Sheeple sheds light on MP’s time with PM

So the official response to my latest book by the Prime Minister’s Office summed things up nicely. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

So the official response to my latest book by the Prime Minister’s Office summed things up nicely.

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

After all, these were the guys who’d obsessed about what to do with me, how to stop my blogging, from talking to reporters, from webcasting in the foyer of the House of Commons and from scrutinizing my own party’s policies, for the entire time I was a Stephen Harper MP.

It was just days after I was elected again in 2006 that Harper’s right-hand man, chief of staff Ian Brodie, ordered me to go offline — or be punted from my own party. Ten months later, he and his boss did just that. And when they did, for the high crime of opening my mouth and having an opinion, they alleged instead I had broken caucus confidentiality in writing about party secrets.

This is what makes the reaction to my book, Sheeple, ironically tasty. In Harper’s caucus, there are no secrets. There’s nothing to keep confidential. MPs aren’t allowed to speak without prior permission.

They know the consequences of questioning the leader or his dictates. Debate does not exist. During my time in that room there was no free discussion on Afghanistan, same-sex marriage, gun control or the environment.

This is because in Harper’s Canada, MPs don’t matter. Our prime minister believes that Conservatives elected go to Ottawa to work for him and the party. They’re employees, to be cajoled, herded, muscled, or in the case of me and Maritime MP Bill Casey, fired for insubordination.

My deep mistake was to believe members of Parliament work for the people who send them there. And that is what I told the guy. The people are the ones an MP must answer to, report to and stand before.

The job of the elected is to represent the voters to Ottawa, not come home and tell the citizens what to believe.

In the end, I had to go. The PM was sick of my blog and my lip, and made a fine example of me by tossing me out of his caucus, then out of the party I had belonged to longer than he.

And although I had served two previous Conservative prime ministers, sat at the cabinet table and even been a leadership contender, Stephen Harper dropped the political nuke as a signal to the sheeple in his flock that anyone who displeased him would be dooced.

And then dismissed — like the voters.

 
 
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