I have spent a lot of time in discussions with an interesting and cordial Liberal Party supporter (possibly also a member but I’m not sure as I never asked her.) These chats happen over on Twitter, where she goes by the username @libartsandminds. Obviously, when dealing with incorrect ideology, we don’t agree on much, and occasionally it gets heated, especially when trash-talking starts.
However, unlike a certain other individual, (who is clearly suffering from Paranoid Twizophrenia) – a term I hope to define more fully in the next few days) @libartsandminds is intelligent and articulate, and does not attempt to destroy a person’s character.
One of the main criticisms of Harper is how he has centralized power in the PMO, and how everything the government does comes as a directive from the PMO.
Uh, that’s kinda the way things work on Parliament Hill, when things are working as they should.
Government can’t be a committee.
The Prime Minister is just that – Prime. Minister. His (or her) job is the head of government. The CEO of the nation. The CEO is the manager of managers, and the central focus for the organization. This is the person who sets the policy and direction for the organization as a whole. The officers of an organization, (or Cabinet in the case if government) are the people who run the various aspects of the organization. (Finance, External Affairs, Natural Resources, etc) and are accountable to the board of directors (the House of Commons).
The shareholders (ie Canadian citizenry) elect the Board of Directors (House of Commons) which then, through the process of holding the Confidence of the House, their CEO (Prime Minister) who then appoints the Officers (Cabinet).
For an organization to be running smoothly and heading in a specific direction, it is critical for all the various departments to be working together and in synch with each other. That’s the Prime Minister’s job. As such, the Prime Minister has to be the focal point and power must be held within the PMO. Otherwise, we’d have chaos.
Agree or disagree with the direction the government is going – that’s what freedom of thought, speech, assembly, ideology are all about, but at the same time, it is critical that one understands how, exactly, things work in Ottawa from an organizational standpoint.
That is not to say @libartsandminds (or anyone else) doesn’t understand this, but I really don’t think such a criticism is valid, especially given the catastrophic governance style of Chretien, (vindictive and secretive) and worse, the social engineering of the Worst Prime Minister in Canadian History, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.