Get off my lawn
It's hard not to be struck by the comments this morning of some rock-hard Conservatives, puzzled or perplexed by why the government has waded so deeply into the census controversy. Tom Flanagan is most eloquently baffled in this CanWest story.
"It's just never been an issue in the Conservative movement," he said in an interview. "It just literally comes out of nowhere as far as I can see."
Flanagan, a political scientist at the University of Calgary, said while some of the privacy concerns may be legitimate, the way the Conservatives have handled this is completely misguided.
"I think it was an exercise in bad government to suddenly spring this on the public without any previous discussion, no consultation at all," he said. "You don't deal with the public that way in a democracy."*** Update ** I also love this La Presse story, which reveals that Harper used long-form census data for his M.A. thesis.
And then there's Kevin Gaudet, head of the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation, and a long-time supporter of Harper, going back to the days of the old Reform caucus, when Harper was an MP and Gaudet worked in Manning's office. On Twitter this morning, Gaudet is engaged in a lively attempt to draw Industry Minister Tony Clement into debate. I.e: on spending, regional dvpment, corp welfare you act interventionist. Suddenly libertarian on census???
Personally, I've wondered aloud on Twitter this morning whether all these announcements, like that old saying about Scottish cuisine, were founded on a dare. Ie. Bet you can't eat this sheep's stomach, or bet you can muse aloud about doing away with affirmative action and then deny it the next day.
Alternately, I'm thinking that someone in the PMO saw this movie clip below and decided it would make a great campaign slogan for the next election. Good luck with that.