Thursday, 3 September 2015

The female Prime Ministerial enforcer and keeping MPs on the leash

Tony Abbott told us last year how he is impressed by the example of politics in Canada. The country’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, according to Abbott, is a ‘‘guide’’ and a ‘‘beacon.’’ On a visit he declared ‘‘I have regarded Stephen Harper as an exemplar of a contemporary centre-right prime minister.’’ The Canadian Conservative Party policies of fiscal rectitude with a reduction in the size of government and the role of the state are clearly in line with the current direction of the Australian Liberal Party.

And maybe there is something else that the two Prime Ministers have in common. From this morning's Toronto Globe and Mail comes this comment on Mr Harper's election campaigning style:
Far from softening, the longer Mr. Harper stays on office, the push for candidates to keep their heads down has, if anything, got stronger with each passing election. That can be chalked up, at least in part, to who is running the Conservative campaigns. Jenni Byrne, Mr. Harper’s enforcer, used to be counterbalanced by other voices inclined to give fellow Conservatives slightly longer leashes; now she is his campaign director, and few of those other types can be found in his inner circle.
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