Stephen Harper's 'enemies list' a reason to worry - 2013-07-18
At the risk of being added to the Harper government's recently discovered "enemies list," let's consider why the existence of such a document should give us all pause.
As Susan Delacourt and Bruce Campion Smith reported this week , the Prime Minister's Office is providing newly shuffled Conservative ministers with a rather unusual transition document. The binders reportedly include not only standard details such as "What to expect soon" and "Who to appoint," but also "Who to engage or avoid: friend and enemy stakeholders" and "What to avoid: pet bureaucratic projects." And originally, but later rescinded, staff were asked to enumerate "bureaucrats that can't take no (or yes) for an answer." In short, the PMO instructed ministerial aides to compile a list of enemies.
Incoming ministers clearly need to be briefed on their new portfolios, including the push-back and obstacles they're likely to face. But the PMO's derisive and adversarial tone is rightly ringing alarm bells.