Thursday, March 05, 2009

"It's Question Period, not Answer Period,"

The Vancouver Province's Michael Smyth has revealed some fascinating insights into the Liberal government's concept of participatory government, having waded through the highlights of some of the 8,000 pages of secret documents that have been revealed in the wake of the BC Rail corruption trial.

Secret strategies cooked up by the Liberal insiders seems to suggest a less than dedicated effort to the goal of full accountability, especially when it comes to the topic of Question Period, which Liberal handlers advised their cabinet ministers to use some hard knuckle tactics in, should they find that they can't provide a proper response to opposition queries.

Should things get a little heated for the government's ministers, then they were instructed to attack the NDP record of the past, or find some way to draw the questioner into disrepute over the issue , anything it seems but admit that you don't know the answer.

If all else fails, then it's time to take control of the agenda by spinning a new tale on a different topic for the media, Liberal insiders seem to perceive of them as a group of sheep, which the Liberals believe will easily be distracted by shiny new material in place of that drab old scandal stuff that the opposition might be wondering about.

Ministers also need to be handled properly by their assistants, who it seems main job these days is to babysit the government leaders and make sure that they a) get out of a scrum alive and b) don't add to their own problems with offhand commentary that will only provide for more questions.

Cabinet Ministers are also advised to network with local groups, building up relationships with church groups, parent school councils and a number of other groups that may provide for a potential voter pool on election day.

Smyth goes on to advise that what appears to be the Liberal blue print for this coming election, seems to have been revealed through the secret document revelations. The project called the "Next Three Years" provides Liberals with some key points and observations on how to win the May election.

Somehow you get the feeling that they'll be rewriting that particular portion of the plan, after all it's not much of a secret blue print if it's released as background in a corruption case.

In fact, the timing of the revelations isn't particularly helpful to the Campbell government, which is quickly finding that it's original theme of a strong provincial economy isn't exactly working out as designed either.

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