The foray into the entourage of our elected officials by Marc-André Leclerc

The foray into the entourage of our elected officials by Marc-André Leclerc

UPDATE DAY

Often in the shadows, political employees play an essential, even vital, role in the proper functioning of the affairs of state. In “Political Confidences”, Marc-André Leclerc lifts the veil on the realities of this little-known work. 

Former chief of staff of Andrew Sheer, Marc-André Leclerc worked as a political employee for ten years. Having left active politics a few years ago, he decided to return to his own experience, as well as that of fifteen other people who held various positions in political cabinets, in a book.

“When I retired, I realized that there was not really a book describing the daily life of political staff. There are many books that talk about politicians, but there weren't really any about those who work in their shadows, even though they play a key role in the lives of political leaders and the events they face. , he explained in an interview.

Through 13 chapters that affect the daily lives of political employees in various ways, the book provides behind-the-scenes access to important events on the federal and provincial scenes in over the past fifty years.

“With the testimony of Robert Asselin, I return to the development of the 2016 and 2017 budgets of the Trudeau government. There are usually two or three meetings between the Prime Minister and his Minister of Finance in the preparation of a budget. In 2017, there were seven! It shows that there were heated discussions until the end,” illustrated Marc-André Leclerc.

The book also recounts the arrival in federal politics of Lucien Bouchard in a by-election. in 1988, the tragedy of Lac-Mégantic, and the last moments of René Lévesque at the head of the Parti Québécois, again from the point of view of one of their close collaborators.

“Beyond the events, I especially wanted to show what concrete political employees go through on a day-to-day basis: the fact of having to work on vacation, family difficulties, the way in which the appearance of smart phones has changed the whole reality of the work of a press officer”, underlined the author.

Finally, if most of the testimonies come from people who no longer work in politics, some speakers are still in politics active, such as the chief of staff of the Minister of Health, Jonathan Valois, or the CAQ candidate in Sherbrooke, Caroline St-Hilaire.

Despite everything, Leclerc maintains that he did not feel more reluctance to talk openly about their experience with some than with others. “Of course the years allow a certain detachment, but really I was struck by the generosity of all the people I interviewed.”

Political confidences. Incursion into the entourage of our elected officials is published today.