Paul Martin has kicked off a weekly radio address to the nation. It’s being cast in the mold of the US Presidential "Fireside Chats". However, the networks are treating it as advertising, and requiring the Liberal Party to pay for the spots. To make up for the fact that it’s only running on a few networks, the Liberals are hosting the piece at the Party site as well.
You can read the text, or listen to the address here. It’s all of two minutes long. Political theatre. He says that American’s have been wrongly taxing our lumber exports, and that he’s going to do something about it. We’re not quite sure what, at the end of this little soliloquy, but we do know he’s going to do something. There’s that earnest Mr. Dithers again…
It’s like a japanese meal — beautiful to look at, but insubstantial. Mr. Martin’s blog was the same way.
My advice to the prime minister? Forget about the "Fireside Chat" model. Do a weekly podcast with an RSS feed, and a discussion forum so people can ask questions, and discuss the topic, following the speechlet. Make it really interactive. That’s the model of the web. That’s media today — not the same as the radio broadcasts of Churchill and Roosevelt.
Otherwise you’re just another talking head in a suit.
Oh, and by the way, Stephen Harper and Jack Layton, you should do the same.