This is obscene on so many levels, but hardly surprising:
An elite federal program to recruit the cream of new graduates suddenly wants to know the applicants' views on the government's vaunted Economic Action Plan before they get a job interview.
The Accelerated Economist Training Program invites highly educated people to develop careers in the federal public service, starting at a senior level.
Successful candidates go through two years of training at four departments. They start at about $50,000 a year and after two years can earn over $80,000.
Spaces are in high demand among university graduates.
But this year, for the first time, candidates need to provide more than a list of qualifications and good marks. They also must to write 1,000 words on the federal government's last budget, promoted widely as the Economic Action Plan.
There is no way to rationalize the inclusion of a partisan inspired essay into a job application:
"In 2009, the Government of Canada introduced Canada's Economic Action Plan to help Canada's economy weather the economic storm," says the application form. "In 1,000 words or less, please choose two of these measures and discuss their implications for Canada."
Applicants must consider the social, economic or international policy implications of the budget, it says.
I assume the "cream" of graduates possess some intellectual prowess. I don't know about you, but it stands to reason that the response to this question is automatic, completely devoid of any critical viewpoint, an opportunity to "kiss ass" ("It's hard for me to pick just two concepts, the document so awash in pure genius, so well crafted and comprehensive, but if I must...."). Should said applicant have any qualms, which they wish to articulate, this would be the equivalent of suicide. This question is an attempt to weed out people with a political bent not in line with the government. This question is also a reward to sympathetic applicants, their genuine zeal for the Conservative agenda given ample opportunity for expression.
I view the above as another quiet measure to reshape our institutions, Harper's attempt to leave a conservative legacy long after he departs. The government is effectively screening people, based on political leanings. There is simply NO intrinsic value in asking this sort of question, it is transparently loaded and obvious. The fact this initiative involves "senior" positions, all the more relevant.
The minority manufacturing a false majority.