Buckler rides the resignation wave
Sandra Buckler, the Prime Minister's communications chief, is leaving her job. Will this change things between the PMO and the media in Harper's Ottawa? My view is, probably not much. I was never really sure what Buckler did, frankly, beyond implementing higher-ups' wishes to antagonize the parliamentary press gallery and sending out terse, non-informational emails. I'm sure they'll be able to find someone else to do that job. Ottawa is filled with folks who can follow orders.
Buckler's departure, actually, is part of a larger wave of resignations we have been seeing and are going to see in the days ahead. Many will be prompted simply by the fact that "it's time" - Buckler, chief of staff Ian Brodie, etc.
Others may be looking at next week - July 2, 2008, when the measures of the federal accountability act come into force. Why is that relevant? Because the act creates something known as "designated office holders" - ministers, ministerial staff and others - who are not allowed to lobby for five years after leaving their jobs on the Hill.
So there will be plenty of folks in Harper's Ottawa right now, envisioning a lucrative lobbying career, who may be packing up their desks as soon as today. Never mind that Harper once famously said: "If there are (Parliament) Hill staffers who dream of making it rich trying to lobby a future Conservative government, if that's true of any of you, you had better make different plans, or leave."
One of my colleagues, returning from the 2005 news conference where that statement was uttered, translated it this way: "Liberals can't be trusted, but I don't trust you guys much either."
At any rate, watch for a trickle or even a flow of exits before next Wednesday. And then we can start speculating on who's going to replace all these people.
UPDATE: Garth Turner has an extensive list of what Ms. Buckler did in her job at the PMO.
I join Garth, by the way, in wishing her well in future endeavours.