Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Napoleon In The Asylum

In the wake of the Supreme Court's rejection of Marc Nadon and Stephen Harper's plan to reform the Senate, now comes word that the Ministry of Justice is slashing its research budget by 20%. Devon Black writes:

The purpose of research in government is pretty obvious. It’s to test assumptions, so legislators can make policy that works and change policy that doesn’t. Without decent monitoring and evaluation, there’s no way for legislators to know if any of their policies are doing what they’re supposed to do.

Unfortunately, it looks as though the government has decided to punish Department of Justice researchers for being a little too good at figuring out which policies aren’t working. The government is cutting 20 per cent from the department’s research budget, and firing eight experienced legal researchers in the process — apparently because some of their work has “at times left the impression that research is undermining government decisions.”

Recent reports suggest that the prime minister knew from the get go that the Nadon appointment would cause trouble. But he's not a man who listens to contrary opinions:

The Conservatives demand nothing less than complete, unquestioning support for their legislative agenda — even from the people employed to make sure the government has its facts straight.
Just ask the scientists at the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), which was saved from closure only after a UN-funded non-profit stepped in to help keep it open. Or ask the 20 per cent of Library and Archives Canada staff who lost their jobs after funding cuts in 2012, jeopardizing our country’s most important documentary asset. Or talk to staff at any of the numerous businesses, non-profits and university departments which can’t get basic demographic data anymore because the long-form census was somehow inconsistent with Conservative ideology.

After eight years in government, two things are abundantly clear: Stephen Harper is like the resident in the asylum who -- despite all evidence to the contrary -- insists that he is Napoleon. And his party continues to believe that he is who he says he is.


Lorne said...

Harper would do well to remember, Owen, that Napoleon did ultimately meet his Waterloo.

Owen Gray said...

And, thereafter, he was exiled, Lorne.

Anonymous said...

To me, Harper is a fascist dictator and a control freak.

All dictators have similar characteristics. Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini were all dictator's, with very similar personalities. All dictators are very vindictive. Harper's profile fits right in as a arrogant childish dictator.

Make no mistake, Harper is one evil monster.

Owen Gray said...

And, like Napoleon, he's doing a lot of damage, Anon.

Toby said...

We all know Harper is a demented dictator. Even his supporters know that. The question is how do we get rid of him. The NDP and Liberals are likely going to the next election sniping at each other and the Conservatives will come up the middle again.

The voting process isn't working because the majority don't vote. What do they know that I don't? Do we need elections? Are elections to be relegated to historical curiosity? Are we headed into a brave new world that runs without our participation? I have many complaints and many questions but no solutions.

Owen Gray said...

We have been very apathetic about voting, Toby. But two things are still true: Campaigns matter and leg work matters.

It's all about getting out the vote.

mogs moglio said...

Stephen Harper is like the resident in the asylum who -- despite all evidence to the contrary -- insists that he is
Napoleon, no
for real, no
sane, no
normal, no none of the above, he is special he is after all Stephen the worlds crassest dictator.

Owen Gray said...

And, sad to say, Mogs, we put him where he is.

Anonymous said...

Steve Harper should keep in mind Napoleon's favourite palindrome:

Able was I ere I saw Elba.

Toby said...

Owen Gray said... "And, sad to say, Mogs, we put him where he is."

And we can't get rid of him because progressives have lost their voice. Neither the Liberals nor the NDP are seen to be offering real alternatives. The electorate is waiting for a messiah to lead them out of the wilderness.

Owen Gray said...

And Harper, of course, plays on the weakness of progressives, Toby.

Owen Gray said...

And the task ahead of us, Anon, is to ship him off to Elba.

e.a.f. said...

He maybe an evil monster, but what does it say about us, the voters/or non voters who continue to put him into office. What does it say about the MSM who continue to "applaud" him?

Harper is a despicable person. He has done much damage to those living in Canada and our international reputation. But people voted him into office, and may do again. For all he has done wrong to this country, we don't see a lot of protest marches, except in Quebec.

Owen Gray said...

And that's the point, e.a.f. We have been stupid enough to put him there -- more than once.