Tagged: Tom Flanagan
In the moral panic that arose in response to Tom Flanagan’s comments on child pornography last week, most of those who rushed to join the lynch mob were guilty of self-righteousness abetted by misrepresentation. CBC New executive Jennifer McGuire and University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon, however, deserve special mention for their failure to uphold the responsibility their instituions have for protecting controversial speech. Both had a duty to uphold a core principle of their organizations, and they weren’t up to the task.
Tom Flanagan, the University of Calgary political scientist who once served as Stephen Harper’s chief of staff and who has a long history in the Reform, Canadian Alliance, and Conservative parties, tells Meagan Fitzpatrick of Postmedia News he is puzzled by the government’s decision on the census:
It’s just never been an issue in the Conservative movement. It just literally comes out of nowhere as far as I can see… I think it was an exercise in bad government to suddenly spring this on the public without any previous discussion, no consultation at all. You don’t deal with the public that way in a democracy….
They are alienating a lot of people who have supported the government and would like to continue supporting the government, people who are fundamentally Conservatives but see this as just bad government,” said Flanagan. “It’s not clear to me what they’re going to pick up from this politically and they’re irritating a lot of people who would like to be their friends.
I would go further. Like the Fall 2008 mini-budget and the savage attacks on diplomat Richard Colvin, the census debacle reinforces quiet doubts among middle-of-the-road Canadians about the course Harper will chart if they are ever imprudent enough to give him a majority.
Or to put it another way, if Frank McKenna were their leader, the Liberals would be over 50% in the polls, not under 24%.