The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Choice, accountability and opportunity lost

Well here we are on the eve of another federal election. As geeky as it may sound, I love elections and all the activities that surround them...the campaigning, the all-candidates debates, the leaders debates, and yes, even the mudslinging and negative campaign ads. I find the science of politics fascinating. For me, as a voter, elections are all about choice and accountability. In the previous election, choices were made and now it is our opportunity to hold our representatives accountable for what they have or have not accomplished. I jokingly refer to this process as "the constituent giveth, and the constituent taketh away". Voting is important business and as citizens we must make informed choices on who we want to represent us.

Politicians have a responsibility to not only carry out the will of the people, but also to engage them. Quite frankly, some are better at this than others. As you know, over the last few weeks, The Hour has hosted three party leaders: St├ęphane Dion, Jack Layton and Elizabeth May. Missing was Gilles Duceppe and Stephen Harper. I can understand Mr. Duceppe declining to appear. He recognizes and even stated during the debate, that he knows he will never be the Prime Minister of Canada. His concerns are more regional than national.

But what about Stephen Harper? As much as I have enjoyed the highly amusing up-the-ante antics of Harper Bait '08, I find it disappointing that visiting The Hour did not fit into Mr. Harper's plans. Was it that he could not control the questions? Unlike his opponents, did he not take George/The Hour seriously? Did he recognize that perhaps his own demeanor would not mesh with the tone of the show? Or that perhaps the reaction of a live audience might be unfavourable and not play back well on TV? I could continue to speculate, but only Mr. Harper and his advisors know the real reason.



Regardless of what that reason was, it was an opportunity lost. While the demographics of The Hour are quite broad, I have observed a substantial number of young people in the audience. For many, this federal election may be their first opportunity to vote. Mr. Harper could have used an appearance on The Hour to bridge the gap between the common man or woman and the political elite. Instead he chose not to participate...sometimes silence speaks volumes!

So does humour...I am entitling this diorama "The Interview That Never Was...":



5 comments:

Barbara said...

Steph you should market your little Lego dolls. Makes me want to play interview.

Jenuine said...

HAHAHAHA! Your Lego diorama cracks me up Steph!

Presently involved in a forum talking about the very same topic, I thought I would post one of my recent replies about the matter:

The platform that Harper VERY recently released to the voting public was a "damage control platform" and nothing else, in my opinion.
If his party is going to stand for something & try to convince you of their future actions, then like the other leaders, share with us your future plan....NOT, the supposed plan that’s "already in place". High arrogance & hidden agendas is the whiff I’m getting off that breeze.
There was no initiative there, only reaction.
Of course he’s now promoting Canada’s Art’s & Culture on pg 27 of his platform; it’s to try & win any wavering votes back in his direction after he pissed off the ordinary Canadians w/ his bullshit "gala speech".

Yes, (name with-held), you are right, he did grant CBC an interview w/ Mr. Mansbridge, however, that show does not have the complete demographic needed to reach the majority of Canadians. Nor am I saying that The Hour does, but what I am stating, is that Harper should be trying to appeal to as many Canadians as possible. If that means preparing himself for "uncomfortable" questions, then so be it. If he is so concerned with not bothering to go into public viewership where he’s going to get lambasted, then why bother going into a televised debate against the other party leaders? Just to be clear, that was a redundant question, to try & prove a point.....Yes, obviously he is obligated to participate in the national debate, but if he can supposedly come out of that, along with the other french programs that grilled him to the bone, as Rena says, why waste an opportunity to speak to the people on yet another level?

"......you don’t go on biased shows where the hosts only intention to have you on is to fuck with you......"
I disagree, I think the show & the host have more than established themselves as credible journalists & interviewers. Just look at their track record:
Chretien, Mulroney, Martin, Kim Campbell, Belinda Carlyle, David Miller, Bob Rae, Bill Blaike, to name just a few Canadian politicians who’ve had interviews with Strombo. This list doesn’t even begin to cover some of the important & influential leaders of today that have sat in the red chair & given very open and honest interviews. That IS what I & thousands of viewers of the show are looking for in an interview....a minimal bullshit discussion, to which I can honestly say that I have not seen Harper give. And for the record, I don’t consider his sweater vest ad campaigns to be one of them.

Jenuine said...

The $300 Million Joke Of The Day:

Dion, Harper and Layton are flying on the Executive Airbus to a gathering in British Columbia when Dion turns to Harper and says, chuckling, 'You know, I could throw a $1000 bill out the window right now and make someone very happy .'

Harper shrugs and replies, 'Well, I could throw ten $100 bills out the window and make ten people happy.'

Not to be outdone, Layton says, 'Well I could throw a hundred $10 bills out the window and make a hundred people happy.'

The pilot rolls his eyes and says to his co-pilot, 'Such arrogant jerks back there. Hell, I could throw all three of them out the window and make 32 million people happy!!!'

Anonymous said...

OMG! I laughed out loud at the lego set....
That is priceless.
Does anyone else think that Stephen Harper avoided the Hour just so that he didn't look like an idiot when George asked him about the "plan"???

Janna

Barbara said...

Stephen Harper avoided a lot of Media... not just The Hour.
Yup that was a huge waste of money... On that we can all agree.