Saturday, October 22, 2011

Suspicion Is The Prime Directive

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.


Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

The Harper Concervatives do not make decisons on a rational basis. When the first came to power the cut GST when no one was asking for it. Then with the economic collapse the found themselves short of money, creating a deficit.
Now they have a plan to get rid of the dificit while approving vast expenditures: new air craft, new ships, refurbishing military armored vehicle for a war we just finished fighting etc. Now they want to spend large sums of money (they will not tell us how much) to build jails and police (which also cost provinces money) when their is no crisis of law and order in Canada. I could go on.
I suspect they will be crying for cuts in programs, most Canadians want and need in order to balance the budget. One can only shakes one's head in wonderment.

Owen Gray said...

One really has to wonder how smart these folks are, Philip.

As Mr. Shakespeare wrote, "Oh, what fools these mortals be!"

thwap said...

It's either the harpercons pandering to their moronic "Blogging Tories" fan-base, and simply fantasizing that everything can be paid for, or it's harper knowing that poverty will increase and creating a police-prison-industrial complex will build a power base from which he can continue to extract votes, while at the same time he crushes dissent and creates deficits to justify cutting social welfare programs.

Owen Gray said...

I'm beginning to think that he sees the protests coming, thwap, and he wants a security system in place to deal with those he considers his enemies.

It's all very Nixonian.

ck said...

Owen, I think I agree with you on that. RE: the protests, beginning, with perhaps the occupy movements across Canada. That's gotta be cramping his style, especially when Bank of Canada chief, Mark Carney dubs this occupy movement as "constructive".

But, more than that, Harper, Toews and Nicholson have been brainwashing many Canadians into actually believing how much safer Canadians will be with this bill.

In committee, when people were testifying, there was one woman in particular who literally had me choking on my coffee! She was the mother of one of Clifford Olson's victims. While I am sorry for her loss, what she said made very little sense. She basically told the committee that if C-10 had existed back then, her daughter would still be alive because Olson would've been locked up. Huh? She, of course, didn't explain how that would work. What did she mean? Olson would've been institutionalized from childhood as some kind of preemptive measure? That C-10 would have deterred Olson from doing what he did? Very unlikely. Monsters like Olson do what they do because in their sick twisted worlds, this is what they feed off of. It's how they get their sick thrills and chills. Even the threat of capital punishment wouldn't have stopped him. Which brings me to my next point. Repeat violent offenders do what they do because it's how they feed their sick urges and longer sentences and other threats don't serve as a deterrent. I'm not saying don't lock them up. I'm merely pointing out the huge flaw in that woman's argument. An argument that the Conservatives listen to, but not those from the experts. Not those with rational arguments.

On the flip side, they heard from a man, an Aboriginal from Manitoba who was a repeat offender (not murder), I forget what kind of crimes off hand, but he did serve federal time. He turned his life around. He has a trade. He works in construction. He supports his family of two children. Now, he is seeking his dream job--to work for Manitoba Hydro, on the lines. For that, he needs to obtain a pardon (remember, people like this man will have a much harder time, if not a zero chance of obtaining this pardon under c-10). Harper and his Conservatives are only too eager to continue punishing this man for his past sins. You know, one would think that any true Conservative would be proud of how this man turned his life around and that he has vocational aspirations and not standing in the way of him obtaining his pardon so he could continue to support his family, pay his taxes and continue to contribute to his community. Not Harper and his band of Conservatives, it would seem.

Another note, they're spinning ad-nauseum how it will put the pedophiles away. Senator Pierre-Hugues Boivenu is ga ga giddy. I wonder if he has even read the bill? Probably not. If he had, he'd find that pedophiles would be doing less time than somebody who got nailed with a few pot plants.

Owen Gray said...

Besides the paranoia, ck, there is the need for vengeance. I understand how the mother of Olsen's victim feels.

But the the Conservatives' drive for vengeance goes way beyond that. Theirs is a deep seated hatred that seeks to destroy those they perceive to have done them wrong.

They would never consider the notion that the very policies they champion could be at least partially responsible for the pathologies they condemn.