The Drowning of Tony Clement’s Credibility

Spare a thought for the minister in charge of Statistics Canada—or, as it will soon be known, Vague Hunches Canada

Let us pause now and spare a thought for poor Tony Clement. The minister in charge of Statistics Canada – or, as it will soon be known, Vague Hunches Canada – is not that different from you or me. He has a job. He likes his job. He wants to keep his job.

But to keep his job, Tony Clement must now wake up each morning, walk out into the world and say things that make him sound like a wet-lipped halfwit.

In defending the government’s changes to the census, Tony Clement must:

a) …repeatedly say and pretend to believe things that only the profoundly uneducated and our least savvy domestic pets could accept to be true.

Clement: A greater sample size in the long form will make up for the absence of a mandatory component.

My dog: Ruf!

Clement: I sense Senate material!

/ Dog licks self.

Clement: I sense Senate material!

b) …perpetuate a campaign of fear-mongering that even the most dedicated mongers of fear would hesitate to monger: Defenceless grandmothers receive the long form and get a’scared that they will be going to jail! PEOPLE OF CANADA: THE LIBERALS AND NDP ARE FIXIN’ TO SEND YOUR GRANDMAMAS TO JAIL!!!!!!!

(Alas, Clement was ultimately outmongered by Stockwell Day, who in a typically classy move picked out a tasteful Nazi theme and darkly inquired if it’s right that the government can ask your neighbour “whether she is a Jew or not? Don’t you find that one even a little bit chilling?” Honest answer: Not as chilling as the prospect of a foreign guest discovering we’ve handed control of government spending to a guy who believes man and triceratops co-existed.)

c) … make that nice Munir Sheikh fellow cry. Poor Munir Sheikh: He devoted his professional life to statistics and now must endure the sight of Slick Tony Clement fondling the number nine, tongue-kissing the number seven and paying for plastic surgery to turn that frumpy number six into a full-figured eight.

I ask you: Is there no one among us brave enough to leap into the water, swim out, swim back and ultimately leave it to a much older man to rescue Tony Clement’s credibility?

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