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article imageCanadian PM only taking 5 questions per day, Tories lead in polls

By Andrew Moran     Apr 4, 2011 in Politics
Ottawa - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't hold a lot of press conferences when Parliament is in session, but it seems he doesn't take a lot of questions even on the campaign trail during this year's federal election.
During his tour around the country, Prime Minister Stephen Harper limits the number of unscripted question and answer sessions with the members of the press to just five questions per day, according to the Windsor Star.
At a campaign stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Prime Minister was asked why he only allows five questions. Harper responded: “If there's another subject I'll answer it.” Another reporter asked why he isn’t allowing more than five questions when he has promised more openness. Harper responded: “If there are other subjects I'm not addressing, I'll take them. What's the subject? One subject.”
Following the two questions, someone asked about the Libyan situation, which Harper provided a brief answer and then ended the news conference.
Is this an intelligent political strategy? Or is it plain “stupidity?” One Conservative Party staffer believes it’s “stupidity.”
According to the National Post, a staffer on Conservative candidate Dona Cadman's re-election campaign, Tony Phillips, wrote on his Facebook page: “Can somebody in the (war room) please save the PM's image by allowing him to answer more than (five) questions a day? When Sun Media starts to attack our amazing government, you know stupidity has prevailed amongst communications people.”
Phillips was later contacted by the Canadian Press, notes CTV News, but the junior Conservative staffer refused to comment on his Facebook remarks. “I can't comment on that because that's a personal Facebook page, and being in the political position that I'm in, that would not be the best career move for me,” said Phillips.
Conservatives take substantial lead
According to a daily tracking poll by Nanos Research, conducted for CP24, CTV and Globe and Mail, the Conservative Party holds a 14-point lead over the Liberal Party with 42 percent of support from decided voters.
Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals have 28.4 percent; Jack Layton’s New Democratic Party sits with 16.4 percent. Gilles Ducceppe’s Bloc Quebecois has garnered eight percent and Elizabeth May’s Green Party is last with less than four percent support.
17 percent of those surveyed remain undecided.
The survey was conducted from Apr. 1 to Apr. 3 with 986 adult Canadians. The poll contains a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
Canadians head to the polls on May 2. Click here for in-depth coverage of the federal election from Digital Journal.
More about Stephen Harper, Conservative party canada, Canada Election 2011, Polls, Press
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