Not that this is newsy really, because I think the Con's have been pretty clear from the beginning that they have no respect for the scientific community but it's bizarre to me in 2008.
They, the Con's, seem incapable of discerning the difference between holding an opinion and basing a conclusion on fact. They equate the two and often raise the spectre that there should be debate on both sides of an issue, when of course there aren't two sides. There is a myraid of opinion of course but that is not the same thing.
I know you open yourself up to being called an elitist when you bring something like this up, but I seriously question if they have the intellect to comprehend the difference. Perhaps they do and are simply using 'words' in a Frank Luntz sort of way to make it seem as if they have a reasonable case. I suppose as well, there could be a faction of these individuals that are religiously motivated to reject science, so they hop on the band wagon too.
Anyway, we've seen this behaviour often as it relates to Climate Change, Evolution, (where the smartest guy on their side thinks he's gotcha when he tells you it's a 'theory'), and many other areas. Our current government has certainly shown their stripes as it relates to the environment, the recent ousting of the National Science Advisor and I have long suspected the same pattern vis a vis their war on drugs.
Today, we have a little more clarity on their stance on that subject. They apparently do not understand the difference between a lobby group and scientific fact. Imagine that!
In the latest salvo in the battle over Vancouver's controversial safe drug injection site, leading researchers are criticizing the Harper government for not differentiating between legitimate science and a report endorsed by a U.S. law-and-order lobby group.
"Alarmingly", they say, Health Minister Tony Clement has been citing the lobby group report as evidence of growing "academic debate" over the safe injection site.
While it perhaps is alarming, it's hardly surprising is it? Consider how they ignore facts on every issue. Crime is decreasing, yet they say it's on the rise. The facts suggest that money should be poured into crime prevention, they pour it into incarceration. The Taser debate requires much more research, yet they call the creator of the product to committee as their witness. Security Certificates and their ineffective/bias/anti-Charter stance as proclaimed by the Supreme Court. The Con's react by proposing a system that has been shown to be ineffective. (For the record, I'm calling the Lib's out on that one for letting it pass).
Back to the subject at hand:
In a report published Monday in a British medical journal, they say advancing evidence-based public health in Canada "will now require that politicians are able to tell the difference between valid peer-reviewed science and essays posted on the websites of lobby groups."
The lobby group, the Drug Free America Foundation, is dedicated to strengthening laws to hold drug users and dealers criminally accountable for their actions. The group's online journal, "which to the untrained eye could easily be mistaken for a scientific journal," disseminates material and essays that oppose the concept of harm reduction, researchers Drs. Evan Wood, Julio Montaner and Thomas Kerr say in an article published Monday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, a British medical journal.
The untrained eye comment reinforces my earlier comment that either they do not have the knowledge/intelligence to appreciate the difference or they are willfully turning a blind eye.
"If the health minister equates a report from an RCMP-funded, advocacy group to 24 peer-reviewed scientific papers including articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, then Canadians need to be worried about the person who is in charge of public health in this country," Wood said in an interview Monday.
Believe me, most of us are.