Monday, June 29, 2009

Harper's picks for the EI panel

A busy day at the day job leaves little time for blogging, but I did notice over at O'Malley's that Stephen Harper has made his three picks for the Conservative spots on the EI summer working group with the Liberals.

In addition to HRSD minister Diane Finley and your friend and mine, Pierre Poilievre, Harper has appointed Malcom Brown, senior assistant deputy minister, HRSD.

While much of the discussion is focusing on the lightning-rod that is Poilievre, I noted that I find it interesting Harper has given one of the three "Conservative" spots to what appears to be a non-political, senior civil servant. Poilievre's appointment aside, I think having someone with an intimate knowledge of the mechanics of EI on the committee is a good thing.

I'm curious, though, how this will impact any vote or consensus on final recommendations by the committee. The composition was 3-3, but now its 3 Lib 2 Con 1 civil servant. Will Brown be expected to vote with Finley and Poilievre? Will he be free to vote his conscious, and possibly side with the Liberals? Or does it really matter anyways?

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3 comments:

Torybaiter said...

I f votes with the Libs, HArper will have him flogged. This guy is a stooge, or Steve would not have appointed him.

A BCer in Toronto said...

He's a very senior civil servant, they're not in the habit of being set up as political stooges.

It could be he'd agreed to side with the Conservatives. or it could be he's free to vote his conscious because either a) Harper takes this seriously and wanted a learned outcome, or b) Harper deems the panel irrelevant and so he doesn't really care what it recommends.

Jason Hickman said...

While much of the discussion is focusing on the lightning-rod that is Poilievre

Too bad Harper didn't pick someone who could match the calming influence that defines Marlene Jennings...


The composition was 3-3, but now its 3 Lib 2 Con 1 civil servant. Will Brown be expected to vote with Finley and Poilievre? Will he be free to vote his conscious, and possibly side with the Liberals? Or does it really matter anyways?

Interesting. You're assuming straight-up party votes on whatever the final product will be, from both the Libs and the Conservatives. Not unreasonable, I suppose.