I am going to very substantially scale back my writing about this issue. I have reached the point where I am wasting my breath. My consolation is that many tens of thousands of Canadians now see this charade for what it is; that this has turned into a very, very bad day at the office for all concerned, including a few strategic geniuses who thought they could narrow-cast their way to electoral gain while the rest of the country missed this story; and that I have managed to shine a bit of a light on some of the most squalid behaviour I have ever witnessed in 20 years as a reporter.
This was written back on February 24th, 2010 in a fantastic post by Paul Wells about… the Rights & Democracy scandal. Today, the audit promised by the government on that organization has missed three deadlines and is still not been delivered. Today the organization remains in shambles: demoralized, frustrated and tarnished.
This, I fear, could be the fate of Statistics Canada. With the census (and a number of other survey) “a few strategic geniuses” thought that in the dead of summer, on the friday of a long weekend, they could kill something that has become core to legislation and decision making for every level of government, businesses, NGO’s, researchers and ordinary Canadians.
Today we know differently. With a Deputy Minister resigned, the media sniffing blood, the country up in arms and every major newspaper running damning editorials the only difference between the census scandal and the rights and democracy scandal is the size and scope of the impact.
Someone needs to tell the PMO that narrow-cast politics is dead. At least for this government There have simply been too many mistakes and the intelligence of too many Canadians has been insulted too many times to get away with it.
I hope that message gets through. I don’t know how many more times this government intends to narrow-cast a policy to try to pick up a few points with a vested interest group but I do know that we are running out of institutions we can’t afford to have destroyed.