So you thought the election was in 2015. And now, like Humphrey Bogart -- who went to Casablanca for the waters -- you discover that you have been misinformed. The election campaign has begun. Don Martin writes:
Stephen Harper photo-ops are being booked across the country. Advance squads deployed to handpick participants to ensure partisan purity, gender balance and ethnic diversity. Film crews have been hired to document it all. Editors will varnish over any negative optics. And a velvet-voiced narrator will script the action during breaks in the Maple Leaf Forever soundtrack.
And there is PMO TV,
a weekly life-of-the-prime-minister feature called 24 Seven, which debuted Thursday on government websites. But it’s clearly propaganda, Stephen Harper-style. And you, the taxpayer, picked up the tab.
The first effort was a three-a-half-minute sham of this week’s travels featuring adoring coverage of Harper surrounded by pre-cleared children in contrived settings with nary a discouraging word to be heard -- and certainly no sign of those disruptive protestors.
The cost of planning and production will be huge. The viewing audience will be small.
Mr. Harper has told us that he is not aware of what is going on in his office. I guess it's all a rogue operation. That's why it costs so much.
It's all about avoiding the filters. The media might not believe the pitch:
Contact with media is being studiously avoided, lest they pop his happy place in the bubble with prickly questions about Canada’s deteriorating job picture, the worrisome state of rail tanker safety or, perish the thought, a Senate scandal question or two.
From now on, wherever he goes, the bunker goes with him.