In twenty minutes, Premier Ed Stelmach will join Albertans from across the province by sitting down with a bag of popcorn and watching his pre-recorded, edited, and scripted dinner hour television address. Hyped as a talk about the provincial budget and economy, Stelmach’s 18-minute slot has been billed as “The Way Forward” (I guess the Premier is a Ford guy).
Kind of like the ShamWow…
The pre-recorded production is expected to include shots of Stelmach talking about a four point plan to respond to the record provincial budget deficit on-site from numerous locations, including his family farm near Andrew. He’s been Premier for over two years, but many Albertans still don’t know who the real Ed Stelmach is, and it shows in the polls. If he actually takes off his funeral director suit and dons something more comfortable and familiar (perhaps a little plaid?), it may first time Albertans have been allowed to see a glimpse of Ed the Farmer.
He actually has to say something.
Stelmach has a difficult time articulating himself when speaking in public, so it is possible that this kind of pre-recorded, edited, and scripted production could allow the Premier to present a message that is understandable without the help of a decoder ring. On the other hand, the pricey production value could decrease the believability of the message (Stelmach’s 2007 pre-produced TV address cost taxpayers $145,000). David Climenhaga and Don Braid both have some interesting pre-recorded commentary on Stelmach’s pre-recorded, edited, and scripted address.
Will it make a difference?
At its core, this is an expensive PR stunt. It is difficult to imagine that even in an 18-minute pre-produced, edited, and scripted television advertisement that the Premier will be able to ease the public tension and discontent that has grown around the record budget deficit, confusing messages around changes to health care, a new resource royalty framework, Bill 44, Bill 50, and hefty staff payhikes and bonuses (to name a few).
In the spirit of tonight’s pre-recorded, edited, and scripted piece of dinner theatre, you can follow my pre-recorded, edited, and scripted commentary on twitter at @davecournoyer and others commentary at #ableg.