Saturday, February 28, 2015

Even Conrad Black Can't Stomach Bill C-51

He knows a thing or two about law enforcement, the judicial process and essential liberties.  All that has Conrad Black incensed at Bill C-51 which he sees as a threat to the freedom of the Canadian people.  He doesn't like the place into which he believes Stephen Harper plans to lead the country.

As presented, Bill C-51 makes a Swiss cheese out of due process, and the three national political parties have approached the problem from distinctly different angles. The government have swaddled themselves in Stephen Harper’s default-toga of protecting the public, aspersing civil liberties concerns, and uttering tired pieties that “the law enforcement agencies are on our side,” presumably referring to their objectives rather than their political preferences. It is easy to be cynical about this and resignedly conclude that Vic Toews and Julian Fantino ride again (itself a terrorizing thought, and thought-terror is assumedly covered in the vast sweep of this bill). The government is responsible for preventing terrorist outrages from happening and it has to be given some licence to protect the country and everyone in it. But it is hard to be overly sanguine about the medieval antics of the government that took the giant leap backwards that was the omnibus crime bill. Nor is it reassuring that Mr. Harper, as is his frequent custom, is imposing a shortened debate on Parliament.

...We have ample proof, from the McDonald Commission’s 1981 report and elsewhere, that the law enforcement agencies in this country, as in others, are capable of outrageous and unfathomably stupid abuses, and anyone who has had anything to do with any arm of the law knows it (although most people in these occupations are reasonably dedicated and honest). Definitions have to be tightened; oversight has to be stringent and prompt and answerable to parliament, and we should be careful of too much reciprocity with foreign governments. Only 10 or 12 other countries have as much respect for human liberties as Canada does and must retain; the United States, with its 99.5% conviction rate and stacked rules — a criminal justice system that is just a conveyer-belt to its bloated and corrupt prison industry — is not one of them. If we go to sleep in Canada, we will wake up in an unrecognizable despotism, like Argentina, Turkey, or Louisiana.


the salamander said...

.. while following the debacle of Bill C-51 I am also researching The Residential Schools story & the Truth and Reconciliation Commission..

Numerous Agencies, churches, Governments, religious orders etc.. refused to comply with legal orders to hand over all and any documents, photos, artifacts, records etc..

Thus Secrecy, Obstruction, Deceit became a large part of the challenges the Commission encountered. Finally, the greatest obstacle was revealed.. The Harper Government.

The TRC's mandate was originally scheduled to end in 2014 with a final event in Ottawa. However, it was extended to 2015 as a large amount of records related to the residential school system was handed over to the commission after the federal government was ordered to do so by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in January 2013 (Wikepedia)

I find myself stunned by the parallels.. and that The Harper Government wants Canadians to just trust them .. its so ludicrous as to be unbelievable.

Need another parallel? The Harper Government wants the majority of the testimonies from the Commission destroyed.. Sound familiar?

The Mound of Sound said...

What perplexes me, Sal, to the depths of my being is why so many Canadians still find Harper credible - on anything? What is it?

kpn said...

Totally agree with both of the comments.

Toby said...

The Mound of Sound said, "What perplexes me, Sal, to the depths of my being is why so many Canadians still find Harper credible - on anything? What is it?"

I have the same problem. Where I live the Conservatives could run a dead dog and it would win. The MP we have might as well be a dog; all he does is repeat what Harper says and wag his tail. Actually, I've seen smarter dogs. Before he was elected there was a local public forum. There were six candidates. The Conservative was by far and away the least capable candidate, unable to answer any question without reciting from the official Party notebook. He won by a landslide.

Why do people vote for guys like this? I think that much of the voting public is in a political stupor. Most of those who vote Conservative have always done so and still think it is the Party of Diefenbaker and Stanfield. Frequently, people tell me that they won't vote Liberal and there are no other choices. Some of these people will wake up when something terrible forces them to. The rest will go to their graves without noticing.

Dana said...

Stupid, thoughtless, sanctimonious, selfish and borderline sociopathic.

Harper Conservative voters.

They don't give a flying fuck about you or me or anyone else who they decide either disagrees with them or with Harper. They'll throw one of their own under the bus in seconds flat. What do you think they would happily do to you?

As the writer of the Newsweek article Mound linked to says of the Reform Party being Canada's version of the Tea Party I say of today's Harper voters.

Nothing will shake them. Nothing. It's a Darwinian mystery.

UU4077 said...

Conrad Black? Who'd a thunk it?

Hugh said...

Conservative voters are brain-dead. I don't know, maybe they watch CNN or something. They don't read this blog.

Ron Waller said...

This is OT. Was delighted to find that Canada's market fundamentalists (aka in the corporate media, "experts") like Andrew Leach are up in arms over an article in the Rolling Stone that lambastes Canada over the tar sands:

Crude Awakening: How the Keystone Veto Dashes Canada's 'Superpower' Dreams
Oil prices are crashing and Obama has vetoed Keystone XL.
Will Canada double down on its dirty tar sands?

It seems pretty factual to me. (Except for the parts where it says Trudeau Jr. is opposed to Harper's dirty-energy super-power vision.)

Glad to see you wrote about the Newsweek article the neoliberal "economic scientists" also claim is utterly contrary to facts. (Given their economic ideology doesn't remotely resemble reality, it's not surprising they find black white, up down, etc.)

The Mound of Sound said...

Thanks for the link, Ron. I hadn't stumbled across the Rolling Stone piece. It's better than the sloppy bit of writing Newsweek published.

Anonymous said...

Thanks!! It is so good to read other comments as to the sloppy brains of the Conservative mind set. It is often disheartning to hear what Canadians talk about. For example, an Albertan, red neck cave man dreams about how much money he can spend travelling to places he hasn´t seen....and only that. Mention Canadian Government subjective attitudes towards it´s people and in one second flat, wait to be called negative....that happens to be the attitude of people who call themselves conservative. Anyong