The former head of Elections Canada, Jean Pierre Kingsley, says that Stephen Harper is "gaming the system." And Kory Teneyche, the former head of Sun News, says that,when Mr. Harper has a campaign event, attendance will be by "invitation only."
Ten years ago, no one would have thought that a prime minister could treat the voting public with such brazen contempt. But this is Stephen Harper. Contempt is in his DNA. Elizabeth Thompson reports:
While all parties keep an eye on who is showing up for events, largely for security reasons, most parties do not screen people before they are allowed into the room to hear their leaders.
During the 2011 election campaign, there were a couple of incidents where people who showed up to listen to Harper were turned away because party workers discovered Facebook posts critical of Harper, pictures of them posing with another party leader or a pro-NDP bumper sticker.
At the time, Harper apologized.
But there are no apologies this time around:
This time, though, the Conservatives are unapologetic – serving notice that “by invitation only” is going to be the norm throughout the campaign, expected to last 11 weeks.
The tight control is in keeping with Harper’s style of government, particularly since the Conservatives won a majority government in 2011.
Precisely. Stephen Harper has always been a man of his people. On election day, it will be interesting to see how may of his people are left.