For what use, we don't know.
Harper wants aides to draw up a list of his "enemies."
Two weeks ago, Erica Furtado, an assistant in Harper's office, sent a request around to various cabinet ministers asking them to compile a list of the Conservative government's "enemies" in the public service.
No explanation was given for what purpose the list will serve.
Furtado said only that she wants the names of the "friends and partners of the enemy" for the new cabinet ministers and their staff.
But her demand fell into the hands of someone she would call "an enemy" who quickly orchestrated a media leak that neither Furtado nor Harper has been able to duck.
Now who would do a thing like leaking an embarrassing document like that? But then, with 38 cabinet ministers and each minister having about a dozen aides, Furtado had to realize that sooner or later her document would leak out. It couldn't be kept secret forever.
The Conservatives are doing everything to find out who sprung the leak. Does the leak mean there's an "enemy" in cabinet ranks?
So why did Harper make the request in the first place? Dividing up people between "friends" and "enemies" of the government is very much part of the Harper style. "You are with us or against us."
On March 20, there was an earlier leak which revealed that the Harper government had divided the oil sector between "adversaries" and "allies."
Oil companies and the National Energy Board were listed as "allies." That might surprise the supposedly neutral Energy Board.
Environmental groups were "adversaries" back in March. Today they would be the "enemy." Harper doesn't pussy-foot around.
It is not known how many of the 38 Ministers took their request for a black list seriously, or how accurate they were in their identification.
Former Environment Minister Peter Kent said that dividing the world between "friends" and "enemies" is not only "juvenile," but harks back to the "enemies list" of former U.S. President Richard Nixon exposed during the Watergate scandal.
Independent MP Brent Rathgeber, who resigned from the Conservative caucus in June, described the existence of such lists as "inappropriate" and said they help create the "dysfunctional workplace" that Ottawa has become during the Harper years.