Monday, July 26, 2010

Coming to My Senses v My Census

Before one of my staunchest detractors accuses me of choosing a photo that has either been doctored, or meant to represent the person in the worst light, let me say that Tony Clement has plenty of bad photo's out there. This isn't one of them and was only chosen because it shows him sitting so 'right' of centre, he leaves the frame.

With that out of the way, I'm focused on tomorrow's Committee on Industry, Science and Technology meeting. It risks being too long, resulting in a lot of banter, but I'm not clear where it will come out. By that I mean, the case against the government decision is pretty hard and fast. Their (the gov't) defense is beyond weak, so where will it net out?

To underscore how weak the government argument is, you have only to recall their defense on the issue and how many times that has changed. Too intrusive, 1000's of complainers, other countries have abandoned it and of course the ever popular, government coming for you in the middle of the night...jail...threats...jackboot...there are more.

Not one of their stances has stood the test of time...and by time, I mean weeks here. Telling? Yes, I think so.

The questions are not intimidating, nor intrusive and to make it more delicious, government Ministers have been lying as to what those questions are.

Oh, and the countries they cite as having abandoned the long form, or the census all together? Well, that is true but what they omit is that they are far MORE intrusive and data mine from cradle to grave. And then there is the fact that no one has gone to jail, nor has anyone been pulled out of bed, in the middle of the night.

In short, there is no sound rationale for the decision. There is plenty of ideological rationale for it and I'll get into that after the hearings at committee, but to defend this choice? Sorry, there is no defense and those who do sound ridiculous.

I would argue in fact, if you offer a defense for this specific choice, you simply do not understand the census. That became very clear today reading articles, listening to interviews and hearing 'infamous' talk radio. And if you aren't one of those, you are an intelligent person that argues from ideology...yes Jonas I'm looking at you.

My reading tells me the majority of those who defend, haven't a clue. Nary one. The intelligent arguments are only made by those who have the 'small to no government' lean.

It's an argument to be had, but the Conservative government under Stephen Harper did not have the courage to do that. He never does. His choices come down by fiat...a completely arbitrary decision. Sorry people, Kings of old ruled this way as they thought they had absolute authority.

This is not how our country works. Harper is now trying to get in what he can, but stuffing this policy now, when you think no one is looking, is about the dumbest way to do it. Hello? Media looking for news?

I'm hoping this has exposed him once and for all. Media and your own eyeballs, will tell the tale. Watch or listen if you can.

See you tomorrow.

13 comments:

Liberal Justice said...

Actually, he's sitting fairly far to his left.

KNB said...

Liberal Justice Pulleeze. The idea here is to look at the photo and, oh, read the post!

If you want to argue that Clement is on the left...go at it!

Can't wait to hear/read your argument.

Fred from BC said...

Before one of my staunchest detractors accuses me of choosing a photo that has either been doctored, or meant to represent the person in the worst light, let me say that Tony Clement has plenty of bad photo's out there. This isn't one of them and was only chosen because it shows him sitting so 'right' of centre, he leaves the frame.


Okay, you got me there...:)

Tony Clement is admittedly one very unattractive man, and no 'good' pictures of him exist. I vaguely remember a story about him running for some other office before he became an MP, and someone commenting on the fact that he was quite a nice guy and an honest one, too...but he wasn't going to go far because of his looks. Sad, really, that we would rather elect a vacuous (but handsome) man than a smart, homely one.

So...is this your election issue, then? Do you think the Canadian public cares enough about this?

KNB said...

Fred, I for one don't think we elect on looks. Look at the House man. We look for what answers our need/argument. Those of us who vote that is.

As to this specific issue and ballot box? No, not stand alone, but it fits a factual narrative, and that is all we need.

Surprisingly though, I've heard a lot of people talking about it.

Shocked the hell out of me. Media got this one oh, so right...though I will forever ask "what took you so long?"

wilson said...

What puzzles me knb, is why didn't Shiekh resign before he published the 2011 changes in the Canada Gazette if he disapproved of the changes?
The changes were published June 26, 4 weeks ago.

And today the National Statistics Council, appointed advisory board to Sheikh, come out with proposals,
again a full 4 weeks after the census was finalized and published.

Gayle said...

"To underscore how weak the government argument is, you have only to recall their defense on the issue and how many times that has changed. Too intrusive, 1000's of complainers, other countries have abandoned it and of course the ever popular, government coming for you in the middle of the night...jail...threats...jackboot...their are more."

Apparently, it is all really because some woman in Saskatchewan is challenging the census legislation. According to some, this whole thing is about the preservation of our Charter rights. The government knows they are going to lose so they are giving up the fight now.

Funny thing is though - for some reason the government is not telling anyone about that part of this whole debate. It is almost as if they fear this woman might actually lose or something.

KNB said...

wilson, Sheikh didn't resign so much over the decision, he resigned because of Clement's misleading comments, insinuating that Stat's Cda backed the decision. They did not, they were merely taking the direction of the government.

As for the Council, they have tried to speak to the Minister in private for weeks. He wasn't returning their calls, so they went public.

KNB said...

Gayle, I heard her interviewed yesterday. Her case is interesting, but a bit out there. I think it started with the Lockheed Martin business.

Today's meeting should be interesting.

RuralSandi said...

Fred from B.C. - I doubt very much that you understand Ontario politics and the continuing race of Clements and Flaherty to try to become leaders. Clements is one of the authors of the "No Nonsense Revolution" of Mike Harris and is extremely right winged. About looks, there aren't very many good looking politicians right now - Flaherty isn't exactly George Clooney, Mike Harris could be a double for Harper (to me they look alike). Looking at the past, looks hasn't been much of a factor when it comes to our PM's.

Why should it be an issue when Sheik resigned? It's a huge decision for a man of his calibre.

Tom Flanigan on Power & Politics said last night that Clements will say whatever Harper wants him to say at this meeting today and will be told what to say.

Fred from BC said...

KNB said...

Fred, I for one don't think we elect on looks. Look at the House man. We look for what answers our need/argument. Those of us who vote that is.


I'd like to think that too. But unfortunately there is no 'voter competency test' given before you vote (there should be, I think). Even today, some people vote for gender or color, because their family "has always voted" that way, or because their spouse tells them to (really...how many married couples do you think vote for different parties?).


As to this specific issue and ballot box? No, not stand alone, but it fits a factual narrative, and that is all we need.


That, and for Michael Ignatieff to stop flailing about blindly looking for an 'issue' that will resonate with the Canadian public. Policies, please. You're not going to beat Stephen Harper with accusations of a 'hidden agenda' (that ship has sailed) or by trying to manufacture/discover a big enough 'scandal' to bring him down...he's too smart for that (all the 'scandals' so far have been minor, and involved MPs and party functionaries, but never the PM himself).


Surprisingly though, I've heard a lot of people talking about it.

Shocked the hell out of me. Media got this one oh, so right...though I will forever ask "what took you so long?"



The only things I've heard are "who really cares about this?" and "why are so many people trying to make a big deal of this?" Seriously. But maybe I just hang around fewer Liberals than you do...:)

Fred from BC said...

Apparently, it is all really because some woman in Saskatchewan is challenging the census legislation.



That was the just the start of it, and not to the exclusion of anything else. There are a few different reasons factoring into this decision...maybe you should look them up if you're really that unclear about what is happening and why?


According to some, this whole thing is about the preservation of our Charter rights. The government knows they are going to lose so they are giving up the fight now.


You mean the are getting out ahead of the issue and being "proactive", right Gayle?

Fred from BC said...

RuralSandi said...

Fred from B.C. - I doubt very much that you understand Ontario politics and the continuing race of Clements and Flaherty to try to become leaders.


I don't, actually. BC politics are bizarre enough.


Clements is one of the authors of the "No Nonsense Revolution" of Mike Harris and is extremely right winged. About looks, there aren't very many good looking politicians right now - Flaherty isn't exactly George Clooney, Mike Harris could be a double for Harper (to me they look alike). Looking at the past, looks hasn't been much of a factor when it comes to our PM's.


We don't vote for our PM's anyway. Flaherty isn't quite ugly (more like "funny looking", and I'm not sure who he ran against) and Harris is actually pretty good looking, I think. This isn't a hard-and-fast rule by any means, but it *is* a factor according to people who study human behavior

(two women have so far said to me that they find Michael Ignatieff "creepy". Both used the same word. hmmm...)


Why should it be an issue when Sheik resigned? It's a huge decision for a man of his calibre.


Why did he wait three months to do so...for maximum embarrassment factor? Civil servants are supposed to be non-partisan, and they don't speak against the government for any reason.


Tom Flanigan on Power & Politics said last night that Clements will say whatever Harper wants him to say at this meeting today and will be told what to say.


I'll trade you Tom Flanagan for Warren Kinsella... ;)

Gayle said...

"maybe you should look them up if you're really that unclear about what is happening and why?"

Oh Fred.

I am well aware of what is going on here - that is why I am mocking your theory.

I'm surprised you did not figure that one out.