The Conservative Party can’t keep playing the same game that hasn’t worked. Change things up!
The Conservative Party of Canada has once again entered into a familiar pattern:
“When they run for party leadership, many Conservatives embrace The Rebel and promise to shun CBC News. Then, when they get into power, they shun The Rebel, and embrace CBC News. At some point more and more people will wake up to the game being played.”
Many Conservative supporters will be watching this and feeling like things are repeating themselves.
Andrew Scheer had run for the party leadership promising a defense of free speech, and to cut CBC funding.
Yet, once he won the party leadership and faced pressure from the media, Scheer distanced himself and the entire party from The Rebel, while Conservative MPs continued to appear regularly on CBC News.
Now, we see something similar from O’Toole.
After communicating with The Rebel by email, and being criticized for it by other parts of the media, the Conservatives have once again distanced themselves from The Rebel.
What this means is that once again, we will regularly see Conservative MPs speaking with CBC News, while avoiding The Rebel.
In my opinion, this is a mistake.
Yes, The Rebel may have a controversial brand, but they are accredited, bring a perspective that often isn’t seen in much other media, and contribute to diversity of thought in Canada. Speaking to The Rebel doesn’t mean agreeing with everything the organization says, just as appearing on CBC doesn’t mean agreeing with everything said on CBC.
The Rebel is also part of the Independent Press Gallery, something the Conservatives have said they support.
Personally, I think the real answer here is to reach out to more voices in Canada, not fewer.
The Conservatives should say that they believe in reaching out to Canadians across the political spectrum, because they want to govern for all Canadians.
Instead of playing by the Liberals’ rules on who they can and can’t communicate with, the Conservatives should reach out to Independent Media – including Left-wing Independent Media – and speak with almost anyone willing to speak with them.
Yes, interviews with left-wing outlets may be hostile, but people will respect the willingness to be open in communication, and people would be able to see the Conservatives sharing their views in their own words, rather than being demonized without response.
The Rebel is a part of the Canadian media landscape, as are left-wing independent outlets, and the establishment media. To truly bring people together and represent Canadians, the Conservatives should be willing to listen and communicate with everyone, instead of shutting people down and shunning groups based on short-term political expediency.
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