Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Emerging Police State

When the House returns later this month, there should be lots of sound and fury. Even though the Conservatives promised a laser like focus on the economy -- and exit polls showed that Canadians expected them to do just that -- the government intends to intorduce its omnibus crime bill. And, yesterday, they let it be known that they intend to resurrect provisions of security legislation which were abandoned in 2007 because, Stephen Harper says, the major threat Canada faces “is still Islamicism.”

The argument seems to be that more jails and harsher penalties for unreported criminals will somehow spur the reporting of unreported crimes. And, presumably, focusing on "Islamicism" will nip terrorism in the bud.  Someone's logic circuits have been short circuited.

As politicians in the UK pointed out last week in the wake of Britain's riots, increased incarceration has not improved Britain's justice system. And, as Bob Rae noted yesterday:

The enemy is not Islam. It is the way in which a religion is perverted and hijacked. The common enemy is violent extremism, the deliberate targeting of civilians, and the preaching of hatred. That should be our focus.

This government, he said, is “taking us on a forced march back to the mid-18th century with their approach to criminal justice.”

No, said Mr. Harper's spokesman Andrew MacDougall, the government intends "to reintroduce these two key provisions [which expired in 2007] in order to better protect Canadians.” We saw to what degree the government is prepared to go in its quest for safety during last summer's G20 protests.

Let no one be fooled. This is not about ensuring the safety of Canadians. This is about the government protecting itself. This is about an emerging police state.

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