Take Andrew Coyne, for example. This guy is known among Canada's literati as "the journalist who knows math". He's always saying "Well, the iron laws of Economics will prevent that!" and so forth. And when he says it what he means is that your figgers don't add up. So what happened when he realized that Tim Hudak's 1,000,000 jobs plan made no sense unless you divided all his numbers by 8? He endorsed the guy anyway! He essentially abandoned mathematical Platonism, implicitly denied the reality of the number line, turned all Constructivist or, god help us, into some kind of late Wittgensteinian. He claimed, in effect: "Whatever! Numbers do what I tell them to!
He's certainly not the only person to exhibit the same hubris. Anyone who endorsed the "Hudak Plan" in spite of the innumeracy at its heart falls into the same boat. And it was these guys, who were willing to offer the PCPO an intellectual version of affirmative action for conservatives--They're morons, but their heart is in the right place! PASS!--who actually cost team Tory the election.
Because you can't run on an austerity platform with bad math in it! Because austerity brings pain, and you have to be able to demonstrate to people that if you put all the minuses together the right way you get a big plus at the end. Eat your spinach now, and you will get pie later! If you can't demonstrate this, your austerity platform starts to look like gratuitous cruelty, and you like a jerk who can't add. Eat your spinach now! And that's all your getting! Spinach! Nothing but spinach! Yea for spinach!
And in the end that is how Tim Hudak will be remembered.: as an innumerate jerk bearing spinach. And the Conservative movement as a whole has been revealed as punishment loving folk who fetishize certain numbers (that Debt to GDP ratio sure is huge!) but have no real idea how to manipulate them correctly according to the eternal laws of rational thought.
And that's not a good place to be.