Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lies, Damn Lies, And Statistics

And yes, I assume I'm the first person ever to use that title for a blog post. Wait, the What Wing? West?

Here's Jeff writing something I think is a little off, quoting the G&M:
Overall, a majority of Canadians "agree" either strongly (19 per cent) or somewhat (38 per cent) that they consider the Liberal Party to be a "party of the past, not a party of the future," according to the poll.Among Liberal supporters, 21 per cent believe their own party is a party of the past.--Canadians as a whole seem divided on whether a new Liberal leader will make a difference: one half (52 per cent) agree that regardless of who the party chooses as its next leader, they have "pretty much written off the Liberals."
Which leads him to an existential crisi.  Here's the thing about these numbers. If 52% have "pretty much written off" the Liberals, that means we're playing for... carry the two... 48%. And even if the 57% that think the Liberal party is "of the past" can never, ever be convinced otherwise, not even if we elect a bearded leader too, why that means we can't possibly get ourselves over... 43% support. And in a first past the post system, doesn't something funny happen right around 43%?

So I don't get it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

From the Annals of Politicizing Tragedies...

We have this little gem from... oh, what a surprise, Julian Fantino:
Federal cabinet minister Julian Fantino, a former chief of the Toronto police and the Ontario Provincial Police, said on Sunday the fatal Toronto Eaton Centre shooting underlines that there is a criminal element willing to fire guns in public without concern for who might be caught in the crossfire.
Mr. Fantino, now the associate minister of defence, said the federal government is trying to address gun and drug crimes with stiffer sentences.
“Some of these people obviously need to be taught a lesson,” Mr. Fantino said. “We haven’t been able to effectively get their attention. That’s why some of some of these sentences, severe sentences and mandatory sentences are absolutely critical.”
The Conservatives have now had a majority for one full year. So I'm not even going to Google to check - I think we can assume whatever they wanted to bring in on crime has been brought in. If not, then great - by their own twisted logic this is their fault. But since it's been a year - then Fantino's quotes come to you directly from Crazy Town. Let's follow the logic, shall we?

If there's a shooting then we need to stop judges from having discretion.

That works super great, except that we already have tougher laws, so it's not only not something that works (since no one who commits a murder is thinking "and I bet that soft, librul judge will only give me 15 years in prison"), it's just ridiculous.

It's also a situation where the right, just like on taxes, has set itself up in a (false) win-win situation. Crime goes up? Need tougher laws. Crime goes down (which it is, by the way)? Tougher laws succeeded, need tougher laws.

If there is no circumstance that could prove your totally ridiculous assertion wrong, there's a problem.

But all that is about logic, reason, and fact - not exactly the CPC wheelhouse. So let's take this another way.

Why have the Harper Cons failed to prevent crime? They haven't shut up about it for 6 years of government, and more years of slimy opposition. They don't have a plan to prevent crime - they have a plan to try to look tough and try to get elected. We need something that might actually stop these things, and threats of jail time that potential criminals won't even know about won't do it.

This is something liberals need to talk about - a lot. Which also requires us to lay out what we'd do differently, by the way...