Friday, October 03, 2008

Harper and the Debate

Harper did not come out of this unscathed. For example, what is left of his environmental platform is in tatters. It is too bad one of his opponents did not deliver the coup de grace by pointing out that just as emissions in Canada have risen over the last 20 years emission intensity has gone down.

However, given the number of shots he took on the economy, Harper came out relatively well on that account and his get dumb when it comes to crime plan was more or less given a free pass. Harper kept on saying that crime is up in “some” places and amazingly no one had the foresight to say “yes it is, but it is down in the vast majority of places.” Furthermore, May was the only one to point out how odd it is that Harper would consider sending somone, who is not considered mature enough to vote or drive, to jail for life. It was too bad May did not take it further. Not only are 14 years not allowed to vote, or drive, but they are also not allowed to decide whether to quite school, decide to marry, drink alcohol or consent to sex with adult. It takes a great deal of chutzpah on Harper’s part to on the one hand raise the age of consent to 16, or as the Conservatives like to say “age of protection”, and on the other hand claim that 14 years should be held to the same standards as adults when it comes to criminal matters. It also says a lot about the Conservative world view.

Of course the main reason that the major opposition parties were not able to mount an attack on Harper’s get dumb when it comes to crime platform was that they refuse to address the root cause surrounding the only kind of crime, viz., drug related crime that is going up and will continue to go up. I do not mean poverty; that was mentioned. No serious discussion of drug and gang related crime can take place without first acknowledging that what fuels drug related crime is the amount of money involved in the drug trade and the lure of money is the main reason why poor young men and teenagers come to be the foot soldiers in the drug trade. Not to put too fine a point on it but gang bangers to do commit drive bys for shits and giggles. They are on the job when they commit these acts. Pace the politicians, these are not meaningless random acts.

I surmise that part of the reason that May remained silent on the subject of legalizing marijuana, for example, was the political fallout of NDP’s version of Cheech and Chong.

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