Aside from spending a few minutes inside the mind of Stephen Harper, tasking myself with understanding his politics remains elusive, unfathomable and disturbing. Harper’s announcement this week of proposed “tough on crime” legislation serves as another example of how loopy Canada’s embarrassing leader has become.
In a nutshell, Harper declared intent to introduce legislation concerning the legal definition of “life sentence” for serious crimes. Vowing to protect citizens from perpetrators of “heinous” crimes, those convicted of first degree murder involving police or correctional officers, terrorism, kidnapping, treason, sexual assault and crimes of “a particularly brutal nature” , would automatically receive life with no chance of parole. Currently “life” for first degree murder means no chance of parole for 25 years. Aware of constitutional challenges, Harper added “some killers” could petition for release after serving no less than 35 years – however, the application would be heard by the Minister of Public Safety –
“This is not parole,” Harper said. “Unlike parole, decisions will not rest with an appointed board but with the federal cabinet, men and women fully accountable to their fellow citizens and to the families of the victims of these crimes.”
News flash Mr. Harper, currently Canada’s “heinous” criminals have no chance of parole under the designation of “dangerous offender”. The likes of Paul Bernardo and Robert Pickton will never be released from prison. Passing yourself off as a public safety savior, proclaiming your politics our last bastion of justice – frankly lands as a transparent blustery attempt to bolster your position. Did you really think Canadians would fall for fear mongering?
Silly me, of course you did. Why else would you approve this controversial post on the official Conservative party Facebook page? You truly are a piece of work, but I digress.
It goes without saying that our justice system has issues. That said, implementing a rigid system of “life without chance of parole” strikes me as bat shit nonsense. I thought the purpose of incarceration was to reform, educate and transform lives. The possibility of parole might be the only incentive prisoners have to change their lives, take that away and all you have are penal colonies full of violent, angry misfits.
Stephen Harper believes Canada will swallow his “tough on crime” agenda with nary a blink. It doesn’t work that way Mr. Harper, we’re Canadian.Rather than embarrass yourself and waste our time with pre-election platitudes, why not put on your big boy pants and address issues responsible for crime? You’re sorely mistaken if your delusions of grandeur translates into treating Canadians like hysterical fools.
Those responsible for heinous and brutal crimes must be removed from society. That said, you can’t colour every criminal with the same brush. Canadian courts have the power to designate criminals as dangerous offenders with no chance of parole, suggesting your government will make the world a better place is delusional.