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Do we really need to follow this particular mode of thought?

The idea that ideology as opposed to reality being in the drivers seat when it comes to decisions that the Federal Conservative government makes is scary.  Since when did making policy based on fact become sacrosanct?  Did Steven Harper need his own noun to make war on?  I propose we give Steve his war, let us call it the “The War on Evidence“.

It certainly seems to be a war with recent policy decisions that are based on what seems to be the zany ideas Harper pulls out of his ass.  Cancelling the long form census is the most notable example of policy that seems to have come out of deep right field.   I mean the Census is the tool we use to gather data about our country and are people; lets get rid of it?  The notion that the mandatory long form census is some sort of violation of privacy rights is clearly absurd.  People have lost more private information on facebook in one day than the ‘intrusion’ the long form census presents.

How are we to make rational policy decisions without data? The canaries are already chirping a warning on this topic:

“OTTAWA – The union representing federal scientists says “confusing policy decisions” highlight the need for evidence-based decision-making in Ottawa.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada has launched a campaign to raise public awareness of the work done by government science researchers.

Union president Gary Corbett says the Harper government’s controversial decision to scrap the mandatory long-form census is an example of a long-term trend in devaluing government-funded research.

Corbett says program review and departmental budget pressures are putting the squeeze on federal scientists who are also muzzled by a restrictive communications policy from sharing their research with the public.”

Our government is waltzing away from reality and no one seems to really give a damn.  At least not yet.

“The Conservative government has come under repeated attack for shelving or ignoring research from its own bureaucracy on issues such as climate change and criminal justice policy.”

The entire unreported crime fiasco looms large but largely unnoticed by our recalcitrant media.  We are set to build new prisons for theoretical crimes and theoretical prisoners.  All of this despite the fact that we know that building more prisons is clearly not the answer.   Since when did doing things we know are wrong become policy choice #1?

Cynically speaking, I would chalk the systematic ignorance and neglect of science and evidence as a structured part of Conservative policy.  Why?  Because much of what they support is bug-frakking crazy and faced with evidence and fact that tells them and everyone else so is not particularly good PR.  The solution?  Move closer to reality and evidence based policy?  Hell no!  Lets muzzle and undermine scientists and science so we can pass our wack-a-loon policy with no hindrance from reality.

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