Thursday, March 26, 2015

He Wants It Both Ways


When Stephen Harper rode into town almost ten years ago, he claimed that he was the new sheriff and he vowed to make Canadians feel safe. To that end, Steve Sullivan writes, he made all kinds of changes:

He amended the Dangerous Offender law, brought in mandatory minimum penalties for gun crimes, raised the age of consent, toughened penalties for white collar criminals and abolished accelerated parole review.

He repealed the faint hope clause for killers and brought in consecutive sentences for multiple killers. He cracked down on sex offenders, drug dealers and young offenders. He toughened prison rules and made pardons much harder to get. He went after cyber-bullies and those found by the courts ‘not criminally responsible’.

Now Harper wants to limit statutory release, abolish parole for some killers, crack down on sex offenders (again) and, of course, get those terrorists.

If you listen to Harper's election pitch, you'd have to conclude that, as a sheriff, he's been an abject failure:

Harper’s election year message is clear: Canada is a perilous place. In 2015, things are apparently so bad here that we need judges to give police and spies permission to break the law to deal with “terrorists” who don’t seem to know any actual terrorists. And rural Canadians, of course, need to arm themselves right away. Because terrorism. Or murderers out on parole. Or both.

 Harper’s campaign slogan this fall might as well be, “Don’t Keep Calm and Vote Conservative.” Or, “A Vote for Justin Trudeau is a Vote for Terrorism.” Even former U.S. presidential candidate Ralph Nader has noted the deep strain of paranoia in Harper’s campaign strategy.

But after almost 10 years of the Harper government, it turns out we’re still in mortal danger from … everything. Listen to the PM and you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s more danger around today that there was when he took power. And the message is getting through — a recent poll suggests Canadians feel less safe than they did a few years ago.

Never mind the facts:

I could, I suppose, point out the facts. That Canada is not a more dangerous place. That the homicide rate is lower than it has been in decades. That there’s no evidence whatsoever to suggest that more children are being sexually abused by predators today than a decade ago.

And can we please stop pretending that Canada was until recently some kind of sleepy and innocent cul-de-sac when it comes to terrorism? Air India ring a bell? The FLQ? How about Denis Lortie, who walked into the Quebec legislature with a gun 30 years ago and killed three people?

Clearly, Mr. Harper wants it both ways. He wants Canadians to believe that his efforts have made them safer -- and that they are more unsafe than they've ever been. That patently insane pitch might help him get re-elected.


Toby said...

Owen said, "Clearly, Mr. Harper wants it both ways. He wants Canadians to believe that his efforts have made them safer -- and that they are more unsafe than they've ever been. That patently insane pitch might help him get re-elected."

It will. Half of any population has below average intelligence. Harper appeals to that lower half.

Owen Gray said...

Despite his claims to brilliance, Toby, these days he appears to be part of the lower half.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, logic is not a strong point among Cons voters. If it was, they not be supporting Closet Leader.

It is remarkable that even Connie Fournier (Free Dominion), one of the most rabid Cons, is now denouncing C-51 and saying that she is considering voting NDP.

Clearly, Fournier is one of the few Cons who do not fall into the group that Mulcair yesterday said uses "idiocy for an argument".

Owen Gray said...

Mulcair correctly identified the problem, Anon. The question is, how many voters got the message?

Scotian said...

He always has.

Owen Gray said...

And, when he's cornered, he takes no responsibility for either way, Scotian.

Anonymous said...

How can Police be allowed to break the law Owen? This is unthinkable except for in Harper's BRAVE NEW WORLD AND NEW WORLD ORDER.

So if they can we should also be allowed to 'break the "LAW' eh'?

Right now as I type Steve is killing no I meant murdering innocents in third world countries that did us no harm what so ever???

What he is trying to exploit the foreign situation and bang the drums of war to get his "closet terrorists to come on over and suicide bomb innocent Canadians that do not support him or his mummified agenda...

Go figure folks we have a retard ie backwards man [Harper]at the helm of our country yikes...

Mogs Moglio

No cheers today Jason Kenney Hi I,m a Harper con clown and guess what we have decided to have young Canadian men and women captured in battle against ISIS Levant to be beheaded so we can win another mandate? What what the heck did ISIS ever do to us?

Nothing but soon they will when they capture our troops on their home ground. Then we will get Stephen war pimp Harper welcoming back their decapitated bodies and saying "See I told you so." They ISIS is out to destroy our freedoms see look at these headless soldiers. Um why are we there? Just to get a callous unfeeling flunky named Stephen Joesph Harper re-elected.

Steve why are you and Kenney and your son Ben not there? Oh I see political privilege, Royalty I presume? Even the Princes of England had to serve...

Owen Gray said...

Harper likes to bang the drums of war, Mogs, but it's hard to picture him in uniform.

That word "retard" has been expunged from my vocabulary.

Anonymous said...

Well Owen I drove trucks for awhile when I was much younger and engines had retarder brakes so I see no harm in using the word. It is an English term for an alternate set of brakes to slow an engine down quickly. And to top it off it makes allot of noise does this not sound like Harper and his gang? He makes allot of noise and has stalled the economy to a stand still. Harper is our economic engine retarder brake ie he is the retard mechanism got me now ;) I do not make fun of people with disabilities I am one and know how much prejudice I face each and every day. I was merely using an English literature analogy. Simple plain and simple.

Anyways Owen cheers it is always fun and informative to visit your fine blog.

Mogs Moglio

Owen Gray said...

I'm familiar with the device you speak of, Mogs. For awhile, I worked in Human Resources for Purolator Courier -- before it was sold to the Post Office.

In the context of trucking, the word has a specific connotation. But, as you've used the word, it has another connotation.

It's all about tone.

Anonymous said...

No Owen its all about analogy...

Tone is about music...

Is it not?

Analogies are an important literary device to paint pictures in the readers head are they not?

Anyways I love analogies and I apologize if I have offended anyone. No offense meant merely painting pictures with words in others heads.

And I do not agree with hide in the closet warrior Steve and his con clown show. They have proven themselves to be anti-Canadian can I call them terrorists?

Mogs Moglio

Owen Gray said...

I believe that Canadians should be afraid of what Harper is doing, Mogs.

But, if you call him a terrorist, aren't you engaging in the same kind of behaviour he revels in?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps but I doubt it. I am friendly Owen Steve is not he bombs people and terrorizes them I do no such thing. Plus I am ashamed of his behavior...

I personally have allot of doubt he is a REAL Canadian. He is a phoney in my humble opinion. The sooner we vote him out of office the better. I will though bet you Owen a trillion to one Harper knows he has no chance of re-election so he will use bill C-51 to stall the next election permanently, watch.

I hope I am wrong...

Mogs Moglio

Owen Gray said...

He knows, Mogs, that his old standby -- the economy -- won't work this time around.

So he's worked up another pitch.