Monday, October 27, 2008

Is Harper Cooling on "Get Tough On Crime"?

There are media reports that the Harper Party has its Law-and-Order Get Tough On Crime policy agenda on shifting sands again. They ran into potential constitutional and procedural issues on some of the more right-wing issues form the 2006 election. Their 2008 “law-and-order” platform policy was not only late in the election campaign; it was pretty skinny compared to past efforts.

The Cons enthusiasm for elimination of prisoner voting rights and the abolishing of the artistic merit defense for child porn have been buried and forgotten. The news reports indicate many other election campaign promises in the get-tough-on crime category are being abandoned by Harper as well.

The list is interesting and long including some I agree with some of the policy efforts. I especially like creating mandatory consecutive sentences and no more concurrent sentences for multiple violent sexual offenders and no more additional credit for pre-trial time in custody. I wonder why he is backing off this promise.

Harper seems to have gone soft on terror with the lack of urgency indicated with still no appointment of a national security advisor. Can the same be said for the still outstanding initiative for a national strategy on organized crime?

Now we need to get Harper to back off on legislating life sentences for 14 year olds and get Omar Khadr back home to Canada.