Soft on SweaterVests, Tough on Crime


The Tories have released a new ad called “Soft on Crime Does Not Work”.

Right. Because 1993-2006 in Canada was like one long episode of The Wire.

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Soft on SweaterVests, Tough on Crime

  1. Except instead of crack, the dealers sold Canadian flags… Oh, wait, you were busy being sarcastic.

  2. Don’t worry, Potter’s sarcasm is effortless. He makes six impossibly ironic remarks before breakfast, or so I’ve heard.

  3. If I ate breakfast.

  4. You fool! That’s a key meal! Key!

  5. hahaha – you guys have the greatest jobs ever…

  6. Paul don’t tell me you eat keys for breakfast?!

  7. “Would you be my…could you be my…would you be…my neighbour.”

    Welcome to the land of make-believe.


  8. What a coincidence to release that ad the day after a shooting at a Toronto school.

  9. Now Bailey, that would be exploiting a tragedy for political gain — and we all know the CPC’s stance on that.

  10. I disagree with the Tories insofar as I don’t think a harsher legal regime actually lowers crime rates.

    OTOH I support a tougher regime because I want crims to suffer; it makes me feel better.

    That’s not politically correct to say, but I think my feelings on the subject are broadly shared. Vengeance is an important component of justice, even if we like to pretend it’s not.

  11. stewacide: That’s where short-term thinking leads to long term harm. When you apply justice as vengeance, you remove any remorse the criminal has toward disobeying the law.

    In addition, taking a person with criminal tendancies, locking them up with other more experienced criminals, and doing so in a tough way that validifies their idea that society is just out to get them is a recipe for recidivism. We do this, we end up hurting ourselves as much or more than the criminals, unless we’re determined to keep them locked up forever, and pay the expenses thereof.

  12. T. Thwim: I don’t disagree.

    I think offenders should be ‘streamed’ into either reform programs or indefinite incarceration. The ‘middle ground’ of jailing criminals with other criminals and then letting them lose after x-arbitrary-years makes absolutely no sense to me.

    Our present justice system actually does a good job: if I remember correctly Canada has the longest average served jail sentences of any industrialized nation, and the broadest application of indefinite sentences, while also being very reluctant to jail minor or first-time offenders.

    This bifurcation is a good thing, and we should keep moving in that direction.

  13. Now Bailey, that would be exploiting a tragedy for political gain — and we all know the CPC’s stance on that.

    They were against it.

    Before they were for it.

    Before they were against it, again.

    Before they were for it, again.

  14. Vengeance is an important component of justice, even if we like to pretend it’s not.

  15. Oops, I pressed on the submit comment button by inadvertence.

    I meant to say stewacide said “Vengeance is an important component of justice, even if we like to pretend it’s not.”

    If one wants to get more technical the correct term to use would be “retribution” instead of “vengeance. Retribution is also a synonym for justice. This should be a very important part of our administration of justice. It is a moral category – we have to right the wrong done by meting out punishment which nullifies the wrong done. It re-balances the scales so to speak.

    The left thinks that the judicial system is a vast therapeutic exercise and only that. Retribution should be central in the system, rehabilitation should be an important component but it can never replace justice and retribution. That’s why the Conservatives are on the right track here and they get traction on this issue.

  16. That’s quite the sophistry, Jarrid.

  17. Jarrid- Interesting but what about when the system is in error? What if retribution is excessive or completely unwarrented in a given case? How do we set things right then? Does the victim get to take retribution on society? Also, most criminal wrongs can’t be set right, we feel most wronged by the crimes that change a person’s life irrevocably (ex. rape, murder etc…). While we wish retribution could make us whole again, it really can’t in these places. I’m not saying there should be no punishment or even that it should be reduced but the underlying motive of our system should never be primarily retribution based, it is ultimately self destructive.

  18. The system is too soft on the truly evil. And the minor petty criminal jerks should indeed not be housed together to enjoy each other’s company in a bizarre misfit social circle before being declared rehabilitated and released. And yet, there needs to be some kind of penalty box, that means something, in order to deter the petty jerks from being petty criminal jerks.

    The total dismantling of any sensible mental health system has been a public health and safety disaster. The criminal justice system has become a proxy mental health system, because the allegedly real mental health system has abdicated. I wish I had a simple tidy answer, but alas there is none. Which makes politician pontificating on the topic a shaky proposition.

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