Editorial — Trudeau targets Harper’s secrecy

Justin Trudeau aims at prime minister’s secrecy, the muzzling of cabinet ministers, MPs and bureaucrats and what he calls “message control.”

Justin Trudeau has come up with a campaign idea that may help him seal the deal with enough voters to win power in next October’s federal election.

He has taken direct aim at the prime minister’s secrecy, the muzzling of cabinet ministers, MPs and bureaucrats and what he calls “message control.”

Many people who otherwise have few issues with the Conservative government are not happy with the manufactured flow of information. Other than government ads which feature “the Harper government,” actual information from MPs and civil servants is often sparse. While some MPs like Langley’s Mark Warawa are quite open and accessible with citizens and local media, many more are not.

Many cabinet ministers rarely hold press conferences. Harper himself is almost permanently unavailable to the media. He makes a few appearances, such as a recent year-end interview on CBC, but he never answers questions in an impromptu fashion.

When he appeared at a fundraiser in Langley in the summer, he did not say one word to any media person,  national, regional or local. Supporters who wished to talk to him had to stand in a lengthy lineup.

Prime ministers don’t have to be your friends. But they do have to be accountable, and that includes saying something that isn’t scripted, at least once in a while.

Like Bard the bowman in The Hobbit, Trudeau has taken aim at this weak spot in the dragon’s scales, and it may score enough votes for him to at least win a minority government.