Saturday, September 27, 2008

Harper, Prison Rape,and the Angry Canadians

There have been a lot of low moments in this campaign so far...just Google Cherniak for some of them. But for me the most vile moment came when Stephen Harper vowed to sentence 14-year-old Canadians to life behind bars.

And then had the nerve to accuse Gilles Duceppe of being a demagogue for saying that would make them fresh meat for older Cons in our jungle jails.

When of course Duceppe is right.

Men rape in prison every day. They target those who are younger, physically weaker, smaller in stature, inexperienced in prison life or suspected to be gay or gender-variant. Older, stronger men rape for both sexual gratification and social power.....Those unable to defend themselves — straight or gay — have little choice but to become sexually subservient in exchange for protection.

Canadian prisoners are generally at lower risk of sexual violence than their American counterparts, because of the more manageable size of our prisons and judicial discretion in sentencing. But this could change if the Tories’ law-and-order agenda continues unabated.

(Stop Prison Rape) warns such a “zeal for incarceration” will lead to an influx of young, inexperienced first-time offenders — and that overburdened staff will be less equipped to deal with the powder keg created by the resultant overcrowding.

Because you think it's easy to build twenty more prisons? Or pay for them? Or turn our country into Amerika?

But of course Stephen Harper knows that.

Knows that it hasn't worked in the United States. Knows that it's unconstitutional. Knows that judges already have the option of harsher sentences. But he doesn't care. Because he isn't appealing to reason. He's counting on fear to scare people into voting for him. Because he'll say or do ANYTHING to get a majority so he can turn Canada into a neocon jungle....or jail.

So we can ALL be Big Business and Big Oil.

And what worries me is that it might actually WORK. As a guy who lives with one foot in each official culture...or solitude...I know it won't work in most parts of Quebec. The province emphasizes rehabilitation and has lower recidivism rates than any other.

But in English Canada, even though youth crime has been declining for twenty years, it's a real problem.

I see it in the blogosphere. I hear the deranged ravings on the airwaves. I smell the fear and loathing all around me. Which makes me wonder why so many Canadians are so frightened and so angry. Just like Carol Goar does.

In a tactical sense, Harper's strategy is shrewd. Fear is a powerful motivator. It fits the mood of the times. It is much easier to elicit than hope.

Now look , I don't call Stephen Harper a monster just because I like playing with words. I mean it. I honestly believe that he is a clinical psychopath, with no capacity for empathy, a brutish bully with an alien ideology, and the most morally odious Prime Minister in Canadian history.

And I blame the irresponsible failure of the centre-left to unite, for making it possible for such a monster to win a majority that could TORCH our country.

But at the end of the day I always come back to the same question. I don't want to be too judgemental. I love my two solitudes. Eh?

But is English Canada losing its battle not to become Amerika? And if not.

What kind of a country are we?

1 comment:

  1. I was pretty outraged when I heard about the spending increases for the prison system. I feel society should be looking to improve rehabilitation efforts instead of increasing efforts to lock up more people like animals. making prisons bigger isn't to accommodate the repeat offenders, it is to make room for the average folk that make their first slip up - what i feel is a result of desperate times. i fear this is just the beginning of a new world order, common folk ending up in the prison system over minor traffic violations for example while well-connected people and those with access to high priced lawyers get off easy. expanding the prison system keeps the poor locked up and the upper class free to terrorize our country with their influence and policy.

    thank you for your post, your words are aligned with what i have had a hard time expressing.