Political Stupidity

Maybe I follow politics too closely, but lately politicians across are fine country have been driving me mad with their stupidity. It’s their statements, or worse policy decisions, that have no basis in science or reason that really boggle my mind.

Case in point, Stephen Harper’s decision to fire Linda Keen, former-president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Her crime was doing her job. Keen was tasked with ensuring Canadian nuclear plants are run safely, and when she found a problem she ordered it fixed. Of course, our Prime Minister knows more about nuclear safety then she does.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in December that there was no risk of a meltdown, and his Conservative government pushed emergency legislation through parliament to get it working again.

Speaking on Tuesday, Ms Keen said the chance of a failure was one in 1,000, while the permitted international standard for nuclear fuel failure was one in a million.

“Ignoring safety requirements is simply not an option,” she told the House of Commons committee that is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the shutdown.

(Source BBC News)

And in less reported news,

The federal government yesterday tried to block the evidence of several witnesses – including that offered by renowned fisheries scientists who recently worked as consultants to Ottawa – in a case that questions the Conservatives’ commitment to the Species At Risk Act.

By rejecting experts whom it recently regarded as top environmental advisers, describing them as biased and irrelevant, Ottawa is trying to head off a sweeping legal review of endangered-species recovery plans drafted under SARA.

(Source Globe and Mail via ecojustice)

Our current government has always been good at ignoring or even silencing scientists that present evidence that disagrees with their ideology – their small part in spreading truthiness to all Canadians.

The thing is I don’t expect politicians to be knowledgeable about all scientific issues, but I do expect them to listen to experts and at least try to understand. Which is why it’s troubling that just this week the federal government decided to dismiss the National Science Advisor, because evidently the government doesn’t need advice, it already knows what’s best.

The only time the government seems willing to listen, is when the public makes a big stink, like it did last month on Copyright Reform – although it might be reintroducing that mistake soon.

Not to pick on the Conservative exclusively, although they do seem to be the worst offenders, we also have the NDP here in BC calling insurance rate adjustments a “shameless cash grab”. Why would you make that political? It’s revenue neutral and based on statistics. What a stupid comment.

And the Liberal government thinks building more roads is good for the environment, in the ultimate example of green washing and truthiness.

And in Vancouver, councillor Suzanne Anton compares construction on the new SkyTrain line to 9/11 and says people should have simply shopped more — like “after 9/11,”.

But on a lighter note, we have Rick Mercer’s take on the Manley Report.

And because Ayelet asked, here’s the videos where Obama announces his run for presidency. I think the part that impressed me was at 1:20 of the 2nd video. The man is an amazing public speaker, especially when compared to the current American president.

Video 1 and …


  1. This might just be my cynicism talking but an amazing public speaker does not a successful politician make. I like Obama but I find him to be too idealistic and not grounded in reality. He thinks he can change the world but he’ll have to work within the system that he’s got and I don’t think the system lends itself to idealism.
    Hillary, on the other hand, sounds rehearsed and fake 99% of the time. She’s your typical politician but maybe she’ll at least pursue some of her pet causes.


    • I know, but there’s something about Obama that really does inspire hope. I have cynicism about most politicians too, but I believe in Obama. And I agree with his politics a lot more than Hillary’s.
      I think Obama would be better at compromising and getting results then Hillary would. There are just too many Republicans who detest her.
      I think it’s amazing how young people have come out in droves to support Obama. (There’s a TIME article about it today) He represents change, a breath of fresh air. Hillary is such an old-guard, establishment candidate. I think if Obama loses, there will be a lot of young people turned off politics.


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