We’ve been seeing a lot of the Prime Minister as of late. Why?

The Prime Ministership of Canada, by its very nature, is an all encompassing and busy job. Some note that this Prime Minister is hands on with a number of portfolios, taking ownership of a number of issues as they arise. Yet, this Prime Minister still must see some interview lights in order to present his case to the Canadian people. After all, at the end of the day, they have been and will remain the final judge of his record.

There is some tricky balancing to be done with the job and the public perception of the office. While the Prime Minister must do his best to show a good face to Canadians, he cannot appear to eager, or rather, too available to do so. This Prime Minister is handling Canada’s stake in the shaky global economy and therefore he can’t be yukking it up with Rick Mercer too regularly or be doing too much superficial glad-handing while Canadians are concerned about their economic future. In fact, as far as busy leaders go, Barack Obama was recently criticized for over-exposure for appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (a first for any President) while the bailout package was under full debate in Washington.

Though this observer notes that we’ve been seeing a lot of the Prime Minister of late in the sense that he’s been making himself a lot more available to media for one-on-ones. Canadian reporters will scoff at this observation, noting that they’re left holding the bag (or rather the remote and the mouse) as they watch the PM do interviews on CNN and Fox and read him on the website of the Wall Street Journal. But yet, while the PM’s message comes back to Canadians across the border through the CRTC-approved cable packages of Canadians, at least to the PMO, it does so more easily than it would if it had originated and filtered through a scornful yet context-aware Canadian news outlet. Yet, despite the PM’s American news tour, we are still seeing more of the man through Canadian news avails as well.

Why is this?

When Stephane Dion was leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, the Conservatives did their best to define the man and then allowed that definition to shine through the Conservative-adjusted lenses of the news media and electorate. Too much of the PM on the “leader stage” would provide too much distracting glare from the well-crafted stage show of Mr. Dion, presented by the Conservative Party of Canada.

Now, the Conservatives are dealing with a new leader in Michael Ignatieff. Though Mr. Ignatieff is still prone to gaffes and debates himself in public, he is a more serious opponent. As a leader, he is not so easily discounted by the news media and electorate. And while Mr. Ignatieff may stumble at times, he does so coherently without the media finding itself trying to explain what he really meant (again, Mr. Ignatieff does this well enough on his own). With Dion, Conservatives would have been glad to buy the hapless leader his own airtime, but to Hill watchers, Mr. Harper finds more of a competitor on the same stage — a stage he blissfully occupied alone until now.

Mostly unopposed, Mr. Obama is a leader largely crafted by publicity and the peripheral glamour of politics and for the US President the Tonight Show appearence was as strategy to do what had worked in the past. For Mr. Harper, the past was a stage gleefully given to Dion. The present, however, compels him to occupy the spotlight and enunciate his plan.

Comments

comments

  • terry1

    name calling? you just called me pathetic……..that's name calling.

    Angry Tories is a generalization for specific type of conservative voter.

    I've brought up specific points and you have not answered them except to resort to your own version of things in a rather nasty manner.

  • Liz J

    Terry, what attack ads are we talking about? I haven't seen any so called attack ads, must have missed them.

    Tell you what though, if and when the so-called 'ads' come out, they won't be attack ads from the Conservatives, they'll be statements right from the source, the horse's mouth. To consider something Iggy says is an attack ad you'd have to accuse him of attacking himself. There seems to be a lot of worry in the Liberal camp about the material he's already provided, don't blame you, you can't beat the truth, facts need no fixin'.

  • terry1

    Liz J,
    Re: attack ads. I presume you were outside of Canada during the Dion days.

    You must be a very good dancer as you two step around every pointed statement I make.

  • Liz J

    Dion supplied his own. Even in the end game the media turned on the poor fella. His Party turned on him as well, they left him to twist in the wind. Who published the picture in the papers and on video of Dion looking like “Puffy the weasel”? It wasn't anyone from the Conservative party. Blame the Liberals for not supporting him when he needed it, they wanted him gone to let Iggy slide into the post.

    Funny you mention the two-step, will you be joining Liberal supporters to do the Puffin two-step with your leader? He's got it down pretty good and with flip-flops on too.

    Time for dinner soon, have nice evening Terry, you've had a busy day.

  • terry1

    I will be joining my leader to support his efforts in bringing down arguably the worst government we have had in decades. And my leader isn't Harper. Please don't choke on the puffin dinner.

    iggy isn't doing any two step. As described earlier he is simply trying different approaches to see what sells to the electorate but all within his Liberal framework. That's what fund raising speeches are about. Besides if he put out full policies now the Tories would simply steal them because they are acting like wanna be libs in any event these days.

  • Gabby in QC

    I quoted Paul Wells in a previous comment, where he said: “We have become a ridiculous bunch.” The “we” refers to the media in general.

    Well, I just viewed today's QP. A snippet of PM Harper's presser was shown, at the end when the media was being thanked for the Q&A session.

    Before leaving, the PM said: “I'm surprised no one asked me what President Obama and I talked about” (not a verbatim quote). The PM was referring to a brief impromptu meeting he had with the President.

    After the PM expressed his surprise at not being asked what the topic of the discussion had been, an intrepid Canadian reporter asked: “Did you ask him about the dog?”

    And THAT, ladies and gents, shows the kind of incisive questions asked by our cherished media.
    And then they wonder why the PM heads south in order to get his message across.

  • Omanator

    I think Mr. Harper can stand an election loss better than Ignatieff with his swollen head.
    Mr.Harper truly cares for Canada and Canadians, 37 years abroad show that Iggy is only interested in himself.

  • Omanator

    I agree that the Human Rights commission are an abomination of freedom of expression.

  • Omanator

    Let me add to this, Obama has said during the Conference of the Americas that he is ” Listen and taking advice from Steven Harper”

  • Omanator

    Right on. Adscam was not the only scandal. If my memory serves me right Sheila Cops as Minister of Heritage lost 10 Million which the Auditor General was unable to find. Were they ever found. Any body know?

  • Omanator

    Dream On man.

  • terry1

    He said “Canada” not Harper in the report I read. If you've noticed Obama hands out compliments like pablum.

  • terry1

    What's obvious to me is that asking this PM a serious question has become a waste of time. That's what makes more sense based on past interaction between him and the MSM.

    His arrogance knows no bounds including his famous screw the Liberals budget update in October that has ruined his credibility and destroyed Tory fortunes in Quebec and possibly all of Eastern Canada as the polls are now showing.

    I think I am in the mainstream of most Canadians except angry Tories whose base support is around 27% nationally and maybe less.

  • terry1

    You are correct on the elections he has run in as leader. But the next one will be his fourth with no majority possible and most likely as of this time a resounding defeat.

    My point about Duceppe was about how damaged the Libs were from Adscam and even then Harper could not pull off a majority.

    “Give your head shake” is not passe in the world I live in. I heard it used just last week by a much younger CEO of a large public company. Maybe you need to get out more often. LOL

  • Liz J

    Gabby, that would be right up there with another question we all recall one of the useless slaggers asked of the Prime Minister of their country, “if you were a fruit, which fruit would you be”?

    The only serious business with the MSM is to ensure nothing positive gets out. It's doom and gloom and the only person who can fix it is an embryo politician, opportunistic patriot, lured from the world of the academic elite.
    Our PM is an economist, a fact that's ignored but very important in this recessionary period, but that's a positive.

    Have we heard any more on Mr. McCallum's “pathetic” lie about what kind of car he owns? No. He's a Liberal, he forgot, he thought he owned a Chevy made in North America but actually owns a VW made in Germany.

    BTW, if that had been George Bush, they'd be scrambling to get some answers to spin about what was discussed.

  • Gabby in QC

    “… his famous screw the Liberals budget update in October …”
    Terry1, statements such as this one completely destroy your argument. Had the proposed measure to stop public financing of political parties passed, this is how much the government would have been able to save:
    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTV
    • Conservatives: $10 million
    • Liberals: $7.7 million
    • NDP: $4.9 million
    • Bloc Quebecois: $2.6 million
    • Green Party: $1.8 million
    How is a $10 million loss to Conservative Party coffers a move to “screw the Liberals”?
    That is $27 million that could have been put to better use to help Canadians, and since your man Ignatieff is such a success at raising funds, the Liberals’ coffers would soon have been refilled.

    You also said elsewhere «”Give your head shake” is not passe in the world I live in. I heard it used just last week by a much younger CEO …» simply confirms you cannot even come up with an original putdown of your own. You need to copy other people’s expressions? How sad. But then, all your comments are a carbon-copy recital of the “hate-Harper”song-book.

    This “angry Tory” can't contain her laughter when reading your stream of predictable clichés.

    Keep recycling those clichés, Terry1. THAT is the only kind of recycling you Libs believe in.

  • terry1

    Ah yes Gabby, the holistic Tories. If you believe Harper did that to save taxpayers money I have a bridge to sell you.

    His coffers were full so he thought he could put the coup de grace to dion and the Liberals. This man lives with a visceral hatred of the libs and most commentators have strongly suggested his motives were not honest or ethical. I choose to believe that because if the parties were totally required to bring in money ont heir own the tax dedcuations would offset the savings harepr was “trying” to achieve. One day you will realize that he is a machavllian prnce. He also clearly knew that to beat the Liberals down and after failing to get majority in the election he needed drastic actions to survive and cover up his own stupidity for his own party.

    Give your head s ahke has been an expression of mine for years and my comment wa sthat I ahd just heard it elsewhere recently. Nice try though.

    You might be the last Tory standing in QC after the next election. I hope you don't mind living in a vacuum.

  • Gabby in QC

    Liz J, I wish I had an archive of all the “incisive” questions asked of politicians, primarily the PM, by most of our intrepid “reporters.”
    They seem to have forgotten what I remember from my high school English classes:
    I can still hear my teachers intoning “There are four main types of writing
    • narrative writing – to tell a story
    • expository writing – to give information
    • descriptive writing – to create a clear picture
    • persuasive writing – • to convince the reader.”

    Many “reporters” have concentrated on three of those types of writing, neglecting their main function of expository writing. I can understand a Jim Travers, who's paid to give his opinion. But many of the so-called “reporters” usually inject their own POV into their articles by their very choice of words, using emotionally charged words rather than neutral words with no emotional register.

    And our friend Terry1 follows along in that line, completely neglecting cold hard facts in favour of his own jaundiced hate-filled narrative.

  • Gabby in QC

    “… so he thought he could put the coup de grace to dion …”

    Wow! the extent of your powers is ever-expanding! Not only can you foretell the future – the outcome of the next election – but you can also read minds.

    Well, read this: you are more entertaining than Kreskin the Magnificent.
    Or are you channeling Johnny Carson’s Karnak routine? Maybe you can get some material from here: http://www.strangecosmos.com/content/item/10525

    BTW, as far as “holistic” is concerned … I'd be interested in knowing what you mean by “the holistic Tories.”

  • terry1

    Maybe you're not an angry tory which may qualify you to be a liberal. The party donation issue was just that.. a dagger to the heart of the opposition, nothing more nothing less. you can dance around it like your other dance partner, Liz J, but those are the facts.

    I knew you wouldn't understand holistic……..Tories just don't get it.

    Karnak's creator was a conservative by the way.

  • Gabby in QC

    “I knew you wouldn't understand holistic……..Tories just don't get it.”

    Avoiding another question? It seems this is another of your innumerable talents … not answering a simple question, but directing a little barb … oh, I'm hurt!

    See, Terry1, some of the synonyms for “holistic” listed here http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/holistic are:
    “aggregate, comprehensive, entire, full, integrated, total, universal” and among the definitions of “holistic” given here http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/holistic is:
    1. incorporating the concept of holism in theory or practice: holistic psychology.
    2. identifying with principles of holism in a system of therapeutics, esp. one considered outside the mainstream of scientific medicine, as naturopathy or chiropractic, and usually involving nutritional measures.

    Are you saying that Tory philosophy involves “nutritional measures” as in “food for the soul” or “food for thought”?

    Or (from the same link):
    1. Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.
    2. Concerned with wholes rather than analysis or separation into parts: holistic medicine; holistic ecology.

    Or are you saying that the “holistic Tories” refers to a united whole, made up of many cohesive parts?
    Inquiring minds want to know!

    And if Karnak was created by a conservative, kudos to him. It merely confirms conservatives have a sense of humour, unlike sermonette-dispensing and accusation-allotting “progressives.”

    And now I really must leave this fascinating conversation, as I have to take care of other important business. See you later!

  • Jen

    I actually think that CBC, CTV, G/M and T/S and some other non-entities who claim to be reporters fear that their CACOON OF CONSPIRACY of keeping the public in the dark and oblivious to their surroundings will be blown wide open by foreign media and the criticisms they CBC CTV etc….., will have to endure from outsiders for the mistreatment and lack and negative reporting on the prime minister.
    The canadian national television media dictates what you are going to hear see and know; they dictate to you which government is to run this country- not you. The media proved every day, they prefer a liberal corrupt government that stole from the nation, support terrorist groups etc to govern.
    If the so call NATIONAL TELEVISION MEDIA (CBC,CTV,G/M ETC……ETC really care for canadians and canada. take my word for it , the liberals will not be allowed to govern not after what the liberals did to this country and the liberals will not dare fools of the media. Unfortunately, it is not so.

    The so-call media have no business no right to pass judgement accusation insults on this prime minister or his party on any issue what so ever without first attacking the liberals. Until then canadians do not have a ‘real’ national media; it belong to the liberals not you.

  • Jen

    I actually think that CBC, CTV, G/M and T/S and some other non-entities who claim to be reporters fear that their CACOON OF CONSPIRACY of keeping the public in the dark and oblivious to their surroundings will be blown wide open by foreign media and the criticisms they CBC CTV etc….., will have to endure from outsiders for the mistreatment and lack and negative reporting on the prime minister.
    The canadian national television media dictates what you are going to hear see and know; they dictate to you which government is to run this country- not you. The media proved every day, they prefer a liberal corrupt government that stole from the nation, support terrorist groups etc to govern.
    If the so call NATIONAL TELEVISION MEDIA (CBC,CTV,G/M ETC……ETC really care for canadians and canada. take my word for it , the liberals will not be allowed to govern not after what the liberals did to this country and the liberals will not dare fools of the media. Unfortunately, it is not so.

    The so-call media have no business no right to pass judgement accusation insults on this prime minister or his party on any issue what so ever without first attacking the liberals. Until then canadians do not have a ‘real’ national media; it belong to the liberals not you.

  • Jen

    KEVIN NEWMAN for the GLOBAL NATIONAL NEWS asked IGNATIEFF about the Coalition agreement. Ignatieff said that he has to ‘honour his signature on the coalition agreement. Which most likely but not surprise , that Duceppe and Layton will use IGNATIEFF signed agreement against him. Also many other liberals took part in signing the coalition agreement-more beef for Duceppe and Layton.

  • Jen

    KEVIN NEWMAN for the GLOBAL NATIONAL NEWS asked IGNATIEFF about the Coalition agreement. Ignatieff said that he has to ‘honour his signature on the coalition agreement. Which most likely but not surprise , that Duceppe and Layton will use IGNATIEFF signed agreement against him. Also many other liberals took part in signing the coalition agreement-more beef for Duceppe and Layton.

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Terry – how did your ‘Dion for PM’ prediction work out?

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Terry – how did your ‘Dion for PM’ prediction work out?

  • Rich

    Terry, I am a westerner and proud of it, I take exception to your insinuation that all westerners are Red necks. We are hard working Canadians and proud of that. The LPOC is very lucky that the Conservatives were split between Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance thereby splitting the Conservative vote. Under the LPOC of Chretien, what we got was the Sponsorship scandal, the HRDC Boondoggle, a gun registry that was supposed to cost a million dollars and ended up costing over a billion dollars, You talk about the mess that Brian Mulroney left Chretien, well let’s talk about the continous budget deficit left by Mr Pierre Trudeau. as a result 60% of the National Debt was the direct result of old fuddle duddle (PET) of which Mr Harper has paid down close to 40 billion dollars in three years in office.

  • Rich

    Terry, I am a westerner and proud of it, I take exception to your insinuation that all westerners are Red necks. We are hard working Canadians and proud of that. The LPOC is very lucky that the Conservatives were split between Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance thereby splitting the Conservative vote. Under the LPOC of Chretien, what we got was the Sponsorship scandal, the HRDC Boondoggle, a gun registry that was supposed to cost a million dollars and ended up costing over a billion dollars, You talk about the mess that Brian Mulroney left Chretien, well let’s talk about the continous budget deficit left by Mr Pierre Trudeau. as a result 60% of the National Debt was the direct result of old fuddle duddle (PET) of which Mr Harper has paid down close to 40 billion dollars in three years in office.

  • Anonymous

    Ian MacDonald a toady for the Conservaties. I Thought he had been an adviser to Chretien.

  • Anonymous

    Ian MacDonald a toady for the Conservaties. I Thought he had been an adviser to Chretien.

  • terry1

    I avoid cold hard facts? My narrative is jaundiced? hate filled?

    My narrative is simply a factum of my opinions about Harper and his significant failures. You seem to fall back on past Liberal governments failures and of course no successes and never ever take exception to anything the Harperites have done wrong.

    THEREFORE talking about JAUNDICED bring s me back to you. Hate filled brings me back to overarching hatred of anything Liberal. so, I'm glad you cleared up those issues for me and described yourself so accurately.

    My belief is that Harper is bad for this country both economically and ideologically. I have clearly spelled out those dislikes and never ever get a straight discussion back in response other than I'm a Liberal as the basic rersponse.

    Cold hard facts are obviously things that escape you.

  • terry1

    here's one of your own MSM types giving your party the gears right from the NAt Post

    “With polls ebbing support away from the Conservatives, government MPs launched a full panic attack yesterday against Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff's alleged plans for a post-recession tax hike.

    He's denied proposing any such thing and his quotes would require a vivid imagination to be viewed as anything beyond a vague, long-range hypothetical, but for Conservatives starting to wear the recession through hemorrhaged voter support, it was open season on Iggy with all verbal guns blazing. They filled member statements with five-alarm fear-mongering, warped answers into out-of-context pretzels and threw puffballs for fretting ministers to answer with a gusto that suggested the recession was ending and a Liberal tax hike imminent.”
    http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story….

    Is that the good governance we are getting from YOUR party? What a joke.

  • Liz J

    You keep cat hours Terry? You sure seem to be busy nitpicking your way through all the nooks and crannies and coming up with empty screed.

    Say one thing you have the tenacity of a cat, just when we think you're gone you come back.
    Cats and Puffins sort of fit with the Liberals, they both cover their excrement. The difference with the Liberals is they have help with the MSM shovels ever ready.
    They buried the pathetic lie McCallum told very nicely.

    Here's your song: “The Cat came Back” :

    The cat came back
    Thought he was a goner
    But the cat came back the very next day………….

  • terry1

    You newfies are always singing but generally off tune. Please don' ruin my ear drums.

    I note in today's news that Crime actually went down in the last ten years of Liberal rule which makes one wonder about Harper's scare tactics in promoting “Tough on crime” laws or are they simply appeasements to his nut bar right wing.

    I also notice he appears to have backed off on hs gun legislation changes.

  • Liz J

    Lard tunderin', ya tinks I'm a Newfie! I could be called worse. Better not tell Danny, he's not too fond of our Conservative PM who I support, he might boot me off the rock.

    Your comments have been reduced to a level where there's nothing to do but hum a tune. How about a chorus or two of “I's the bye”?

  • Gabby in QC

    Umm, Terry1, I'm still waiting with bated breath for an explanation of your use of the phrase “holistic Tories.”

    BTW, using a Don Martin column (an op-ed, not a list of facts) doesn't strengthen your argument any. Not a re-butt-al.

    Oh, and another expression you used I find quite fascinating:
    Isn't “factum of my opinions” a contradiction in terms?
    Definition of factum:
    • “(Law) A man's own act and deed; particularly: (a) (Civil Law) Anything stated and made certain. (b) (Testamentary Law) The due execution of a will, including everything necessary to its validity.
    • : a person's act and deed; specifically : the due execution of a will
    • : FACT”

    A deed of your opinions? a fact of your opinions?
    Umm, doesn't work for me, sorry. Maybe you meant to use a compendium of your opinions.
    You'd still be using a latinate word, and readers would be so impressed … or maybe not. :-D

  • Rich

    So did Paul Martin, I saw a lady walking around in the room with a clipboard at hand checking out names of reporters, where they work and reminding them to ask only two questions. Of course none of those reporters could tell you today what exactly was paul martin's answers since they were confused themselves. And when a question was too difficult for Paul Martin to answer- some wise cracker at the side will crack a joke. simply to de rail the answer. All this was caught 'live' on CBC.

    Even Dalton MCQUINTY gives orders as to where the media must stand.
    But when it comes to the conservatives, the media complains. OH WHAT A SORRY LOT ARE THESE REPORTERS. Sad sad sad. Right Hunter?

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Terry – can you tell me where Obama will be handing out pablum?

    I'm looking for some for my youngster..

  • terry1

    Read the magazine Policy Optionsand then tell me whether he's Liberal or conservative.

  • Omanator

    Adscam an unfortunate accident. Halleluja. Now we know, you can steal more 40 million dollars and its classed by the Liberal as” an unfortunate accident” No wonder our judges make bad dicisions.

  • Omanator

    Adscam an unfortunate accident. Halleluja. Now we know, you can steal more 40 million dollars and its classed by the Liberal as” an unfortunate accident” No wonder our judges make bad dicisions.