Saturday, February 20, 2010

So Who's The Boss? Guy Giorno or Stephen Harper?

There is an in depth piece on the relationship between Guy Giorno and Stephen Harper, by John Ivison in the National Post today.

There is almost a suggestion that the prorogation was not the fault of Harper but rather a bad decision by his chief of staff.

If that's the case, then this doesn't get our dictator off the hook, because there were 37 bills left on the table and shutting down the House has cost taxpayers more than 55 million dollars.

An unelected backroom boy should never have that much power.
The federal Tories admit that they did not anticipate the blowback from prorogation.

The Prime Minister has never minded criticism, but in this case all the flak he's taken since the start of the year must be galling, since he had to be talked into prorogation against his will, according to a number of senior Conservatives. "If it had been down to him, Parliament would have taken a 10-day break and come back to work," revealed one MP.
It's rather rich, the suggestion that the Prime Minister has never minded criticism. How would we know that? He doesn't talk to anyone. If he really didn't mind criticism, he'd take the odd question. But if he only wanted a 10-day break, is he that weak a leader, that he couldn't have simply stated that he only wanted a 10-day break?

Stephen Harper is an elected Member of Parliament who gets to act as prime minister so long as he can earn and maintain the confidence of the House. Mr. Giorno is an employee. OUR employee. He doesn't get to make those kinds of decisions, because he hasn't earned OUR confidence.

Guy Giorno was a Mike Harris boy wonder back in the day and a devout neoconservative.

According to Brooke Jeffrey, he was 'Viewed by ministerial aides as a "true believer who toiled at the centre of the web, he could be rigidly inflexible if departmental initiatives failed to conform to his expectations ... And John Ibbitson said of Giorno's group when they were Mike Harris' 'Whiz kids'; "They would also, in their more strident moments, convey the sense of ideological fervor, of harshness, of lack of compassion or forethought, that would darken the government's record and alienate some of its core supporters."

Back to the decision to prorogue. According to Ivison:
While discussing this jaw-dropping revelation with other Conservatives, one said he was not surprised. "Guy Giorno has been an unmitigated disaster. I'm amazed we're still leading in the polls," he said. "We're governing from crisis to crisis, managing issues as opposed to managing Parliament."

Guy Giorno ... is probably the most powerful man you've never heard of ....He is closer to the Prime Minister than any other individual in government and his counsel is sought on decisions that affect millions of people and billions of dollars.

So is Stephen Harper the dictator, or a the pawn of a dictator? I'm not sure what bothers me the most, though since this is the National Post, the story might be to give the Conservative base, who are questioning the decision; a scapegoat. It wasn't the lovely little white boy, it was the big bad Staffer.

But then again, this could be just more of Harper not wanting to take responsibility for anything.


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