Sometimes it seems that the federal Conservatives are lost in a time warp

John Duncan
Minister John Duncan

John DuncanTHUNDER BAY – Editorial – Sometimes it seems that the federal Conservatives are lost in a time warp. Since the story broke about Attawapiskat’s housing crisis last year, the community has remained in the news. This week, news broke that the day after a federal court judge ruled that the move to send in a government manager was wrong, Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan refused to sign off on an agreement that would have put thirty new homes into Attawapiskat.

Talk about a failure to understand political optics! It is not the first time for this Minister.

John Duncan seems incapable of realizing how his actions are killing the federal Conservative Government’s efforts across Canada to really make a difference on First Nations reserves.

Each time these ham-fisted responses are how the Minister handles an issue, the ripple effect goes out across Canada and beyond.

It is almost as if the Conservative Minister and his assistants figure that the Internet has not made it to the north. It is almost like they think the people up north never get news and information online, or share information with each other.

In Attawapiskat alone 800 people have Facebook accounts. There are about 2000 people in the community.

Considering that Shannen’s Dream started in Attawapiskat and used the Internet as a tool to build the largest youth driven movement in Canadian history, for the Conservatives to not seemingly understand the impact and ripple effect of their actions bodes poorly for their political future.

The Conservatives almost seem to be acting like it was 1912 instead of 2012.

Perhaps part of the problem could be the tight control on messaging that the Conservative Party of Canada is now so focused upon. It is actually a complete reversal of how first the Reform Party, and then the Canadian Alliance and now the Conservative Party were before forming government. Back there there was a far greater understanding of the Internet.

The tighter the PMO tries to control everything, the weaker individual MPs and Ministers can look when caught in the cross-hairs of the media. Then if an MP actually speaks their mind and it is not in lock-step with the official party line, the Conservatives look even worse.

It was the Liberals who had what appeared to be the lessor understanding of the ‘Net. Message control was, likely one of the ways that the increasingly out-of-touch Liberals failed to engage with Canadians as they became increasingly removed from the political debate.

The Conservatives, under Prime Minister Harper’s tight message control, are setting themselves up for the same fate. Who was it who said those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it?

James Murray
Chief Content Officer

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