Harper’s ‘old-stock Canadians’ line is part deliberate strategy: pollster (Ekos)

More on the intent behind ‘old-stock Canadians:’

Conservative leader Stephen Harper’s line about “old-stock Canadians” during  the Thursday leaders’ debate was a deliberate move to energize the Conservative base on an emotional topic, a pollster says.

Frank Graves, president of EKOS Research, says that kind of divisional tactic has been used successfully in the past.

“It’s part of the deliberate strategy to sort Harper’s constituency from the rest of the electorate,” Graves told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak. “It creates a sense of us versus others.”

Graves describes Harper’s comment as a “dog whistle”: something meant to be heard by a target audience, but misheard or ignored by the rest.

Harper made the comment while addressing health care for immigrants and refugees.

Source: Harper’s ‘old-stock Canadians’ line is part deliberate strategy: pollster – Montreal – CBC News

The contrary view is expressed by Andrew Coyne (Andrew Coyne: Harper’s ‘old stock’ faux pas was little more than that) and Lysiane Gagnon (In Quebec, old stock is just a fact of life) who maintain that it simply used in a descriptive sense. But words matter, and are chosen for both explicit and implicit messaging, with ‘old-stock’ having an implicit message in the political context.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: