Friday, December 09, 2011

On manual adjustments

For all the failings of a Con government that combines extreme centralization with an utter lack of vision, let's give Stephen Harper credit for successfully bludgeoning satire to death. Just this week, I considered this to be at least somewhat of an exaggeration in the department of "using what's been criticized or outlawed as a template for action":
Mia Rabson notes that the Cons are looking to outlaw on First Nations exactly the type of negative and deceptive politics they practice for themselves. But in noting that the practice is similarly outlawed in federal election campaigns, Rabson points to an even bigger issue: the Cons are apparently looking to what's banned during election campaigns as their playbook for the next four years.
And yet, here's Dan Gardner sharing a story from Donald Savoie:
Savoie's passionate condemnation of centralization didn't slow it down. In an odd way, it may even have contributed to it.

"An adviser to a prime minister asked me if I'd sign a copy of Governing from the Centre," Savoie says. "I leafed through it and I noticed that he had read it, he had underlined a few things. And I said, 'Now you're going to do things differently?' He said, 'No, no, no. We use it as a manual.' "

Savoie wouldn't tell me who the adviser was but he confirmed that the prime minister he worked for is Conservative. "And you can now assume which one I'm talking about," he added with a laugh.

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