Friday, October 09, 2009

The must read today

That would be Canadian Press' scoop involving several Privy Council Office sources about the government's widespread politicization of government resources. A set of insiders, past and present, from the Privy Council Office, "the non-partisan bureaucratic arm of the Prime Minister's Office," have spoken to CP about life inside the Harper government. It is said to be an unprecedented partisan shop, with "every funding program across the government" being politicized. This is something these sources are motivated to speak about: "...many said it is a story that needs to be told." We read quotes like this: "You have a political party that is not constrained by what conventionally would be perceived as overtly partisan actions," said one former insider."

The typical refrain, well, all governments do it, is floated in the report by one academic, yet the quotes from the sources and others in the report don't seem to support that claim. We should listen to them and stop providing safe harbour for Conservative abuses under the protective umbrella of that argument. "Welcome to Stephen Harper's world," they're waving at us.

Interesting timing too, as the Harper folks are said far and wide to be moving to majority government territory, insiders dishing on what that would really be like has started.

Reading such reports should provide real motivation for those out there who are in the doldrums these days about polls and swirling, choking conventional wisdom. This (and other important stories too) is the kind of stuff you can't shrug your shoulders at. It's what Karl Rove is also alleged to have done during his time in the White House, politicizing government departments in pursuit of his partisan political agenda. The overwhelming divisive partisanship of the Bush administration was a big part of Obama's appeal in the end, people had enough of it. The Harper Conservatives are carrying out the same plan.

Congrats to Canadian Press who have been kicking you know what in the past few weeks with such material (and may many more). The abuse of government resources by this government is looking to be one of the big stories that may yet undo these presently hubristic Conservatives.

(More from last night.)