Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Groupthink run amok

It's bad enough that the Harper Cons chose to gut the census with neither any consultation, nor any regard for the massive impact it would have on Canadians. But what would be even more embarrassing for any government that saw its cabinet ministers as even slightly capable of meeting the interests of their constituents is the fact that the Cons have gone out of their way to declare that nobody within the Cons' cabinet hive-mind could ever have held any doubts about the decision:
The government appears most concerned by reports of dissent within the cabinet ranks. Columnists in both The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star have reported that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Industry Minister Tony Clement, whose department contains Statistics Canada, opposed the census decision. The Globe’s Jeffrey Simpson reported that they wrote letters to that effect, but were overruled by the Prime Minister.

“No such letter exists,” Mike Storeshaw, spokesman for Mr. Flaherty, e-mailed, adding that Mr. Flaherty fully supports the decision.

There is no difference of opinion between Minister Clement and the Prime Minister on this issue,” Erik Waddell, Mr. Clement’s spokesman, wrote in a letter to the editor.
Of course, every statement insisting that nobody could possibly question the divine wisdom of Lord Steve will make it tougher for the Cons to reverse course later. And that makes for a serious problem, since as I've noted there's no other realistic way to restore the census in time for 2011.

But it's telling that the Cons have gone beyond merely backing the final decision (which one would expect as a matter of cabinet solidarity), to protesting a little too loudly against the suggestion that they could ever have disagreed with Harper's orders. And the more time the Cons' supposed power brokers spend publicly declaring their inability to so much as hold their own opinion when it conflicts with orders from on high, the more reason Canadians will have to doubt that they're worth listening to on any other point.

No comments:

Post a Comment