Friday, November 17, 2006

Communication Breakdown

This article is what we might call a triple threat: it's from the Globe and Mail, by Gloria Galloway, about the Harper government's communications strategy:

Sandra Buckler, the communications director for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has asked that staff working for Conservative cabinet ministers secretly provide her with assessments of their bosses' communications skills.

The directive has apparently caused tensions between the staffers and the ministers - and between the ministers and Ms. Buckler, who has often been criticized for her less-than-amicable relationship with the national news media.

Communications directors in the offices of federal cabinet ministers have told The Globe and Mail that Ms. Buckler asked them to compile reports critiquing their ministers' abilities and send the reports to her without informing the ministers.

One of them, speaking on condition he not be named, said the request put him in a difficult position because he was being asked to be critical of the minister who hired him - and who could also fire him in short order.

On the other hand, he said, "It is not wise to cross [Ms.] Buckler," who was in Vietnam with Mr. Harper yesterday and did not return requests for comment.

The media is never less interesting than when it's reporting on its own problems with the government; it's rather like hearing a stranger assail you with his litany of complaints about his neighbours.

But the media has a vested interest in portraying the Harper government as keeping everybody within it muzzled--a variation on the old "hidden agenda" theme.

This is just another skirmish in an increasingly one-sided war.


KristinB said...

If this is all reporters have to cover...when the world (which includes Canada the last time I looked at a map) has news needing to be reported coming out at the's a sorry day---and talk about blatent "smear" approach here....

Kitchener Conservative said...

This article is no surprise from the Liberal Party's lap dog.

Curious it quickly follows just released polls from Decima showing the Liberal Party in a statistical tie with the Conservatives [reported as a slight lead by MSM]

And China's snub, that the MSM seemed to be saying yesterday that it was only Harper that thought he was snubbed, but really wasn't [BS]. And of course the Liberal commentary on Harper's position that backfired.

It's an attempt to cloud the Canadian electorate's view of Stephen Harper.

KristinB said...

oops--spelling error so I had to come back to correct it...and also leave a definition of the word :-)


The classic meaning of “blatant” is “noisily conspicuous,” but it has long been extended to any objectionable obviousness. A person engaging in blatant behavior is usually behaving in a highly objectionable manner, being brazen. Unfortunately, many people nowadays think that “blatant” simply means “obvious” and use it in a positive sense, as in “Kim wrote a blatantly brilliant paper.” Use “blatant” or “blatantly” only when you think the people you are talking about should be ashamed of themselves.

Alberta Girl said...

Thanks for the definition - therefore I say this.

The MSM's blatant negative slant in most stories dealing with Stephen Harper, Tory ministers and anything to do with the CPC is sickening.

Hector B. said...

I think the proper word to describe Gloria Galloway is "insidious"

in‧sid‧i‧ous  / adjective
1. intended to entrap or beguile: an insidious plan.
2. stealthily treacherous or deceitful: an insidious enemy.
3. operating or proceeding in an inconspicuous or seemingly harmless way but actually with grave effect: an insidious disease.

[Origin: 1535–45; < L insidiōsus deceitful, equiv. to insidi(ae) (pl.) an ambush (deriv. of insidēre to sit in or on) + -ōsus -ous]

She wants to be a columnist but lacks talent and personality. She's in tight with the Liberals. I have no qualms with that, but if she wants to be a columnist then she should be a columnist. Instead, she peppers her "news items" with loaded language, e.g., "secret" instead of just "confidential", raising the spectre of a hidden agenda. I wish the G&M would put a bullshit warning at the beginning of her "news" items.

wilson61 said...

So Buckler asks for performance reports on the bosses, without the boss's interference.
Ooooohhh. Those bosses lacking in communication skills are going to get some training before the next election.

So what's Belinduh up to these days?

Anonymous said...

No matter how we want to defend the Conservatives we have to admit the communications strategy of the party and government is a disaster. Silence is not a communications strategy. More and more the message is being given to the electorate that Stephen Harper and the government are incompetent. If this catches on like Mr. Dithers to Paul Martin it won't matter who the Liberals elect as leader, Canadians will not re-elect a government they view as incompetent. We need to change the communications strategy and quickly. Otherwise the margins will be set and it will be difficult to change public opinion. Remember the Bloc can force a non confidence vote in the House at any time and we know the other parties will support.

KristinB said...

We dont know that the inner workings are not working....again...we are fed what the media feeds us...

At least we now know though...that "anonymous" might be a conservative -
---so how would you fix the perceived problem?