The Parliamentary Budget Office and the persistence of memory

This blog post on the Conservatives’ original goals for the post of Parliamentary Budget Officer would be perfectly unsurprising if its author weren’t Keith Beardsley, who was Deputy Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper after the 2006 election.

“It is quite clear that in opposition, the Conservatives envisioned a completely independent office along the lines of the Congressional Budget Office in the United States. They even had concerns that the government of the day might not want to cooperate with the Parliamentary Budget Officer and sought reassurance that this would not be the case when the Finance Committee looked at this issue.”

In the conflict between the Harper government and Kevin Page, it has always been obvious which side Stephen Harper would have taken as president of the National Citizens’ Coalition. Fortunately after Page leaves the post next spring it will be easy for the government to find somebody more willing to seek, without being goaded, the narrowest and least troublesome possible interpretation of his mandate. Perhaps Mary Dawson or Bob Marleau will be available.