Premier Gordon Campbell's office: "It's Question Period, not Answer Period"
B.C. Liberal cabinet ministers are encouraged to attack the NDP Opposition in the legislature's daily question period if they’re unable to provide answers.
A document from the premier's office, which was released to lawyers in the Basi-Virk criminal trial, states that cabinet ministers are judged in question period on their three Cs: competence, confidence, and control.
It suggests that cabinet ministers answer as best they can every time, but if they can’t, they’re advised to “ATTACK!! – NDP record, evidence of internal conflict, etc”¦”.
“It’s Question Period, not Answer Period,” the document states.
The document, called “House Review ”˜A Day in the Life’ January 2007” also points to the importance of scrums with reporters in the hallway at 3 p.m.
It suggests that it’s the NDP’s “second chance” if question period went well for the government; if question period goes badly, it’s “our chance for clean-up”.
“The halls will NEVER be a good substitution for a good QP performance,” it states.
Public-affairs bureau staff, who are employed by the government, and Liberal MLAs work the hallways to find out what the NDP is saying and distributing.
According to the document, they can assess “mitigation techniques”, such as distributing paper to refute NDP claims or decide whether or not to bring a minister out of the house to put the government’s views forward in person.