Thursday, September 24, 2015

The battle for the Jewish vote in Winnipeg South Centre

Good Day Readers:

Interesting article by CBC Manitoba reporter Sean "Good Guy-White Hat" Kavanagh to which CyberSmokeBlog would like to add comment. Don't forget Ms Bateman a former Liberal crossed the floor the run successfully for the Conservatives in 2011.

Both she and her chief rival Jim Carr are Jewish. Was the fact other members of the ethnic media besides Bernie Bellan (Jewish Post and News) were invited a thinly veiled attempt to conceal Stephen Harper's obsession with things Jewish as evidenced by his closet membership in the evangelical Christian and Missionary Alliance movement eloquently documented recently by The Tyee's Andrew Nikiforuk (Stephen Harper's Covert Evangelicalism)? Remember how when Mr. Harper first ran for Prime Minister there was a lingering doubt about his hidden agenda - many had trouble warming to him. Well, now you know it - screw democratic principles, the parliamentary process and its institutions while being obsessed with the Jewish state.

Is this the same Bernie Bellan who successfully spearheaded a class action lawsuit in 2008 against the Province of Manitoba's failed Crocus Fund?

By all accounts Joyce Bateman is in trouble in Winnipeg South Centre. Best Stephen Harper could do is stay as far away as possible from that riding.

Clare L. Pieuk
Winnipeg ethnic media get special meeting with Stephen Harper

1-question rule still applies even to invited media members

By Sean Cavanagh
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Bernie Bellan, centre, with Winnipeg South Centre candidate Joyce Bateman and party leader Stephen Harper at a campaign event on Tuesday. (The Jewish Post & News/Facebook)

With 14 seats up for grabs in this fall's federal election, Manitoba isn't quite a tier-one stop for the party leaders. So when they do a fly-by, there is a buzz that is particularly strong for a select group of media in Winnipeg who get an exclusive sit-down with a party leader.

The list to meet Conservative Leader Stephen Harper this week for a special roundtable did not include the city's two major daily newspapers or any of the three main TV stations. (Harper did appear on local talk radio station CJOB).

However, Bernie Bellan of the Jewish Post and News, Ron Cantiveros of the Filipino Journal, Won Jae Song of the Korea Times and Rhonda Spivak of the Winnipeg Jewish Review did make the cut.

OPINION | Bernie Bellan: My unexpected meeting with Stephen Harper

Bellan says he got a call this past Sunday from someone connected to the Harper campaign, offering a sit-down along with a "select number of media representatives."

Ethnic media still under 1-question rule

Getting access didn't mean a free-for-all with Harper, though. Bellan was asked to provide three questions in advance. One of the three would get chosen by the Harper team.

Harper's stop in Winnipeg on Tuesday also allowed for a single question from one representative of the mainstream media outlets. It was decided among the media that the question would be about Kapyong Barracks.

Just for the record, the four media outlets on the tour with Harper get to ask one question per outlet per announcement.

Bellan was asked by his Conservative campaign contact to shorten his one question that made the cut. It was about running deficits in times of economic downturn. He was also asked not to tell anyone he was invited to meet Harper in advance of the interview.

Bellan said he's under no illusions as to why he was chosen, among the other invitees.

"Each one was chosen deliberately with a firm strategy," Bellan told CBC News.

The newspaper owner believes part of the strategy was to firm up flagging support for Winnipeg South Centre candidate Joyce Bateman.

"We know she's in trouble," Bellan said. "There is no other way I would be asked for a private session with Harper. Private? Forty-five minutes?"

Conservatives and Liberals court ethnic media

It was the second such event in this election campaign for Ron Cantiveros of the Filipino Journal. In mid-August he was invited to meet Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, along with representatives of Indian, Italian, Korean and other ethnic outlets.

Cantiveros said there were some differences between the two meetings.

"The meeting with Trudeau was more open, more free-wheeling; off-the-cuff," Cantiveros said, but added that he wouldn't turn down the chance to meet Harper in a small group for an extended period of time.

He said even though he was restricted to a single question, "it was great to go."

Bellan said of the four media outlets invited, two were Jewish.

"Filipino? I could see that, but why not Italian? Why not Chinese?" Bellan said. "I know absolutely the reason I was there: Joyce Bateman."

Bellan said Bateman stayed for the length of the private meeting and he believes the effort was "an attempt to reach out to Jewish voters in Winnipeg South Centre."

He added that he slipped in the preamble to his deficit question that the campaign operative wanted pulled out.

Bellan said he enjoyed his encounter with Harper and added that the leader is "really comfortable in his own skin when answering questions."

Both Bellan and Cantiveros said they would have liked to have had an opportunity to ask Harper more than one question.

Cantiveros, who was allowed to ask a small-business question of the Conservative leader, said his second question would have been about Harper's stand on the temporary foreign workers program.

The Filipino Journal reporter said he's glad to get an exclusive, but admitted that his paper "isn't doing hard-hitting, day-to-day news. We are more of a community-style newspaper."


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