Invigorating the civil service

I think one of Shawn Graham’s best campaign platforms is this idea of bringing in some top talent from outside the province to help recast a vision for New Brunswick and bring in new ideas to invigorate the civil service.

Hallelujah.

Now, some of you have ridiculed my position on this but I stand fast.

Corporations do this all the time.

Universities do it as a matter of course.

But government, for some perverse reason, is supposed to circle the wagons and draw from an ever shrinking talent pool.

The bottom line is this. I have been told by several people in mid level positions in government that this is needed. But it is risky to serve it up as a campaign strategy as the provincial civil service (broadly defined) is by far the largest voter block in the province. If the opposition positions Graham’s strategy on this as somehow an indictment of the current civil service, he stands to lose Fredericton and much of the government worker votes.

Government workers who, by the way, under Lord have seen record increases in wages and significant increases in employment.

But the government has been somewhat listless in the past seven years. They are given the Prosperity Plan with no resources to deliver and it fades away. They are given an education plan with no resources to deliver.

The bottom line is that a good civil service needs great political leadership. the politics doesn’t have to get into the bureaucracy – it just needs to set the ball in motion by creating a great vision and key objectives and the properly resourcing the bureaucracy with top talent and financial resources to achieve the vision.