By Graham White, David R. Cameron
This paintings examines the new background of politics in Ontario to supply a few common rules for different governments thinking about political transitions. In doing so, it discusses the doubtless fractious courting among incoming governments and the bureaucrats from the outdated regime.
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Additional info for Cycling into Saigon: The Conservative Transition in Ontario
Their operative premise was that a strong central planning apparatus was essential to keep the government from being overwhelmed by the minutiae of governing and to maintain a clear focus on policy development. After considerable reflection they recommended locating the planning function in Cabinet Office rather than in the Premier’s Office to emphasize professional planning. They proposed a radically expanded Cabinet Office along the lines of the large central planning agencies of NDP governments in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
When the House resumed on 2 July the ministers had been settled into their offices efficiently and the formal transition was effectively over. The transition team, its task completed, disbanded. For about a year, members of the transition team met regularly for dinner with Peterson and his top ministers and advisors, but the talk was of politics, policy, and strategy. The group made no attempt to monitor the effectiveness of the government’s structures and processes or to evaluate how the longer-term transition issues, such as relations with the bureaucracy, were unfolding.
We didn’t want to make it worse” by firing deputy ministers, thereby creating uncertainty and fear. ” Similarly, many on the team strongly believed that, given the NDP’s ideological bent, it was essential that key bureaucratic positions be filled by persons who shared the commitment to social democratic values or, at a minimum, had experience working for an NDP government. In retrospect, senior NDP officials came to recognize that they had sent mixed messages to the bureaucracy. Although both Cabinet Secretary Peter Barnes and Deputy Secretary Bernard Shapiro were closely associated with the approach of the Liberal government, Barnes was retained while Shapiro was replaced.