Earlier this week, media outlets reported that government staffers were directed — by the PMO — to compile "enemy lists" of bureaucrats and stakeholders to be included in transition documents for incoming cabinet minsters.
The reports — and particularly the use of the term 'enemy' — have a created a media frenzy with some evoking the memory of Richard Nixon.
In an interview with Postmedia News, even Environment Minister Peter Kent called the use of the word enemy "juvenile."
Well, the left-wing Broadbent Institute is jumping on the bandwagon with a new social media campaign:
HELP US FILL HARPER'S 'BINDER FULL OF ENEMIES'!
As Stephen Harper rolled out his 'sort-of-new' Cabinet on Monday (http://bit.ly/13msuBW) with a little help from his frenemies, his office asked staff to include lists of "friend and enemy stakeholders" in each Minister's transition binders (http://bit.ly/13qwp0L). That's right, the PMO wants 'binders full of enemies'.
With so many adversaries out there (scientists, statisticians, environmental radicals, perhaps kittens – wait, he likes those:http://bit.ly/bhppiR) the Broadbent Institute is convening a contest to help the PMO's office come up with a robust short list of frenemies.
Who do you think should be added to Ministers' frenemy binders? Leave your ideas in the comments. We'll pick from the best posts and create a 'frenemy wall' in our head office. We'll also create a binder of your top frenemies on tumblr.
The enemies' list controversy — which it has now become — is an embarrassment for the Harper government which was hoping for some good news stories following their major cabinet shuffle.
Here are five important takeaways from today’s Cabinet shuffle. As the old saying goes, 'plus ca change, plus c'est la même chose'.
1. Economic (In)action Plan
Canadians hoping the government would signal willingness to address pressing economic concerns such as growing inequality, rising youth unemployment, a manufacturing crisis, and the rise of precarious work will be disappointed.
This screen grab taken from the Canada Revenue Agency website today promotes a post describing how the "Harper Government's Low-Tax Plan Benefits Canadian Families". It is part of a disturbing pattern of behavior.
Last month, Statistics Canada released the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) data on Education and Labour, the most recent dataset of its kind since the 2006 Census. The data illustrate that, following the Great Recession of 2008-09, recent university graduates aged 25 to 34 had a more difficult time finding employment than was the case in 2006. Nevertheless, a university degree appears to have provided a cushion for young people during a time of rising unemployment. While the unemployment rate for recent university grads increased between 2006 (pre-Recession) and 2011 (a year of partial recovery from the Recession), it did so at a lower rate than did the unemployment rate for 25-34 year-olds without a university degree, the youth unemployment rate (15-24 year-olds), and the overall national unemployment rate.