Monday, 18 May 2015

A tight 2015 Federal Election is developing. The Harper Government is determined to control their message to gain another 38 percent majority.

Controlling the message isn't as simple as cleaning your glasses.

Conservative Party election communications strategy is to limit Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s exposure to the public.

The Conservative gurus who manage Prime Minister’s Stephen Harper’s message want to control all debate leading up to and through the upcoming general election. Their first pass on this strategy is to nix any debates sponsored by a national broadcasters consortium that includes CBC, Radio Canada, CTV, and Global. They have a penchant for control.

Conservative loathing of the CBC is a long standing policy of the Harper Government but extending this now to CTV and Global can only mean that they see traditional election leader’s debates on a national broadcast consortium as a threat of some kind to their federal election communications objectives.

This new policy is managed for the Conservatives by Kory Teneycke, a recent executive of the now defunct Sun News Network. This right wing news organization recently failed due to a lack of interest by viewers. One can only ruminate if Sun News had survived it would have single handedly sponsored a leader’s debate to spur its low ratings.

At any rate Kory Teneycke announced that the Harper Government will not take part in four national broadcast consortium leader’s debates. Instead they will attend smaller events using the excuse that if CBC, CTV and Global can cover these events as they occur. Other debates perhaps sponsored by The Globe and Mail and MacLean’s Magazine are also on the Harper Government agenda as potentially useful to their media management objectives.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) while not rejecting the debates that the Conservatives will attend seem confused about what to do if the CBC, CTV and Global Consortium debates do not have Stephen Harper as a participant. 

This Harper Government decision now places the proposed four Consortium debates on the back burner. The public debate will suffer by a fragmented set of debates not sponsored by the national broadcasters by organizations and without the reach across Canada that the consortium can provide. The Liberal Party’s position on this attempt by Harper to control debate is that the Consortium debates should go forward as usual.

This Harper Government decision is not really a surprise. The are currently using public funds for television commercials and they post flyers weekly into each riding they hold from the 2011 Election. These flyers ask questions that only have one answer that supports the Conservative agenda. These flyers fill the recycling bins at many post offices and blow in the winds surrounding outside Canada Post pick up boxes.

Conservative strategy seems to be why risk uncontrolled national  television debates if you can use public funds to reach constituents with phoney one sided mailouts and videos masquerading as government public information about tax cuts and other services. All sitting governments do this but this government is much more blatant about this practice than we have seen before.

Polls taken last week indicate that the Conservatives and Liberals are running neck in neck with about 32 percent each and the New Democratic Party (NDP) getting a 25 percent share. Undecided is a small number so it looks like a polarized electorate .

This means that all parties will begin the work of turning voters to get the magic numbers which in 2011 was 38 percent to form a majority government. 

Pre Election poll trends show a tight race is building.

As we get closer to the election national polling organizations indicate that the 2015 Federal Election will be a tight race. Take a look below. First  we have May 2015 results and below that the general trends of all polls from 2011 to the present time.