Stephen Harper’s famous five priorities during the previous election were packaged as such because Paul Martin seemed to name every issue as “his #1 one priority”. In fact, if I remember correctly, the Conservatives formed a list of about 100 items that Martin’s had listed as “priorities”. Of course, this labeled the last Liberal PM as “Mr. Dithers”… a leader who’d never be mistaken for a rudder.
So, has Stephane Dion further refined Stephen Harper’s strategy?
Will the next election campaign be based on Stephane Dion’s one priority?
On CTV’s Question Period this Sunday, Globe and Mail scribe Jane Taber interviewed Conservative Deputy leader Peter MacKay in a first post-election recap for the show. As MacKay listed out Harper’s five key priorities for the new Parliament (a newsworthy message during the previous campaign), Taber jumps in and amends Harper’s priority list to include same-sex marriage. Taber then shows that she is unaware of the actual Conservative plan on the issue, a plan which was clearly outlined on p. 33 of the Conservative election platform. The immediate reversion of the definition of marriage seemed to be Taber’s understanding of the Tory plan whereas the Conservatives would instead table a motion to determine if Parliament wanted to proceed on new marriage legislation. If and only if that motion passed would they then proceed with new legislation.
“That’s news to me”, Taber exclaimed as MacKay stood patiently and corrected the political affairs correspondent for CTV.
I’m certain that the Conservative platform would have been required reading for any journalist during the election campaign and Taber’s ignorance here (if the audience is to take her as a reliable host) makes the Conservative position seem as if it were novel and a surprise (previously “hidden” perhaps). Whereas in reality, the position of the Conservative Party has been the same during since day one of the election campaign.
Does Taber’s ignorance of the Conservative position reflect Canadian fogginess? Or is it rather the uncertainty of Canadians that is being perpetuated by the media via misrepresentation of Conservative policies?
Watch the video here: Jane Taber interviews Peter MacKay on SSM
UPDATE: Blogging Tory Brent Taylor (no relation) noticed the same thing.