Tuesday, January 04, 2011

More on the new PMO

L.Ian Macdonald thinks the PMO is in very good hands. I agree. Once again welcome Nigel Wright!
This week, the PMO comes under new management

Harper's office is in good hands with the arrival of chief of staff Nigel Wright

By L. IAN MACDONALD, Freelance January 4, 2011 3:06 AM

The Prime Minister's Office is under new management this week with the arrival of Nigel Wright as the chief of staff, succeeding Guy Giorno.

Every time there's a change at the top in the PMO, there's an opportunity for a fresh start by the PM in the company town called Ottawa - from the public service to his own caucus, from the wise owls of the consulting class to the wise guys of the media.

Wright is Stephen Harper's third chief in just under five years, which is not unusual in the most demanding burnout job in the capital. His predecessors, Giorno and the cerebral Ian Brodie, were there for just under two and a half years each, about average tenure. (Brian Mulroney had five chiefs of staff in nine years.)

There is an opportunity for a new beginning in tone, but also, more importantly, in substance. In tonal terms, the Giorno PMO was a hunkered-down and narrowly focused operation. In substantial terms, it was consumed by tactics, to the detriment of strategy.

The Giorno PMO was excellent at process management. Important and complex files -the H1N1 vaccine rollout in 2008, the GM bailout in 2009, Haitian earthquake relief in 2010 -were impressively managed.

But the decision to end party campaign subsidies that triggered the parliamentary crisis of 2008, the prorogation uproar of 2009 and the long-form-census controversy of 2010 were all self-inflicted wounds by Harper and the Giorno PMO. Every one of these events contributed to Harper's trust deficit, and every one of them was an important policy decision announced without any communications plan or narrative to support it.


bertie said...

Wrong again.The party subsidy should have been ended and was supported by the Canadian public.Prorogation was the cause of three undemocratic parties LIBERAL_NDP_& the separatists plotting to overthrow a Government that was just elected.Long-form (don't fill it in and you go to jail form)was a great move made bad by the mouthy MSM and their constant get PM Harper headlines.Self inflicted,I think not..Inflicted by idiots like the MSM and opposition parties yes.Try again though, it is a good BS start to 2011.

Anonymous said...

Bertie I think this is the point: “Every one of these events contributed to Harper's trust deficit and every one of them was an important policy decision announced without any communications plan or narrative to support it. “

The question is: if these matters had been handled by Nigel then would the MSM have been neutered? I doubt completely neutered. But to take the census for example, many countries have just cancelled it, the UK is considering cancelling it; if we had more facts on benchmarking what other countries do, then the issue would have been less toxic. As a business guy Nigel would likely have done a better job of setting out the dynamics going on with the census and not let the CUPE apparatchiks and the MSM steal the headlines.

Let's see if we can now communicate a strategy to stop funding the Bloc.


been around the block said...

Nigel Wright has been a very good choice for PMO Chief of Staff, a very competent businessman and negotiator and also a man of integrity and principle.

God-willing, Prime Minister Harper and Nigel Wright will be a winning combination. They're both men who have the good of Canada and Canadians first and foremost in their concerns, with plenty of savvy and intelligence between them.

My hope is that Canadians (forget the media, they're pretty much a lost cause) appreciate our very good fortune to have both of them working on our behalf.

I Support Lord Black