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A note to ITQ readers wondering why none of the news networks — not even CPAC — are providing a live feed from the Conservative convention in Winnipeg, especially given the the sixty-odd policy resolutions that were scheduled to be debated this morning:
From: Kady O’Malley
To: Ryan Sparrow
Sent: Fri Nov 14 09:36:49 2008
Are electronic media outlets being allowed to cover the floor debate on the policy and constitutional resolutions?
From: Ryan Sparrow
Sent: Fri, Nov 14, 2008 at 9:51 AM
Further questioning revealed that the ban on this morning’s policy debates extends to all media – not just TV cameras – although everyone is apparently “welcome” to attend tomorrow’s session.
I think this may be the first time in Canadian political history that a party has put so much effort into stopping the media from covering their convention. Usually, they’re so eager to suck up all that free publicity that we have to beat them off with thundersticks
UPDATE: A commenter tells us that the NDP enforced the same closed-door rule during its convention in Montreal last year, which would make the Conservatives the second, not the first party to bar reporters from covering pre-plenary workshops.
Anyway, if you happen to be reading this from the convention floor, feel free to use the comment thread to tell us what’s going down, or if you’d rather not post directly, send your observations via email and I’ll post on your behalf. (We wouldn’t want one of our readers to be dragged off the floor by the yellow-shirted security detail just as the debate over human rights commissions was about to get good.)
(For background on the resolutions that will be up for debate, click here for the full set of ITQ cheat sheets.)
UPDATE: From an ITQ reader who tried to get into one of the policy workshops:
They actually scan your pass at the door and the computer screen shows either a green circle or a red circle. You won’t be surprised to learn I got a red circle.
And poor Dr. Dawg. He had to fly all the way to Winnipeg to experience the same spirit of transparency and openness with which the gallery has become so familiar over the last two and a half years. The media pen, by the way, is not a happy place; there is much (entirely legitimate, in ITQ’s opinion) grumbling over being put in information quarantine, and exiting delegates are being swarmed by reporters.
MOREDATE: Okay, so any resolutions that make it through today’s secret workshops will be voted on at tomorrow’s plenary sessions – which will be open to the media, according to Ryan Sparrow. Anyone want to start a pool on which ones are likely to survive?
UPDATE THE THIRD From Commenter Clarence: “The francophone press is reporting that there are only 100 delegates (out of 2,000) from Québec and that only the new Québec lieutenant Christian Paradis was able to muster a full slate of 10 delegates from his riding.”
MAJOR UPDATE: The proposal to strip the Canadian Human Rights Commission of the power to investigate complaints under Section 13 passed “nearly unanimously”.
PROBABLY THE FINAL UPDATE TO THIS POST: Check out the afternoon edition here, complete with a full(ish) rundown of what happened at the workshop on economic policy. Big fight over fiscal imbalance!