Friday, July 22, 2011

Stephen Harper and the Politics of Punishment

Every now and then he betrays himself. Every now and then the mask falls off and exposes the monster behind it.

Like when he woke up one morning and decided to gut the census. For no sane reason.

Or when he plans to jail even more Canadians, especially young ones, even though the crime rate is going down.

New statistics show the national crime rate is continuing its 20-year decline – reaching levels not seen since 1973 even as the federal Conservative government prepares legislation that would put more Canadians behind bars for longer periods of time.

Because this is not only unadulterated bullshit:

“Unlike the Opposition, we do not use statistics as an excuse not to get tough on criminals. As far as our Government is concerned, one victim of crime is still one too many,” Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said in an e-mail Thursday evening.

It's eerily similar to the reason the idiot Tony Clement gave for killing the census. Because a thousand complaints one complaint was too many.

So why is Stephen Harper doing it? I like to think it's because punishment turns him on. He enjoys inflicting it, just like he enjoys humiliating women. But it's probably mostly politics.

Like every demented right-winger, or tin pot tyrant, he knows he can't fool people into supporting his fascist law and order agenda, unless he scares them first.

And convinces them that young Canadians are a dangerous threat. Even though they're not, and they are already treated harshly.

The harsh treatment of youths is even more apparent when the handling of youthful offenders is compared to that of adult offenders. For example, in 1997 the rate of detention for adults in Canada was 151 per 100,000; for youth, 209 per 100,000 were incarcerated

An adult will typically be released somewhere between the one third and the two thirds point in the sentence. A youth sentenced to a long period of custody can have that custodial sentence reviewed in youth court but this is relatively rare.

So how does Great Twisted Leader get away with this monstrous fraud? Answer: with the enthusiastic help of our idiot media.

The specific types of youth crime stories that are deemed newsworthy tend to be those which can evoke feelings of anger and retribution in members of the public. These feelings inevitably lead to movements toward harsher youth justice measures. The media's continued favoring of recent events of youthful offending serves to reinforce and provide added momentum for the "get tough" movement.

And why does the media portray young offenders as a mortal threat to society? Answer: because it sells papers, and boosts ratings in an aging country that hates its young.

Great eh?

You know two weeks ago Seb and I went to the big Scottish music festival T in the Park. We got a really good look at the under twenty generation...with their "new" Beatle haircuts.

And although we argued over the relative merits of the Arctic Monkeys.

We both had to agree that the kids were MAGIC...

And at the end of the day this is the harsh no-bullshit truth.

A Prime Minister who would declare war on young Canadians for no good reason, is a twisted and evil man.

And a country that would allow him to get away with it, is one so old and broken it can scarcely be repaired...


  1. Anonymous1:43 AM

    One victim of crime is one too many? Okay, but how does tossing people in jail prevent this?

    To throw someone in jail, there already has to be a putative victim. Maybe investing in crime prevention might be more effective than implementing a scheme shown to raise crime rates in the US.

    It looks like the talking points have already been distributed for rote memorization and repetition: "We don't use these statistics as an excuse not to get tough on criminals," said spokeswoman Pamela Stephens. An effective government would instead look for a real solution to the given problem, unless they're lying.

  2. Great blog post. Keep up the fight to restore Canada.

  3. An effective government would instead look for a real solution to the given problem, unless they're lying.

    They are lying. There are many prevention models that are working and have been working for over a decade or two. One might even succeed in proving a correlation between the two if one dared go for a statistical, science-based analysis.

    This is pure societal manipulation by an authoritarian group of politicians. The poor, working poor, even the increasingly powerless middle class have to feel threatened at all times and divided to fight against each other and point fingers rather than unite and demand better public services and accountability from their representatives. The unprecedented massive arrests at the G20 was a great example of how badly Harper and his gang want to discourage any dissent or disagreement with his rule.

    And eventually with the slashing of job opportunities and social safety nets, the crime rate will go up.

  4. hi anonymous...whenever enough money and enough effort is invested in preventing crime the results are outstanding. Jailing more people is both expensive and counter productive. But as that Con spokeswoman makes abundantly clear, facts don't seem to matter to the Harper regime. They are rabid ideologues and until they are defeated this country will continue to head in the wrong direction...

  5. hi Everett...thank you, I'm glad you liked it. And I certainly intend to keep working to try to save our Canadian values. I admit it is a disheartening time, but if we want our beautiful country back we can never give up...

  6. hi are absolutely right. Quebec is a good example. They invest heavily in rehabilitation programs for young offenders, instead of just punishing them. And their results are the best in the country.
    Jailing more young offenders only creates more hardcore criminals.
    But then the Cons are such fanatics the concept of harm reduction is foreign to them. And the longer they are in power the more our country will become a jungle...