Monday, May 02, 2016
Tony Clement and the Blinding of Canada
It's been five long years since the Cons gutted the census, and left us stumbling in the darkness, unable to determine who we really are, or what kind of country we're really living in.
But now the long-form census is back.
And while I'm happy to see it back, it still bothers me to see that Tony Clement, the Con who presided over the blinding of this country, has still not been held properly accountable.
For while he has said he wouldn't do it again.
Mr. Clement told reporters on Thursday that the decision to bring in a voluntary census had been made “collectively” in 2010 by the Conservative government. In hindsight, he said, “I think I would have done it differently.”
There may be better ways to capture data while protecting the privacy and security of people, said Mr. Clement: “I’ll take the blame for that – I should have posed that question six years ago.”
He's never really apologized.
And these days the Gazebo King of Muskoka is flying high, feeling good about his chances of entering the Con leadership race.
Asked if he’s considering a run, Clement said he hasn’t made up his mind quite yet.
“But getting lots of encouragement, and still talking to people around the country and I’m feeling good about things,” he said. “I haven’t definitively decided, but we’re moving in that direction, sure.”
And even playing in a band.
Clement also talked about his side-career as a guitar player, saying he has several gigs lined up over the next few months and is trying to defend his growing guitar collection to his wife.
“I’ve had one paying gig so far, at the Bracebridge Beer Fest,” he said. “And I got paid 100 bucks.”
And in his present jolly state, doesn't seem to think that gutting the census...
Should have any effect on his political career.
Even though his reckless action blinded us to the needs of the poor and the elderly. Prevented planners from knowing where to build new roads or schools. Wiped many small communities right off the map. Under-reported the numbers of aboriginal people and immigrants. And in the case of gay families, who had just started to be counted, disappeared them altogether.
But then of course, it wasn't the useless Tony Clement who gave the order to mutilate the census.
It was his monstrous leader Stephen Harper.
Last fall, Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided his government would oppose the mandatory long-form census. Since then, nothing has changed his mind. His right-wing ideology and political instinct combined to make a policy that's being denounced by almost every leading institution and commentator in Canada.
For all the wrong and crazy reasons, that only the voices in his head could conjure up to pleasure his rabid base.
This sprang from Mr. Harper's ideological core conviction about Big Government and, more important, a tactical political sense that here was an issue that could activate his party's populist base - that could galvanize the core with bogus but potent arguments about the perils of the "nanny state," the "elites," the "bureaucrats," the same sort of people who connive to take away your guns, raise your taxes and threaten your liberties, against whom only the Harper government stands resolute.
And Clement was only his hapless stooge.
Mr. Clement, accordingly, has been reduced to a pathetic excuse for a minister, peddling arguments he knows are false, having failed to convince the Boss of why the long-form census made sense.
Who was left looking like a liar or an idiot.
Industry Minister Tony Clement acknowledged Wednesday it may well be that only a minority of Canadians support the government’s decision to scrap the long-form census — but he says that’s good enough.
Clement even said if only one Canadian complained about the mandatory long-form census that was good enough to kill it.
For which he should be forever sorry. And give up any idea he has of running for the leadership of the Harper Party. Or anything short of dogcatcher or fart catcher.
Although I urge him to continue his new musical career, and keep travelling from one beer fest to another...
For that's where he belongs.
Just another sorry Con who debased himself beyond recognition.
And whose crimes against this country should never be forgotten...
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