"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Your Saturday funny

The Canadian Council of Bureaucrats was holding its big annual convention in Winnipeg.

After a long day of seminars and presentations with titles like “ACRONYM: Acronym Creation for Re-Organizing Neatly Your Ministry” and “Intermediary Gobbledygook: The uses and further uses of run-on sentences and polysyllables”, the bureaucrats, from across Canada, from every jurisdiction, were ready to let their hair down.

So, in a dimly-lit corner of Bureaucrat Bar, a federal and a Newfoundland and Labrador provincial ADM commiserated over libations.

They talked about dealing with their respective unions, dealing with their respective publics, and creative ways of blowing off ATIP requests. And they compared the political cultures within their respective civil services.

“Lookit,” the federal ADM said, “we have a pretty open and frank relationship with the political arm. Any one of us can march right over to the Prime Minister’s office at any time, look him in the eye, and say, ‘Mr. Prime Minister – you are making a bad decision. You need to change course. What you are doing is wrong.’”

“Well,” said the provincial ADM, “we have the same arrangement and understanding with our elected officials, too. We’re free to do the same as you.”

“Oh really?” The federal guy was sceptical. “So then what’s all this I hear about the intimidation and fear that goes on down there? Isn’t it total loyalty that’s expected by The Big Guy.”

“Oh no,” the provincial official protested. “It’s not like that at all, not at all.

“Any one of us can march right over to the Premier’s office at any time, look him in the eye, and say, ‘Mr. Williams – the Prime Minister of Canada is making a bad decision. He needs to change course. What he is doing is wrong.’”


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