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Memo from the PMO to straws…

Dear Straws: we are grasping at you.
Sincerely, Steve


“These latest allegations are troubling. Our Government does not condone illegal drug use, especially by elected officials while in office, including Justin Trudeau. We’ll continue to work with all levels of government on shared priorities, such as jobs and economic growth. That includes working with mayors and city councils, including the Mayor of Toronto and Toronto City Council,” MacDonald, Mr. Harper’s top spokesman, said in the statement.”


Seriously? You found a way to compare the actions of the Horror of Hogtown to JT?

Guess the staffers have checked out the polling on three of the four by elections and have seen that it ain’t looking too good.

Fear, Desperation,
thou hast shown many faces
so rage against all


“Here, take this cheque and for gawd sake, keep quiet.”

… said Nigel to Mike.

Well, it now seems obvious that the 90K cheque cut by Nigel was indeed “hush money“.

The question is, what comes next?

This is looking worse and worse for the Harperites… And I still cannot believe that the PMO was in the dark over this. No. Fricking. Way.


Yeah, yeah…

… I KNOW that the only poll that matters is the one held on E Day, but for Libs like me, this is encouraging:

The latest Nanos tracking numbers reveal that national support for the Liberal Party is at 35.4%, just ahead of the Conservatives at 31.3%. Liberal support has been slowly increasing since the last federal election, but has not seen similar numbers since 2009. Ballot support for the NDP is currently at 23.6%, while the Bloc and the Greens have 4.8% and 4.2%, respectively.

And it must be a little worrying for those 25 year old staffers at the PMO… watch for the ReformCon attack machine to rev it up a notch against JT.

Any bets that this little dance will somehow be twisted into a negative ad?



“Justin Trudeau. Dancing with hot wife while thinking of ways to waste your tax dollars.”

Well, I prefer that to Mr. Roboto:


“Have a good day young Mr. Harper.”


Les règles…

…n’appliquent pas à moi.

More of the same from Harperland.

The Prime Minister’s Office is defending a Conservative MP who raised thousands of dollars at a private fundraiser that had deep connections to a company registered to lobby the federal government.

This stand is despite the fact that PMO’s own rules warn against even the “appearance” of conflict of interest and that the MP only decided to return some of the money after it was about to become public.

The Globe and Mail reported Wednesday that Conservative MP Paul Calandra, who is the parliamentary secretary to Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, attended an event that raised about $22,000 in the basement of a suburban home in his riding on April 10.

So what else is new?



Do YOU have pesky scientists…

… who want to derail your dogmatic agenda with icky data, facts and findings????

Mercer does it again!


Why the secrecy?

The G&M is reporting that, despite the Auditor-General requests, MPs and Senators are refusing to submit their expenses for scrutiny.

I don’t get this. Why doesn’t Sheila Fraser push the issue?

Ten months ago, Auditor General Sheila Fraser formally asked two committees for permission to audit Parliament’s expenses, including the expenses of MPs and senators. She still hasn’t received a reply. Silence equals no.

Similar audits in Great Britain and Nova Scotia resulted in major scandals after revelations of major abuse.

In Ottawa, MPs and senators are determined to prevent anything like that from happening.


So, if the CRA decides to audit me (again), I can just ignore them?



But I somehow think that it wouldn’t turn out good for me.

Yeah, I do realise that all of the parties are reluctant to release this information and this is abhorrent to say the least. BUT the Harperites have trumpeted transparency-this and accountability-that since they rode their horses into Ottawa. So where are they now? I mean, what a great way to prove to nay-says like me that they really are going to carry through with all of that talk!

However, we have been down this road before, haven’t we?

Remember the Harperites when they tried to destroy the credibility of:

Now which direction do you think  Sheila Fraser’s departmental budget is going to dive toward?


But Fraser has already been warned by the PMO to play nicely. New directives from the PMO prohibit Sheila Fraser from to speaking directly to the public without vetting her comments through the PMO first. All communications must be approved by political staffers. Here in town, they are called MEPs (Message Event Proposals).

You can read about them here in The Hill Times.

In the meantime, will someone on the Hill stand up and say something about this cloak of secrecy?




The power of the institutions of democracy

I thought I’d share few thoughts about the latest polling results released yesterday by Nanos Research – a firm that I consider to be second to none in Canadian political public opinion research.

Respondents were read a list of the “institutions of democracy” and asked to rate the degree of power that each of them had. The results were not all that surprising with the PMO being rated as the institution pointed to having too much power.

Not surprising because I am quite certain that respondents were hearing “PM” instead of the PMO as a whole.

But what I did find surprising were the choices that were read to the respondents:

The PMO, The House of Commons, The Federal Cabinet, The Senate, The Supreme Court, The Federal Civil Service

Institutions two through four are undoubtedly institutions of our Canadian democracy. Their existence is enshrined in the Constitution. Canadians know them and trust them to be the prime decision makers at the federal level.

But the PMO and the Public Service?I don’t really consider them to be “institutions of our democracy”. They are very important components of it – but not institutions in the Constitutional sense.

I wonder why Nanos included them? I can only suspect that the reason for doing so was to gauge the feeling about the relative power of the PMO and the PS to the HoC, Supreme Court, etc. It is true that there has been a lot of (justifiable) media attention about the amount of power that is wielded by the PMO. And in the past there have been questions about how much power should be granted to the PS.

In any case, the results are interesting and pretty much confirm what Canadians have thought about Harper and his autocratic rule – too much power for Harpy and not enough in the House. And Cauncks are pretty sure of themselves as only 8.7% of respondents indicated that they were unsure about the appropriateness of the degree of power used by the PMO – the lowest rate of “unsureness”  among all of the listed institutions.


Stevie loses another friend…

Yet another staffer at the PMO has flown the coop.

stewart-olsen_159061gm-aCarolyn Stewart-Olsen has worked for the big guy for more than seven years (!) and was the director of strategic communication. She was considered the “gatekeeper” who strictly and loyally controlled access to her boss. Ms. Stewart-Olsen is the second major cog in the PMO machinery to bail in the past little while. Kory Teneycke, the PM’s Communications Director was the last to bid adieu.

“Stephen is not the easiest guy to work for. He takes a lot of handling sometimes. And Carolyn, she was good at that,” said University of Calgary political scientist Tom Flanagan, a former Conservative campaign adviser.

Gee Tom, really? I’m starting to picture meetings with Stevo and they ain’t pretty.

“Kory, get the hell in here. NOW!”

“Ye-ye-yes sir….. wh-wh-what’s wrong s-s-sir? You look angry…”

“WHO authorised THIS picture???

stephen-harper-kitten“WHO, Damn it???!! I want them waterboarded!!”

“B-b-b-ut… you said the other day th-that you wanted to portray a more, uh, human image… and our strategic communications staff thought this would do the trick… sir…????”

“I look like a freakin’ WIMP! Maybe even GAY! And you KNOW what I think of THEM!” CAROLYN! GET THE HELL IN HERE!!!!!”

Hee-hee. At this rate, Mrs. Harper will be the one and only staffer in the PMO!