Watching an exciting media
It is important to consider the majority of Canadians did not by any stretch elect Stephen Harper as leader of the nation. A select group of members of parliament elected to represent the riding and needs of the electorate in their riding voted to make Harper leader the newly formed Reform based Conservative party. In so doing the party leader becomes the leader of the country usually if not always selected and backed by between 30% and 35% of the population. Because the leader of the political party holding most seats he is able to depend on the people that elected him to leadership. Majority power allows the ruling political organization can present laws and programs to the elected House of Commons and overpower the opposition. If opposition members try to block proposed legislation the government has the right to call an end to any discussion taking place in the House by passing a motion of closure. The system means in the case of the Harper government unpopular legislation and some only benefitting the political party will become law. The British based Canadian political system is not perfect but in retrospect among the best in the world. The strength of system is a specific term of office and the ability of the electorate to express dissatisfaction with a leader by electing a minority of his party members in the next election. There is an indication if opinion polls can be believed that the Harper dynasty might crumple or even fall in the 2015 federal election.
Stephen Harper has changed the way Canadian leaders communicate with the majority of Canadians. With especially strong money raising teams, well connected to the majority of Canadian commercial financial money makers, the government has resources to control in a couple of ways. Financing mean personal attack advertising which in turn might suggest reluctance by the corporate leaders of losing the ad revenue generated together with departmental government advertising. Some pundits accuse the prime minister’s office of designing both types of ads for political advantage.
The current Harper government is labeled as Conservative but recent party history indicates the majority of people especially from some western provinces are actually Reform party stalwarts that some pundits claim hijacked the former Progressive Conservative party replacing it with Reform party ideals and leadership. Some of those media columnists and commentators have even suggested Harper Government’s ideology is allied to the politically hard right American Republican Tea Party.
Maclean magazine columnists Paul Wells in his latest book states during media interviews that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is changing the way future Prime Ministers will communicate with the electorate. Harper is renowned by the press corps for avoiding press conferences and media questioning. Recent press conferences on topical and important issues to Canadians were held in the United States and Europe rather than in Canada to address Canadians. One of those press conferences was announcing the proposed European free trade agreement that the Harper government claims is the most important legislation since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) introduced and approved by parliament during Brian Mulroney’s term as Prime Minister. Many Canadian industries and commercial enterprises are asking why such an important announcement wasn’t made in Canada so the Prime Minister could explain and answer questions about such an important piece of legislation that will undoubtedly have a permanent affect on Canadian trade practices. On the other hand it is a fact that Harper will not answer questions of the media unless the questions are submitted in advance and subject to acceptance or rejection. Besides according to the PM’s habit of travelling across the world while parliament is in session and proroguing the House of Commons more often than any past Prime Minister it is beyond expectation that Canada’s majority party leader would agree to answering questions the majority of Canadians would like to hear. He might be asked why he is reluctant to meet with the provincial premiers to discuss the needs of the country as a whole.