Sunday, June 28, 2009

Did Ahmadinejad kill Michael Jackson?

To say the least, it is depressing that the Major Networks have left the Iran story so that they could cover the Michael Jackson Story.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

6 Reasons why Mandatory Minimums for Drug Crimes are bad Idea

1) Imprisoning someone is hugely expensive and in terms of bang for your buck, by far and away the worst form of crime prevention.

2) Longer sentences do not deter junkies in anyway. The research on this is clear. The same goes for gang bangers. With regard to gang bangers, it is the likelihood of arrest and not the severity of punishment that deters them.

3) Conservatives are using a dragnet approach and this causes more harm then good. Mandatory minimums, especially for drug crimes, radically curtail social mobility and encourages social dislocation. With all the emphasis conservatives place on "family values", you would think that conservatives would realize having a critical mass of young fathers in lower income neighborhoods in jail does not do wonders for "family values". Once you get a critical mass of ex cons in area, the prospect of taking back that neighborhood from the gangs is virtually nil.

4) With all the focus the Conservatives have given to crime issues you would think that it is of foremost concern. However, crime is not a problem in Canada. The Conservatives --- and Liberals -- are promising to build a bridge when there is no body of water. Crime is down and becoming more concentrated among those on the margins of society. If one is not involved in the drug trade or prostitution, the chances of one being a victim of a violent crime are very slight indeed.

5) Locking up more and more gang members is no way to weaken the reach of gangs. The individuals might suffer but the organizations thrive. Indeed, plenty of gangs started as prison gangs (e.g., the Red Command and the PCC is Brazil and the Aryan Brotherhood in the US) and other gangs spread as result (e.g., the Crips and Bloods).

6) Yes drug related crime is going through the roof. However, cracking down on drugs, ,especially now, does more harm than good. There is near universal agreement on experts that mandatory minimums for drug related offensives do not reduce crime. A better approach would be to decriminalize the possession of all drugs a la what Portugal did, adopt heroin maintenance programs a la what the Swiss did and above all legalize marijuana. Marijuana is the seed capital for whole host of criminal activities. We need to nip this is the bud.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If Phil Fontaine, Why not Bernard Landry et al too?

"Wooed by federal political parties and corporate Canada, Assembly of First Nations national Chief Phil Fontaine is contemplating leaving the native organization, forgoing a run for a fourth term, a close friend says.
The federal Liberal and NDP parties have both asked Fontaine to run in the next federal election,"

In related news Liberals are courting, Bernard Landry, Lucien Bouchard, and Jacques Parizeau and using Jean Lapierre as a go between.

Liberals: Canada's Seinfeld Party

First the Liberals held a Seinfeld convention. Now with the demand for universal EI standard off the table the transformation is complete. The Liberals stand for nothing. They are Canada's Seinfeld Party. Indeed, the Liberals idea of universality these days is to pander to all groups in equal measure. The following are but a few examples. Quebec wanted to be recognized as a nation; presto it was so. When it came to equalization, the Maritimes wanted their oil revenues not to be counted and presto the Atlantic Accord was passed. One can only imagine if Alberta asked for the same. Canada's native community wanted the farm and and presto the provinces championed an accord, the Kelowna Accord, that the Liberal said the feds would fit the bill for.

As for Ignatieff, he claims he is Pearson Liberal, but he has proved time and again that he is willing to dress up in Conservative drag in order to attract the Tim Horton's crowd.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Are the Liberals worth supporting?

Lost in all the excitement about the Liberals moving up in the polls are questions about the Liberal party itself. Are the Liberals worth supporting? These days it seems to me that the only redeeming feature about the Liberals are that they are not Conservatives.

Liberals pandering to the Social Cons

Talk of the social gospel and Tommy Douglas is simply an attempt to put lipstick on a pig. The Liberals are pandering to social cons, plain and simple. If it was the social gospel crowd the Liberals were going for, they would made Rob Oliphant their point man instead of appointing some evangelical fruitcake.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bill 15: Liberal position intellectually bankrupt and Politically Stupid

The last 5 polls that I have seen on the subject show that a majority of Canada’s support marijuana legalization and by a fairly large margin. More to the point it is something that is particularly popular with the Liberal base. According a 2007 poll, for which the complete breakdown is available, support is 55-41 nationally and is favoured by Liberal supporters 68-29 and by NDP supporters 71 -27.

The way to drum up grassroots support is not pass policies that they are firmly against and then ask them to donate money.

As to the political calculation involved here, it is not one that is going to work for the Liberals. The political advantage the Conservatives get from this is not from their being major differences between the major parties, but from the tone of debate generally. So long as the only option is get tough on crime or stay the course, the Conservatives are going to win the issue. They are the ones that started the discussion and they are always going to be the ones deemed toughest on crime. The only way the crime issue turns around for the Liberals is if they offer an alternative vision. Now I now that I have beaten this issue to death, but if the Liberals were to propose to legalize marijuana, they would catch the Conservatives flat footed.

The Liberals really need to take a stand. They can not continue to straddle both sides of political divide. When it comes to marijuana for example their position on possession has been pretty lax since Chretein quipped that he would have a joint in one hand and the money for his fine in other. At the same time, they have been ever more supportive of tougher penalties for drug trafficking . To say that such stances are mutually inconsistent would be an understatement. How can consuming a joint be no worse than speeding and something virtually every Liberal leader can laugh about but passing one worthy of a year in jail?

Early this week John Reynolds came out in support heroin maintance. On Sunday Ignatieff gives a talk in West Vancouver, Reynolds old riding. The fact even the provincie's most preeminent Conservative is light years ahead of where the Liberals just goes to show how out of touch Liberal position is with movers and shakers in Vancouver.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Liberals lack all Credibility when it Comes to Crime

Even after expert witness after expert witness after witness blasted the Tory mandatory minimum for drug trafficking, the Liberals says are going to pass the bill. This proves once again when it comes to crime issues the Liberals lack all credibility. The Liberal Party is not a party that one can trust make competent decisions, to make decisions based on the best available evidence and not to pander to segments of the public. On a whole range of isssues the Liberals are no better than the Conservatives.