Here's what spokesman Ryan Sparrow wrote in 2011 about the direction given to local candidates when it comes to all-candidates' forums:
We provide support for candidates to participate in candidates debates, but we don't instruct them not to attend debates. Most candidates would prefer to meet with voters one on one though instead of debating their opponents in crowds of committed supporters of the different parties. (I would have thought that the whole point of attending an all candidates meeting would be that you were NOT committed and wanted to hear alternative ideas and plans).This time however it seems they are being instructed to avoid not only any public debate but also any interviews where their words may be quoted..............
Conservatives running in the federal election have been advised not to attend all-candidates’ meetings or speak to reporters during the campaign, a party source says.
A Conservative insider said Wednesday that most of Stephen Harper’s flag-bearers have “been told no debates and no media.”
The informal edict appears to affect Tory candidates across the country, which explains why so many press interviews are being rebuffed.
“They’re getting pulled out of everything,” the source said, noting even some experienced cabinet ministers are being instructed to avoid candidates’ forums before the Oct. 19 election.
Andrew MacDougall, Harper’s director of communications from 2012 to 2013, said “The number one job of a candidate is to meet voters and identify votes,” Apparently forums where the party line can be challenged by knowledgeable opponents and where opinions and platforms can be shared with a wider audience is verboten but meeting individuals at the door where it is much easier to bury them in party line bullshit is OK.
During the time I have lived in this rural riding (through two previous federal elections and several provincial elections) I have not once seen ANY candidate at my door, without public debates, the reporting thereof, and press interviews of the candidates, I may as well pull a name out of my hat. No candidate can personally visit every household in his riding and to suggest that this should be the ONLY way for a candidate to make his views known to the voters is patently ridiculous. There is only one reason for this edict and that is the Conservative record of destroying our democratic institutions, massive cutbacks to social programs, science, environmental protections etc etc simply cannot be defended and the pre-programmed lines dictated from above start to sound as meaningless as they actually are when repeated in the press time and time again.
The only real question is why these supposedly intelligent Con candidates obey the word of their master, have they all been lobotomized?
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
And if you want to see how vindictive and petty the HarperCons can be see this https://youtu.be/Ei50lM6ab1c then this Cons suspend writer of Harperman song
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