Tory Arrogance Fails Canadians
"The time has come for the minority Conservative government to speak or forever hold its peace; i.e. come up with concrete evidence to back their dubious claims as they struggle to justify changes to the census.
As of Aug. 3 the Tories, badly fumbling this issue, had five days to come up with all the documents they say justify eliminating the long form census. Nothing had appeared by Thursday.
The refusal to come up with the required documents speaks to the problem that has created this problem, and it is summed up in one word -- arrogance. There are a host of problems emerging, the least of which is that the Tories risk alienating Canadians even further.
This is a time when Canadians need leadership, not power politics. We have a party that is ruling without a mandate of the people and an ineffective opposition.
And given that this situation is likely to continue for some time, since it's obvious that Canadians will not give Stephen Harper and his party a majority, it's time for Harper and his party to begin behaving in a more responsible manner.
It is nothing more and nothing less than sheer arrogance for Industry Minister Tony Clement to claim that scrapping the long form census was intrusive and can be easily replaced with a voluntary form.
In case neither Harper nor Clement has noticed, the population of Canada now stands at more than 34 million people. This not a small town where it's easy to get consensus and make decisions after a town hall meeting.
Administering a nation of 34 million people requires a great deal of accurate information if it is to be done effectively. For decades Statistics Canada has done exactly that and this country has been able to administer itself with an efficiency that is the envy of the world.
And one of the most effective tools we've been able to use is crime statistics. In addition to waiting for prior-mentioned documents, Canadians are still waiting for Treasury Board president Stockwell Day to come with the numbers to prove his assertion that unreported crimes are going up. We're not holding our breath. Statisticians have stated the obvious, that because they are unreported it's impossible to gauge.
We have to wonder about the quality of leadership under the Tories when a senior member of the cabinet makes such silly statements.
The arrogance of the Tories, we are now seeing more clearly, is little more than bluster to cover the fact that they are truly lacking when it comes to governing. Harper knows that without tight control over anything said in the media, they will very quickly be revealed as bumpkins.
The strategy has worked as they have torn into one of the brightest men on the political scene, Michael Ignatieff, even if he is at least as arrogant. Ignatieff may have other problems, mainly with his party, but intelligence is not one of them.
**The issue around the census reveals to Canadians that what's happening in Ottawa is no longer being conducted in their interest.
The desperate lengths to which the minority Conservatives will go to get votes for the majority that will never come has become a drag on doing the necessary and important business of the people in parliament.
If the Harper Conservatives want legitimacy, then they should come out from behind this cloak of arrogance by first reversing their position on the census.
Canada needs leadership now, not political posturing."
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