I’d like to take a few moments to muse on a subject that irks me to no end. How we can have unelected, appointed people in Ottawa influencing proposed legislation and even influencing the day to day governance of Canada.
I’m not talking about the Senate. They have their own issues…
I’m talking about the Prime Minister’s Office, the PMO.
How can it be that a group of people (the Harper Party) who decry the horrors of an unelected body (yes the Senate this time) can gladly take their marching orders from a shadowy cast characters working in the PMO?
I have a joke for you.
Q: What do you call someone on Twitter who endlessly repeats talking points?
Q: What do you call someone in the House of Commons who endlessly repeats talking points?
I said it was a joke, not that it was funny.
Look at the last Cabinet shuffle. Oh look how much new blood was injected into the shiny new Cabinet! Echo boxes. Want to get a seat at the big people’s table? Repeat the talking points issued by the infamous “boys in short pants”.
Seriously these people may be capable representatives for their constituencies, but they are not allowed to represent anything other than what they are told to. Don’t dance to the tune? Have a seat in the back, thanks.
How powerful are these people in the PMO? We don’t really seem to know.
When there was concern about the RCMP taking the firearms from homes following the High River flooding this year, it wasn’t Public Safety Minister Vic Toews telling the RCMP to give them back was it? It wasn’t Stephen Harper either. It was the PMO apparently acting on its own to chastise the RCMP in public.
The release did not say it was a statement by Harper, it was a PMO release.
When Brent Rathgeber decided that he could no longer sit as a Harper Party MP and crossed the floor to sit as an Independent, it wasn’t a Minister speaking out against Mr. Rathgeber. It was the PMO.
And to add hypocrisy to Harpocrisy the PMO said that Mr. Rathgeber should run in a by election to confirm his seat. They have no such qualms when an NDP member chooses to leave their caucus or when a Liberal chooses to leave their caucus as well.
Now some of the Harper Party apologists might want to go on about the PMO being appointed by the elected PM Stephen Harper. But this is Canada, we don’t elect a PM.
The party elects as leader, the party that wins the most seats gets to call their leader the PM. If the Harper Party had chosen someone else, Stephen Harper wouldn’t be PM now would he?
Had the good people of Calgary Southwest decided that they were done with the biggest flippity flopper in Calgary, Stephen Harper, he wouldn’t be the PM either.
Flippity flopper? Yep.
Stephen Harper voted alongside the Liberals twice on the Long Gun Registry. Then he flipped to the anti side. Stephen Harper absolutely detested Communists and then he Okayed the Nexen deal with the Chinese Government run CNOOC. The only good Commie is the one with oil money I guess.
At least Rob Anders stands firm on his “No Commies” rules. At least he does when he is awake.
And Stephen Harper famously told Canadians that he would never appoint an unelected Senator.
Well, Mike Duffy wasn’t elected. Neither were any of the other non-Albertan Senators that Stephen Harper his flipped and flopped into the Red Chamber.
Now when the Duffy hit the fan, no one bothered to tell Stephen Harper what was going on!
When Mike Duffy realized he was in trouble over his “improper” expenses, he ran to everyone and their brother to bail him out. He ran to the Harper Party money man, Senator Irving Gerstein, who was going to hand Duffy the cash until the stakes ran a bit too high for his liking leaving Mike Duffy to run to Nigel Wright in the PMO.
Funny how when Duffy was running from station to station with his hand out for $90 Grand, no one bothered to tell the Boss. It’s funnier still that he didn’t run straight to Stephen himself.
Now if we believe the official story, all this happened with Stephen Harper being blissfully unaware of what was occurring and probably just sitting at home stroking his Stanley.
And in the mean time, the RCMP is interested in getting their hands on a certain email that may show details on how the PMO bailed Mike Duffy out and what was promised by whom… and the PMO is not helping the RCMP out at all.
CTV has a copy of this email, but they are protecting their source and not giving the information to the RCMP. I wonder who the PMO is protecting.
Stephen Harper? Maybe.
But then again, could it be that Stephen is telling the truth, and the PMO is covering their collective assets by not handing over the email in question?
In either instance Harper could very easily just tell his staffers to hand over the email, but that would only happen if he was in charge of the PMO. And I’m starting to wonder if he is.
The PMO has become an agency unto itself. It has the ability to create policy and enforce rules by being the controlling hand behind the scenes. The PMO issues the talking points. The Ministers rarely if ever stray from their given talking points. Even Stephen Harper limits himself to talking points, unless perhaps he is being told to stick to his talking points…
Tinfoil time? You tell me.
The following nugget is from the Globe and Mail listing the PMO staff who were informed by Nigel Wright that he was going to pay for Duffy’s expenses.
These PMO staffers include Chris Woodcock, director of issues management – a job that handles hot political files – as well as legal adviser Benjamin Perrin and David van Hemmen, Mr. Wright’s executive assistant. These three ultimately owed their jobs to Mr. Wright, who as chief of staff would have decided who was hired, promoted or fired in such senior PMO positions. [Emphasis mine]
It appears that Stephen doesn’t decide who gets to be in the PMO, his Chief of Staff in the PMO does.
Is Stephen merely the face of the Harper Party?
Again, you tell me.