2 min

The thing about crime statistics

The way the Conservatives have been ramping up the rhetoric on their "tough on crime" agenda, it was a little surprising that a number of media outlets jumped on the report that said Statistics Canada’s crime data was all bad. As it turns out, that report was entirely bogus. The methodology was bad and demonstrated an “ideological bias.” Statistics matter. Who knew? (Don’t tell Tony Clement.)

Speaking of statistics, here’s a condemning look at the constant use of horse race polls in the media, which have become a race to the bottom. With increasingly skewed statistical samples, those poll results have become more meaningless. As someone who generally ignores these polls, I feel somewhat vindicated.

Friday in the House, Rob Oliphant gave a statement on Red Hand Day, a campaign that draws attention to the use of child soldiers. He also asked about the matter of the KAIROS funding, now that Minister Bev Oda has been rebuked about it. While the Speaker did call the situation “profoundly disturbing,” the rebuke was all he could do as the matter is still before a Commons committee. This is still an important development that promises to get even more interesting. Susan Delacourt remarks that when documents are altered as they were here, it means that we can’t really lecture other countries on democracy. You can also hear Kady O’Malley discuss it on CBC Radio’s The House here.

Massive access-to-information requests have been made regarding the backgrounds of two university professors branded by the Conservatives as “Liberal hacks,” raising flags about Cold War-era tactics of intimidation. The Conservatives and the PMO deny they’re behind it, but one has to wonder if their proxies might be.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is attacking court judges for “undermining” the immigration and refugee system. You know, the system that doesn’t (currently) have an appeals process for demonstrably bad decisions? Yeah. Legal experts say that the minister has no right to tell judges what to do. Well, until those judges are replaced by former candidates. Incidentally, Kenney thinks it’s okay to revisit the “veiled voter” ban now that a Conservative MP has put it forward as a private member’s bill. He just doesn’t want to go the French route of banning Islamic garb altogether, which is mighty generous of him.

And remember the issue of the paint job on the military Airbus the prime minister is ferried around in? It looks like the PMO is winning the war on having it repainted to a more “prime ministerial” scheme: all white and red. You can’t fight presidential envy, apparently.
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