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Juking the stats Add to ...

I was all set to say something nice about the Tories' apparent success in accelerating the land-claims process when the argument was wisely put to me that getting bureaucrats to meet a quota isn't really that much of an accomplishment.

You'd think that from all that obsessive Wire-watching, I'd have learned not to be taken in by the numbers game. But what the government seems to have accomplished here is along the lines of Baltimore's finest boosting their arrest stats by racking up small-time possession charges. As Chuck Strahl acknowledges, it went after "the low-hanging fruit" - shattering the record for the number of settled claims, but resolving such minor ones that the amount paid in settlements only slightly exceeds the annual average.

I still have a lot of time for Jim Prentice - he's a far cry from Tommy Carcetti - but kickstarting this process probably shouldn't be among the many valid arguments for him to eventually inherit the Conservative leadership from Stephen Harper.

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