Author Topic: General versus Economist  (Read 37902 times)

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Offline E.R. Campbell

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General versus Economist
« on: March 02, 2006, 10:47:36 »
I have harped on this more than a few times in the past year or so.  There is a deep mistrust and lack of respect held by the bureaucratic centre (PCO, Finance, Treasury) about and towards DND – both military and civilian components.

Traditionally and constitutionally public servants, despite their specific jobs in specialized departments are all expected to be loyal to and to work in pursuit of the policies and priorities of the elected government of the day.  Thus a manager in Energy, Mines and Resources and a policy analyst in Citizenship and Immigration and a branch head in Industry Canada's radio spectrum group are all obliged to get behind the government’s priorities – even when that involves e.g. cuts to their own programmes, perhaps to their own jobs.  Equally traditionally it was understood that this applied only to the civil service; the armed services had, it was acknowledged, slightly different loyalties and responsibilities.  The late, lamented Mr. Berry is the exception which proves the rule: civil servants are not, in the normal course of events, expected to stand in harm’s way and lay down their lives for their country; sailors and soldiers are and their leaders, in the capitals of the world, were understood to have obligations to defend their fighting men and women against e.g. the budget cuts necessitated by political or bureaucratic mismanagement.

That all changed in the ‘60s and ‘70s when, led by Washington, there was more and more integration of civil and military staffs in defence ministries/HQs and increased influence exerted by senior military officers in the ongoing national policy (and budget) debates.  The military has been politicized  not just in Canada, either.  Senior officers, especially the most senior officers, like Gen. Hillier have a voice in the bureaucratic corridors of power: they should have.  It, politicization, brings rewards and risks.  The risk is that the bureaucratic centre might neither respect nor trust the defence staff.  That is, I believe the case in Canada; I believe it has been the case since, at least, the mid 1990s when I got a chance to observe it close up.

In any event here is an excellent article, by a real insider from today’s Globe and Mail.  It is reproduced here under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060302.wxcodefence02/BNStory/specialComment/home
Quote
General versus Economist
The real battle pits the Chief of the Defence Staff against the Privy Council Clerk, says veteran political adviser EUGENE LANG

BY EUGENE LANG

THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2006 POSTED AT 8:27 AM EST
FROM THURSDAY'S GLOBE AND MAIL

A battle of titans is about to begin in Ottawa's corridors of power. It will be a fight between two giants operating within the non-partisan, permanent side of the government of Canada. General Rick Hillier, the most visionary, charismatic and highest profile Chief of the Defence Staff in decades, will be up against the economist Kevin Lynch, the newly minted Clerk of the Privy Council, one of the most skilled public servants of his generation.

The battle will be over billions of dollars. And it will showcase starkly different world views about Canada's military.

Gen. Hillier will be pushing hard for the Conservatives to quickly deliver on their election commitment to increase funding to the Canadian Forces by $5-billion over five years. But he will go much further than that. In the view of the military leadership, notwithstanding the $13-billion increase in defence funding provided in last year's budget, defence remains underfunded by $3-billion a year. That is regarded as the bare minimum required to transform the Canadian Forces into a more nimble, deployable, operationally structured force, something Gen. Hillier has been pushing for a year now.

Add to that the Conservatives' defence commitments announced during the election -- armed icebreakers, underwater sensor systems strewn throughout Canada's Arctic waters, strategic airlift planes, and a 23,000-person increase to the military -- and you can add another $3-billion a year to that existing shortfall. Thus, the $5-billion over five years Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised is a drop in the bucket.

Enter Mr. Lynch, who is known best for his work at Industry Canada in the late 1990s. While there, he fleshed out a research and innovation agenda that had some transformational programs of its own, such as the Canada Research Chairs and a visionary initiative to connect all of Canada's schools to the Internet.

Kevin Lynch lore also exists within the corridors of National Defence headquarters. There, he is remembered with equal parts disdain and fear as the architect of the Mulroney government's cuts to the defence budget in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when he was at Finance Canada and in charge of wrestling the deficit to the ground. Shortly after Mr. Lynch became deputy minister of finance in 2000, it became apparent his views toward defence had not changed in the postdeficit period. Finance under Mr. Lynch's leadership regarded the Defence Department as a bloated and inefficient bureaucracy. And Mr. Lynch and his staff viewed military spending as, at best, a fiscal drag and, at worst, an unproductive allocation of scarce resources.

Now Mr. Lynch is the Prime Minister's top official in charge of managing the spending demands across the government. This will have to be achieved while maintaining a balanced budget, continuing to pay down debt and cutting taxes, three items that have always topped both Mr. Lynch's and Mr. Harper's priority list. Judging by past experience, and given his world view, the defence funding issue will not feature at all in Mr. Lynch's priorities. Now, as then, it will be regarded as a "fiscal pressure" to be driven to its lowest level. The fact that Mr. Harper's defence commitments are not among his top five priorities will give Mr. Lynch the mandate he needs to keep a lid on this pressure.

For Gen. Hillier, this is a nightmare scenario. He is driving a military transformation agenda that is not without its critics inside the Canadian Forces. So far, the critics have acquiesced because the general's plan is premised on a massive funding increase for new equipment, and he is seen as someone who can deliver. But now he will be battling his most formidable opponent yet: a former Finance Department, Bank of Canada and International Monetary Fund economist who has little time for military matters, especially ones that involve big money.

Mr. Lynch will be loath to give anything but the bare minimum to the military, especially given the large increase in funding provided last year. Most of the other countless fiscal demands Ottawa currently faces will be much higher on the Clerk's agenda than a further boost to the defence budget. Gen. Hillier is one tough customer, very smart, a real leader, and a fighter. But he is entering a new field of battle, one that is waged over scarce resources within a complex bureaucratic system. This is a battleground on which he is largely untested, against an opponent who is a virtual legend.

The Clerk of the Privy Council might well be a more formidable foe than the Bosnian Serbs or the Taliban forces that Gen. Hillier has fought in the past. His challenge will be to transform himself quickly from highly decorated field general into a top-rate tactician within the bureaucratic war zone of Ottawa.

The Ottawa careers of Gen. Hillier and Mr. Lynch have not coincided, so they do not know one another well. But that will change over the coming months. The stakes are high for both men, the Canadian Forces and, ultimately, the country, and the battle will be interesting theatre for those who have a window on it.

Eugene Lang was chief of staff to Liberal defence ministers John McCallum and Bill Graham while General Rick Hillier was Chief of the Defence Staff, and he was a senior economist at Finance Canada when Kevin Lynch was deputy minister of finance.

DND has an additional weapon: Deputy Minister of Defence Ward Elcock is, like Kevin Lynch, almost  frighteningly intelligent; there are few people in the world who have more understanding of the nature of the war we are in, right now.  He has, I think,  the ear and, in his domain, the  respect of the PCO and, the PM.  He is a classic behind the scenes man – less public, less sociable, less liked (or hated) than Lynch but, in his own way, very powerful and influential.

I believe that Kevin Lynch does not argue that we need effective and efficient armed forces; I think he would like to know that the government of the days knows what those forces should do and, therefore, what they should look like and, consequentially, how much they should cost.  I suspect he is not, yet, persuaded that PM Harper and his government do know those things.  Hillier and Elcock have work to do.

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2006, 14:44:36 »
Wouldn't it be a good time to collect the money the Liberals hid away in the "slush funds"?
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Offline Junius

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2006, 14:55:53 »
Yes, that 250$ million from the sponsorship slush fund would sure alleviate our defense budget problems.

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2006, 15:02:10 »
I think you will find thats one of many.........
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Everybody has a game plan until they get punched in the mouth.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2006, 10:07:07 »
We need to outflank these behind the scenes "players" by generating more public support for the CF. Although Mr Lynch may control the purse strings, he is, in the final analysis, an employee of the people of Canada, and if we, the people, through our elected representatives push hard enough, then parliament will pass the appropriate legislation.

If Mr Lynch does not like the results, then he can leave for employment more in tune with his own priorities.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline CloudCover

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2006, 10:48:07 »
"Eugene Lang was chief of staff to Liberal defence ministers John McCallum and Bill Graham while General Rick Hillier was Chief of the Defence Staff, and he was a senior economist at Finance Canada when Kevin Lynch was deputy minister of finance."


Well, this explains part of the article.
... Move!! ...

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2006, 18:01:26 »
Lynch is not the enemy; he is not even – as he was when he was DM Industry - a competitor.  The best description for Lynch viz à viz Elcock and Hillier is Boss.  Lynch is the Clerk of the Privy Council.  His responsibilities (for government, all of government) and his powers (over government, all of government)  are probably exceeded only, and only slightly, by PM Harper’s.  Lynch has and will have far more to say about defence policy than will Gordon O’Connor and Ward Elcock and Rick Hiller combined.  That is as it should be.

Ministers come and go; they are expendable; their primary role is to answer to the people, in Parliament, for the government’s actions and inactions on a file-by-file basis.  The national programme which integrates foreign and defence policies, economic industrial and trade policies, social policies and so on and so forth lies in the domain of the PCO and PMO; that's the domain of Kevin Lynch.

Some people have argued that Harper and Lynch are too much alike: economists; policy experts; cold, calculating machinery of government freaks; big, broad thinkers – out of tune with the political realities of Canada, etc, etc, etc.  Perhaps Harper would have been wiser to have selected an almost as capable career bureaucrat who has more depth on the social policy side but he chose Lynch and in so doing he sent a loud and clear message to the entire Government of Canada, including Ward Elcock and Rick Hiller in DND, about how he will lead the country and about how he expects the Government of Canada to operate.  Harper is a smart guy; he knows Lynch; he knows how Lynch’s appointment will be seen throughout government, industry, academe, the smart (small) minority of journalists, and within foreign governments, too.  He also knows that he will not toss aside Clerks the way he tosses aside public relations guys.  Lynch and Lynch’s methods and  vision (and I believe he has one) will be the way all of government, including DND, consequently including the CF, work – that will not, necessarily, be a bad thing.

As I said, “I believe that Kevin Lynch does not argue that we need effective and efficient armed forces; I think he would like to know that the government of the days knows what those forces should do and, therefore, what they should look like and, consequentially, how much they should cost.  I suspect he is not, yet, persuaded that PM Harper and his government do know those things.”  Elcock and Hillier are smart guys, too.  They are smart enough to know that what Lynch wants – clarity of vision at the top – is good for Canada and good for DND, also.

It is in the Canadian Forces’ interests and in all Canadians’ interests to have a government which has a clear, sound, sensible, achievable strategic vision.  If it does it will not waste time and resources while ensuring that it also has effective and efficient armed forces which are absolutely necessary to give weight to that strategy.  We have not had such a vision for over 35 years.  We should all be glad that Lynch is here – even if he asks hard questions about how DND is organized and managed – he may be the right guy to start turning around the ship of state and getting it back on course.

Edit: sentence structure, penultimate paragraph.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2006, 16:46:12 by Edward Campbell »
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline davidprogreso

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2006, 07:40:45 »

Greetings...

An interesting analysis.

A question,what is the fair dealing provision of the copyright act...the reason I ask ...there is a NYTimes article on PTSD I would like to post.

look fwd to hearing from you.

tks DH

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2006, 08:01:18 »
Greetings...

An interesting analysis.

A question,what is the fair dealing provision of the copyright act...the reason I ask ...there is a NYTimes article on PTSD I would like to post.

look fwd to hearing from you.

tks DH

This thread: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,35087.0.html and, specifically, this post: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,35087.msg276794.html#msg276794 is the guidance from the Army.ca moderators which I follow.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2006, 08:15:55 »
I am resurrecting an old thread (which I started) because some of the key players are involved.

Here is an article, from today’s Globe and Mail, reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act, by Lawrence Martin - my emphasis added:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20060809.MARTIN09/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/ 
Quote
The unwritten bylaw of Bytown: Fall in line or fall out of favour

LAWRENCE MARTIN

OTTAWA -- Maryantonett Flumian got the news last week. The deputy minister of Service Canada was told -- it hasn't been made public yet -- that she was being moved out. She had no idea it was coming. It's the latest in a sweeping overhaul of Ottawa's deputy ministers, the government's subcabinet so to speak, that some regard as the largest in decades.

The Conservative remake, which has gone on quietly, well out of the media spotlight, has had an unnerving effect on the mandarins. They were dispirited under the last helter-skelter Liberal government. Now they are perplexed by all the changes, left to wonder how relevant they are to Stephen Harper's world.

The degree of certitude with which the Prime Minister's Office acted in the current Middle East crisis typifies what is going on, said one deputy minister.

"When you live in a world where options aren't necessary, I suppose you don't need much of a bureaucracy."

Of the rash of changes, one senior lobbyist said: "Hey, it's only a minority [government] and they're toasting or shifting people left, right and centre. It used to be that elections made politicians expendable. Now it's the bureaucracy as well."

Senior players who have been shuffled, moved out or eased into retirement include the deputy ministers at the departments of Finance, Environment, International Trade, Industry, Human Resources, Immigration, Natural Resources, Indian Affairs and Public Safety. Among the more prominent names on the list are veterans such as Ian Bennett, Alan Nymark, Samy Watson, Rob Fonberg and Ms. Flumian. Most of them were known as having an independent streak.

More departures are anticipated. Ward Elcock, the deputy minister at Defence, is expected to be moved out, and some say the writing is on the wall for Peter Harder at Foreign Affairs.

Some regard the overhaul as wise, some as a witch hunt. Some say it's Mr. Harper putting in place pawns who will be amenable to his agenda. Others argue that the shakeup was needed and is based on reasons of efficiency only.

Traditionally, there has been a good deal of continuity in the ranks of deputy ministers when new governments take office. There are some changes, although rarely this many. It was expected, for example, that top bureaucrat Alex Himelfarb, Clerk of the Privy Council, would be moved out. He was replaced by Kevin Lynch, who is more conservative and who, everyone agrees, is a good fit for Mr. Harper. Mr. Lynch, who served as deputy finance minister under Paul Martin, is highly regarded. Mr. Martin had wanted the super-bright workaholic as his own clerk, but advisers convinced him that Mr. Lynch would be too divisive. Under Mr. Harper and Mr. Lynch, social files are not getting the hearing that they did under Mr. Martin and Mr. Himelfarb. Mr. Lynch's priorities are more economically focused.

Ms. Flumian, who was also serving as associate deputy minister at Human Resources, was seen as tough-minded and competent. But having to deal under the Liberals with the controversial gun-registry program probably didn't help her standing. Though her relations with Mr. Lynch were reasonable enough, the new Clerk, not surprisingly, has wanted to move in some personal favourites. He did not get along well, for instance, with Mr. Bennett, the former deputy at Finance. But replacing him with the amiable Rob Wright has fed into the theory that the new government does not want high-level bureaucrats who exercise the challenge function.

This, not any ideological motive, may be at the root of the big sweep. In fact, strangely, several of the mandarins who have been knocked down a peg are viewed as somewhat right-of-centre.

Under Mr. Harper and Mr. Lynch, there is a sense that there is a big plan for the public service. But the apparatchiks are not sure what it is. In contrast to the shapelessness of the previous government, the one thing they -- and most everyone in this town, from the deputy ministers to the PM's pilots -- are feeling is a firm hand.


By way of illustration, on a recent trip, the Prime Minister was asked by a flight attendant to turn off his cellphone and BlackBerry. Mr. Harper declined. The pilot then made a request, saying it was for safety purposes. The PM relented. But, at the end of the journey, one of his staffers gave the pilot some news: His services would no longer be required on prime ministerial trips.

The aviator should have known that this is the new Ottawa. In Harpertown, you fall in line or fall from favour.

lawrencemartin9@yahoo.ca

Army.ca has taken Lawrence Martin to task for, essentially, straying out of his lane - http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,44855.0.html .  he is well within his lane here but I think he has missed some of the important points and, for his own anti-Conservative (just anti-Harper?) reasons has given too much emphasis to e.g. ”… the new Clerk, not surprisingly, has wanted to move in some personal favourites.”

I think Martin is right when he says, almost as an afterthought, that ”… there is a big plan for the public service. But the apparatchiks are not sure what it is. In contrast to the shapelessness of the previous government, the one thing they … are feeling is a firm hand.”

The firm hand is that of Clerk of the Privy Council Kevin Lynch – arguably the most powerful person in Ottawa (and I include the PM in that).  Lynch is all the things Martin says and more.  He is a strategic thinker with a vision of Canada and of the (narrow, limited but still important) role of the machinery of government in making that vision a reality.

DND will miss Ward Elcock if, indeed, he is shuffled out.  Defence has, traditionally, been a ‘good’ 2nd tier DM’s post (the top tier includes: Finance and, on a rotating basis, Health, Industry, Human Resources, Treasury Board and, sometimes, even Foreign Affairs – the rotation reflects the shared priorities of the PM and the Clerk).  The better DMs have stayed, quietly, in place for several years – think of e.g. Buzz Nixon and <screams of horror> Bob Fowler.  (Neither was popular, especially with the military staff, but both were ‘good’ DMs who served their bosses: PM and Clerk, well – implementing the centre’s policies efficiently and effectively.)  DND will, however, be made to fit within a machinery of government system which reflects Mr. Lynch’s views.

It is important to re-emphasize that these machinations are at the centre (see Don Savoie - http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/spsm-rgsp/media/savoie_e.asp - for a proper definition of centre) where PM Harper and Clerk Lynch operate.  Defence Minister O’Connor and CDS Hiller are, most emphatically, not at the centre – they are in orbit, usually a fairly distant orbit, around the centre; as with planets orbiting a star they are buffeted by the centre but the reverse is not true.

A second important point: defence policy is, properly, being made by the centre.  I am confident that Mr. Lynch hears and gives due consideration to the opinions of Mr. O’Connor, DM Elcock (especially), the Assistant Deputy Minister for  Policy ( http://www.forces.gc.ca/admpol/eng/about/org_chart_e.htm#adm and  http://www.forces.gc.ca/admpol/eng/about/adm_e.htm ) and even the CDS.  He gives them due consideration but he, and his hand-picked team in the PCO (http://www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/default.asp?Language=E&page=AboutPCO ) will develop and recommend the final policy to the PM and cabinet.

See also: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,42247.15.html

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2006, 08:29:11 »
All this stuff reads out of a spooky Robert Ludlum novel.
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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2006, 09:02:05 »
Interesting read, thanks for putting it together.

IMHO, there is not a government department that does not have fluff in its' navel. A good example, cited many times here, is the slow, creaking purchasing mechanism the the DND is mandated with. Probably a whole lot more I, nor will  most people, ever will know about.

For far too many years government has been run as a personal slush fund/booty for the government in power, and it has invested it vision in being somewhat functional, while toadying up to the person(s) in power. The civil service has some excellent people, it also has an awful lot of duds, that would be better off in a Tim Horton's.

I may sometimes not like what I hear happening, but in all likelyhood I will hear very little of what does happen and why. As long as it gives us a more efficient government doing the job they are there for and not a bunch of whimsical navel gazing, I can live with it.
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Offline civmick

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2006, 12:23:47 »
Was annoyed to read the last two paras of Martin's article - hope it's bullsh!t - safety comes first Harper.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2006, 13:05:15 »
Was annoyed to read the last two paras of Martin's article - hope it's bullsh!t - safety comes first Harper.

I asked an acquaintance (who is supposed to know) about this (cell phones interfere with aircraft frequencies) some time back.  He told me that 20+ years ago, when cell phones were in their infancy, there was some, undocumented concern, re: interference to some aircraft (navigation?) frequencies.  Apparently there has never been any proper electromagnetic compatibility analysis which shows any real, current problem but the air transport community is unwilling (maybe properly risk averse) to stop saying it.

There is a potential problem if a cell phone at 35,000’ connects to a whole bunch of cell sites on the ground – rather than just the one or two or three which is in the terrestrial systems design – but I don’t know (didn’t ask) about the scope or consequences and my acquaintance didn’t seem to think it was a ‘show stopper’ of a problem.

There are two real problems in civil aviation:

•   Using your cell phone will interfere with the profits of the companies which provide those phones on the back of your seat – the ones which cost $10.00/minute or so to use; and

•   Managers dread the prospect of the onboard hostility which will result when rude, crude people start gabbling away – a 65 dB above comfort level (95 dB above the necessary) – on their cell phones in the already noisy aircraft cabin.

If I was in charge of the VIP aircraft I would remind staff (cabin and flight deck) that problems should be fed ‘up the chain’ to the PM, through his staff – which is plentiful and readily accessible.  It may not be as good an after work tale as saying “And then I told the SOB to turn off his @#$%& Blackberry!” but, as with very senior military officers, it works better.  Of course, the whole discussion assumes the story Martin quotes is true - sounds more like an urban legend to me.


It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2006, 11:36:21 »
There is a National Defence Flying Order (Chap 9 para  38) that specifically bans cellphone usage inflight on all CF aircraft.  If this story is even true, all the aircraft captain would be doing is enforcing an order that he, in theory, could have his ticket pulled for not enforcing.  I personally would not be really amused if one of my pax tried to use a celphone, especially during a critical phase of flight like an instrument landing.

A point to note, by law (both NDA and Transport Canada regulations), all passengers of an aircraft in Canada are under the command of the Aircraft Captain, where safety of flight is involved.  And that means everyone- you, me, the CDS, the PM and the Queen.  Everyone.  Disobey the instructions of your pilot and you could face legal action.

edit- corrected the order in para 1.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2006, 15:59:58 by SeaKingTacco »

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2006, 08:53:34 »
At the end of Mr Martin's column in the Globe, Aug. 11 (full text not online):
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/v4/sub/MarketingPage?user_URL=http://www.theglobeandmail.com%2Fservlet%2Fstory%2FRTGAM.20060811.wcomartin0811%2FTPStory%2FspecialComment%2Fcolumnists&ord=2050128&brand=theglobeandmail&redirect_reason=2&denial_reasons=none&force_login=false

'In response to a paragraph in a column saying the Prime Minister and staff had given tough treatment to a pilot who wanted their electronic devices turned off, Sandra Buckler of the PM's communications team has written to say I was on the receiving end of bad information.

Her views of the matter, which do not coincide with my own, are as follows. "For the record, the Prime Minister does not own a BlackBerry. He and his staff fully respect all of the rules of Transport Canada and all electronic equipment, including laptops being turned off before takeoff. I know of no dispute. I cannot speak to the motivations of the pilot."

She maintains that the issue involved a laptop, and the pilot in question "was going to retire and did retire. We didn't do anything to him."'

Via Norman's Spectator.
http://www.members.shaw.ca/nspector4/MIND.htm

Mark
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2006, 09:45:12 »
In this commentary from today’s (7 Sep 06) Globe and Mail, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act, Lawrence Martin stays, mostly, within his lane:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060907.wxcomartin07/BNStory/National/home
Quote
In Defence, the civilian side is on the slide

LAWRENCE MARTIN

Two world views -- civilian, military -- have traditionally competed inside National Defence Headquarters.

This was as it should be, says Alan Williams, a civilian who headed up defence procurement in Ottawa and is soon to release a book on the subject. "I think it is vital that there is a military-civilian balance."

But the balance, as Mr. Williams says, is threatened. In a big reversal of form, the civilian side is on the slide. The world unfolds more as the gunners would have it -- to the point where one official was claiming last week that there is more civilian military oversight in the United States than there is here.

That sounds exaggerated, but much has changed. When Jean Chrétien was prime minister, the defence minister was a civilian, the chief of defence staff, Ray Henault, was deferential, and military purchasing was done via competitive bidding.

Those days are gone, much like Mr. Chrétien himself. He did come out of the woodwork in the spring. Though it was not made public, he advised Liberal interim leader Bill Graham to oppose the extension of the Afghan mission. But it was a last and unsuccessful salvo from the former PM who, thankfully, kept Canada out of Iraq. Mr. Graham went the other way.

Mr. Graham was the Liberals' last defence minister. Under him, and more so under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the armed forces have asserted control. Gordon O'Connor, a retired brigadier general, is now the Defence Minister. The deputy minister, Ward Elcock, tends to see the world in a similar framework as the military establishment. A powerful and impressive Chief of Defence Staff in Rick Hillier makes predecessor Henault look like a softie.

Additionally, the armed forces installed a highly co-operative former military man in the role of procurement boss as successor to Mr. Williams.

The world view has tilted. If civilian voices are needed to counter the take of the armed forces on Afghanistan, not many are to be found in Defence.

If there are bureaucrats needed to check huge Defence Department spending outlays, they are not to be found. This year a staggering $13-billion in new military aircraft contracts are being, or have been, awarded without serious competitive bidding. It marks the biggest military bonanza since the Second World War days of munitions minister C.D. Howe.

Defenders say the sole-sourcing is needed to save time and will result in contracts that benefit the Canadian economy, offsetting any losses that may stem from the non-competitive process.

Critics say the sole-sourcing is costing taxpayers a fortune -- up to $2-billion in unnecessary costs, and that no one is raising a peep about it.

A key development was the changeover in procurement chiefs last year under the Martin government. Mr. Williams would sometimes stand up to the generals. He helped scupper their plans for new fixed-wing aircraft because competitive bidding was not being followed.

Under the new boss, Dan Ross, a former ranking officer, most everything is getting the go-ahead. In a strange turn of events, Mr. Ross was not even among the 80 people who applied for the position of assistant deputy minister (materiel). He had little experience in the procurement world. But he got the job, officials say, at the urging of Gen. Hillier and the backing of the military lobby group, CFN Consultants.

CFN is a highly influential Ottawa power network that is out of the public eye, but shouldn't be. It is comprised mainly of former military men who crossed the street from the Defence Department. Its head, the savvy Paddy O'Donnell, is a former vice chief of the defence staff. Gen. Hillier at one time served as his executive assistant. They are still joined at the hip.

Mr. O'Donnell and CFN not only lobby on behalf of defence manufacturers but, according to Mr. Williams, also provide strategic advice to the Defence Department. Does the strategic advice tend to favour the companies they represent? At the very least there is a perception problem here, one that brings to mind the controversial entanglements the Earnscliffe consultants' group had with the Paul Martin government.

Like Mr. Chrétien, Mr. Martin is not heard much from these days. He has been hobbled by back spasms recently. He showed up for a golf outing in Montreal last month but was unable to swing a club. As for the armed services, he allowed as to how it was his government's view that they should swing a bigger stick. "This was the direction we wanted to go."

The armed services had atrophied over a long stretch of time. The dominant view was that a major upgrade was needed. The question, now that their resurgence is amply in evidence, is whether the pendulum has swung too far.

lawrencemartin9@yahoo.ca

IF former ADM(Mat) Allan Williams was correct and the vital civilian-military balance was out of kilter then much of Martin’s article would be something other than wasted, anti-military, anti-Conservative blather.  Since Williams is wrong Martin’s commentary is a waste of space.

First: Ward Elcock is, almost certainly, the strongest DM at DND since Buzz Nixon (one of the founders of CFN (which, by the way stands for (Lew) Crutchlow (former ADM(Mat), (Max) Friedl (former RCAF MGen/engineer) and (Buzz) Nixon (former DM)).  The fact that he wants major, massive reforms in how DND operates – including, especially, in the cumbersome procurement process which Mr. Williams loved and cherished, and in the war against al Qaeda and its fellow travellers is prosecuted is one of the reasons, maybe the main reason, that successive defence ministers have found Gen. Hillier’s pleas for more, More, MORE so persuasive.

Second: It may be true, according to the rumours I hear, that Elcock and Hillier are playing ‘tag-team’ with the minister and that they have cowed the senior bureaucrats and the admirals and generals, too.

But: nothing is out of balance.  What is 'new' is that neither the DM nor the CDS are political lap-dogs - it's been 30 years since anyone has seen that so it's understandably foreign to youngsters like Allan Williams and Lawrence Martin.

Martin resurrects the old canard about O’Connor’s alleged ties with CFN.  That’s dirty, partisan, anti-Tory propaganda and the Globe and Mail’s editor should have excised it.  O’Connor should sue Martin into the poor house for that rubbish – but he will not, cannot because he is a working politician and, therefore, fair game for baseless slurs from Liberal hacks and flacks.

Martin has no good, even a not-too-bad reason to argue against the sole source procurement of aircraft because there is none.  He resorts to slander.  It’s shameful but then he’s a journalist, isn’t he?

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2006, 10:36:08 »
Oh yes.  The so-called "competitive" bidding system has served us oh so well....ok maybe not the CF, but an entire generation of bureaucrats in both PWGSC and DND (both in and out of uniform), who have made careers of ensuring that nothing gets bought in less than 15 years.  That pork gets spread to build truck plants in Upper Moose Nipple, Sask to build 1000 trucks and then shutdown; to ensure that we pay a premium to "Canadianize" everything we buy; to ensure that we ignore perfectly workable "on-the-shelf solutions" for designed and built in Canada items that are wildly over-priced and frequently don't work.

Yep, that system is worth preserving.  ::)





Offline Teddy Ruxpin

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2006, 10:41:52 »
Yet another Lawrence Martin scandal-mongering, innuendo-plagued piece of garbage.  Why am I not surprised?
A man may fight for many things. His country, his friends, his principles, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a sack of French porn.

Dulce bellum inexpertis.

Offline North Star

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2006, 10:55:58 »
Lol...he just doesn't like the fact that the world has changed. He should retire to an old-folks home and blather on about the "good old days" under Trudeau and Chretien, before their utopianism came crashing down with the Berlin Wall and the Twin Towers.

Sorry, but a new generation's in. Get used to it.
â Å“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..."

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2007, 09:28:07 »
Here, reproduced under the fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act, is an editorial from today’s National Post; I considered posting this in the RCMP board but my key point relates to security/intelligence and the Privy Council Office, thus it’s in this thread, despite its age.

My emphasis added.

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/editorialsletters/story.html?id=ae7b120d-ceeb-4750-8e6d-aaff08a85212
Quote
Depoliticize the RCMP

National Post
Published: Tuesday, April 03, 2007

On Sunday, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day pledged a thorough and prompt investigation of allegations that senior ranks of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were rife with corruption, that senior Mounties and civilian employees may have taken money from the force's pension and insurance funds and then -- because they had authority to investigate themselves -- obstructed probes into their possible misconduct.

Good. Getting to the bottom of these allegations is the least the government can do for the men and women of the RCMP who risk their lives keeping the peace in much of Canada. But if Mr. Day truly wants to tackle what is behind the possible wrongdoing, he will have to cast his net much wider. In the past two decades, our national police force has seen its independent, upright culture replaced by a bureaucratic mindset. If the minister wants to return the Mounties to what they once were, he needs to investigate everything that has gone wrong with the RCMP, not just the pension revelations.

The latest crisis stems from an Auditor-General's report, released in November, that concluded that the Mounties' pension fund was rampant with spending abuses, nepotism and money misdirected to pay for general budget items. Five RCMP officers and a whistleblower who lost her job, late last month accused senior management, including former commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, of corruption and of derailing at least two investigations into what happened to the money, including one criminal probe. These witnesses shocked members of the House of Commons public accounts committee by playing recordings of telephone calls in which participants describe investigations that were delayed, misdirected or stopped entirely as investigators moved toward senior uniformed and civilian executives.

Since their stunning testimony, it has come to light, for instance, that a seven-member internal audit team concluded as early as 2003 that "various activities related to pension administration would not withstand the scrutiny of the Canadian public or that of RCMP members contributing to the pension plan," and that "an improper allocation of costs might be perceived as a misappropriation or misuse of pension funds." Still, it is alleged, senior Mounties, including Mr. Zaccardelli, knew of these actions and did nothing. Or worse, they knew and attempted to cover up the truth.

But sadly the troubles extend well beyond the pension and insurance funds. The Airbus witch hunt against former prime minister Brian Mulroney, the Mayerthorpe ambush, the Adscam contributions to the Mounties' 125th anniversary celebrations, the errors that led to Maher Arar being sent to Syria and tortured, even the force's handling of the Auberge Grand-Mere scandal have all called into question its investigatory competence and its coziness with its political masters.

Since 1984, the commissioner has been a deputy minister, first in the Solicitor-General's department and most recently in Public Safety. This change was made to end the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s when an independent RCMP became obsessed with undermining the Quebec separatist movement and engaged in several questionable attempts to embarrass or disrupt its campaigns.

But making the commissioner a bureaucrat has been a cure that has proven worse than the disease.
Instead of putting the force's commitment to impartial policing first, senior Mounties have often allowed themselves to become embroiled in Ottawa's internecine game-playing.

Reid Morden, the former head of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, recently told the Senate committee on national security and defence how this has compromised the RCMP's performance of its duties. Along with CSIS, Mr. Morden warned, the RCMP "remains too close to the political process," not just because the commissioner is now a civil servant, but also because on counter-terrorism and national security, both agencies report directly to the Privy Council Office, which is too closely aligned with the Cabinet's political operations.

Paul Palango, author of The Last Guardians: The Crisis in the RCMP, wrote last December that "the current culture of the force at every level ? can be described as inexperienced, undersupervised and largely unaccountable."

He and others -- including many retired officers who recall the force before it became a branch of the bureaucracy -- have recommended spreading the RCMP's current myriad duties among several forces. The Mounties should, for instance, cease to provide contract policing for most provinces and compel those provinces without their own provincial police force to set up their own. The special branch of the RCMP that guards Parliament Hill, diplomats and government entities should be converted into a separate Protective and Preventive Service along the lines of the U.S. Secret Service, and Fisheries and Oceans, Customs and the Canadian Border Service, among others, should police their own operations, rather than having to call in Mounties whenever an armed response or a criminal investigation is needed. According to Mr. Palango, the RCMP could then "be converted into a highly skilled FBI-type force with a clear mandate and focus, which would include a counterintelligence capability.

"Most important, the RCMP must be disconnected from the political process. The commissioner should not be a deputy minister, and the government should not be directing RCMP policies." Instead, the Commissioner should be hired by an independent, non-partisan review agency and report directly to it or to Parliament.

The pension scandal in the RCMP is serious, but the problems go well beyond whether or not someone dipped into the kitty. If Mr. Day is serious about preventing this type of crisis from recurring, he needs to change the Mountie culture, and that will require a top-down overhaul.

© National Post 2007

The National Post has it right: the Chief Commissioner should be the apolitical chief of a uniformed service – just as the CDS is the chief of the Canadian Forces.  There was (still is, I suppose) a strong lobby in Ottawa which was always uncomfortable with the paramilitary origins, traditions and (less and less) management of the RCMP.  They may have some valid concerns but they went too far.

With all possible respect, Reid Morton is wrong.  The Privy Council Office is exactly the right place, in my opinion the only place, from which to direct security/intelligence (and defence) matters.  There is no doubt that the Clerk of the Privy Council has finely tuned political antennæ – as (s)he must have in order to balance the mandarins’ long term strategic goals and plans with the short term priorities of the elected government of the day.  That is the nature of our Westminster style parliamentary democracy, as it has been since Robert Cecil was Queen Elizabeth I’s clerk.   The management of the RCMP and CSIS can be safely left to the Deputy Minister in the Public Safety ministry – as the management of DND/CF is left to DM Ward Elcock.  The business of setting goals and priorities, however, as with the goals and priorities of the CF and CSE are way too important to be left to anyone except the Prime Minister’s top  official – the Clerk of the Privy Council.  Reid Morton’s position is popular, I think amongst many people in the security/intelligence community but it is also destructive –t is, essentially, an attempt at empire building which failed when Morton et al were serving and ought not to succeed now.

In sum: by all means, Prime Minister: decouple the CC from the civil service - make her/him analogous to the CDS, but do not change the role of the PCO in leading all defence, security and intelligence services.

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Zip

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2007, 08:30:29 »
Lynch is not the enemy; he is not even – as he was when he was DM Industry - a competitor.  The best description for Lynch viz à viz Elcock and Hillier is Boss.  Lynch is the Clerk of the Privy Council.  His responsibilities (for government, all of government) and his powers (over government, all of government)  are probably exceeded only, and only slightly, by PM Harper’s.  Lynch has and will have far more to say about defence policy than will Gordon O’Connor and Ward Elcock and Rick Hiller combined.  That is as it should be.

However little PM Harper's powers may seem to trump Lynch's there is no doubt, nor can there be any question that if the PM says jump, Lynch will in the end ask how high.  All the intelligence, skill and savvy the man has will not stop the PM from firing his *** in a heartbeat if he were to confound the will of the duly elected government.

If this is not the case, our nation is already dead because our democracy is a sham.

To the meat of my argument though...

I think Edward that you are writing the PM off as being softer on defence than he is.  Think about this politically. 

Except in circles like this site and other defence friendly areas defence is at best a distant third or fourth choice with most Canadians behind, health care, the economy, social programs and perhaps the environment.

PM Harper is no dummy, he knows this, but he is also a conservative minded politician who (if his true feelings were to be discovered) would display typical conservative ideals on the reasons and rational behind the interaction of sovereign states.  In other words he believes that; States are rational actors that act in their own best interest (witness his governments support of Israel last summer) and a good deal of soft and diplomatic power still rests in a nations ability to project hard power where and when required (Canada's reemergence on the world stage corresponds to our increased share of the heavy lifting in Afghanistan).

However much PM Harper believes in this traditional IR theory and no matter how much the goals of General Hillier's transformation correspond to his own, the man is a skilled and dedicated politician in the truest sense of the word.  He will I think continue to downplay defence as a priority in the public eye while guiding and nurturing it's continued growth below the radar of Joe and Jill Canadian.
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2007, 11:03:36 »
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s National Post is an interesting rumour dressed up as a news story:

 http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/canada/story.html?id=d8fffa44-b4c5-4057-917a-0cb71bb74c88
Quote
PM's trusted aides may move on
Lynch, Brodie 'have their fingers in everything'

John Ivison, National Post
Published: Saturday, June 30, 2007

OTTAWA -Summer has arrived on Parliament Hill with severity. Mounties mill around in preparation for the Musical Ride on Canada Day, rather than to testify before a parliamentary committee about the administration of their pension fund.

Work in the capital has come to a near standstill. Thousands of public servants stew in downtown office blocks, as they idle toward their summer vacations. In between water-cooler breaks and surfing the Internet, they chat about their political and bureaucratic masters. Some of the talk is invented; some enlarged upon. But if even half is true, the much-heralded Cabinet shuffle expected this summer could be overshadowed by behind-the-scenes changes that would have far greater impact on the governance of the country.

The latest rumours surround Kevin Lynch, the head of Canada's public service as Clerk of the Privy Council, and Ian Brodie, the Prime Minister's chief of staff. The speculation suggests that both men will leave their jobs in the near future-- Mr. Lynch to succeed David Dodge, who has announced he will not seek a second seven-year term as Governor of the Bank of Canada in January, and Mr. Brodie back to the University of Western Ontario, where he is a tenured professor on leave of absence.

Neither rumour is completely outrageous and, if true, the repercussions would be felt throughout the government. Though not well-known to the general public, these two men constitute Prime Minister Stephen Harper's real inner circle. "Brodie and the Clerk have their fingers in everything," said one Conservative.

Mr. Lynch's qualifications for the job as governor are impeccable: An economist by training, he began his career at the Bank of Canada. He then moved into government, where he became deputy minister of Industry and deputy minister of Finance before becoming Canada's representative at the International Monetary Fund.

While the bank job would be a fitting bookend to a brilliant career, insiders suggest Mr. Lynch believes he still has unfinished business in the Clerk's job, where he has made renewal of the public service one of his priorities. "He's not interested at this time," said one source close to Mr. Lynch.

If he isn't keen to jump, it seems unlikely he'd be pushed, even though the Prime Minister's admiration for him is not shared universally around the Cabinet table. Jim Flaherty, the Finance Minister, is said to feel particularly aggrieved that the bureaucracy convinced him to include a new measure to eliminate the deductibility of interest incurred by foreign affiliates of Canadian companies in his last budget. The idea has apparently been proposed and rejected on a regular basis since the 1970s. Mr. Flaherty was forced to water down the proposal after an outcry by business.

Mr. Brodie declined to comment on the rumours but his departure would also come as a major surprise. The 39-year-old political science professor has been on a leave from UWO since 2003, when he became chief of staff in Mr. Harper's office while in opposition. Grappling with the Conservative agenda and message control has had its challenges but there is widespread belief that Mr. Brodie -- typically described as "smart, capable and decent" --has done a good job.

If he does leave the Prime Minister's Office, it may simply be because he has tired of the political life and wants to return to academia. As one Conservative put it: "The chief of staff 's job is mainly making sure people are on the right trains, planes and automobiles. Ian is not an operations kind of guy."

The timing might also suit the Prime Minister, who is said to have been counselled by Brian Mulroney to do what he did when he brought in Derek Burney as his chief of staff in 1987. Mr. Burney acted as an agent of change, clearing out the people who had helped elect Mr. Mulroney and replacing them with a team better equipped to help him govern.

Both rumours may just be the products of bored imaginations. But the desire to freshen up the face of government before the next election on the part of Mr. Harper does seem real. When he was asked about a Cabinet shuffle last week, particularly the fate of Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor, his response was equivocal. Sources continue to suggest that Mr. O'Connor will be replaced eventually, most likely by Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, with Treasury Board President Vic Toews moving into Mr. Day's shoes.

It is expected Mr. Flaherty will remain Finance Minister but there is increasing speculation that Jim Prentice, the Indian Affairs Minister, may push for a new job. He is said to have been offered, and declined, Environment earlier this year but may now feel he has made enough progress in Indian Affairs that he can leave with his head held high.

Mr. Harper may also want to use a shuffle to reward some of the more capable backbenchers, in the interests of caucus discipline.

With the rising of the dog star Sirius next week, which marks the real beginning of the dog days of summer, speculation of an ever more bizarre nature can be expected. How about the suggestion that Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon might replace Premier Jean Charest as leader of the Quebec Liberals? Or the speculation that Garth Turner might kiss and make up with Mr. Harper and return to the Conservative ranks in triumph as Finance Minister? The former is a real rumour. The latter was made up to give readers a foretaste of the tall tales coming their way over the next two, news-lean months.

© National Post 2007

If I had to guess I would guess that Brodie goes for the reasons Ivison suggests: he’s overwhelmingly overqualified to be an ‘operational’ kind of guy in the PMO.  When Chrétien was PM the Chief of Staff was more powerful because Chrétien’s Clerks (Bourgon, Cappe, and Himmelfarb) were all second or even (Bourgon) third rate – he did not want, would not tolerate a ‘proper’ Clerk.  (Don’t get me wrong – Jocelyne Bourgon, Mel Cappe and Alex Himmelfarb are bright, hard working people – worth a six or even seven figure salary in the private sector - but none were anywhere near being the ‘best’ available choices for Clerk.)  Being Chief of Staff in a PMO which must deal with Lynch’s PCO doesn’t give Brodie the kind of power or influence that Jean Pelletier enjoyed.

I would also guess that Lynch may well not be ready to move.  He might feel compelled – I believe he has a very strong sense of duty – to move IF he thinks there are no really good choice for the Governor’s job, but I think there are a few good choices out there, willing and able to serve. 

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Greymatters

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2007, 11:54:19 »
Depoliticize the RCMP
National Post
Published: Tuesday, April 03, 2007

An excellent idea except for one major problem - the top RCMP boys like having control of all that power and you'll need a pretty big political crowbar to pry them out of provincial and departmental policing.


Offline Osotogari

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Re: General versus Economist
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2007, 21:29:10 »
One thing that that was mentioned that I do agree with is that DND has morphed into a hugely bureaucratic and inefficient machine.  I'd like to see that change, and if a few people get downsized so that training funds and procurement funding can be freed up I'd be happy.
If I ever went to war, instead of throwing a grenade, I'd throw one of those small pumpkins. Then maybe my enemy would pick up the pumpkin and think about the futility of war. And that would give me the time I need to hit him with a real grenade.

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