Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Take no questions, give no answers.

That is the essence of Harper's "communication strategy".

It's been that way from the moment Spiteful Stevie took control of the PMO. Feeding his MASSIVE ego and his MAMMOTH need to micro-manage all aspects of PR is becoming an expensive self-indulgence:

... an extra $1.7-million this fiscal year to help bolster Stephen Harper's communications support services – just as the Prime Minister's Office begins distributing government videos of Harper to the news media. Supplementary estimates tabled last month by the Privy Council Office, the Prime Minister's bureaucratic back office, boosted internal operational spending by almost $7.3-million for 2009-10. That's on top of existing budgets. ...

The Harper PMO prefers tightly scripted, immaculately staged public events that include limited or zero interplay between the prime minister and reporters.

From here.

Canada is facing a serious deficit while Harper fiddles and tweaks the medium of his message.

Dennis Gruending provides excellent analysis about how a strategic approach to budget re-engineering will pay for Stevie's media Con job.

KAIROS acts on behalf of 13 of Canada’s major churches or church-based organizations, and it includes under its umbrella the Anglican, Catholic, Christian Reformed, Lutheran, Presbyterian and United Churches, as well as the Mennonite Central Committee, the Quakers and others. KAIROS, or its predecessor groups, have received money from CIDA for 35 years to support partners working in regions experiencing some of the world’s most serious human rights violations. ...

KAIROS worked with its global partners to develop a program for years 2009-2013, focussing upon human rights and ecological justice. The budget was for $9.2 million over four years, with CIDA contributing just over $7 million of that amount. The proposal was submitted to CIDA in March 2009, where it moved through various levels of approval before arriving on Bev Oda’s desk in July 2009. There seemed to be little cause for concern. KAIROS had received a positive audit report for its 2006-2009 work and a good evaluation. When, in September 2009, the agreement had still not been signed, KAIROS was granted a two-month extension on a previous contribution agreement. Sources say it was then that people at KAIROS began to worry. They were hearing that there was “trouble at the top”, which meant the minister’s’ office, or more likely with this government, the prime minister’s office.

On November 30, KAIROS was told that it had been cut off. The organization says in a new release: “We asked for an explanation and were informed that our program did not fit the government of Canada’s priorities. This was the last day of an extension to our current proposal. No written explanation has been provided.” In one telephone call, the Canadian government appears to have terminated a long-standing relationship between CIDA and KAIROS or its predecessor organizations. KAIROS says the decision, if not reversed, “would cut funds to 21 ecumenical and citizen’s organizations in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and cut educational work that helps Canadians across the country to develop skills and knowledge in the exercise of their global citizenship.”

Helping Canadians develop skills and knowledge in the responsible exercise of their global citizenship? Encourage them to engage in democracy? Provide them with information different than the scripted messages force-fed to news-gathering organizations?

From Harper's perspective, that is unacceptable. If Canadians want democracy in this country or abroad, they will have to pay for it out of their own pockets. Because taxes - now and in the future - will be dedicated to fuelling the reformaTory propaganda machine.

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