CBC Canada on a scandal involving the ruling Conservative Party’s attempt to manipulate the civil service into helping terrify voters into re-electing them:
Foreign Affairs bureaucrats were told this spring to produce three terrorism-related statements for minister Rob Nicholson to make to the media each week, ahead of a fall election in which security and Canada’s response to terrorism are expected to be key issues.
The email, dated April 24 and obtained by CBC News Network’s Power & Politics, suggests the regular ministerial statements should be crafted from an event reported by the news media, such as developments in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Security and Canada’s response to terrorism are expected to be key issues in the upcoming election. Canada is part of a U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, a mission opposed by the NDP and Liberals.
The email relays a request from Nicholson’s communications team and is addressed to all bureaucrats working in security-related divisions. It tasks them with providing the minister’s communications team with “…three MINA (ministerial) statements to the media regarding security in the context of terrorism each week.”
How very 2004 America of them. They should also issue color-coded warnings and recordings of Osama Bin Laden hoping for a win by the left-leaning parties. Well, the last one might be hard. While we know where he stood on U.S. Senator John Kerry’s candidacy, I’m not sure that before he died Bin Laden ever released his views on the NDP or on the eldest son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
Apparently it wasn’t very successful manipulation of the civil service, though, as it turns out:
A review by CBC News of the department’s releases since the email was issued has found the number of security and terrorism-related statements has only rarely met the three-a-week target.