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Robocalls, investigations, and avoiding the mainstream media

Robocalls and lamestream media.  "For conservatives to win we need to communicate our message directly to voters, without the filter of the mainstream media," Campaign Research's Richard Ciano told a gathering at a Manning Centre function last week.

Robocall is a word most Canadians didn't know only weeks ago.  Now, it's safe to say, most do. Yesterday, the Globe and Mail reported that a former Harper campaign manager, Ian Brodie, said that the robocall scandal warrants a "huge investigation."

Richard Ciano, of Campaign Research, made these remarks about "robocalling" to Manning Center Networking Conference in Ottawa last week and they were reported on March 10 by Susan Delacourt, The Toronto Star's Senior Writer in Ottawa. It's interesting to take a close look at them in light of Brodie's comments in the Globe.  Brodie  was Harper’s chief of staff from 2006 to 2008. 

Ciano says calling voters allows Conservatives to bypass the mainstream media and speak to them directly and that this is what Conservatives must do.  Here are Ciano's remarks:

"Right now, as we are here in this room, there are forces conspiring to try and take our ability to effectively communicate our message away, so it's especially important to me that I'm being asked to speak to you on the topic of how to effectively communicate a conservative message. And it's my hope that you'll see my remarks not as an interesting convention speech but as an urgent warning to not only defend our ability as a movement to communicate our message, but also to defend free speech itself and the vigorous, competitive and relevant elections that we have come to expect and demand in Canada.

First of all, let me start off with a tautologically true statement that might seem obvious but bears repeating anyway - that to effectively communicate a conservative message you need first to have a conservative message. I'm a student of the Tom Long school that says that the best way for conservatives to win is to run on conservative principles. In all honesty I'm not sure if Tom Long really came up with this idea, I've just heard him repeat it the most often. Perhaps I'll learn the lesson from that observation and from now on, I'll call it the Richard Ciano school.

While it may seem obvious, I can't even recount the number of times I've been on a campaign with so called 'conservatives' where they have seriously considered the possibility of running as a liberal, and at least in one case, an NDPer. If you are to run as a conservative in an election at any level, spend some time crafting an actual conservative agenda for the post you are seeking.


But with all the great conservative philosophers at this gathering, I'm not going to talk at length on that. I'm a mechanic. So I'm going to stick to mechanics now.

So once we move past that point, and we assume we have a conservative message to communicate, the sum total of my campaign experience in the federal, provincial and municipal campaign arenas have taught me one main lesson: that when we communicate a conservative message effectively to a vast audience of potential conservative supporters, we win.

For conservatives to win we need to communicate our message directly to voters, without the filter of the mainstream media. I agree with Guy Giorno who observes that the mainstream media doesn't overwhelmingly have a left wing perspective, the mainstream media has an elite perspective. I have observed that over and over.

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