Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Election 2011: Thoughts on "Truthiness" and Evidence-Based Policy

Just a quick post today to link to a blogpost I was invited to contribute to canada.com's Decision Canada election website. In it, I reflect on recent Conservative changes to programs such as the long-form census and the court challenges program which have undermined evidence-based policy-making and a rigorous democratic culture.

I'm marking exams at the moment, which explains the lack of new posts since the weekend, but I shall return!

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At 11:56 am, Anonymous Eamon said...

I commented on that website. I can't believe how vicious people are being - one of them accused you of child abuse. The funny thing is that none of them really refuted your arguments, they just went back to the ideological playbook (which proves your thesis that truthiness pervades the right wing in Canada).

I would make one amendment to your article though - political scientists have been arguing for about twenty years that the role of the public servant is being eroded by governments that make political/ideological decisions, so it isn't just the Tories... they just happen to be the worst...

At 12:00 pm, Blogger Matt said...

You're right, of course, Eamon that the role of the public servant has been eroded over a longer stretch of time. I'm concerned though that some of the key tools that can be used by non-governmental actors to evaluate/critique policy and by bureaucrats to make policy are now themselves under severe attack.

I read some of the comments on the site, and am now largely staying away. Largely unmoderated forums like that encourage partisan trolls to post nasty attacks. (Although, to be fair, it's just the same at the CBC and Globe and Mail's websites. The comments sections of most news websites are often best avoided to maintain one's faith in humanity.)


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