Harper's Communications Strategy and Some Principles of Propaganda

Harper has sought "to manage the government information flow to the media as well as the public appearances and statements of his own MPs and Cabinet ministers." Critics have said that "the wall of selective silence and control that shrouds the entire government undermines the free flow of information citizens could normally expect in a western democracy."
W.T Stanbury puts the Harper government's communication strategy into perspective by providing firstly, a comprehensive summary of the many elements of his strategy and secondly, a wider perspective on the strategy by comparing it to some important principles of propaganda.

Our right to know hits rock bottom

A nation that hides a brief summary of the talking points for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's congratulatory call to then-U.S. President-elect Barack Obama just over a year ago is a country that has hit rock bottom on the transparency scale. That's exactly what the Privy Council Office did in response to an access to information request for Prime Minister Harper's initial contact with the new President.

Access Act big loser in fight over Afghan documents

The current procedural crisis where Parliament is squaring off with the Harper government over the Afghan detainee documents has one sure loser—Canada's Access to Information Act.

Hillier's fiercest foe was PM's office

Rick Hillier

Officials in the Prime Minister's Office ordered the military to hide the return to Canada of the first female soldier killed in combat because they didn't want her flag-draped coffin seen on the news, according to former chief of defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier.

In a new autobiography, the popular former top soldier recounts the battles he waged against all-controlling officials in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government. Meddling in the hero's welcome that the Canadian Forces had planned for the repatriation of Capt. Nichola Goddard was Hillier's "line in the sand."

Environmental protesters' lawyer fears "political interference"

Following a Greenpeace civil disobedience protest at Shell's upgrader site in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach "told reporters the protesters would be punished to the full extent of the law". Lawyer Brian Beresh, defending the activists, is concerned that Stelmach "is using his position to exert influence over the judicial system and how it deals with Greenpeace activists". For Beresh, Stelmach's comments "raise issues about constitutional rights, political interference, free speech and the ability of activists to get fair trials in Alberta".

Why so Much Lying in Politics?

... The purpose of this piece is not to document the obvious (there are several websites that do this for Prime Minister Harper, for example), but to try to understand the reasons why lying, misrepresentation, and other forms of deception are so common in our politics. ...

How government plays secrecy game in Ottawa

The latest secrecy contretemps—a briefing book left behind by Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt in the studios of CTV—indicated that "the public was fed wrong and misleading information about how much money has gone into the Chalk River nuclear facility,"