Common Ground


Two lessons we should have learned from the recent Tory policy convention. One, is that politics in Canada has been liberated from fact. Two, is that no nation, Canada included, can afford belief-based politics divorced from reality.

I'm not saying the Tories are the only party that has slipped its mooring lines but it is the party that most shamelessly rejects facts and knowledge.

Perhaps it's time for an independent arbiter, akin to the Parliamentary Budget Office, only one to audit fact.

It's the old Daniel Moynihan line that you're entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts.

You can't argue policy if one or more of you can't stand the facts. As Moynihan stressed, useful and productive argument is only possible within a framework of accepted fact. It might not be reality at the bleeding edge but it would be enough reality to, by debate, narrow the argument and illuminate solutions that all Canadians can understand.

If we keep squabbling over the clearest facts we're in trouble.


  1. All I can think of here is that democracy is ill-served when such a wide reality gap exists. We need strong and effective opposition parties; absent those, the old Liberal arrogance, which we have already seen more than enough of, will reassert itself fully and with a vengeance.

  2. Just imagine if we had some means of holding our elected caste to fact. "We need strong and effective opposition parties." True enough but that is an impossibility without electoral reform. The Liberals and the Tories depend on "false majority" rule and that's a scathing indictment of both governing parties. It erodes their legitimacy. It is not the "good government" prescribed in the POGG clause.


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