Welcome to the infomercial

To the Conservative campaign now, specifically to the Canadian Coptic Centre in Mississauga, where Mr. Harper wished to highlight his promise to establish an Office of Religious Freedom within the Department of Foreign Affairs. Behind him a Canadian flag, all around him, as the official news release describes it, “an enthusiastic and diverse crowd.”

After his announcement, the floor was turned over to questions from reporters. Said reporters were called by name to present their questions. As per usual, reporters travelling with Mr. Harper were permitted a total of four opportunities at the microphone. No supplementaries are officially permitted.

Mr. Harper’s answers were dutifully applauded by the studio audience. And when one of these reporters—the CBC’s Terry Milewski—dared to shout a supplementary question related to a particular Conservative candidate’s recent controversy, the crowd moved to drown him out with cheers. Mr. Milewski persisted, the crowd cheered louder, even chanting Mr. Harper’s surname. A member of Mr. Harper’s staff, standing nearby Mr. Milewski was quite enthusiastic in joining the applause.

Onward now to Comox and Campbell River.

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