Next time you're listening to your favourite radio phone-in show, those pro-Conservative opinions you hear from callers might not be as spontaneous as they sound.
Some of those apparently ad-libbed musings are actually being choreographed at the Conservative Party of Canada's national headquarters.
For Conservative supporters, the process is as simple as 1-2-3.
Surf the party website. Type in your postal code. Click on a topic you'd like to discuss on the radio.
And the website spits out the times, phone numbers, and names of local talk shows to call - along with a handy list of good things to say about the Conservatives and bad things to say about their opponents. The website includes similar advice for letter-writers to newspapers.
"The process for the Conservative one is a little more automated: punch out your topic and your postal code, and we'll spit out a script for you to follow."
Yes, that's quite the grassroots, bottom up approach the Conservatives love to brag about. And, does anyone doubt that some of these commentators on blogs, aren't reading from the script too?
I have never doubted this for one moment. I did not know it was this sophisticated, but I certainly figured it out.
On a recent CPAC television call-in panel, host Dale Goldhawk interrupted at one point when a caller appeared to be stumbling over a list of written notes.
"Are you reading from something?" the frustrated host interjected.
Of course, none of this can take into account the literacy skills of the average Cosnervative supporter.
Where's the link the to CPC Talkinator 3000? I have few topics I want to get some Conservative-approved debating points on.
I always knew they thought Canadians were stupid, but I didn't think they treated their own supporters so shabbily.
Wonder if they've got a blog commenter script section.
Here is the link: http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/
Seriously, I can't find the link. You don't have to join the CPC (*bleah*) to get access, do you?
Here is the unworkable link: https://mycampaign.conservative.ca/EN/4936/77265
If you just type https://mycampaign.conservative.ca/, you will get to a page with the "call talk radio" link.
Pretty disappointing, really. Where are the topics on Conservative core issues? You know...1) sex 2) sex and 3) sex?
You're right. People who can't write clear, articulate letters to the editor, or extemporise a coherent policy position on live radio, should just stay out of public discussion altogether.
Uhhh, markch, shouldn't that be "write CLEARLY"? Perhaps you might want to take your own advice.
You frigging elitist snobs just kill me.
I'm sorry to say that the Conservatives have their act together.
We may laugh about it, and Mercer should probably create a skit poking fun at it, but it once again shows how committed/innovative the Conservative War Room is. All we have is Cherniak.
Joan - I get you are angry with your party right now, but surely even you can see how insulting this little ploy by the conservatives is. They rely on the stupidity of their base. Do you really think the liberals should seek out stupid people to do their bidding? I doubt most liberals would see being insulted by their party as a motive to vote for them.
Goebbels was innovative too. In isolation, not really a big deal, but as part of a consistent pattern, another scary example.
The link also made mention of the story, where the Con MP was hussled into a kitchen, to avoid the media.
I've never been to the conservative site, but would it be anything like this....
Tips on Calling Talk Radio Programs
Call early in the show so you can be sure to be included in the program.
Keep calling if the call-in line is busy. Just keep redialing the number and you will get through.
Plan what you are going to say before you are on the air.
Know the single point you want to make and be prepared to give the call screener a quick one-sentence summary of what you will say. The more clear and to-the-point you are, the better your chances of getting on air.
Be clear and concise when you get on the air, and get to your point quickly. If you are referring to something another person has said, be sure to quickly summarize it for listeners who may not have heard it.
Check our newsroom to find information about the Liberal position on today’s issues.
Wow Gayle, good thing for the Liberal party that you are such an intellectual giant!
Nice wide brush strokes you like to paint with you pompous ass.
And Steve V, invoking Goebbels!
Its a banner day for logic and progressiveness at Far and Wide.
You Liberals don't need to have talking points laid out for you of course...after all you can just recite the Liberal policies and platform from memory...O
oh wait, thats right, you don't have any policies or a platform.
Actually it is much like that, anon, except the last line should read...
"Check our newsroom to find information about today's Liberal position on today’s issues. Check back often as this changes frequently."
Pretty quick there wiht the talking points anon - did Harper help you out iwth them?
Of course the cons went further by actually spelling out what you should say, but don't let the facts get in your way.
jim - odd how you find my comments insulting, but you fail to see how you have insulted by your own party.
I think Joan's comment is the silliest I've seen in a long time. I wouldn't belong to a Party that telegraphed its talking points in such a robotic manner. It's insulting.
Besides, check out the talking points on any issue. Like health care:
Signed Patient Wait Time Guarantee agreements with all provinces and territories.
The rest of us know this was quite possibly a huge misallocation of public funds, since there appears to be no accountability. So the Conservatives are quite literally asking their supporters to lie about issues of governance.
This is hideously immoral.
Gayle, I did not say I found your comments insulting, nor do I find the Conservatives guidelines and talking points insulting.
What I did say is that you are a pompous ass. In fact I think I willchange that to an elitist, pompous ass with a superiority complex.
I also think the Liberals already have their fair share of stupid people doing their bidding.
Jim, you need to scale back your caffeine intake.
Oh, I get it Jim. You have bought into the talking points thing. Perhaps you have even used it.
Well, if pointing out that is insulting makes me an elitist pompous ass in your books, I will just have to live with that.
I will try not to let it keep me up at night.
Acually Gayle, my 12 year old son gave me the talking points. He was the one that pointed that out to me. If Harper works better, by all means keep using it.
So, I visit
and I visit
the only differences are that the Cons site links to specific issues and talking points,
and the Libs site tells you to go to the News Room to find your talking points on (non specific) issues.
Libs list the shows to call, Cons direct you, with your postal code, to a call-in in your area.
Cons is by far the most user friendly site.
It's not a surprise that the person most adept at parroting "Conservative Talking Points" on the Progressive and Liberal blogs comes here to comment on this thread. I'm sure the Harper constituency office is very proud of you, Wilson.
Scott - Wilson never disappoints.
Wilson and 'Jim' may sound a little upset because my guess they are the official CON Talking Point Copy Writers. Well, maybe 'Jim' dashes them off and Wilson creates the phonetic (Fe-aw-net-icks) for the 'Hard of Reading' CON members.
Yeah, the Liberal site gives you pointers, the CON site gives you orders. I guess Steve's Goebbels' link does work!
"Cons is by far the most user friendly site."
I spit out my coffee on that one!
Yes, assuming a person has some rudimentary reading skills so that they can repeat the lines given to them, but not sufficient comprehension skills to understand what they are saying, they are better off sticking to the Conservative site.
I guess Harper understands his "users"!
Don't use the internet as a tool for reaching your grassroots.
Don't make your websites user friendly with links on one page.
Don't post the Liberal position on the issues.
And you wonder why Cons raise 4X the donations Libs do.
Wilson, you don't seem to get how the Conservatives insist on acting like their supporters are idiots.
Did you also return the card from your MP with the right box checked? I.e., did you know to check the box saying you wanted lower taxes and less debt (it had a picture of Harper beside that box, in case you didn't quite get it) or did you mistakenly check the box saying you wanted higher taxes and more debt (with a picture of Dion in case you can't read)?
None of this strikes you as Harper taking you for an idiot?
Why is anyone still letting Wilson troll Liberal blogs after two years now? Delete her comments. She's a disruptive idiot, and probably being paid by the CPC.
Stop giving them free publicity and stop letting Wilson hijack discussions, for God sakes.
All parties use talking points, although most are a bit more discreet about and usually it is only for people high up in the party, otherwise anybody by googling their name could find out they were a partisan hack. Besides I always write letters using my own words and my own opinion. I have been given talking points, but I never use them and never mind as someone who follows politics closely enough, I can usually pick out which ones are partisan hacks and which ones are not when reading letters to the editor or listening to radio talk shows. And usually I also dismiss opinions that are obvious to me that they are partisan hacks. Finally I never write letters or phone in on issues I don't agree with. I have turned down a couple of times to write letters because I disagreed on the issue.
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