Jonathan Kay is not a noted critic of the Harper government. But, in Thursday's National Post, Kay takes aim at Bill C-10, the government's omnibus crime bill. The Conservatives won a majority by claiming they know how to prudently manage the nation's finances:
But Bill C-10 will actually cost billions in the form of police resources and new prisons. That's why cash-strapped American states - which have long played the populist game of lock-'em-up - are moving in the other direction. Reformers in Texas, in particular, think we're nuts for copying the policies that they're now trying to dismantle.
The Harperites claim that mandatory minimum sentences will put real deterrents into the system and better protect the public. They say this as crime rates drop, and as Canadians -- according to the Canadian Index of Well Being -- "report high levels of personal safety; the proportion feeling safe walking alone after dark increased from 86% in 1993 to 90% in 2004."
What. exactly, is going on? It's seems pretty clear that the Conservatives believe they represent the majority of Canadians. The last election put the lie to that delusion. Most Canadians did not vote for them. Nonetheless, if they are paranoid, the Conservatives claim that the majority of Canadians are paranoid.
Suspicion is their prime directive. No one is to be trusted. The government has taken on the personality of the man at the top. He and they live in a Nixonian world.