Monday, July 15, 2013
On the “Transition Binder Check List” are 10 items, such as: “What to expect soon” and “Who to appoint,” as well as “Who to engage or avoid: friend and enemy stakeholders” and “What to avoid: pet bureaucratic projects.”Another news story adds the tidbit that new ministers are also being briefed about "private members bills" -- I wonder if this lends credence to the assertion that the Harper Cons are purposefully using such bills as an easier way to implement government policies without all that bother of committee reviews and hearings?
Item No. 6 on the list is “Who to avoid: bureaucrats that can’t take no (or yes) for an answer,” but Furtado said in a later email that day — also obtained by the Star — that this list was “no longer required.”
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Harper has been using Private Members Bills for several purposes:
1. To implement policies that he doesn't want to implement "from the front bench".
2. To throw red meat at the hardline so-con base to keep them salivating.
3. To distract the public from what he is doing from the front bench. (e.g. The content of certain omnibus bills)
He doesn't get to sidestep committee and suchlike, but he does get to distance himself officially from these bills - which allows him to claim a more moderate stance than if the bills were to come from his cabinet ministers.
I'm 90% certain than the so-called "free votes" on certain PM bills are whipped at the caucus backroom level. A few MPs are allowed to vote against the government in general for appearances sake, but most of the backbenchers are ordered to vote a specific way. (The vote patterns on C-279 reek of this tactic)