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The Kenney campaign con and the new meaning of narrative

By Lisa Van Dusen      

Political actors are now being cast, scripted, and rewarded to perform in engineered narratives as a means to an end. Really.

United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney, pictured speaking to reporters in Ottawa on May 7, 2018, has been accused of recruiting former Wildrose Party president Jeff Callaway to do his dirty work against rival Brian Jean in the 2017 UCP leadership contest as a ‘kamikaze candidate.’ Both Mr. Callaway and Mr. Kenney, though, deny they planned a fake leadership bid. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

The word “narrative” as a political term of art is by no means new. The concept has been around since long before the days when Hollywood production values migrated to the White House with Ronald Reagan. From “the boy from Baie-Comeau” defining Brian Mulroney’s rise from son of an electrician in a Quebec mill town, to the impact of Bill Clinton’s Man from Hope video at the 1992 Democratic Convention, politicians have used storytelling to connect to the public.

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Guide to Using Social and Digital Tools in Election Campaigns: Digital and Social Tools that Politicos are Using to get Elected, Raise Funds, and Recruit Volunteers
Guide to Using Social and Digital Tools in Election Campaigns

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Charting the CBC’s challenging present and uncertain future
Charting the CBC's challenging present and uncertain future: Where it has been and where it is going provides an insider profile of the struggles faced by Canada’s public broadcaster in the 21st century.

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You Might Be From Canada If…
You Might Be From Canada If . . . is a delightful, illustrated romp through this country as it celebrates its 150th birthday.

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Sen. Kutcher says transparency critical, in advising feds on assisting families of Flight 752 victims

News|By Beatrice Paez
Senator Kutcher had also advocated in favour of offering families financial assistance to alleviate the strain some may be experiencing in having to cover unexpected costs. 

Budget, foreign affairs, and fighting climate change among top cabinet priorities as Parliament returns

Liberal MPs have been asked to hold consultations about the government’s priorities in their ridings, and report back to cabinet.

Signs of political opportunism emerge as MPs on Canada-China Relations Committee urge collaboration

Bloc Québécois MP Stéphane Bergeron says he thinks motions put forward by the Conservatives show signs of a 'partisan temptation.'

Gatekeepers for Innovation, Finance, and Environment top lobby target lists

In an election year, lobbying activity dropped by 30 per cent compared to 2018, but some staffers kept busy.

Quebec Senator Gold named government’s new point man in the Red Chamber

Sen. Marc Gold has been working as the liaison for the biggest group in the Senate, the ISG.

Rota, first Speaker of Italian descent, encourages MPs to break the glass ceiling

News|By Palak Mangat
'I didn’t plan a speech at all, so it came from the heart,' says House Speaker Anthony Rota of his first remarks when he was elected to the post on Dec. 5.

‘We’re flying the plane while we build it’: demolition work in Centre Block has begun

By this winter, PSPC expects work to assess the state of the Centre Block building to be completed, with schematic design plans expected by spring.

Iranian investigator into downed Flight 752 should be replaced due to past, says former Liberal justice minister

News|By Neil Moss
Iran's chief justice Ebrahim Raisi was part of a 'death commission' in 1988, during a period of political repression which saw thousands of dissidents executed.

Platform costing measure gets nod, but fixes for getting info needed, says PBO

News|By Palak Mangat
'Different leadership could have decided that ‘no, we won’t collaborate with you, because we don’t have to under the legislation,’ says Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux. 'We want legislation to be clarified.'
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