2018-06-10 13:53:18 UTC
The final surprise is how parties in government have contributed to this
slide in our politics from civility, intelligence, and an understanding that
an opponent is not a blood enemy. The Harris government ripped the brains
out of the Ontario public service very deliberately. As one veteran of the
era reflected to me sadly, “We went from thinking and advising to being
shouted at and marked on task implementation. More of us should have quit.”
The Liberals continued the dumbing down, replacing policy expertise within
the OPS with kids from local campaigns anointed as “senior policy advisers”
in ministers’ office, often paid six figure salaries.
Myself, I would rather have a conservative economist with a PhD preparing
budgetary options for even an NDP finance team than someone who happened to
win a local riding and demanded a reward.
The McGuinty government increased the “short pants set” significantly after
firing most of those it inherited from the Harris years. The Wynne
government took the process to the lowest level ever with 578 [sic] tax
paid, politically exempt staff members at the time of its defeat. There were
ministers being served by no less than 25 kids carrying hilariously
grand-eloquent titles for people only a few years out of school. This is not
only an abuse of taxpayers dollars, it is a dumb way to run a government.
You do not get continuity, or the best advice. You do not get
well-researched options to choose from. You get communications strategies
for launch day that in granular detail ensure that the premier will shine.
This premier’s own communications staff were the laughing stock of their
peers across Canada for their obsession with backdrops, and colour, and
guest diversity over content and meaning.
Certainly no mention of Wynne's team being a laughing stock in the year
before the election ...