Saturday, October 31, 2015

How Harper's PMO Prevented a Nuclear War (Or Possibly Started One)

There are many, many comical moments in the unravelling of the Harper Party.  I hesitate to say "this is the best one" because there will be a better one tomorrow.  But this is a good one.  Former PMO worker Andrew MacDougall has penned a hilariously hypocritical column for Postmedia in which he acknowledges that he was part of an authoritarian regime, but argues that the Trudeau Liberals would be mistaken to follow in his footsteps.

Yes, authoritarianism does suck when you're not the ones in authority, doesn't it, Andrew?

The eyebrow-raising moment comes just a few paragraphs in:
The remedy must also reach beyond the whipping boys and girls in “short pants,” all of whom, despite recurring bouts of overzealousness, cared deeply about their government, country and party. We didn’t invent the diminishment of the backbench MP; it was Trudeau père who labelled backbenchers “nobodies” 50 yards off Parliament Hill. We just took it to DEFCON 5.

Some of us object on principle to living under authoritarianism, but there's also a practical element to it: more or less without exception, authoritarian states are badly run states.  Because you can only bring so much background knowledge to your new office, and there's only so much time in the day to learn new knowledge, and there's just so much damned stuff to micromanage.

I don't know how I feel about the fact that someone who acknowledges being part of an effort to micromanage Canada's way to prosperity in this dangerous modern age doesn't know the difference between DEFCON 5 (stand down for peacetime conditions) and DEFCON 1 (prepare to initiate nuclear war).

Dear God, what if Canada still had nuclear weapons and the Americans sent us a message saying a crisis had been resolved? We could have blown up the world.

Edited for update: On a similar note, read one of the Conservative Party's would-be interim leaders' recent grammar-failing statements and then try to tell yourself, with a straight face,
These are the people who draft and debate our laws. It makes sense to have a legal system that parses those laws for meanings that hinge on a single word, even if the MPs that passed them have trouble writing complete sentences.

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