Wednesday, December 09, 2015

On earned media

Ideally, a new Parliament should have the opportunity to talk about issues of far more direct significance and practical value than keeping even offensive speech such as Donald Trump's out of Canada. And so it's a bit disappointing to see Tom Mulcair pushing that issue.

That said, it's not hard to understand the reasoning behind the push. Since this fall's election, the NDP has made strong efforts to fight discrimination against refugees, highlight the need for action on climate change, for federal involvement in the fight against poverty. And its reward has been...buried or nonexistent coverage of its actual work, coupled with the familiar complaint that it's the NDP's fault if commentators can't be bothered to pay attention.

In that context, it makes sense to look for positions which (a) are likely to draw attention based on existing storylines and (b) set the NDP apart from its competitors in a positive way. And so far, the Trump message is doing that much - and indeed receiving no opposition from Canada's other parties.

In the long run, though, the NDP needs its appearances in the public eye to match its core priorities. And in the absence of the default coverage previously received as the Official Opposition, the task of winning the right kind of media and public attention may be one of the more difficult challenges Mulcair and his team face in the near future.


  1. This is world class dumb, I mean I can't stand trump either, but I believe in freedom of speech, oppose his views with ideas, not tyrannically barring him from Canada.

    And if Trump becomes the American President do we still bar him from Canada?

    International incident any one?

    I supported Tom Mulcair for the longest time, but if feels like she running on empty if he thinks making a political martyr out of Trump is a good idea.

    Its time for a new leader.

    1. Fair enough as to the principled concerns about barring Trump. And for those reasons I'm a bit surprised none of the other parties challenged the suggestion. (It could be that while the U.S. is starting to come to terms with the possibility of Trump actually getting elected, our parties haven't reached that point yet.)

      But I'd strongly disagree on the knee-jerk reaction about Mulcair - particularly in the context of all the other important work mentioned in the post.