On firing over-achieving workers.

Interim Federal Liberal Leader Bob Rae fired a caucus researcher yesterday. The person stood accused of embarrassing the Liberal caucus by being identified as establishing the “Vikileaks” Twitter site. This site was designed to attack Conservative Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. The notoriety of the site made it doubly embarrassing when the Speaker’s Office discovered the culprit was in the Liberal caucus office as opposed to the original belief that it came from the NDP caucus office.

Bob Rae had to stand up in the House of Commons and publicly apologize. That can take a lot of wind out of your sails when you are trying to be indignant about possibly illegal Conservative Party activities. At a time when the NDP official opposition are busy with their leadership contest, the Liberals were enjoying the opportunity to appear as the real opposition. Their party employee did not help.

But do not feel to sorry for the miscreant in this case. He will reappear sometime down the road in another incarnation. Most young aspiring political apparatchiks do.

We all carry the memory and the scars from such events. It is part of learning the trade. In our case it was working for a certain cabinet minister, organizing events for him. One of the first events was a critical announcement in one part of a hotel and then the minister wanted to show the news media he was one of the gang by leading them to a bar that was set up in a suite. It would have worked but for a combination of events that had the minister standing, looking foolish, at a locked door. The minister did not like it when things did not work.

Luckily, the campaign manager understood what had happened and knew that it was not possible for his young organizer to be in three places at the same time. He asked us not to slash our wrists and to carry on. The minister took more time to be forgiving.

Bob Rae did not have that luxury. He needed a body to display for the Conservatives and the media. The fact that the researcher might now be enjoying an unexpected holiday on some sunny Caribbean beach is another matter.


Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

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