The modelling data shared by ON today highlights a basic conundrum re: gov't measures to limit the pandemic's spread. On the one hand, models tell us that lives - many lives - would be saved by decreeing lockdowns, fewer declared essential services, etc. #Covid_19 #cdnpoli
You might think therefore the moral imperative would be to dictate the imposition of those measures - basically shut people into their homes. And governments must surely be looking at the models and wondering if that's not the logical and correct thing to do #Covid_19 #cdnpoli
But it's just not that simple for decision-makers. The harder you squeeze, the more sand you spray from your clenched fist. Will such strict measures - taken pre-emptively to avoid greater rates of infection and mortality - be accepted by our society? #Covid_19 #cdnpoli
Experts tell us that for maximum effect you need prophylactic actions. But, paradoxically, to avoid spraying too much sand - i.e. to get people to comply - you need the threat to be real, the risk to be pointed, the stakes to be undeniable. #Covid_19 #cdnpoli
During the 1990s' drive to eliminate the deficit we had a saying at Finance. Mr. Martin used to caution about the "public withdrawing their consent to be governed" - meaning that drastic gov't actions must be well understood by people or they would be rejected #Covid_19 #cdnpoli
In turn, that means gov'ts must sometimes shock and startle the public into accepting that sacrifice - enormous sacrifice - is the only palatable option. When it comes to shitty vs fatal, people will pick shitty. But they have to be convinced that's the choice #Covid_19 #cdnpoli
I see today's release of projections and Ford's newser as an effort to illustrate that choice - to shock and startle the public. Not for exploitative reasons but to secure popular consent to be governed through times that are set to become even more difficult #Covid_19 #cdnpoli
In that respect, I view today as a sophisticated, crystal-clear exercise in conditioning public opinion. At its most effective, it jars the public into stricter adherence. Alternatively, it builds permission for the imposition of more intrusive measures #Covid_19 #cdnpoli
It's easy to say 'lock people down and do it now' but w/out an agreeing population gov't orders are writ in smoke. Before today, I wasn't as animated about the need to release modelling as were many others. Now I see its virtue. It might literally save lives. #Covid_19 #cdnpoli
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