Let us now discuss who loves criminals most - Macleans.ca

Let us now discuss who loves criminals most


There are, it seems, the makings of a serious debate about crime policy in this country.

“We need to contextualize these choices and say, ‘If we are going to spend perhaps tens of billions of dollars on building new prisons, is that the intelligent way to go?’” said Mr. Holland.

“I think [the government] can expect that we are going to be very critical of bills that are going to cost massive amounts of money for very little return, and that we expect the government to be basing decisions on evidence as opposed to playing politics with emotions and trying to bully people into voting for things that don’t work.”


Let us now discuss who loves criminals most

  1. Pipe down, Eraserhead, Canadians are united (except in Quebec, which is a very corrupt pro-crime society) in the belief that there should be meaningful consequences for serious crimes. We also support capital punishment by a healthy majority and can easily solve the problem of prison overcrowding by offing these asocial predators, a win-win outcome.

    • I think there are some bugs in the Conbot 3000's new firmware.

    • Pipe down, Eraserhead …….

      ok noB

      • Y b nada? Being erasable is so much better.

        • You don't let me get away with anything!! ;/)

          • Actually I was looking forward to seeing what you'd do with my rekinom. But I guess it is a pretty tough one.

          • The best I could do was

            no li nu age

            but no lie, new age seemed to be stretttttttching it

          • Full credit for a heroic effort. That was certainly a bon adventure.

          • I can't help myself – what the H*ll are you two on about? I tried Goggling rekinom and got nothing that meant anything.

          • LOL

            If you dare backtrack a bit, you'll appreciate Danby's wordplay.

          • Now I get it, sort of. It will take me a while to get it well enough to play it. Thanks for giving me the perspective to at least follow along. Hidden in plain view.

    • Thank you for providing a prime example of exactly what they said the government should not be doing.

    • We also support capital punishment by a healthy majority
      That's not true.

      can easily solve the problem of prison overcrowding by offing these asocial predators, a win-win outcome
      So, I take it that you don't believe that the punishment should fit the crime? Also, it's a pretty expensive way to clean out prisons (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty)

      • I'm not sure what defines an asocial predator. If it's someone convicted of first-degree murder, that would mean we'd only "off" 781 of the nearly 14,000 people incarcerated in federal institutions. Not sure that would save gobs of money or fix prison overcrowding. (Data from the 2009 survey of corrections and conditional release, available on the CSC website.)

        • I interpreted "these asocial predators" as being ascribed to the entire prison population.

          In any case, the article I referenced regards the cost of defending death penalty cases (set up for automatic appeals in the US system). Several states find it a costly endeavor for what some consider to be a less than desirable (in terms of actually being worth having the death penalty) sentencing rate.

          • Maybe he meant we should be executing everyone sentenced for pot possession rather than warehousing them. Those guys sure are asocial predators. Or something.

        • Yes, but bonko would feel better.

    • Could you maybe give a source for the assertion that a) Canadians are united in wishing for draconian sentencing (I hardly think the current regime can be called non-meaningful consequences) and b) that Quebec is a "very corrupt pro-crime society"? With respect to b), it would be one thing to say (with a source) that Quebecers are more accepting of lighter sentences or more inclined to push rehabilitation rather than retribution, but to suggest that they are affirmatively "pro crime" seems a little hysterical. Yes, I can just see Quebecers our on the street saying theft is actually a positive . . .

  2. Being socially conservative (law and order) and fiscally conservative (prudent with money) are not necessarily a match made in heaven, are they?

    • That depends on whether one believes that the long-term savings from living in a law-abiding society outweigh the short-term costs of getting to said society.

      • Well the US has a huge prison population, and 'offs' everyone they can, but they are hardly a 'law-abiding' society.

      • I don't believe prisons represent a short term cost. Feeding and housing inmates, paying staff, building maintenance – it all costs money. Is it proven that locking up more people costs society less? makes it safer? Given that, do I want habitual offenders or violent criminals on the streets? No.
        Prisons don't necessarily teach responsibility, and to me, it's responsibility that helps people to make better choices. Treat others how you want to be treated.
        What teaches responsibility?
        I'm not really sure.
        It's not TV.
        It's not the internet.
        It's not computer games.
        I think it has more to do with being a contributing, active member of society. Give and take- live and learn. It doesn't have to be based in religion or in following all laws to the letter. In my youth I was known to smoke a little weed and be a good person – they weren't mutually exclusive! The road wasn't always straight and narrow, but I knew the difference between right and wrong.
        There are many big businesspeople that can't tell right from wrong and not all of them are, strictly speaking, doing anything illegal. But the ripples from their actions are tsunamis compared to a car thief.

        • I don't think being a socially conservative "law and order" type necessarily implies support for more prisons. It probably does imply support for harsher penalties and a change in the modus operandi of prisons and courts, though.

          "What teaches responsibility? "
          Parents. A return to responsibility depends on a return to responsible parenthood. Off-loading parenthood to daycares, nannies, schools, and TV is not turning out to be a smashing success. Neither is making marriage into a joke instead of a permanent institution designed to keep parents together to raise their children as a team.

          I'd be careful with all this talk about responsibility and knowing the difference between right and wrong, were I you. Someone might mistake you for a social conservative.

          • Coming in a little LTTP here…but Gaunilon, while I sort-of agree with your point that parents are the teachers of responsibility, I can't help but wonder what the stats are on absentee-parent inmates.

            Also, at some point, the person has to start taking responsibility for his own actions; we can't keep blaming the parents as the 40-year-old repeat convict gets thrown in the slammer again for a b&e.

          • Good points all. I don't know the stats, but I'd suggest that an absentee-parent inmate is probably an improvement on an actively-criminal parent.

            I'd caution you also about all this stuff about "taking responsibility for his own actions" and not blaming upbringing….you're starting to sound like a social conservative too!

            In all seriousness, of course people are responsible for their own actions, which is why penalties (not just corrective discipline) are appropriate for lawbreakers. But you can help people avoid these kinds of failures if you teach them responsibility early on. That job naturally falls to parents – no matter how much our society would like to pretend that parents can pursue their own personal goals and delegate child-rearing to others.

          • I'll also add that I used to work as a law clerk for a judge with a criminal calendar. I've seen hundreds of sentencings and convictions, and I can tell you that more severe penalties don't do anything. The average criminal doesn't think he or she is going to get caught. They simply do not do the calculus of "Well, the sentence is 5 years for this crime, so I won't do it, but if it were only 2 years, I'd consider it."

            Moreover, a lot of crime is done with very little pre-meditation, which lessens the deterrent effect of stiffer sentences even more.

            And finally, for a lot of people committing crimes, longer jail sentences are going to increase their chance of committing crime again. For example, we had an 18 year old who had originally been sentenced on a minor drug crime. He then screwed up his parole (by missing an appointment with his officer, not by committing a crime), and Congress in its wisdom (this was in the US) decided that the mandatory minimum for this was 3 years. The Judge asked the guy about his past–dad was gone, he'd gotten into drugs at age 12 and started dealing at 14, all his siblings were dead or in jail, dropped out of school early on (this was a poor area of DC), etc. What benefit to society is served by tossing him into jail for 3 years, where he'll come out with nothing, probably more hardened, at age 21, no skills, no nothing.

            I'm not saying there should be no penalties–not at all. But surely some of the money spent on locking people up could be better spent on giving them the tools they need to turn their lives around.

            And I'd be willing to bet that if criminal penalties were doubled for all crimes tomorrow, the impact on crime rates would be next to negligible.

    • Even in a pure capitalist utopia, government is still expected to enforce contracts and punish rule-breakers. So even if conservatives were serious about dismantling government to near nothingness, it stands to reason that Justice would be among the last departments to go.

  3. Aaron: In future, please follow site protocols and file all posts entitled "I'm So Hard" in the Maclean's After Dark queue.

    • Agreed, I think thats whats gotten Bonko so hot and bothered.

    • Seriously. I saw the post title and now have to go find my eyebrows, as they have leaped off my face.

      • I thought it was just me! Seemed like an odd thing to say publically, in the middle of the day! LOL

        • I was looking for the 1-900-Hot-Wonk advertisement

          "let's talk fiscal policy, big boy…"

      • Reminded me of a Lowell Green expression that always makes me smile…

        When the phone calls lag on Lowell's show he will often whip up an impromptu red-meat "poll" for his listeners and urge them to make a quick call to register their opinion on the hot question of the day and thereby save democracy for one more day. He promises not to argue with anyone and offers a quick, no hassle, free speech zone. Invariably he will use an expression that always brings to mind a phone-sex express line; "We'll get you on, we'll get you off."

        I sometimes think that Lowell has a better sense of humour then he's generally given credit for… or maybe it's just me.

        • Ottawa boy, huh?

          • I didn't volunteer, I got drafted. We were "amalgamated" against our will.

            I still feel violated.

          • Stittsville?

  4. I hope this becomes one of Wherry's recurring titles!

  5. rats I thought this was an article about the V pill :(

  6. The money quote: "Public Safety Minister Vic Toews refused earlier this month to explain what that cost would be, saying: “I'd rather not share that.”"

    Right – why waste time on accountability when the opposition is right there, ready to be smeared?!? Send in Shelly Glover!

  7. And now cue the Tories: "Liberals, by not automatically agreeing without any criticism of our proposal and by not actually demanding that we not just double sentences but quadruple them are clearly soft on crime, Want the Terrorists to Win, and would rather see the cities of Canada turn into burned out shells reminiscent of Mad Max. Why do they not want to help Canadians, who currently walk the streets of Toronto and Montreal and Bowmanville and [insert small town of 30k] in abject TERROR for their LIVES!! Why do they hate all safety?"

    The ridiculous thing is that I'll bet you can't find one Torontonian in 10 that actually feels that the city is unsafe. This is pandering to the Tories' rural base, people who live in the hinterlands and who hate the cities, consider them terrifyingly dangerous with no evidence whatsoever.

  8. If the Conservatives time it right, they will never have to implement their tough-on-crime legislation: all they have to do is keep introducing it right before their annual prorogue.

    Then, they can assure their base that, yes, they are tough on crime without having to spend zillions of dollars on crime prevention policies that don't actually reduce crime.

    And seconding DeanP about Torontonians and safety. Toronto is one of the safest cities in the world, and always has been.