Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Lies and the lying liars who tell them

The census debacle overview from Heather Scoffield and Jennifer Ditchburn is well worth a read - and I'll plan to circle back to a couple more points in future posts. But for now, let's highlight their concise summary of the sheer amount of dishonesty - in terms of both the number of people involved and the number of false claims - put into service by the Harper government to defend the indefensible:
The Prime Minister's Office's response in the early days of the debate was unusual at best.

The director of communications, Dimitri Soudas, sent reporters an email underlining how many Canadians had listed their religion as "Jedi" during the 2006 census, and making reference to census workers visiting homes at 10 p.m. — something Statistic Canada says does not occur.

Clement was forced to defend the decision with no prior consultation or polling to back him up. Neither was there any clear indication of just who in Canada was upset by the intrusive questions in the long form.

Bernier claimed that as industry minister, he had received 1,000 complaints a day during the census season of 2006 — but then couldn't produce a single one.
Cabinet members such as Transport Minister John Baird and Treasury Board President Stockwell Day helped spread a few untruths, ridiculing non-existent questions in the census on bathrooms and reading material.
(Edit: fixed typo.)

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