The ex-driver speaks
In this morning's Globe, we have a former chauffeur talking about Guergis and Jaffer. Is that unusual? You bet it is. Next to the RCMP, I don't know a more discreet group of Parliament Hill employees. Back when West Wing was in its prime, I had this recurring idea for a Canadian political TV drama that would revolve around the drivers of Parliament Hill. They are silent witnesses to all kinds of political events -- they have opinions about them too. They have great stories, if you can convince them that you won't put them in the newspaper. Yet most of them are determinedly non-political -- they've had Liberal and Conservative bosses. What matters is how they're treated. When one of them speaks out, even from post-employment, you can guess that there are some treatment issues there.
Usually, but not always, when you see a politician going down in flames in Ottawa, you find stories of unhappy or disgruntled staff. Other politicians might want to take note.
Relatedly, my colleague Jim Travers has a column today about the unbearable lightness of being a minister in Harper's government. This is another situation that had a limited life span, as far as I could predict. When you have a cabinet that doesn't even know what's in the Throne Speech until a few hours before it's delivered, you don't even have a focus group anymore -- you have the human equivalent of office furniture, or "potted plants" in Greg Weston's famous phrase.