Monday, December 28, 2009

Sask Party wants to have it's Dairy Queen cake...

...and eat it too.

Logical coherence fail.


Dillon said...

I checked with Sandy Crux, the blogosphere expert on accomplishment lists for politicians.

After confirming that Wall was a conservative, Sandy said the prosecution of DQ for employing 15 year olds, and changing labour laws to allow DQ to employ 15 year olds are in fact two legitimate and completely unrelated accomplishments.

Zach Bell said...

So...I'm perhaps failing to comprehend logic here as well. DQ employs some one who is underage and is not legally allowed to work. As a result, the government follows the letter of the law today and says that in the future, the law should be changed to allow younger people the opportunity to work.

Yeah it appears kinda dumb and it's not like you can expect much of anything from conservative politicial bodies...but what exactely was the logic coherence fail here?

Audrey II said...

The Wall government is bragging about the persecution of a company for doing something that 1) it doesn't think should be illegal, and 2) it acknowledges was the catalyst (not independent initiative from the Wall government itself) for the change that it also wants to take credit for.

From Hubich's comments, it would seem that I'm not the only one that sees an inconsistency.

Audrey II said...

@Dillon: Well, I guess if both Sandy Crux and Brad Wall agree that "heads they win, tails they win", it not only must be true, it also must lend further credence to their claims. ;)

Zach Bell said...

well of course Hubic would see an inconsistency. That's part and parcel of political theatre. However, while we can find the roots of theatre in reality, we shouldn't fail to separate the two.

This is exceptionally common fair. If they play by their own rules, governments are supposed to avoid applying the law inconsistently and on a whim or by way of preference toward an ideology. In a case where the law is demonstratively dysfunctional or otherwise works against the aims of the political body in power, it will almost undoubtedly face change but unless it's immediately repealed, it will still be applied by the state and its agents.

I think perhaps the logic comprehension fail is on your part. While I despise government in most all its forms, I'm kind of put off by this seeming want for government to be able to apply standards of law at a whim in an inequitable fashion.

One of the guarantees of our legal conventions is supposed to be equal application of the law. I mean, I know we don't have that but it would be nice wouldn't it?

Patrick Ross said...

The logical coherence fail is remarkably common with Audrey. That's why she so often attempts to say nothing of any substance. Whenever she does, it tends to grow up to be stupid.

For example, compare this stupidity to her idol's take on the matter.

Good God, Audrey, don't make me come back there and explain this one to you.

Zach Bell said...

You've had plenty of things explained to you yourself there Pat. Kind of the pot calling the kettle black on this count bud.

Audrey II said...

Sorry about the troll infestation, Zach. Part and parcel with having an open comment policy. I appreciate your discussion of the topic at hand, as well as the contrast it provides.

This may be "common fair", but that doesn't speak to a normative or logical evaluation. We're not talking about an issue of vocally reluctant enforcement of a law, but rather one of public bragging about it, while at the same time taking credit for what the law infraction catalyzed.

I understand the argument that you're making, and for the record, the inconsistency that I'm talking about isn't an inconsistent application of the law. I think you might be reading more into my criticism than what actually exists when you derive from it a "seeming want for government to be able to apply standards of law at a whim in an inequitable fashion". My comments were never about the application of the law, but rather the spin that's occurring over labour law enforcement. As a result of the Wall government not being competent at evaluating current law and proposing changes in areas that it felt needing them, it had to prosecute a company for doing something that it actually advocates. And now they're spinning their own failure to address laws that they considered to be unfair before those laws became an issue as double-plus-winning for them. That may very well be "common fare", but it isn't (IMHO) logically consistent.

For the record, I do agree with you about equal application of the law, and hope that the above makes it clearer that my criticism isn't one revolving around application, but rather post-facto spin.

Patrick Ross said...

"You've had plenty of things explained to you yourself there Pat."

Right, Zach. I've had plenty of things "explained" to me by morons who don't know what they're talking about in the first place.

But otherwise, I'm with you.

So, Audrey. Tell me more about the Golden Puddle Awards. Your idol seems to agree that the United States dodged a bullet only by virtue of the would-be terrorist's ineptitude.

Kind of flies in the face of your "pissing their pants by talking about it" argument you've made.

(Not that I expect any honest commentary. Certainly not around these parts.)

Zach Bell said...

Sheeze Pat; the least you could do is stay on topic in just one paragraph at least.

Even if this is to be counted as public bragging Audry, I'm not sure that's unwarranted. Saskatchewan has something in the neighbourhood of 500 pieces of active legislation covering who knows how many pages affecting everything from public health to the University of Regina. It's exceptionally easy to miss something like this until it becomes apparent through real life application and then decide that the situation should be changed.

This is actually partially demonstrative of why people like me think government has far overstepped its legitimate bounds for legislating.

I understand now however that your post wasn't about application of the law, rather the approach to changing it and how it was expressed. I understand that but still do not agree that there is any merit for condemnation here to a specific party even if that party is in charge of legislation today. Part of the reason that this is common fair issimply because the administration of justice and law making is overtly complex.

As mentioned before, there are about 500 pieces of active legislation in our province alone and who knows how many federal acts that affects us as well. I'm sorry to say that it likely shouldn't be expected that governments readily recognize a problem that is not obviously affecting the courts or legal administration.

To me, this is logical in its predictable state of illogical schizophrenia suffered by most governments. The letter of the law was applied, a problem was notices and now attempts are being made to fix it and so the government of the day wishes to take credit for applying the law as expected, noting a problem with the law and then changing the law as its supporters wish.

If there is a logical inconsistency here, it's unavoidable and just another reason as to why government really just sucks.

Audrey II said...


The narrative of a government, reluctantly made to enforce a law that it disagreed with but simply "missed" amongst a overwhelming bureaucratic mess is a compelling one (certain to warm libertarian sympathies) but I'm not sure it accurately reflects what's occurred here.

I don't recall the Wall government publicly expressing regret while prosecuting DQ, nor do I recall vows to wright the "injustice" at the time. I also don't recall the Sask Party complaining about their hands being tied by the construct of equal treatment under the law. The current chest thumping doesn't really fit well into that bit of what I would suggest is revisionist history either, but I could be wrong. Perhaps you have some links?

Another part of your narrative that doesn't quite fit with history is the notion that the bragging might be warranted. Back at the time of the DQ investigation, Mike Carr was busy telling the press that the whole investigation process was "complaint-driven" due to a lack of resources. Now the Sask. Party wants to take credit for prosecutions that it previously had been saying it had no part in bringing to light?

You're certainly welcome to disagree agree that there are a number of logical inconsistencies here, but I think you're relying on a bit of spin to argue so.

Zach Bell said...

Well I think it's all assumptive on our part. Much of what you mention can either be easily explained away or distastefully explained away. For me, it's all the same junk.

I also don't recall the government expressing regret at having to prosecute DQ for violating labour laws and it's reasonable to think that perhaps some one thought it would make for bad optics if the government did so. That would be the illogical schizophrenia I mentioned earlier. All governments suffer from this as they attempt to figure out how best to present themselves as they justify another reason to rob you blind.

The current chest thumping is overtly predictable as government will always spin what it does. Perhaps condemning it just seems pointless to me because it's like condemning a corpse flower for stinkin' up the joint. It's just what it does.

I have no links because it's all assumptive. Governments are often very bad at dealing with PR issues but they do try to capitalize on every opportunity. This is and of itself is self aggrandizing and dishonourable conduct so it's not surprising that it bites them in the keester.

As well, I'm not sure my narrative is dashed to pieces by a complaint driven process. taking credit for actually applying resources to an investigation and paying attention in indeed due diligence. It's pathetic in its standard for what may pass as acceptable work but again, there's a lot a government has given itself to do. A cursory read suggests that the Sask' party isn't taking credit for actually investigating the complaint but rather for recognizing the problem.

Saying that the bragging was warranted may have been a poor choice of words. "Predictable and perhaps loosely justified" may have been better.

I don't think I disagree that there is a logical inconsistency...I'm not sure. I'm interpreting this as a predictable action on the part of government while asserting that all governments suffer a kind of illogical schizophrenia. In short, I guess I just don't expect governments to be logical and any attempt to see them as logical is some what laughable on its face.

Audrey II said...

@Zach: I entirely agree that governments strive to put the best possible spin on their actions. That, however, != logical coherence, nor does it preclude inconsistency. An a priori set of extremely low expectations when it comes to government becomes an easy way to shrug off criticism as "typical government schizophrenia", but not everyone proceeds from the position that government can not be anything but a "stinking corpse flower". I understand that that is a larger debate, but am content with the acknowledgment that inconsistencies may exist, even if they fall within what you personally expect of all governments.

For the record, I don't think that the "complaint driven process" dashes your narrative to pieces", but it does take a lot of wind out of the Sask Party's current bragging sails. The Sask Party didn't want responsibility for the prosecution back when it was occurring, but it does want credit for it now. Shrugging off that kind of inconsistency with "That's just common fare for governments" seems to me to be a shirking of normative evaluation. That other governments might engage in spin or inconsistent appeals to embellish their records doesn't preclude, nor does it address whether or not this government is doing so.

Zach Bell said...

I suppose it's easy to remain unphased by government stupidity when you expect nothing else. Hahahaha.

I suppose I figured that addressing whether or not this government was engaged in spin or embellishment was unneeded as it was obvious that they were indeed engaged in spin. Whether or not that spin is unethical however...that's the part I can't simply claim as a legitimate argument.

I'm sticking to my stinking corpse flower comparison but I think anything else would likely be largely unusual for some one like me.

As well, I'm not sure it's fair to say the the government did not want responsibility for the prosecution. Governments rarely have the resources to achieve everything they want to achieve and if it weren't a shortage for labour related investigations, it would be a shortage in some other area of government responsibility.

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