Harper government wants lifetime gag agreements from Canadian parliamentary staffers




I’d say that this is a little like closing the barn door after the horses escaped but I guess there’s more in that barn.


To poorly extend the metaphor… It seems that this (and presumably any) government has the potential for spontaneous generation of any number of new horses within the barn.


The internal economy board that sourced this document is chaired by a conservative, and conservatives hold the majority there as well. It seems that they (the conservative party) anticipate many more scandals and is attempting to plug the dike as it were. It confirms for me as subjective observer the long held suspicion that there are much larger, darker secrets lurking within the current canadian govt. It also tells me that they are at least seriously contemplating the prospect of not being the ‘ruling’ party come next election, and are panicked by the idea of not having the power to protect themselves when the reckoning comes a hither.


Could this be called corruption or is it a feature of government?


Do something we say, or we’ll withhold your raise? Don’t we normally call that “extortion”?


It’s surprising how often it’s difficult to tell the difference between those two things.


“Sources within the Harper government say that some high ranking staffers are allowed to maintain a safeword. The safewords, however, are both top secret and will be ignored.”


Harper makes me gag, and probably will for the rest of my lifetime. No agreements required


It is anticipated that, upon his return from South Africa, Mr. Harper will announce his retirement, in advance of any scandal from the expense fraud by some Tory senators. This new document seems to be part of this announcement.


I wanna know how the hell this guy survived this long!


Because democracy, yay! Is there any way we can pin the blame on Bieber?


Not a Cdn. lawyer (or any lawyer), but I don’t think it is possible to force employees to sign a document that commits them to covering up illegality. Omerta is not a legal precedent in any system.

I suspect this does give the Harperites a pre-emptive tool with which to discredit anyone who goes to the police with evidence of criminality, and might chill a few people too.


In advance?


[Humor / Satire]

Because, unlike many other countries, Canadians are too polite to assassinate their inept political leaders.


“Hmnn, who could that be knocking at my front door?..”


Unfortunately, he is not inept, just an egotistical1 idealogue2 with a power fetish3.

  1. he maintains a gallery of self portraits at the parliament buildings
  2. despite ample proof that mandatory minimum sentences don’t work, and that super-max style prisons are unnecessary, he’s working on both. Also, environment.
  3. he hides unpopular legislation, like Canada’s version of the DMCA, in bills that are purported to be about something else. Anti-cyberbullying in the latest case.


I agree with and understand all that you have posted but, as a polite Canadian, felt that the term ‘inept’ was better suited than to try and paint a picture of a power hungry, evil despot. Thank-you for your kind assistance in that effort.


You are of course correct, and I apologize! I should not be sullying the polite reputation of my fellow Canadians.

I think I’m just trying to distance myself from the last decade or so of public and foreign policy, in anticipation of having to convince non-Canadians that we’re not all bad, really.


Nothing proves Mens Rea like trying to buy silence! In the UK a number of MPs got ousted for stealing relatively trivial sums of a few thousands to a few tens of thousands each, per annum.

(I don’t condone filing false expense claims, but you would think that if you were committed to carrying out fraud whilst in government, you might commit a fraud with a higher pay-off)

What broke the scandal was the secrecy around the expenses, and the fact that Parliament employed ex. Marines to guard the room in which they had minimum wage lackeys entering the false expenses data into computer, to automate the reimbursements. It was viscerally and flagrantly unjust, and eventually the people implementing the policy broke ranks and spilled the beans.

We’ve seen this week that the MPs can vote themselves a 11% pay rise by the front door, which whilst undeserved is at least up-front.

What the Harper Government is actually doing here is putting a price on the full story, that the newspapers must pay to buy out first staffer who will blow the whistle. They’d probably achieve it with a book deal.