The Commons: The Finance Minister goes rogue

‘We need advice from the outside’

The Scene. Bob Rae was making fun—pointedly, but sarcastically, mocking the government’s decision to spend $20 million for advice on how to reduce spending. It was, if nothing else, a decent bit of amusement for a Wednesday afternoon.

“Mr. Speaker, a review of public accounts show that the government spending on professional and special services, including the use of consultants, has gone up from $7.24 billion to well over $10 billion, a cumulative increase of over $7 billion,” the Liberal leader informed the House. “I’d like to ask the minister of finance, what does he think the chances are that the $20-million consultants he’s just hired are going to come back and say, ‘You know what a good way is to save money, cut the use of consultants?’”

Here Mr. Rae returned to his seat and here the Finance Minister stood. And here—after some superfluous mocking of Mr. Rae’s time as premier of Ontario—are the altogether remarkable sentences that Jim Flaherty offered in response.

“Yes, we are having experts from outside look at government spending. Yes, we should. Government should not be the sole judge of the way it’s run. We need advice from the outside.”

Had he mispoken? Had he momentarily lost control of his mouth? Did he realize people could hear him saying these things?

Apparently not, because a a few moments later he was saying such things again.

“We should get advice from expertise from the private sector,” he explained for the benefit of the NDP’s Jean Crowder.

Indeed, having said this twice, he was apparently emboldened to then up the philosophical ante.

“Certainly it’s the obligation of government to get the best advice we can,” he told the NDP’s Irene Mathyssen.

The obligation? Of government? Since when? And who says? (Aside, apparently, from the Finance Minister.)

If we were to place any import—if only this once, if only to pass the time—on what the cabinet ministers of this government say out loud, this would seem to categorically contradict much of how this government has chosen to operate. It would seem, in fact, to suggest that Mr. Flaherty has suddenly gone rogue.

Three years ago, for instance, the Prime Minister, who was not present today to hear Mr. Flaherty’s maverick musings, ventured that combatting crime was “maybe the most fundamental reason … the government exists.” And on that note, he sneered at the “the ivory tower experts,” “the tut-tutting commentators” and “the out-of-touch politicians” who do not support his approach to justice policy. Indeed, as the Justice Minister has repeatedly boasted, this government does not govern on the basis of statistics. It does not even attempt to buttress its approach to crime with anything like evidence. It operates, in fact, in direct opposition to the expertise and advice that Jim Flaherty seems to think a government should be obligated to seek.

Perhaps Mr. Flaherty meant only to imply that this standard exists for some of the government’s less-fundamental responsibilities—like budgetary policy and ensuring the judicious and efficient use of public funds. And perhaps only then when a more fundamental responsibility does not take precedence. (This will surely be how he explains it tomorrow when he is forced to retreat from today’s shocking assertions.)

Later this day, for example, the NDP’s Joe Comartin stood to ask if the government might table figures on the estimated costs to the public treasury of the amendments and measures outlined in the government’s omnibus crime bill. It is generally in the government’s contention that such costs are mostly besides the point and the perpetually peeved Mr. Nicholson was predictably unimpressed with the NDP critic’s suggestion.

“Why do those members not stand up for victims of crime for a change?” he asked. “Why not make that a priority?”

Mr. Comartin tried again, this time en francais. Mr. Nicholson duly made a great show of pumping his fist and thrusting his index finger this way and that.

“If that individual wants to get onboard with this,” the Justice Minister ventured, “he should start standing up for victims, people who are the victims of sexual exploitation, do something about drug trafficking in this country, get behind this bill and support it right now.”

If there is a place for expert advice and objective assessment, this was apparently not it.

The Stats. Government spending, nine questions. The economy, six questions. Aboriginal affairs, crime and the environment, four questions each. Trade, the Canada Revenue Agency and the G8 Legacy Fund, two questions each. The G20 summit, equality, transport, immigration, science and Angelo Persichilli, one question each.

Jim Flaherty, nine answers. Peter Kent, four answers. Christian Paradis, Rona Ambrose, Diane Finley and Deepak Obhrai, three answers each. Ed Fast, Gail Shea, Rob Nicholson, Vic Toews and John Duncan, two answers each. Dean Del Mastro, Denis Lebel, Rick Dykstra and Gary Goodyear, one answer each.

The Commons: The Finance Minister goes rogue

  1. “In short, Mr Speaker, this government does not have any idea of what it should be doing, has never had any idea of what it should be doing, and never will have any idea of what it should be doing, except to despise Public Service, bend to Power of The Private, genuflect in Sincere Faith to The Market, and submit to the Great Invisible Hand.”

    • I compare this to a “medical model” whereby a physician, let’s say your family doctor, Doug Rogers, calls in a ‘cancer specialist’ to give him advice on how best treat your spreading cancer.  Is your family doctor an idiot who as “no idea of what [he] should be doing, has never had any idea of what [he] should be doing and never will have any idea of what [he] should be doing..” or is he/she making the wise decision to CONSULT an expert who has great knowledge in a field to do research and give an opinion on a course of action.  As for “despising public service” because you don’t ask them to make recommendations on what cuts should make to their own departments…that is a reach.

      • Sounds like a slippery slope.    What’s next?   Asking statisticians how best to collect statistics?  Asking scientists how to address climate change? Asking criminologists how to deal with crime? Asking health care experts how to deal with drug addicts?

        • Ooooh snap! LOL

          • Snap yourself Phil.  Did you think I would not agree that it is not a good idea to see out expert advice? 

          • Of course not. I think you honestly do believe in an intelligent position based on facts. You’ve proven many times, and I appreciate that about you.

            The facts remain however that this government has no interest in facts whatsoever, and has proven it time and time and time again over far more important matters than this.

            So my comment was more aimed at the fact that “horse face” (sheesh what a crazed handle) most seriously and definitively countered your response with obvious cold hard fact.

            I’m not sure why you believe that is about asking advice from experts, when there is a mountain of evidence the size of Everest that it most certainly isn’t something they’ve EVER been interested in.

            I think Thwim hit the nail below. This is about plausible deniability and passing the buck, not efficiency or facts.

            In other words this is a carefully orchestrated strategy to justify the kind of cuts they want to make, but want to defer responsibility for.

            These are a bunch of populists looking for excuses and cover, and surely hindsight should make that clear.

        • Yes, you are exactly right.  However, do not get too excited as there is rarely consensus among experts on what the right course of action is.  However, seeking out advice is never folly.

          • There are consensuses in all of those fields which contradict conservative policy.

          • Now that just is not true.  There is not consensus among medical experts about how to treat drug addicts successfully.  The most successful program NA (narcotics anonymous) is not even administered by medical experts.  The “experts” can’t even agree on the best treatments for MS.
            Now climate change – there is some controversy there too.
            Have you ever been to a trial – criminologists argue all the time about their differing opinions about how they interpret the evidence.
            Statisticians might agree on the mechanics of statistics but whether the statistical variation is relevant or not is a different matter.
            Everyone brings their world view to the forefront.

          • “  There is not consensus among medical experts about how to treat drug addicts successfully.”

            I didn’t say there was.  I said there was a consensus in how we deal with them. And we know that aspects oif addiction such as the transmission of disease through sharing of needles, access to treatment, and public drug use are improved by safe injection sites.

            “Now climate change – there is some controversy there too.”

            There is a consensus that humans are causing climate change at significant cost to our environment and economy, and that such cost will increase dramatically if left unaddressed.

            “criminologists argue all the time about their differing opinions about how they interpret the evidence”

            The Conservative legislation allegedly crafted to keep us safer, isn’t evidence-based.

            “Statisticians might agree on the mechanics of statistics but whether the
            statistical variation is relevant or not is a different matter.”

            They agree that a mandatory survey cannot be adequately replaced with one that is voluntary.

          • Sorry horse face but there is no consensus on how to deal with drug addicts either that is why there aren’t safe injection site across the country.

          • Nonsense.
            “Consequently, the site has been the focus of more than thirty studies,[11] published in 15 peer-reviewed journals.[12]
            The research indicates an array of benefits, including reductions in
            public injecting and syringe sharing and increases in the use of
            detoxification services and addiction treatment among patients. In
            addition, studies assessing the potential harms of the site have not
            observed any adverse effects.”
            ” An editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal noted
            that after three years of research “a remarkable consensus that the
            facility reduces harm to users and the public developed among
            scientists, criminologists and even the Vancouver Police Department.”
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insite#Research

          • Horse face, thank you for the reference.  Great reading.  Unfortunately, the program has not attracted real support (in terms of funding) anywhere but Vancouver and Sydney, Australia.

      • Shouldn’t our minister of finance, or at very least the army of people and accountants he *already employs* be the “cancer specialist” in your analogy?

        A more apt analogy would be asking your cancer specialist how to treat your cancer and he says he’ll have to call in the pharmaceutical company representative for advice.

        Hm. Wonder what the odds are that the advice *won’t* involve heavy drug use?

        • BINGO

          Asking the private sector how to run a government, when the government is supposedly already spending billions to hire experts in their fields to do precisely this beggars common sense.

          The difference between your average business model and your average governance model is night and day.

          • Like I said to Thwim, Deloitte is not just an accounting company, they hire MBA’s to do consulting.  They are a large company that has many people who can interview the front-line staff in public service and find out their ideas for places where savings can be made.
            You and I discussed the situation in hospitals.  If they took the time to speak to nurses and doctors, they would garner great ideas on where money is wasted and ways to improve efficiency and decrease infections.  To suggest that government can learn from business is ridiculous.

          • Oh please, come on.

            The federal government has massive internal capacities in terms public administration experts that absolutely DWARF anything they can hire in the private sector.

            There is no way in hell they require Deloitte to tell them where to cut, let alone spending $90 000 a DAY to get it. In fact I suspect the price tag is even meant to make this look like a big deal.

            Plain and simple, this is about passing the buck, because the use of their massive internal capacity can’t be sold as indepedent advice.

            And it’s independent advice they need to point to if they want to defer responsibility.

            You just wait. Come March the fit will hit the shan like gangbusters.

          • Deloite has 170,000 employees world wide and as I have repeated over and over….who in the public sector is going to say…”my department is full of waste….lay me off????”

        • Well Thwim, you are assuming the consultants at Deloitte are “accountants”…I, on the other hand believe they are MBA’s who will do research by interviewing front-line staff in the public service.  I believe they will find out where inefficiences are rampant and will put forth proposals for re-working departments.
          As for the “cancer specialist” analogy – the cancer specialist would meet with other cancer specialists in something they like to call “rounds” and they would discuss the plan of treatment for the patient.  It would involve treating the whole patient – psycho/physical/social needs.  Depending on the type of cancer, surgery and or medicine might be required.  The patient and his/her family could need counselling and financial support (if appropriate).  The patient would be given a case manager (nurse) as a go-to person who would answer any/all questions & provide support.

          • And you seriously believe that that sort of expertise does not exist within government?  Please, stop with the projection for once and realize the world is larger than your tiny little boundaries.

          • I didn’t say that the govt didn’t have some experts, I said the experts aren’t independant and they likely don’t listen to the front-line workers.  I personally have never heard of a manager in public-service admitting to redundancy & inefficiency in his/her own department and suggesting that cutting could & should take place there.  It isn’t projecting, it is common sense.  People have a survival instinct.  They don’t stand up and suggest to phase out their livelihood or admit that they are a waste of space.  Maybe you are the one who should get your little boundaries.  You apparently have no experience in public service, yet you present yourself as an arrogant expert.  Does your level of knowledge know no bounds?

          • Good lord, if all people in public service are as moronic as you seem to be, then maybe we really do need outside experts.  

            You’re suggesting that everybody in public service is in complete cahoots, and nobody in the financial planning/analysis department has enough objectivity to do exactly the task that Deloitte is doing for 20 million?

            Really? Man, if you all suck that bad then just fire the lot of you and start fresh.

            It’s got nothing to do with a level of knowledge, it has to do with simple logic.

          • Wow, Thwim you are brilliant and anyone with a different opinion must be a moron.  Never mind that they graduated first in their faculty. 
            I did not suggest that everyone in public service was in “cohoots”.   Maybe one of the places where inefficiences will be found is in the department of finance planning/analysis.  It is not easy for members of a department to be objective and reach a consesus about where improvements should be made.
            I also only pointed out that too often managers meet and make statements about the departments without ever consulting front-line staff and in my opinion that is a mistake because the people on the ground usually have the real knowledge of what is working and what is not.  How do I know this?  Well because, as you know being an Albertan yourself, Alberta Heallth Services, went through just such a crisis where ERs where in “catastrophic collapse”.  The upper management had no idea what was happening but the doctors and nurses on the front-lines knew exactly what the problems were and why they were occuring.  Had AHS hired Deloitte before cutting staff, they would have perhaps made some better choices.
            Now, if you are going to call me anymore nasty names, just don’t bother replying because I understand that you disagree with my opinion….and you think I’m stupid.

          • On the bright side, you got something right this time. Too bad you had all that other stuff before it.

            I question there being any rational need for an additional 20 million dollars to be spent when we have both an independant auditor general’s office, and an independant parliamentary budget officer.

            I especially question the need to use a “pre-qualified” bid process rather than an open bidding process in order to attain a firm that specializes in private sector analysis for the purpose of analyzing public sector expenditures.

            And I absolutely LAUGH at anybody attempting to defend a government which hires an outside firm to find the cuts that they *promised* they could make during the last campaign — because hiring these guys makes it pretty damned clear (for the dense among us who didn’t clue in already) that they didn’t know what the hell they were talking about then.. so why on earth would you think they’re any better now?

          • Thwim, come on, HCI isn’t saying these people in the public sector are “morons” or anything like that.  He’s saying they’re naturally self-interested, as all human beings are.  That’s why we have independence requirements in all kinds of areas of our life.  Why do we require that public companies have independent directors?  Why do we have conflict of interest rules?  Why do we have audit committees with independence requirements?  Why are mining companies required to produce independent technical reports?  In all cases, it’s not because this or that person is a moron.  It’s because human beings are usually not naturally inclined to do something which goes against their own self-interest.

          • So you too believe the public service is so small that there is nobody in it who can look at various units of government with objectivity?

            Here’s a thought. There’s this office called the “Auditor General”, the entire point of which is to examine government practices and comment.

            There’s also a “Parliamentary Budget Office” now, which could be used to look at the Auditor General if you want to be sure that nobody is examining themselves.

            But apparantly, neither of these can be counted to give truly objective data.

            In which case, we should probably fire them both, yes?

      • Let’s just say that I am indeed quite intimate with a Family Doctor. I know from experience that they know quite a helluvabit about cancer. They are on the ground, so to speak. They have seen it day to day in human lives. they know what the treatments are. They do not need to consult a specialist to know what the treatments are. They know you have to cut. And they know where.

        This is not theoretical knowledge, or holding to some dogmatic idea about how cancer works.

        Yes, they will refer to a specialist for treatment. They don’t personally have the knives. They don’t personally have the radium. The specialist will know whether it’s a five minute or a ten minute blast and whether the barium enema should be pink or blue.

        Flaherty is the specialist, but all he knows is some bullshit ideology. Flaherty is the Alternative Medicine doctor who has never seen a patient, but has been been promoted to head of the hospital.

        Ontario is recovering from his financial cancer treatment butchery.

        • Doug your family doctor is a little bit about a lot of things.  He sends you to a specialist because he has no idea if it is best to do surgery or radiate or use chemo.  Flaherty is a lawyer.  He admits he is hiring a firm that has MBA’s as consultants with staffing large enough to do a thorough job of assessing the situation BEFORE he does the cuts.  Maybe he should just cut 20% across the board and not bother assessing the situation at all,  then you’d see what that feels like.

          • The point remains. They are calling in ‘experts’ because they don’t know what they’re doing.

          • So is that why we have independence requirements on boards of directors?  Is that why we have conflict of interest rules?  Because nobody knows what they’re doing?

          • Feigned obtusiosity isn’t a particularly endearing character trait.

          • I live in Ontario. I know what it feels like.

  2. Party first, country second. 

    Just like the Liberals.

    • Yes, they have “an idea” on who can help them get out….a consultant like Deloitte….

      • LOL Deloitte will likely tell them to close down the libraries and build a ferris wheel.

        • Actually, it is cities that fund libraries.  Deloitte will likely give them plenty of options to improve efficiency but like you said yesterday, “people don’t want the government to be efficient”….hahaha…love that quote!

          • Probably because you haven’t a clue about what I said…either time.

            Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto, was elected to ‘get rid of the gravy’

            He too hired a consulting firm to find it, so he could eliminate it.

            Turns out there is no gravy….but through political ineptness, Rob and his other brother Darryl, managed to promote it as shutting down libraries and building a ferris wheel instead.

            As you can imagine, the consulting firm report has died.

            Efficiency?

            Ontario has 2 school systems….a public one, and a separate catholic one. It’s a historical left-over and very inefficient.

            You think any politician in his right mind is going to promote eliminating the catholic one? Even in order to have a better funded public one?

            We have lots of school boards setting curriculum …..being efficient would mean eliminating all those boards and having one curriculum set from Toronto.

            Think any politician is going to be fool enough to suggest that?

            Efficient would also be having one school system….coast to coast …..one set of books, one way to teach. Not 10 different systems.

            Any takers?

            Efficient would mean having one health system….coast to coast….all run the same way.

            Drugs already approved in either the UK or the US shouldn’t be tested again here….by the feds, or each province

            Bulk buying of drugs would save us a bundle

            Still think Canadians would love efficiency?

          • Actually Emily, the Catholic school system in Calgary is much more “efficiently” run than the public system here.  The public board built a swanky new building and is paying more than the going rate for office space in Calgary….meanwhile they planned lay offs of 500 teachers.  Big does not always mean efficient or cost savings.  Alberta has one “health” board.  It is a nightmare.  If a nursing manager on a unit in Calgary or small-town Alberta wanted to hire a nurse, they needed to fill out reeems of paperwork and get the okay from someone in Edmonton. 
            The one good thing about having a centralized system is for procuring supplies – drugs, text books, etc. at a oost savings.
            Admistrating in a centralized system is a disaster.  You need decision making as close to the source as possible.
            When I talk about efficiency, I am talking about getting rid of layers of managment who supervise other supervisers and instead using the resources for front-line workers who actually provide a service.
            Yes, I think Canadians want efficiency.  I just don’t see standardization and centralization of resources as being a necessary component of efficiency.

          • @healthcareinsider:disqus 

            The entire industrial age was about standardization and centralization….which was why it was so efficient.

            It was also uncaring and impersonal, but what the hey, you can’t have everything.

            It doesn’t MATTER which school system is most efficient….it’s being the one standing there within launch range of tomatoes when one system is chosen over another.

            When you talk about efficiency…you mean for you.

          • In Ontario the Province sets the curriculum.

            That is the reason there was a name change from local “Boards of Education” to “District School Boards.”  Now the local boards handle the day-to-day operation and hiring etc. and leave the curriculum, standards, testing etc. to the province.

          • @Farandwide 

            Only loosely, but that’s hardly the point here.

          • LOL, Emily.  Farandwide just proved my point and you dismiss his comment, saying that it isn’t the pointt.  Even the Ontario school system could not operate as one large body.  Efficient is just for me…..it is for everybody.  Alberta Heallth Service has gone back to zones too, letting local managers oversee hiring of staff, etc.  The time expended in begging for authorization from a centralized body caused undue distress to patients who were literally dying in the ER waiting rooms.

          • @healthcareinsider

            We’re talking about Canadians not wanting efficiency, not the ins and outs of the Ontario school system.

            One standard centralized HQ is the most efficient method known…for any topic.  It is efficient, it is not sympathetic

            People dying in ER is the REASON people don’t want that kind of streamlined method. Precisely what I said in the first place.

          • Emily, people dying in the ER was NOT due to efficiency because standardization & centralization did not result in efficiency it actually resulted in an inefficient use of human resources. 
            What is needed is innovated thinking – fresh ideas – like a bunch of young MBA’s can come up with – who know that efficiency doesn’t necessarily mean standarizing and centralizing – bring on Deloitte!

          • @healthcareinsider:disqus 

            Look, you were the one that wanted ‘efficiency’….I told you Canadians did not want it. Efficiency is not humane.

            Now you’re disagreeing with yourself.

        • No they won’t.  They’ll stovepipe the department’s own recommendations using glossier paper and make up the difference by consolidating cost centres (ie, support staff).  The costs centres will adjust by turning the empty cubicles into storage space for the backlog.  The backlog will clear up when it gets bad enough for Cabinet to look like a hero by ordering strategic plans from the support staff’s bosses and hiring more staff to support the ensuing initiative.

          round round we go.

  3. Is it possible that Mr. Flaherty is saying that it is the obligation of the government to COLLECT unbiased evidence (including paying millions and millions of dollars to consultants), but that FOLLOWING unbiased evidence would be a bridge too far?

    I mean, sure, the Tories are spending money on consultants hand over fist, but maybe they’re also ignoring all of the advice that they get from said consultants.  Sure, that would be MORONIC, but it would be consistent.

    • I work in pubic service and I can’t tell you how much, I would have appreciated it if we would have had some “independant consultants”  doing some studying of inefficiencies before the Alberta government made cuts.  There is an independant Health Quality Control Council in Alberta and it investigates problems by talking to front-line workers.  It always comes out with accurate reports and excellent recommendations to make the healthcare system better.  If Deloitte does that kind of consulting and the government listens, it will be money well spent.

      • I don’t have a big problem with a government seeking independent outside evidence to base their policies on, however, everything I’ve seen from this government would seem to indicate that they generally view independent unbiased evidence with naked disdain.

        Using unbiased expert evidence is great, but this government only seems interested in applying the lessons of evidence that they themselves bought and paid for.

  4. You get what you pay for. And the Deloitte advice will be worth it. It’s like 200 trillion pennies for a thought. Expensive? Not when you consider that the civil service stuff we get is ‘free’. Therefore it’s worthless.

    • There is nothing free about the civil service and if cuts are to made, who in the civil service is going to jump up and say, “cut here, in my department.”

  5. It never fails to amuse when someone tries to make sense of anything this government says or does.

  6. The last time these clowns went to Deloitte they didn’t exactly get the answer they thought they’d overpaid for – think Rights and Democracy.

    • Heh. It’d be classic if Deloitte came back and said, “Cut your pensions. That’ll do it and then some.. remember when you guys promised to do that way back when?”

  7. I wonder how much Martin spent on consultants to bring us back from the brink.

    • Ask the good people of Earnescliffe.

      • Why?

        • They were the go-to firm for Paul Martin.

          • They were used for polling.  Were they used for budget recommendations too?

            Smells like red herring in here.

  8. What’s really scary about this is that I know the exact reason they’re doing it. I’ve both done it and been used for it — you want to make a decision that you know will be unpopular. So you hire an outside consultant, and then either by way of a restricted mandate, or just by privately talking to them point them toward the type of decision you want to see come out of the process. Even if the company is ethical about what they do, you’ve provided them with a solution to the problem and it would be remiss of them not to include mention of that solution in their final report.

    So now when the final report comes out, unless your desires were completely bogus, even a fairly honest company will suggest your solution as a reasonable option. Which means that you can now proceed with your pre-decided course of action “independantly” backed, and fallout from it can be conveniently shuffled off to the outsiders.

    • There’s that but let’s not forget the blindingly obvious and fail to mention they made a promise and have no clue how to deliver it.  The public service is still a total mystery to them.

    • You’re right on the money. It’s clear as crystal to anyone being honest with themselves.

      I wonder though, will it turn out like Rob Ford’s gravy hunt?

      I mean this government has been quietly cutting positions since it took power. 5% from most deparments every year for at least four years now. Many more civil servants are set to retire within a five year time frame, which will not only reduce numbers and huge salary dollars, but will leave a huge corporate memory problem.

      The fact of the matter is that I suspect that if Deloitte is being honest, they’re going to tell the government that any further cuts will endanger key services. Not today maybe, but certainly within a few years time.

      In which case, this is probably the time for hiring, not cuts, since it will take a couple years to get these new recruits up to snuff.

      • Phil,

        This governement has added about 40k civil servants since taking power (net)
        They have also increased the debt of the country by 25%

        It is clear to me that deloitte is just the fall guy for this operation.

  9. I can’t believe I’m about to quote Douglas Adams on how the Canadian government operates, (I’m thinking more Dirk Gently & less Hitchhiker), but sometimes there’s a lot more money to be made in “questioning the answer” than in “answering the question”.  We already know the answer:  CUT $4 BILLION.  Unfortunately, we don’t know what question will give us this answer.  That’s what Deloitte’s been hired for.

  10. Excellent observations in that article!!!

    One day in Parliament illustrated it all.

    If we apply basic energy laws and general systems theory to society, we discover that society was controlled by those who were the best at being dishonest, and backing that up with violence. Militarism was the Father, King and Lord of Neolithic Civilization, and probably before and beyond.

    Of course, our society does not operate with a valid scientific understanding of itself. Our society is dominated by the biggest bullies’ bullshit social stories, that were huge lies, repeated for generations, while being backed up with coercion.

    Reality is always organized systems of lies operating organized robberies. Governments emerge as the biggest and best organized territorial gangsters, and behind them are the biggest gang, the banksters.

    Society operates its death and debt controls through the maximum possible deceits. The money system pays for the murder system, and the murder system keeps the money system going in return. That is now a global runaway fascist plutocracy juggernaut, that “Canada” is a component of. We have a global electronic money cybercasino, with quadrillions of chips worth a dozen planet Earths, backed up by the threat of atomic weapons.

    In that context, the problem with “evidence-based” policies is that we can not even begin to have the scientific revolutions necessary to have a scientific society. To begin with: What are your death controls?
    That should be the most important human ecology question. However, the history of militarism has plunged us through the paradox that those who are the best at death control were also the best at lying about it. There is an infinite tunnel of deceit that goes through the heart of society, so that we always are going to be governed by those who were relatively best at being dishonest.

    There should be an arms race between those being lied to, and the liars. However, governments only have to fool enough of the people enough of the time. After that, they can cruise on automatic, and we are now riding along in that runaway fascist plutocracy juggernaut, as more and more of us get bounced out by that roughening ride, and then eventually end up as road-kill?

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