Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Harper's Youth Justice Platform is DiscriminaTORY

Don’t be duped by the fabricated softer gentler, “I want to be your Daddy so make me your Prime Minister,” Stephen Harper. Once again he shows his true colours and his dark side. His very dark side.

Harper says that putting children in jail for life will be good for them and it will teach them a lesson they will never forget. That is true – but a life sentence for a child will not teach any life lessons we would want them to learn. Nor will they learn anything in prison that will serve them, and the rest of us, well in the long run. Those lifelong prison lessons will not prepare them to come out of incarceration and be ready to be well adjusted and contributing citizens to the benefit of society.

Thinking life in prison will be just the ticket to get bad kids to pull up their socks and straighten up is insane. Harper’s abject ignorance of the consequences of his policy and his well polished penchant for willful blindness is yet another character flaw and so disappointing to discover in such a well educated man. How can he simply choose to ignore the reams of research that overwhelming concludes the contrary outcomes of such a merciless policy? Blind adherence to a faulty political ideology it the key here, don’t you think

There is an astonishing level of personal commitment that Mr. Harper continues to show towards steering Canada into a neo-Republican authoritarian Bush/Cheney model of governance. This is epitomized by his youth “justice” election platform.

Harper's youth crime policy shows us just how opportunistic and shallow he truly is. Though this policy that is framed as getting tough on crime, Harper believes that, in his world, social justice concerns should have nothing to do with dealing with root causes of crime. Concerns over poverty, family violence, developmental disabilities and mental illness don't count. Addictions and even abuse of children are not in his repertoire of responses he needs be concerned with in dealing with children who may have committed serious crimes.

Currently there is a presumption of juvenile court status fr accused youth. That presumption can be rebutted thereby putting the accused child in an adult court. This is an evidence based objective assessment process and decided at the discretion of the Courts. And it works very well. Harper’s vision of Canada would eliminate any mealy mouth concern for such soft on crime issues of equity or extenuating circumstances for children who are accused of a serious crime.

There would be no stinkin’ judge making no stinkin’ judgment call about any concern of circumstances or consequences for bad kids in a Stephen Harper vision of Canada. No context or nuance in Mr. Harper’s family man facade of how to get tough on children who are bad. A bad kid who does bad things deserves life imprisonment. Pure and simple!

This policy is unconscionable, callous and once again shows that Harper’s governing style is one of atavistic authoritarianism. Harper’s Canada sees himself as more that a mere Prime Minister. He aspires to be a demagogue and the dominant source of political and public policy power, who will be free exercise total personal command and control of Canadian society.

Harper is also quick and easy to be discriminaTORY too. His youth justice policy is based on age discrimination. He is pandering in the most puerile of political posturing that is aimed directly at an appeasement of Quebec voters. Quebec voters actually believe in rehabilitation as part of a modern criminal justice system and so there are different rules for bad Quebec kids. The rest of Canada also overwhelming believes in rehabilitation as part of any modern criminal justice system. We do leverage more votes for Mr. Harper so the concerns in the rest of Canada don't count in Mr. Harper's vision of Canada.

A bad kid in Quebec has to be 16 before he deserves to be tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison. A bad kid in the rest of Canada must turn bad earlier because he deserves life in prison at only 14 years old. This is a breach of the Charter and again shows the situational ethical standards ingrained in Mr. Harper. This is a man who sees politics trumping any other Canadian value as he pursues his personal quest to gain political power and dominion over all of Canada.

Wake up Canada and be afraid of this man. He is famous for bullying political opponents inside to outside his party. His has descended to picking on children now…vulnerable children. Children who are most likely to be unable to defend themselves and who will usually lack strong advocates and any effective family support systems to help them in such devastating times. Children are amongst the most vulnerable citizens in our society. Children in serious trouble with the law are extremely vulnerable...but still innocent until proven guilty. Remembering of courae that the child soldier, Omar Khadr, is not included in that foundational principle of Canadian law in Mr. Harper's Canada.

This is more evidence that Mr. Harper does not want to become our Prime Minister just to serve our society and make it better for all of us. He wants to hold the most powerful office in the country and then use the discretionary power of that office to make laws that he is above and could well break at his discretion, yet again!

He broke is his own fixed election date law. And if he is not now breaking the electoin campaign advertising law, he is at the very least, wantonly breaking the spirit of campaign financing and advertising laws. Elections Canada thinks so and a court of law will soon determine the truth of the matter.

He has spent millions of dollars on producing a bunch of bullying attack ads all aimed at debasing Stephane Dion's leadership. All this was done and aired outside the election writ period so he did not have to account for the money spent. He still used tax deductible donated dollars and it was all designed to avoid the requirements of accountability and transparency that is required in our election laws. These are egregious character flaws are likely just the tip of the iceberg, especially if he wins this election.

Imagine what damage this man can do to the country, to you and your family if he gets his majority government. That means at least four full years of unchecked and unbridled Stephen Harper in absolute power and ostensible authority over so much of our lives. With his puppet caucus and trained seal cabinet obliging him every step of the way. I say four full years of power presuming he would actually obey his own fixed date election laws next time. One can only hope!
Be afraid of this man Canada. Danny Williams is right – vote Anybody But Conservative on October 14.