.

PM’s ‘Tiger Team’ meant to address diversity, inclusion in Canada’s national intelligence and security community hasn’t met since 2018

News|By Mike Lapointe
'Building diverse and inclusive workforces is essential to the effectiveness of the security and intelligence community,' according to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians' annual report.

Trudeau should hire a ‘director of ethics and oversight’ to vet potential conflicts and break ‘serial pattern’ of ethics lapses, say pollsters

News|By Abbas Rana
Justin Trudeau's Liberals should ensure they don’t end up in anymore ethical controversies, as these scandals lead people to think that it is ‘time for change,’ says Innovative Research president Greg Lyle.
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