Thursday, October 26, 2006

Crime: The hot new wedge issue for fall

So, Steve Harper says the Liberals are "half-tough on crime" because the Liberals graciously offered to fast-track the passage of more than half of the Conservative's crime-related justice, while opting to exercise the usual MP role of more carefully examining the rest. I think such work is in the MP job description somewhere.

You know, politics is politics, but could Steve be any more of a jerk? I mean seriously, he comes off like a petulant child half the time, not like a Prime Minister. Here the Liberals are trying to make this minority government work and foster some cooperation and comprimise, and instead Harper throws a temper tantrum. Laureen, no desert for Stephen tonight.

As for just who is actually tough on crime, everyone should read John Ibbitson's column this morning (this time he got it right).

He explains how the Conservatives don't expect most of this stuff to actually become law and, if it does, expect it to quickly be struck down by the courts as unconstitutional. Apparently they're becoming increasingly pissed-off when the lawyers in the Justice department bureaucracy tell them things are unconstitutional. Not big fact fans, I guess.

But that's because they already know that, they just want the political club to beat the Liberals with. Here's how John put it:

Then why do it? So Prime Minister Stephen Harper can turn the defeated bills into a wedge issue in the next election. "You see?" he will say. "This is the price we pay for a minority government. The Conservatives want criminals doing real time, rather than lounging around under house arrest. We want to keep dangerous offenders behind bars, and we want to protect people of faith from being compelled to act against their principles.

"But the opposition parties are more worried about the rights of criminals and pleadings of lawyers than they are about your protection. That is why we need a majority government."

Except it's a lie, because minority or majority unconstitutional laws will get struck down by the courts. Unless he wants to go the notwithstanding clause route.

So instead, instead of working on legislation that will really reduce crime MPs will spend months debating bills the Conservatives know won't become laws/are unconstitutional just so the CPC can have a political wedge issue.

That's Canada's New Government and your tax dollars at work.

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Anonymous said...

Why are the lib's letting the CPoC dictate what the agenda is? Everyone knows "tough on crime" is a Republican party playbook chapter, as is many of their other tactics. These are easy to diffuse, particularly crime as many of the well known statistics show that a.) crime is static or declining in this country and; b.) the measures the Cons want to implement have proven to be expensive and unsucessful (see republican playbook from the 80's and 90's)... while they have the libs answering stupid talking points on this, they continue to do the real damage. This is a smokescreen and the opposition needs to demonstrate this clearly.

Anonymous said...

Not knowing where the new laws will end up this time round, I can only provide a little insight into where taxpayer dollars do go real life.

Everyone might like to spend some time in a courtroom, or having their business broken into, vandalized, robbed, ....and not just once, but multiple times.

Think of the time and money spent on this kind of crime alone....the police work it requires, the legal system that often pays for their lawyer, the way 'bundling up' of charges is done, and how quickly they are released to start it all over again.

Think of how insurance/auto rates rise, whenever crime against property rises.

Think about the special devices required to prevent entry, or reduce theft.

You bet the taxpayer is paying attention, and the only one who can contain the costs is the elected rep.

But go ahead and test people's patience for those costs anymore.

Olaf said...

Alberta Report:

"Tough on crime" is a Republican party playbook chapter, so surely only the Conservatives would want to be tough on crime through harsher sentences, because we all know Stephen Harper is George Bush's lacky and BLECHT!... ohh, sorry, I just vomited, what was I saying?

Here is the first pillar of the NDP platform on crime:

Firm punishment and deterrence through legislation, regulation and much stronger targeted sentencing provisions for crimes involving guns, form the first pillar.

Sounds pretty tough on crime through harsher sentences.

This, from the Liberal party platform (2006):

Tougher penalties – A Liberal government will re-introduce legislation to crack down on
violent crimes and gang violence,and to double the mandatory minimum sentences for serious
gun-related crimes. These reforms will also prevent courts from using conditional sentences
in cases where there was serious personal injury,including all forms of sexual assault;terrorist
activities;and organized crime-related offences.

Martin also advocated reverse onus bail conditions for perpetrators of gun violence.

Man, Martin and Layton are hardcore neo-con, Bush-loving, tough on crime Republicans, eh?

All three parties ran a "tough on crime" platform, is the point.

Anonymous said...

And only Harpor's neo-Cons want to bust the Charter to make it a theatrical sideshow, complete with rubberman, the bearded aphrodite and Mr Strongo, from deepest, heartless Alberta!