Thursday, December 21, 2006


Let's take a closer look at something alluded to in this afternoon's post, as PMS tries to weasel his way out of a question about his micromanagement of his party:
He also responded to the criticism that, despite having once talked about the importance of giving MPs and cabinet ministers more power, he is one of the most controlling prime ministers to hold the job in some time.

"I'm not sure I would agree with that," he said. "I think ministers exercise a fair degree of discretion in their own jurisdictions. What we do try and do is co-ordinate so we know what everyone else is doing."
Now, it's no surprise that ministers have a reasonable amount of control over their own files. But the larger control issues have surrounded Harper's refusal to allow MPs to speak in the House of Commons without vetting from his office - a problem which was obviously encompassed in the question, but conveniently avoided in Harper's answer.

Sadly, the article doesn't call PMS on the non-response. But it's all too likely that any more focused question would simply have been deflected as well - as there's clearly no good reason for the Cons' policy aside from a fundamental distrust of their own MPs. Which leads once again to the question of why Canadians should put their trust in representatives whose own party doesn't see them as worthy to speak or act without preapproval.

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