Saturday, September 19, 2015

Meagan's mulberry bush!

Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
The mulberry bush,
Here we go around the mulberry bush
So early in the morning.
Meagan "The Mulberry Bush" Murdoch's Linked In photograph
Jennifer Moreau

A conversation with Meagan Murdoch, communications staffer with Conservative Party headquarters

Friday, September 18, 2015

Jennifer Moreau: We’ve been getting calls from people concerned that the Conservatives, the candidates, are not coming to the all-candidates meetings, and I wanted to see what kind of policy you have for these kinds of events.
Mulberry Bush: I don’t know that we have one at all. It’s up to their availability and their own decision.
Jennifer Moreau: What about talking to media, what’s the policy around that?
Mulberry Bush: Same.
Jennifer Moreau: So there’s no party policy that says everyone has to go through the campaign manager, that kind of thing?
Mulberry Bush: No, candidates decide what’s the best use of their time.
Jennifer Moreau: And again, nothing on all-candidates meetings?
Mulberry Bush: They’re encouraged to talk to their constituents as much as possible.
Jennifer Moreau: I have a hunch, correct me if I’m wrong, maybe there’s a focus on door knocking? Is that why?
Mulberry Bush: I can’t confirm your hunch. You would have to go with fact.
Jennifer Moreau: Yeah, except we can’t get any of the Conservatives' candidates on the phone to answer questions directly.
Mulberry Bush: Have you requested?
Jennifer Moreau: Yes, and they tell me to go through their campaign managers.
Mulberry Bush: Well, they do have people to organize their day for them. I don’t think that’s surprising.
Jennifer Moreau: No, but this is for media calls and comments on stories, right?
Mulberry Bush: Who would you like to speak to? Have you asked? I can facilitate. Sorry, would you like to speak to someone, because I can facilitate. I can help you, I do that all day long.
Jennifer Moreau: Yeah, I would like to speak to all three of them actually.
Mulberry Bush: On what subject?
Jennifer Moreau: Well, now, it’s about why they’re not going to the all-candidates meetings.
Mulberry Bush: All three are not going to any candidates meetings.
Jennifer Moreau: No, I did not say that, I did not say that. We’re getting calls from people complaining they’re not going to the all-candidates meetings.
Mulberry Bush: What are the facts?
Jenniifer Moreau: Other candidates are going and the Conservatives are not attending. I’d like to know why.
Mulberry Bush: Which ones aren’t attending which meetings?
Jennifer Moreau: OK, (New Westminster) Chamber of Commerce. In Burnaby North-Seymour, it was one that was held on the hall on South Howard Street.
Mulberry Bush: OK, is that the only one that’s being held?
Jennifer Moreau: No.
Mulberry Bush: So there are multiple that are being held, and that candidate is not going to any? I have to look into this if that’s what you’re claiming.
Jennifer Moreau: No, that’s not what I’m claiming.
Mulberry Bush: You’re claiming that they don’t go to some.
Jennifer Moreau: Ok, we’re getting calls from people, that are complaining to us, the newspaper, that Conservative candidates are not coming to all-candidates meetings. We’ve got one complaint in each riding, and one of them wasn’t even really a complaint, she was just saying they’re not coming and that other people are trying to get hold of Chloe Ellis for a second all-candidates meeting, and they are having no luck contacting her. So, my hunch is you guys have some kind of policy -
Mulberry Bush: Well, we don’t. Our policy is that candidates are encouraged to talk to their constituents in whichever means that’s best for them and their constituents. Would you like me to confirm which debates they are attending, if any are decided yet? There’s still a great deal of time left in the election.
Jennifer Moreau: That would be great, because I can’t get them without going through their handlers.
Mulberry Bush: Their handlers? You mean their campaign managers that field phone calls?
Jennifer Moreau: Mmhmm.
Mulberry Bush: Have you talked to their campaign managers already?
Jennifer Moreau: Only for Mike Little. And he said go through his campaign manager. (Previously) all three of them have said the same thing: all media calls have to go through the campaign manager. So that sounds to me like a policy.
Mulberry Bush: I know that they do use campaign managers. Every party uses campaign managers to help organize.  
Jennifer Moreau: Yeah, I don’t think you need to organize returning someone’s phone call. It’s not that complicated.
Mulberry Bush: I’ll take your point.
Jennifer Moreau: It’s kind of a waste of time for us as reporters. And no other candidate, from any other party does this.
Mulberry Bush: So you’ve been able to speak directly to all of the others.
Jennifer Moreau: Oh yeah, I have their cell phone numbers; it’s not an issue. I can call them up and get comments on a story in a timely fashion. But not with the Conservatives. It’s been like this every election. And we often don’t get comments from them period. And that’s a problem.
Mulberry Bush: Would you like a comment from any of them?
Jennifer Moreau: Yes, I would like to talk to all three of them.
Mulberry Bush: About what subject?
Jennifer Moreau: About attending all-candidates debates in their riding.
Mulberry Bush: Now, I will pass your request along to all three ridings and let them know you’re looking to speak to the candidates about this subject. I can’t force them to do that, but I will definitely pass the request along, and they can decide whether they’d like to get back to you or not. It seems like you have your story already written.
Jennifer Moreau: It’s not already written, but it has to get done today, because this is the last day I’m here.
Mulberry Bush: It just sounds like it’s already written, so I’m not sure what the benefit would be for them. It will be up to them.
Jennifer Moreau: Why are you saying it sounds like it is already written? There’s nothing written.
Mulberry Bush: You just said you have a hunch.
Jennifer Moreau: Yes, that’s what I’m calling and asking about. Don’t you see a pattern here?
Mulberry Bush: I don’t actually.
Jennifer Moreau: Really? This happens every election?
Mulberry Bush: Stop being hostile.
Jennifer Moreau: I’m not being hostile, Meagan.
Mulberry Bush: I will certainly take your request. Give me your contact information.
Jennifer Moreau: 604-444-3021.
Mulberry Bush: Do you have an email address as well?
Jennifer Moreau: No, it’s better to just call.
Mulberry Bush: Forgive me I missed your name at the beginning.
Jennifer Moreau: It’s Jennifer.
Mulberry Bush: Do you have a last name, Jennifer?
Jennifer Moreau: Yes, it’s M-O-R-E-A-U.
Mulberry Bush: And what’s your deadline?
Jennifer Moreau: Today by 4 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.
Mulberry Bush: Ok I will pass your request along. I will do what I can to get a hold of details they are attending. There are obviously many debates in every single riding. But if they are attending some dates in their riding I will try to get that information for you to facilitate. Certainly, I’ll tell them you’re looking for them to call you back.
Jennifer Moreau: That would be great, much appreciated.
Mulberry Bush: You’re welcome, bye.
(The NOW did not hear from any of the three candidates by 5 p.m. on Friday.)
 See more at:
http://www.burnabynow.com/opinion/blogs/community-conversations-1.752422/a-conversation-with-meagan-murdoch-communications-staffer-with-conservative-party-headquarters-1.2063283#sthash.ndWqG7d3.dpuf

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