We recently received a couple of press releases from our local Members of Provincial Parliament, Rick Nicholls and Monte McNaughton. Both addressed additional funding for support of the homeless and nearly homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They delivered an important and very similar message. But what disappointed me is the main quote from each individual, one representing Chatham-Kent Leamington, the other Lambton-Kent-Middlesex was not just similar; it was verbatim.
“Our government is investing in important projects like this to help protect our most vulnerable citizens from COVID-19,” said Nicholls in the media release. “We’re working hand in hand with our partners to make sure they have the tools and flexibility they need to keep people safe.”
Here is what Lambton-Kent-Leamington MPP Monte McNaughton had to say:
“Our government is investing in important projects like this to help protect our most vulnerable citizens from COVID-19. We’re working hand in hand with our partners to make sure they have the tools and flexibility they need to keep people safe.”
Wow. Not only are they on point with the message from the Ford government, but they say it exactly the same way.
So I took to the Internet for a quick check, inputting the quote. In no time, I found seven other MPPs whose releases had the same quote, to the word.
I have not picked up on such a move in some time. However, before people point to the Ford government and cry foul, this is not new. But it is still annoying.
This illustrates the top-down control of the delivery of a message, issuing the same direct quote for a slew of elected officials from the same party.
By spoon feeding the same quote to each MPP, that smacks of a lazy approach. Each riding is different, as is each talking head.
Sadly, as mentioned, this is not a new approach. Other governments at various levels have done the same in the past. And you can bet they will again in the future.
We challenge them to do better. Provide talking points to the elected representatives, and let them format their own quotes in their own words. If that is too much to ask, at the very least give the points to the hired spin doctors of each elected representative. They at least know their immediate bosses and how they think and speak.