The Conservatives have introduced a bill to "reform" the civil service. Lawrence Martin writes that, essentially, it is a directive that non conservatives need not apply:
Call it the Loyalty Act. According to the bill brought forward by MP Mark Adler of the York Centre riding, if the disclosures turn up suspicious past political activities, MPs or senators could then demand an investigation of the offender or offenders.
What might those suspicious activities be? Who knows? The employee might have done something terrible in the past … like holding a membership in a non-Conservative party riding association.
If this all sounds very familiar, that's because it is. This government doesn't trust anyone who has not received its imprimatur. And there are lots of the anointed who have since proved they were unworthy of that imprimatur. So the solution has been to impose a code of silence on any and all who do their bidding:
This is the crew which faced a backbench revolt over MPs being gagged on the Commons’ floor, which sent out party interns to disrupt a speech by an opposition party leader, drafted an enemies’ list, muzzled Canadian scientists, tried to bring in a draconian union disclosure bill, and is demanding that employees at Library and Archives Canada and elsewhere sign highly-restrictive loyalty oaths.
This is the government which imposed gag orders, closure and time limits on committee work with near-record frequency; bars cabinet ministers on the hotseat from answering questions in the House; crushed Rights and Democracy and other groups which failed to follow its political line; suppressed reports; eliminated databases; cut down the census; used vast sums of taxpayers’ money to propagandize its own work and demonize opponents; is under the microscope for alleged suppression of voters’ rights; and ran a cover-up out of the PMO on the Senate expenses scam.
The bill is a product of full blown Conservative paranoia. And it speaks volumes about the psychological health of the man who leads the party. He's afraid of people.