Thursday, September 17, 2015

Facts? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Facts

                                                  http://www.patheos.com/

When it comes to evaluating the recently announced federal surplus, it's wise to remember that Stephen Harper has been waging a decade long war on facts. Chris Turner writes:

The crux of the matter is that experts, especially in technical and scientific fields, are beholden not to short-term policy goals but to verifiable facts. And Harper’s Conservatives have demonstrated time and again that they are more than happy to ignore, manipulate, even eliminate problematic facts to get what they want.

This is one of Harper’s most distinctive and potentially lasting fingerprints on the country after a decade in power — a dismissive smear across the government’s fact-finding apparatus that has substantially diminished its ability to tell Canadians who they are, what’s happening in their country, and how their government’s policies are affecting their lives and their world.

The elimination of the long form census and Mr. Harper's omnibus budget bills have destroyed this country's ability to make wise decisions:

Killing the long-form census is perhaps the less comprehensible measure. It was an act of willful self-blindness in which the Conservatives deliberately chose to gather much less information — of lower quality — about what is happening in the country to figure out how to run it. It only makes any kind of sense in light of Harper’s stated distaste for those meddling eggheads who “commit sociology” and other sorts of egregious liberal artistry using the data gathered by the census. If you’re tired of dodging reports showing that your crime bill won’t reduce crime and your economic policies don’t improve the economy, why not simply compromise all the numbers feeding them?

The 2012 omnibus budget bills were a more full-throated articulation of the anti-expert agenda. They hacked and slashed through government-funded laboratories and science programs, as well as rewriting more than 70 separate pieces of legislation in a radical diminishment of Canada’s environmental stewardship program. The reworked Fisheries Act now no longer protects more than 80 per cent of the freshwater species of fish facing extinction it used to cover. The Navigable Waters Protection Act, which once guarded millions of bodies of water from reckless development, now applies to less than 200. (The “Idle No More” movement among Canada’s First Nations began as a direct response to the enormous reduction in protection of indigenous rights this represented.)

Harper rose to power on the backs of the ignorant and the disaffected. His aim is to ensure that all citizens stay that way. As long as they don't have "just the facts, ma'am," he can always skate past the finish line.


14 comments:

Hugh said...

Debt keeps growing:

http://www.debtclock.ca/

You can see how much smaller it was back in 2008.

Owen Gray said...

You'll notice, Hugh, that Harper never talks about how much he has added to the national debt.

Scotian said...

Pretty much nailed it, Owen.

Mogs Moglio said...

Already the surplus has been put down to instructions to departments to 'under-spend' plus looting EI funds. These are facts his base will deny I'm sure simply because Harper won't tell them and they refuse to fact check themselves. From the mouth of Harper spouts their 'truths' based on omission of facts, legal priorities and whatever the Harper says.

Harper is fighting battles on many fronts, the election, terror (ISIS), Science, Facts and the Law...

"Canada doesn’t have an activist court at war with the prime minister. It has a prime minister who is at war with the law."

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2015/08/31/opinion/harpers-war-law

Owen Gray said...

Precisely, Mogs. The court is simply doing its job.

Owen Gray said...

You don't have to be a genius to figure out what's going on, Scotian.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Harper doesn't talk facts Owen, he talks lies. I wonder if the Canadian public realises how much he does lie.Tonight's debate should be filled with lies from him.Apart from looking very creepy these days, more then usual, he's also sounding very creepy.

Owen Gray said...

Mulcair and Trudeau are going to have to be on their toes tonight, Pam, and call him on his fabrications. He doesn't take questions because he doesn't want to be challenged. Tonight his opponents have to expose the lies as lies.

Mogs Moglio said...

Let's hope thy do just that Owen [and have him ducking in a closet for cover, ah wouldn't that be sweet.]

Owen Gray said...

It will be interesting to see how he reacts when he can't find a closet, Mogs.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

You're right Owen. Let's hope Trudeau and Mulcair come through. Nobody seems to be holding Harper accountable in this election.

Owen Gray said...

It would be encouraging if folks in the press called him out, too, Pam.

Mogs Moglio said...

Mulcair and Trudeau at each others throat reminded me of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. And the three of them together? Curly Moe and Larry they all together made a better Vaudeville act than three contenders for Prime Minister. One thing though Mulcair and Trudeau seemed to be having a contest who could over talk the other the most and which one could repeat themselves more often. I think it was a tie there. Harper a little more composed only problem was the damned BS meter went off the scale almost every time he opened his mouth. So he is a loser and all of them pitiful three grown men going at it like five year old kids and these are our leaders?

Harper probably did best except overclocking the BS meter often so no one really stood out all in all it was a drab disappointing affair IMHO.

Owen Gray said...

I note, Mogs, that Trudeau said a number of times, "Mr. Harper that's just not true."