The federal Justice Department has chopped $1.2 million from its research budget, and is tightening control to ensure future legal research is better aligned with the government's law-and-order agenda.
Previous legal research in the department sometimes caught senior officials "off-guard... and many even have run contrary to government direction," says an internal report for deputy minister William Pentney.
There's Jumping the Shark - that moment when a TV show runs out of gas and starts to decline. This is different, though - by trying to control the flow of evidence to shape CPC direction, MacKay, like Pierre Poilievre before him, are more like monkeys jumping on the bed.
Look, I get it - Team Harper feels like they're an Empire now, "history's actors" and all of that. They feel like they can shape policy however they want; Canadians don't care and all the Opposition can do is bleat after the fact.
Media can say "no more monkeys jumping on the bed" but there's no imperative for government to listen.
The thing is, though, that they may feel high and mighty, jumping the bed as they do, but the reality is that gravity isn't on their side. Less education and tougher sentences? Less social service, less support for workers?
Who, historically, does this approach benefit? Who does it fail? What happens when you've got disproportionate members of minority populations feeding an increasingly-expensive incarceration complex, yet insufficient workers for menial jobs?
What happens when squeezed middle classes are looking for someone to blame, and government keeps pointing to interest groups?
The reason evidence runs contrary to CPC policy directives is because those directives don't work; the doctor has a point about bed-jumping. Just look at those monkeys that came before you.
The "each to their own", "work makes you free", tough-on-crime approach has time and again failed, largely because it involves a complete lack of sociology-committing. More descriptively framed, of course, "sociology" - the study of society - mixes with anthropology and psychology in the field of behavioural economics.
You don't need to go so far as to study neuroscience or study patterns of history, however, to get where the Empire trend leads. How many Empires have lasted the test of time?
Exactly. They tend to fade away, like Neanderthals or homo erectus.
Team Harper can deny the evidence and go with their instincts all they want - like every other Empire in history, the only ones they're fooling in the long term is themselves.
Silly monkeys; those tricks are for kids.