Download Alien Invasion: How the Harris Tories Mismanaged Ontario by Ruth Cohen PDF

By Ruth Cohen

Severe essays at the fresh Tory govt in Ontario; A Globe and Mail bestseller.

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Extra info for Alien Invasion: How the Harris Tories Mismanaged Ontario

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Only minimal staff has been allowed for each minister. Mr. Rae's many cabinet policy committees have been dispensed with. Instead Mr. Harris' cabinet has only three subcommittees: Legislation and Regulations, Management Board and Priorities and Planning (or P&P). The normal avenue is to lobby ministers and their staff. But with this government, lobbying ministers is a fruitless exercise since the centre makes most decisions. So everyone competes for the attention of the mandarins in the premier's office.

Here the incapacity of both leaders and followers unite in a fury to assert themselves as the new tribunes of a society that has lost its civil bearings. Harness the resentment of faceless millions to the primitive militance of willful ignorance that links the leaders to the mob, and you have the driving force of a totalitarian movement. A demagogic mastery of the mass media then steers the undertow energy of the disaffected mass psyche from victory to victory, until the spell is finally broken by the intrusion of a collapsing reality.

Over the years it has been customary for deputy ministers and political staff to develop initiatives for their ministers, who then bring them to cabinet. Mr. Harris has altered the process. Believing the most important public consultation took place before the election, and fearing that ministers would be sandbagged by bureaucrats, the premier requested that deputies report to his office directly. Thus, ministers are often kept in the dark, making them little more than salespeople for initiatives cobbled together in the premier's office.

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