Thursday, August 31, 2023

They're Expendable

If there's one thing modern conservatives have trouble with, it's the truth. Max Fawcett writes:

Sometimes, it pays to read past the headline. That’s certainly the case with a recent National Post story titled “Trudeau’s Law Society,” one that suggested “it’s no coincidence that more judges who donate to the Liberal party are brought to the bench than Conservative donors.” The Investigative Journalism Foundation, a news organization that partnered with Postmedia on the story, went even further by tweeting that its story “shows that the federal Liberals appear to be stacking the courts with their supporters.”

Thirteen paragraphs down, the reader — if they make it that far — discovers that only 18.3 per cent of the Liberal government’s 1,308 judicial appointees made a political donation, with 76.3 per cent of them having donated to the Liberals. That means 13.9 per cent of their appointees donated to the Liberals, with 86.1 per cent either not donating or donating to one of the opposition parties. “I’m not saying the data is a problem,” former Trudeau economic adviser and policy consultant Tyler Meredith tweeted, “but when 4 out of 5 people appointed aren’t contributing at all, to anyone, the favouritism angle looks far less than sensational header (sic).”

Ironically, this matches reporting from Postmedia back in 2010, which showed 66 of the 270 judges the Harper Conservatives had appointed at that point had made political donations, with 41 of them having donated to the Conservative Party of Canada. A further 25 had names that matched political donors — mainly Conservative ones — but couldn’t be verified as the same people. If you include them in the list, that’s 33.7 per cent of judicial appointees who were political donors, with 72.5 per cent of them donating to the CPC.

Postmedia’s editors clearly didn’t agree. Earlier this week, they published the second story in this ongoing collaboration, one that highlighted six Superior Court justices who had attended Liberal fundraisers “shortly before being appointed.” It beggars belief that any government would appoint someone to the bench because they attended a $1,625 fundraiser, and the reporting again ignores the pattern of appointment under the previous government, one that included former justice minister Peter MacKay appointing the best man at his wedding and an old friend of his father to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. As Press Progress reported back in 2015, MacKay had personal and financial ties to six of the nine appointments he made to Nova Scotia courts.

Mark Twain understood how statistics could be manipulated.“There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics,” he wrote. Conservatives aren't the only politicians who lie. But, since the rise of Donald Trump, facts have become expendable.

Image: AZ Quotes


Northern PoV said...

The US-owned and US-subsidized Nat-Post chain lies more blatantly than the domestic variety.

Any inquiry into foreign influence in Canadian politics should start there.

Investigating the Chinese (and Modi-Indian and others) manipulation of their now-Canadian émigrés can wait.

Owen Gray said...

I never had much faith in Conrad Black's newspapers, PoV.

Anonymous said...

Owen, Post Media has always had an extreme conservative bias. Remember a couple of federal elections ago where every Post Media newspaper had a yellow cover sheet directing its readers to vote for Harper candidates. RG

Owen Gray said...

I do, indeed, RG. This story really isn't -- or shouldn't be -- that surprising.

Anonymous said...

Someone should remind Mr Fawcett that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. AN

Owen Gray said...

What exactly do you think he's done wrong, AN?

Anonymous said...

Lying about matters has become the norm for many people especially Politicians. Doug Ford and PP come to mind. Anyong

Owen Gray said...

Both men are outstanding examples of the problem, Anyong.