Disclaimer: The opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect my actual opinions.

June 01, 2004

String 'em up

Yet more evidence that Conservatives are, universally, completely deranged. Stephen Harper, leader of the federal Conservative Party of Canada, unveiled the "law and order" (a.k.a. "string 'em up") segment of his platform today, promising to get tough on crime by introducing, amongst other things, a registry of sex offenders and a US-style three-strikes-and-you're-out rule for those convicted of sexual or violent crimes. Seems he's been thinking about sex a lot recently.

Aside from the sex offence registry, which is a no-brainer for gaining popular support (he'll even put juveniles on the list, bless him), the three-strikes proposal is particularly moronic, even for a Tory. If I really get started on this one I'll run the Xanga site completely out of hard drive space, but suffice to say that sentencing should be done by judges, not by politicians. It should be done on a case by case basis, where circumstances can be weighed. The US three-strikes laws have been tremendously effective -- effective, that is, at filling up prisons so that one-time or two-time murderers are being let free after less than a decade in prison, due to overcrowding.

He'll also ban conditional sentences such as house arrest for violent, sexual (there he goes again) and weapon-related crimes. This is a great idea, except that sentencing should be done by judges, not by politicians. As if that weren't enough, Harper will remove the so-called "faint hope" law allowing convicted murderers the possibility (note: possibility) of parole after serving 15 years of a life sentence.

Oh, and Harper will remove the "public good" clause from the child porn laws, making works of art depicting naked children (like this one, perhaps, by infamous Renaissance child pornographer Titian) illegal.

This man might actually get elected. I leave you now to weep.


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