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Your theme today on the Conservatives: secrecy, and secretive

Exhibit 1: Liberals Question Bernier Timeline:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s claim that he was in the dark until Monday about Maxime Bernier’s missing classified documents is under attack following the revelation that the sensitive papers were returned to the government some 24 hours earlier…Government House leader Peter Van Loan surprised many yesterday when he said the Prime Minister learned of the return of the documents on Sunday. “The Prime Minister said that he became aware of it on Sunday afternoon and that is when action was taken,” he said. That immediately drew “oh, oh” from opposition benches. Van Loan quickly backtracked and insisted that Harper was only told of the missing papers Monday, a timeline mocked by the Liberals.

So, secrecy on when the Conservatives actually knew about this – a revelation that Peter Van Loan may have let accidentally slip – from fatigue,  he claimed, but perhaps he really let slip the truth:

Sources said that a lawyer for Julie Couillard, Bernier’s ex-girlfriend, returned the documents to the government in the hours before she taped a television interview Sunday afternoon. She makes an oblique reference in the television interview, saying “as we speak, the lawyer has been duly mandated and the document has been returned.”

I’d like to get that lawyer on record saying that’s exactly the day when he delivered those.

Exhibit 2: The public think in a new (online) Angus-Reid poll that the Cons. are arrogant and secretive:

Half of Canadians believe Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is not only secretive but arrogant, according to a new Toronto Star/Angus Reid poll. The Conservatives, who have been in government for more than two years, are regarded as secretive by 50 per cent of those surveyed, with 51 per cent stating the government is also arrogant… Almost three in five – 58 per cent – are “dissatisfied” with the way the government has performed in informing the public about its policies and plans.

Exhibit 3: An article by Susan Delacourt in today’s Star describing how “it’s been a bad week for a government that prides itself on secrecy and message control”:

Taken all together, these incidents point to what seems to be a glaring irony surrounding the Harper government and its communications strategy. To wit: this capital is locked down tight when it comes to small, domestic, even trivial minutiae. But on the big important stuff, the kind of information that could affect Canada’s relations with the world, people have seen a side of the Harper communications-management machine this week that appears to be a little loose, if not chaotic.

Its amusingly painful to watch this self-immolation.

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