I'll hand it to the Tories. They're clever little fuckers when it comes to political manoeuvring, and I hope the other parties keep "political savvy" at the top of their list when picking a leader.
Case in point: The Conservatives new omnibus crime bill called The Safe Streets and Communities Act (aka the "if you love criminals so much why don't you marry them?" bill) makes it sound like the streets are a panoply of pandemonium, and order must be restored!
The bill is being eloquently attacked by the usual knowledgeable suspects: criminologists, police, judges, and lawyers from all sides. And statisticians. The numbers just don't support the amount of money being thrown at criminals, but Harper has a majority now, so who gives a shit. I mean, check out this quote from Justice Minister Rob Nicholson:
“We’re not governing on the basis of the latest statistics; we’re governing on the basis of what’s right to better protect victims and law-abiding Canadians.” Not governing on the basis of the latest statics. You mean the ones that show crime down everywhere, and at their lowest since 1973? Irrelevant. And now you know why the conservatives have such contempt for the census. Why spend money on something that will have no bearing whatsoever on policy when you can do the same thing with a 7 dollar Ouija board channelling the spirit of Ayn Rand? Talk about savings!
And yet, opposition MP's have to tip toe around it because everyone's afraid of being seen as soft on crime. God forbid that someone should point out that upping the rate of incarceration has failed miserably in the U.S. to the point that not even the Tea Party supports it. So, compared to the current Canadian government, the Tea Party is a voice of reason. How does that make you feel?
I hate that the only response Harper needs is, "What do you have against being tough on child molesters?" It's the political version of "So, have you stopped beating your wife?" It leaves opposition mp's in knots trying to figure out how to answer this question.
I suggest a private members bill: the omnibus "Rehabilitate Paralyzed Kittens, and Measures to Institute Social Programs to Address Concerns Regarding Factors of Mental Health and Poverty in Crime" bill, heretofore known as the Rehabilitate Paralyzed Kittens bill. Well, Stephen Harper, what do you have against paralyzed kittens From the waist down. Dragging themselves along. What kind of an ogre are you, sir?
Now, we just need an opposition leader that can sell it.
Lalo Espejo is a writer, monologist and political satirist whose work has appeared on CBC radio, campuses across Canada. He has also taught writing and presentation skills at career colleges in Vancouver. firstname.lastname@example.org