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Plausible Deniability

For political staff protecting the Leader is key.

Today the latest stink is all about who leaked information about the appointment of a judge and the counter accusations flying back and forth.

Even Justice Minister Lametti has expressed his concern, yet true to form (he has been pretty useless to date) he has done nothing to find the source of the leak.

A very small group of people would have been aware of the discussions around the judge’s appointment. Lametti can call in the RCMP if he so choses, unless of course he is concerned about what they might find.

When a minister or in this case PMO is under siege, staff tend to get a bunker mentality. Taking hits day after day is exhausting and this PMO wouldn’t be the first one to show signs of stress. When that happens the right decision is not always made.

There is a term that gets used from time to time by staff- “plausible deniability.”

This is when the boss be it a minister or Prime Minister wants an issue to go away. Staff then take action (perhaps a leak to a friendly reporter or two) but do not tell their boss exactly how or what was done. This way if the issue backfires and explodes in the media, the Prime Minister or minister can honestly deny knowing anything about it. Is this what we are seeing now? Somewhere down the road the truth will come out.

Should there be an investigation, it is the staffer who takes the fall, because in the end it is always about protecting the leader.

Reader Comments (1)

Plausible deniability, if used too often, descends into wilful blindness. One cannot fool all of the people all of the time. A leader becomes expendable when the future success of the party is at stake. Are we there yet?

March 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMax

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