The Harper government’s law-and-order agenda has once again reared its ugly head. Last week, Prime Minister Harper announced that life means life, and he wasn’t speaking about abortion or euthanasia.
He wants all really bad guys to serve out their life sentences, with no chance of parole, never, not ever. Critics are saying that his proposed action is simply a placebo since those inmates who are serving life for the most heinous crimes have no chance of getting out anyway. They say the National Parole Board is notoriously conservative, and the likes of Paul Bernardo and Russell Williams won’t be trolling the singles bars anytime soon.
Major newspapers across the country have also condemned the move, questioning why Harper would bring in this kind of legislation at a time when the crime rate in Canada is the lowest since 1966.
Still, Harper insists that more needs to be done to protect Canadians. His action is clearly consistent with the Old Testament beliefs that have guided his tenure as prime minister.
And, thanks to legislation already passed, he’s getting results.
According to Canada’s chief prison investigator, Howard Sapers, our prison system is bursting at the seams with old people (one in five are over 50), lifers (one in three are going to die there), aboriginals (nearly a quarter of the prison population), and women (with numbers up almost 40% in the past five years). And Harper hasn’t forgotten the mentally ill, who make up the largest group in federal penitentiaries.
As Sapers puts it, “Prisons around the world are becoming the asylums of the 21st century.”
As Justice Minister Peter McKay might say, “Well, what are we supposed to do with them, anyway?”
Harper hasn’t forgotten ordinary Canadians in his law-and-order campaign. It’s now much more difficult to get a pardon for the shit everybody pulled in college. Smoke the piece pipe or get behind the wheel when you shouldn’t? You are a criminal for life, my friend.
What could possibly come next?
Get with the program, parents. Don’t make us lock up your daughters.