I was struck by comments made by Allan Gregg in early September at Carleton University. His comments were shared via email with many Canadians mainly because of his attack on the governing Conservative Party of Canada. Mr. Gregg was a Conservative pollster and is a frequent political commentator. I ‘m not sure if his remarks will resonate much with non-Canadians, but it you want to read them in full they can be found at www.allangregg.com.
Among the many things I noticed was his comments about the internet. The remarks below are somewhat taken out of context:
If I believe the world is flat, the internet now puts me in touch with legions of fellow flat earthers and reams of pseudo science to support that belief. As importantly, if I am so inclined, I never have to be exposed to any contrary views and can find total refuge in my community of flat earthers. The Internet therefore, offers me the opportunity to have a completely closed mind and at one in the same time, fill it full of nonsense disguised as fact. In a brand new way therefore, the internet democratizes not just individual opinion but legitimizes collective ignorance and spreads a bizzaro world of alternative reason. When this occurs, prejudice and bias is reinforced and the authority of real science and evidence is undermined or even more likely, never presented.
Although both the Isaac Brock Society and Maple Sandbox provide useful and practical advice on relinquishment and renounciation and a forum for discussion of the problems of U.S. citizenship based taxation and FATCA, I do sometimes wonder if we are all just talking to ourselves. There has been only a scattering of media reports in Canada and the rest of the world on these subjects in the past year. Most of the articles linked to have a small audience.
I don’t mean to imply that the posters to both sites have a bizzaro world of alternative reason or are ignorant.. On the contrary, almost all posts have been intelligent and thoughtful. It’s just that the issues have not been getting much traction.
From the Canadian point of view there has been an almost complete lack of comment by all political leaders and the MSM for a very long time. We have seen excellent papers written by the likes of Andrew Bonham and Allison Christians, but these papers have a limited circulation.
So I have a few questions—are we just talking to ourselves and to what extent do policy makers in Canada (or any other country) rely on papers in academic or professional journals for guidance in deciding public policy?