Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Economics of War

Last week in The Star a bureaucrat in the Ministry of Defence stated that the Conservative government had encouraged a policy of Canadian soldiers dying overseas rather than coming home injured because it was more cost effective.

I've tried various ways of expressing my outrage over this, and I can't think of anything that isn't captured by the cold reality.

Dead Canadian soldiers = Cheaper than injured soldiers.

Lives have been given a monetary value, and they're apparently not worth the cost.

$16 billion on shiny new planes is a higher priority than making sure that our men and women of the armed forces who serve over seas will be properly taken care of when they get home.

I want to express my deepest sorrow for the families and friends for all those who have died in Afghanistan and won't be coming home as a result of this heartless policy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Where caution goes too far

This is more of a rant than my typical more academic approach.

At some point politicians and citizens need to be able to say enough is enough and stand up to their government and demand an election.

For me this happened years ago when Harper decided to "save" $0.10 per Canadian, but scraping the Charter challenge fund, which helped regular Canadians afford the cost of taking legislation to court for violating the constitution.  Trudeau considered this absolutely vital to making the Constitution a safeguard for the people.  But the Liberals and the opposition squabbled little over this and it was destroyed without much of a fight.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Clement lies about Survey

Well this was no surprise.

The Star

The Globe and Mail

So the Conservatives lied about StatsCan's support of their plan to make the mandatory long form census into a voluntary survey.

Turns out that StatsCan was opposed to the idea since it deteriorates the value of the census and makes it more difficult to use the data as a benchmark against other surveys.

The two parts of this story that I really liked were how the documents surrounding the government's decision were redacted as though they contained some secret material (about statistics).

And how Harper's office asked former head of StatsCan Munir Sheikh to alter his statement saying that the new survey would not be as valuable as the traditional census; to "StatsCan is confident that it will meet the needs of a broad range of users.

Which completely conveys the same message and makes me wonder what other areas the Harper government is filling our lives with such truthiness.