Friday, December 11, 2009

Spin Vs Substance

The common assumption, two parties will spin facts and figures, in the same way, for their own benefit. Because of the spin factor, many substantive claims are dismissed within the noise of point/counter-point. People naturally assume that when one party claims the ceiling, the other the bottom, chances are the non-partisan truth lies somewhere in the middle. In fairness, this is a learned response.

I have to give the Liberals kudos for their presentation on the stimulus funding issue. As far as I can tell, all of the "partisan" releases, facts and figures, that the Liberals have presented, have found independent validation. By contrast, the Conservative counters look like sheer propaganda, nobody able to replicate their wild claims of success. On this issue, it would appear the Liberals are letting the numbers lead them, rather than manipulating the data, to put forth the worst possible indictment of the government.

A few weeks ago, Kennedy and other Liberals argued that only 12% of the stimulus money had been delivered, a terrific chasm compared to the almost complete allocation the government argued. Well, after dumping off boxes of information to Kevin Page, in the most inmature of manners, he has completed his analysis of the stimulus spending. One caution, Page still doesn't have all the information he wants from the government(notice a trend??), but he concludes the following:
In the report, Page says that as far as he can tell, as of the end of September, only $512 million of the government's $4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund has been actually handed over.

That's about 12.8 per cent of the total -remarkably close to the 12 per cent estimated by Liberal critics who were quickly dismissed as misinformed by the federal Tories.

"This shows a very minimal accomplishment. It's fair evidence of a failed job creation program," said Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy.

The numbers are even lower when measuring completed work. The stimulus program had spawned work worth about $245.5 million as of the end of September, the report says.

In other words, just four per cent of the federal, provincial and municipal money that has been announced has actually created economic activity

Actually amazing in this day and age, when you think about it, the Liberals have consistently put out objective truth, without any padding or partisan consideration. I suppose, with such a dreadful performance, one doesn't have to exaggerate. But, the fact that every one of the Liberal assertions over time have found outside verification is something that should be applauded, it denotes a certain credibility.

Once again blowhard Baird has been shown to be just that, while the people he attacks are shown to live in the factual world.


Marx-A-Million said...

It is okay, Dalton approved the Ontario stimulus.

rockfish said...

But will the media report on this? Here on the west coast, the Afghan issue has been buried by canwest (shock!) and there's little reason to expect they'll be talking this up, either. To get this out to the public I think the party has to look at some old-school ideas -- hit the local newspapers (starving for letters) with regionally targeted data to backup Page's evidence, signed by a regional liberal MP. To bad Rossi's leaving. I think the party's made major strides in fundraising; now we need to hit a new level in communication (no more doorknobs/horse-and-carrage shows)...

RuralSandi said...

rockfish - how about letters to the editor in your local papers, etc? Worth a try.

Steve V said...

It's embarrassing how canwest has downplayed coverage on the torture issue. Hardly surprising, but what a rag organization. Die quickly.