The narrative that Stephen Harper’s Conservative government was a micro-managing, repressive, partisan, anti-democratic force for ill extends back to Day One of his time in power, because, of course, the number one sin of any conservative politician in the eyes of the left is electoral victory itself. An election victory is usually explained away by the left as a “stolen” election (Bush), a duped electorate (Ford) or bought and paid for by Big Oil/Big Pharma/Big Banks/Big whatever (every conservative). Because interpreting conservative victory at the polls as a repudiation of leftist policies cannot ever be considered as a possibility.
Take the case of federal public civil servants. Under the incrementalist Harper, his government actually increased the size of the federal government, giving civil servants pay raises and never experiencing a federal labour strike or work stoppage of any sort. He did almost nothing to redress the continuing imbalance between public and private sector wages/benefits/employment levels, and yet he was openly despised by said civil servants, to the point where they openly called for his defeat.
If that’s not bad enough, civil servants were recently seen cheering Trudeau cabinet ministers and booing a reporter for asking legitimate questions at a press conference.
Of course, you could argue it’s not all about the pay and benefits, but how they were treated under Harper. They were “muzzled” under his “reign of terror” (an expression the author of the article uses 3 times, including terms such as “rule”, “regime” etc., all connoting a dictatorial leadership, not a democratically elected one, but we digress). But is it any wonder?
Sure a conservative government might be able to find enough qualified conservatives to staff the first few levels of any bureaucracy, but it is almost impossible to fill the ranks top to bottom with conservatives – there just aren’t enough of them, and most are working in the private sector (happily) anyway. So when your rank and file are opposed to their very own government, can you afford to have people, most of whom have no respect for the idea of trying to maintain an outward appearance of neutrality, running around questioning and bad-mouthing your policies? No, it’s insubordination in the simplest definition of the word.
Guaranteed if a conservative-minded civil servant is brave enough to speak out against the Trudeau government that person will be censured. But will the “muzzling” narrative be used then? Unlikely.
And the whole “evidence-based policy” idea is something that will be explored in future posts. But make no mistake, it’s propaganda because Liberal governments have a knack for ignoring evidence to the contrary on all sorts of issues, whether it’s proof that raising the minimum wage results in higher unemployment, to proof that raising taxes actually reduces government revenues and on and on. Rather what this “evidence-based policy” making that these un-muzzled scientists are championing is simply code for climate change policy. Nothing more, and yet nothing less since this union of scientists, the 97% that believe in climate change, is itself a mythology… without evidence.