This is why we can't have conspiratorial things - Macleans.ca

This is why we can’t have conspiratorial things

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Jonathan Kay explains why we don’t have any good conspiracy theories.

In recent months, conspiracy theories have dominated the political discourse in the United States: Millions of Republican “birthers” believe Obama is a foreign-born, communist Muslim, or that his health-care plan is a plot to send grandma before a “death panel.” In such a climate, it is impossible to have anything approaching a rational political discourse, which is why the U.S. is so gridlocked over how to reduce its massive debt.

The Canadian political climate is far healthier, and less overheated. In Canada’s recent election campaign, we fretted about how “shrill” things got. But, by American standards, the conflict here was mild: Sure, the Tories made a big deal about how long then Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff had lived outside of the country. But they never once accused him of forging his birth certificate.