I meant to write something on this a few days ago but you know how it is when beer drinking gets in the way. From Ms. Z, quoting colleague Susan Delacourt, on the topic of Stephen Harper's childish tantrums regarding the Parliamentary Press Gallery:
These are rules that have functioned for many years, to the benefit of reporters AND politicians. Because there are organized scrums after cabinet, for instance, ministers aren't chased around the clock at restaurants, at their homes and outside their offices. Canada has not seen the kind of excessive camera-stalking of politicians, for instance, largely because we've had a civilized dialogue on the rules of engagement here.
And there's your solution. If Harper doesn't like the benefits of working within the system, then let's scrap it altogether and let it be a free-for-all. You're a journalist who wants some information? So call Stephen at home. Frequently. Late at night. Can't reach him there? No problem. Follow him to restaurants and interrupt him in mid-bite for that potential scoop. If you can't reach Stephen, then just irritate his wife and ask to leave messages. And, hey, if that doesn't work, you can always waylay his kids and slip them a note, asking if Daddy could please give them a call. Yeah, I'm sure that would represent a huge improvement over the current system.
Of course, there should be limits. Personally, I'd draw the line at publicizing his private cell phone number. I mean, you have to be a real asshole to do something like that.