Sunday, October 30, 2005

Fireside Theatre

Here is the complete text of FDR's Paul Martin's very first fireside chat with the Canadian people:

Hello there -- greetings from Ottawa.

You’ve probably been reading and hearing about a dispute that Canada is having with the United States.

It’s about softwood lumber, but it’s really about much more than that. It’s about fairness.

For years now, the Americans have been wrongly taxing the lumber that we sell to them.

That’s hurt our lumber mills, the people who work in them and the families and communities that rely on them - right across the country.

More than a decade ago, we negotiated a free trade agreement here in North America so that we could ensure fair and secure trade back and forth – to create jobs and boost incomes for our people.

It’s worked pretty well.

Under the terms of that agreement, we agreed that we would send any disputes to a panel of judges – and that we'd accept their ruling.

Time after time on softwood lumber, these panels have ruled in favour of Canada.

They have told the U.S. government to refund the money they’ve collected and to treat our lumber industry fairly.

But the Americans have refused to do so.

I went to New York earlier this month, and I told business people there that this kind of thing is nonsense.

I said the same thing to the U.S. administration.

Our two nations share a deep friendship. We also have a trading relationship that means good jobs for people in both countries.

But that relationship only works when both sides live up to their agreements.

We’re going to continue to press our case with the United States.

We'll do so respectfully but we’re not going to let up.

If we have to go to court to get what’s rightfully ours, we will.

If we have to keep pressuring the Americans, we will.

It’s just too important to do otherwise.

Thank you. I look forward to talking again with you soon.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Listeners who didn't know anything about the softwood lumber dispute before hearing Paul Martin's two-minute spiel now know nothing more about it except the standard Liberal talking point: the Americans took money from us that they weren't entitled to.

It is a masterful piece of propaganda which gives the public an instant proper opinion on the subject to hold, without a single detail or number to back it up, in language even a grade three student can understand. And yet it sounds so convincing.

It was even better for the Liberals to buy airtime on private stations instead of commandeering the CBC, because he gets to reach an audience that is not only larger than the CBC's, but also is not just preaching to the converted.

They're even more effective for not being readily apparent as paid party advertising. Most people will think that whatever Martin says must be important, or else he wouldn't be holding these radio addresses. And that perception will give them more credibility.

The Tory communications team had better be preparing something to counter them with, because these fireside chats have the potential to seduce the electorate in a way none of Paul Martin's other media tactics have.

Source: The Official Librano Family Homepage

1 comment:

Candace said...

I dunno, Craig Oliver on ctv (not exactly the bastion of conservative thinking) stated that few will hear them (after all, who listens to radio anymore?)... but then, of course, ctv played the tape...