Friday, 9 March 2012

Bread and Butter Canadians

The Manning Centre for Building Democracy (bit grandiose there Preston) is having their annual conference in Ottawa.  This Conservative think tank apparently has a conference every year and for only $349 dollars you too can go and listen to how Conservatives view themselves  and others.  Of course I watched for free on CPAC (wink wink)... think of it as an anthropological study.

So here are my notes and thoughts from the presentation:

  • Bread and Butter Canadians (definition) are people not interested in a particular political party.  These individuals work for a living or are recently unemployed.  Most 'bread and butters' believe that the government is out of touch with their reality and challenges being faced with.
At the beginning of the bread and butter discussion I felt a faint glimmer of hope that Conservatives were in fact becoming aware of the 99% only to have them dashed by the conclusion reached which was:
  • They will vote for Conservatives if topics are framed in right way and candidates are mindful of wording.
Next it was on to a discussion of  "Near Customers".

  • Near Customers are people that Conservatives believe should be voting for them but are not.  
    • These "customers" (their word) are in "particularly affluent urban areas" where the profile of a Green Party voter and a Conservative voter are almost the same.
    • Blue Collar and Trade Unionists that believe in law and order.
If  I didn't already know they were discussing citizens voting in an election I would have thought I'd wandered in to an quarterly sales report.  The discussion was more about how can we sell people on voting for us then what could be done to advance Canadian society.  In fact at no time did anyone stop to ask what the party could do to meet the needs of these citizens.  Nope it was all about the approach (i.e. the sales pitch) and strengthening "the brand".

Just when I thought this couldn't get any more surreal.... out comes the results from their focus group testing on the catch phrase "government as facilitator".  I am guessing that is the sales pitch for government getting out of the business of governing because the preface for the discussion was "that people understand government cannot offer solutions to problems".  By the way 78% of respondents reacted favourably to the phrase so watch for it coming out of some Conservative pundits and politicians soon.

I turned off the T.V. when  the Institute of Marriage and Family presenter started to talk about God getting people off of welfare.

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1 comment:

  1. Conservatives seem to use and mix metaphors a lot. Contradictions, irrelevance. Wonder if they ever really mean anything at all. Wonder if it’s a distraction, like a magician’s slight of hand, we watch them talk and wave their left hand, while they play a trick with the right, manipulating the economy instead of managing it, and we know we’re being fooled, not amazed.


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