Speeches of Canada's PM Stephen Harper rank as top-downloaded podcasts

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is currently at the top of charts for iTunes. The PM tops the list of the most downloaded podcasts at the on-line iTunes music store.

The Harper podcasts are speeches, rather than songs. Since April 4 the speeches can be downloaded for free. While the speeches are available on the Tory party's website, putting them on iTunes has reverberated through cyberspace.

"Refusing to speak to the media, refusing to answer the tough question, but releasing canned speeches? What country is this? China? iTunes should be ashamed of distributing state-sponsored propaganda," wrote the Devil's Advocate.

But some people think that Harper has an idea. People say that they would probably download Harper.

The Prime Minister's Office said that they do not spend a dime on the podcasts, which are simply computer files of the speeches. An official said the Prime Minister's Office records all the speeches for the archives and then only has to flip a copy to iTunes. "We recognize the fact that the media environment is changing and we want to find ways to communicate directly with Canadians," said a PMO (Prime Minister's Office) official.

"Politicians are historically quick to ride new media. He said the Tories under John Diefenbaker were the first to exploit television in Canadian politics." said University of Ottawa political historian Michael Behiels. "This is part and parcel of having brought in a younger generation of business-oriented Conservatives," he said. "The Conservatives are leading the way the other parties will soon have to catch up."

How It works

You can download them individually or buy the whole album.

A lot of the tunes start off the same way, they are in French or English. Things like:

"Mr. Speaker, thank you."

"Thank you, thank you very much honoured head guests of the head table and the members and sponsor of the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce."

"Well, thank you very much, David, for that introduction ... I want to thank CanWest."

"Thank you very much, good morning."

Harper mixes it up. There are a few iTunes in French, a few in English and every one is a live performance.

He even shares the bill with Gov. General. Michaelle Jean.

There are 17 iTunes altogether.



This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.