Gerry Butts is at the centre of a lengthy Macleans piece today.
I don't know Gerry well. We've chatted a couple times over the years and he was always friendly, in the way that really smart people can be friendly and yet still feel a bit distant.
The impression I always had from his McGuinty days was that Gerry was the policy wonk among some rather hawkish backroom people, ie the voice of reason. The Greenbelt was one of his projects.
This piece makes him come across more like Stephen Harper than Dalton McGuinty - smart, arrogant, intolerant of "fools" (which can be interpreted as "people who don't think the way I do).
I don't know him well. I do have the impression that he's in politics for the right reasons, that he is passionate and wants to make the world better. I also feel that he - like Katie - truly believes the democratic reform stuff of which they speak, the opening of government and renewing of civic engagement.
So, one piece of advise: you govern the way you campaign. It's as simple as that.
Should Team Trudeau win through a tightly controlled, top-down campaign that doesn't leave a lot of room open for engagement/dialogue/contribution by others on his team, then that's how the team will govern. The impact that disengagement will have on the Liberal caucus will lead to some avoidable scandals that will lead to a further tightening of grip and message control. From that will come avoidable backroom scandals and worse, cover-up attempts.
I don't know Gerry well, but I hope that I know him well enough to know that isn't what he would want.
There are no stupid ideas; every point raised is a window into someone else's perspective, whether you agree with it or not. Learning to listen to those ideas for the underlying lesson - what someone's concerns are, where their aspirations lie, or a new angle at an issue you feel you know inside out - that's an essential leadership skill. You can't please everyone, but no one should be left thinking their voice doesn't matter.
Communications isn't the same thing as messaging and conversations are the polar opposite of wedge-positioning attacks. Every single Canadian that disagrees with you in person, on air or on Twitter is still a Canadian - and they aren't going to go away after E-Day.
The long-game here isn't to win - it's to change the way the game is played.
You can't change the game if you've won using the old-school rules. You just can't.
I don't know Gerry well, at all - but I know he's smart enough to understand that.