After attending last week's Conservative convention, Tasha Kheiridden wrote that the party was "a party under lockdown." In fact, the public was not welcome at the event:
Canadians, unfortunately, saw none of it, since reporters were banned from attending. In fact, the press was excluded from most of the convention. No events were open until the prime minister’s speech on Friday night. Velvet ropes and security guards kept reporters out of the day’s policy and constitutional debates. Reporters were not allowed to walk on the plenary floor the next day to talk to delegates during their policy deliberations.
The party also made every effort to make it as difficult and unpleasant for working journalists as possible. Few electrical outlets for laptops, no copies of the program book, no Internet access (unless you managed to pay after multiple tries). No water, at first (and when a few jugs were finally provided, no cups).
Mr. Harper has been at war with the press since he arrived in Ottawa. It's so much easier to govern when the people don't know what you're doing:
Harper figures that the average Canadian doesn’t care how he treats the media, and he’s probably right. But people should care, particularly the members of his own party. The reason Harper keeps the press in the dark is that he doesn’t like what most of them say about him. Limit their access to information, he figures, and you limit what they can report, and the damage they can do to his agenda.
So Stephen Harper set the tone and the theme. "I could care less," he said. Self absorbed as he is, he believes that he knows what and how Canadians think and feel. He believes that if he can get enough Senators to do his bidding, he can get enough Canadians to follow suit.
What he doesn't understand is that the storm has only begun to break. Mike Duffy will not go silently. And, if the RCMP charges Nigel Wright -- a lawyer who knows that it's best to stay mum when you're under investigation -- Harper will be at the centre of a maelstrom.