Harper Conservatives: stupid on crime | via @pogge411

Yesterday was the first full day of hearings at the federal Justice Committee on Bill C-10, the Conservative government’s omnibus crime bill. This Globe and Mail report describes the tone of the proceedings as uncomfortable. Based on the comments I saw on Twitter from people who attended, that’s an understatement.

One expert after another is warning the federal government that its massive crime bill will do more harm than good, costing taxpayers dearly for a punitive system that will only serve to make the streets more dangerous.
But Conservative MPs are questioning the credibility of those experts, suggesting they are advocating for criminals or are too detached from the real world to offer solid advice.

… the head of the John Howard Society was labelled an “advocate for criminals” after she argued that the bill would provoke Charter challenges.

Conservative MPs also questioned the credentials of University of Toronto criminologist Anthony Doob and University of Ottawa criminologist Eugene Oscapella, suggesting they were too far removed from real life to offer relevant advice.

To point out the obvious, if the Conservatives on the committee could rebut the testimony of those witnesses on the substance, they wouldn’t resort to what amounts to name calling.
I was originally going to refer to this as gutter politics but this goes beyond politicians insulting each other. This is sitting members of parliament openly insulting citizens who have come before the committee to offer their opinions and their best advice on pending legislation. Citizens attempting to participate in the democratic process in a substantial way are being insulted by the very people who are supposed to represent them.

via pogge.ca
From one of my favourite observers.
All the trademarks are there: belligerent partisanship, contempt for genuine expertise, shallow slogans in the place of actual thought. I get that they want to fill all those shiny new jails, but when it’s too dumb even for the “string ‘em up” crowd in Texas …
This is policymaking by and for Don Cherry. More to come.

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