Monday, May 12, 2014

We're Not Paying You To Tell Us Something We Don't Want To Know

That would seem to be the mentality behind the Harper regime's chopping of $1.2 million from the federal Justice Department's research budget.

As reported by the CBC, the cut, which represents 20% of the department's research budget and will result in the termination of eight very experienced legal researchers, seems to have been prompted by its penchant for uncovering some inconvenient truths that run counter to the regime's simplistic law-and-order agenda:

Previous legal research in the department sometimes caught senior officials "off-guard ... and may even have run contrary to government direction," says an internal report for deputy minister William Pentney.

What was the nature of that research? The internal memo, obtained by the Canadian Press under an Access to Information request, doesn't offer specifics, but observes that past projects have "at times left the impression that research is undermining government decisions."

The fact of the Harper cabal's fondness for fostering ignorance over knowledge is suggested by a department report last year on public confidence in the justice system [that] appeared to be at odds with the Conservative government's agenda.

Researcher Charlotte Fraser found many Canadians lacked confidence in the courts and prison system, but suggested it was the result of misunderstanding rather than any failures in the system, and that education could rectify the problem.

Critics said the finding was contrary to the government's approach, which is to pass tougher laws and impose harsher penalties rather than to cultivate a better-informed public.

Other research also offered refutation of the Harper Hammer of Justice approach so favoured by the red-meat set:

Another 2011 study, on the sentencing of drunk drivers, found that harsher terms for first offenders had little bearing on whether they re-offended — a finding critics held to be contrary to the government's agenda of tougher sentencing through mandatory minimums and other measures.

It is often said that good help is hard to find. And of course good help in Harperland consists of those who follow Dear Leader's imperatives without question. So the regime has sent out a powerful message to those who would enter public service under its aegis: Those with integrity need not apply.


  1. They truly believe that Ignorance Is Strength, Lorne. And they fail to understand why they are judged to be fools.

    1. They live in bliss, Owen, permitting no contrary view to disturb their equilibrium.