>I really hate being disappointed in my country, but Stephen Harper and his government often leave me little choice.
As expected, the hideous crime bill passed. Yes, the hideous crime bill that won’t help anybody but those with a vested interest in seeing the prison population explode for no good reason. Other than that, it’s going to put a huge strain on already struggling provinces, make violent criminals out of people who really aren’t all that violent, make big time drug offenders out of guys with a few pot plants, make it insanely difficult to get a record cleared so a person can start a new life, make it even harder for people from other countries to come and work here…and that’s just the stuff I can remember off the top of my head! This legislation is poorly thought out, needless, won’t make Canada any safer, and it could be law by the time today is over.
If you don’t want to take my word for it, maybe you’ll listen to Texas. Yes, Texas! When a state with a record like that tells you that you’re doing it wrong, odds are you’re doing it wrong.
“You will spend billions and billions and billions on locking people up,” says
Judge John Creuzot of the Dallas County Court. “And there will come a point in time where the public says, ‘Enough!’ And you’ll wind up letting them out.”
Adds Representative Jerry Madden, a conservative Republican who heads the Texas House Committee on Corrections, “It’s a very expensive thing to build new prisons and, if you build ’em, I guarantee you they will come. They’ll be filled, OK? Because people will send them there.
“But, if you don’t build ’em, they will come up with very creative things to do that keep the community safe and yet still do the incarceration necessary.”
“Republican governors and state legislators in such states of Texas, South Carolina, and Ohio are repealing mandatory minimum sentences, increasing opportunities for effective community supervision, and funding drug treatment because they know it will improve public safety and reduce taxpayer costs,” said Tracy Velázquez, executive director of the Washington-based Justice Policy Institute.
“If passed, C-10 will take Canadian justice policies 180 degrees in the wrong direction, and Canadian citizens will bear the costs.”
Welcome to the wrong direction, everyone. Isn’t it nice that we have a government that forms policy based on emotional reactions they think will play well rather than on real, hard evidence?
The sad thing is that Stephen Harper is smarter than this. At least he was smart enough to wait until he had his “stable majority government” before going full steam ahead on Operation Tank the fucking Country, anyhow.
To recap, not only do we have the crime bill, but we’re also on the road to copyright law that takes all rights away from consumers and strips away access to information for people with disabilities and having our every online move needlessly spied on and getting to pay for it out of our own pockets. And we can’t forget the snazzy new fighter jets that may not work and so far cost about 3 times more than they were supposed to or the repeated trampling of union rights for the flimsiest of ever changing reasons. All that and we’re not even through year one of this lovely Conservative majority government. I hope all of you that voted for it are satisfied with what you’re getting.