I wrote yesterday that Canada's newest piece of proposed tough on crime legislation is unnecessary. In fact, Stephen Harper's whole tough on crime agenda is unnecessary. So what's behind his latest move? Michael den Tandt and Tasha Kheriddin believe Harper has found his wedge issue for the next election. And so does Michael Harris:
There is always a sub-plot with everything done by the sneakiest prime minister Canada has ever had. And it’s always basically the same: Steve doesn’t care about doing the right thing, he cares about doing the right thing for the base. The Conservative base likes the idea of locking up perverts forever, just as it liked the idea of shutting down free injection sites for degenerate heroin junkies.
Never mind that the legislation will turn Canada's prisons into ticking time bombs:
Warden Steve also seems to have forgotten another thing — if these changes are made, Canada’s prisons will instantly become far more dangerous places. As any correctional officer who works in one of Canada’s 52 federal institutions will tell you, it is tough, dangerous work at the best of times. Death can make an appearance over something as trivial as a purloined cigarette, or not enough mashed potatoes on the food tray.
So just imagine what it will be like for guards to deal with lifers who know they are never getting out. Think about it. By taking away all hope of parole — no matter how small or distant — you have turned that inmate into a time bomb. He is no longer human — just one of the living dead. He has no reason to play by the rules, no reason to rehabilitate, and absolutely nothing to lose. Double-bunking people is bad enough in the volatile world of prison; burying inmates alive behind bars strikes the match and lights the fuse.
But that's a minor irritation for Harper. Two things really irritate him: The Supreme Court and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. His proposed legislation is an attempt to make an end run around both.
That what's really behind it all.