Saturday, August 22, 2009

By necessary implication

Cameron has answered the latest attempt to pretend that opposing the Cons is the same as supporting the Libs with due mockery. But let's go a step further and ask what it means if the Libs' logic is taken at face value.

The claim is based on the following pattern of reasoning:

1. Canadian voters have only two choices for government, the Cons and the Libs. (False, but let's keep going to see where it leads.)
2. Because Canadians have only those two choices, any statement or action related to one of the Libs or the Cons constitutes an endorsement as between the two.
3. Included within (2), any statement that the Cons should be removed from government is then taken to constitute an endorsement of the Libs.

But there's just one glaring problem from the Libs' standpoint if that reasoning is accepted.

Assume that it's true that any declaration that the Cons ought to be removed from power constitutes an endorsement of the Libs as against them. Isn't it then equally true that any declaration that the Cons ought to be kept in power constitutes no less an endorsement of the Cons as against the Libs?

And by that logic, haven't the Libs been endorsing Stephen Harper against their own leaders for the better part of two years?

Again, there are obvious flaws in the argument to begin with (if ones which the Libs have gone to great pains to avoid noticing). But Steve V and other Libs might want to take a closer look at what they're saying in stating that each party can choose between Con government or Lib government, full stop - because they've made a rather damaging choice in that department themselves for the past 79 confidence votes.

(Edit: fixed title, typo.)

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