Thursday, August 5, 2010

Conservative Buffoon No. 16 Comes to Aid of Buffoon No. 23

Remember the Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two?

Well either the Conservatives are engaged in a reenactment or they're dumber than we think.
Warbling their own indecipherable language and literally leaping from one catastrophic fun-making adventure to another, the Things end up making Conrad's messy attempts at fun look like child's play.
Though Rob Nicholson and Stockwell Day aren't exactly making Harper's messy attempts at governing look like child's play, but they sure put into question their own political futures.

I played the video yesterday of Stockwell Day suggesting that we needed to spend another 9 billion dollars in new prisons for "unreported" crimes. How he expects to get convictions for crimes no one knows about boggles the mind, but the Hallelujah chorus is singing his praises today. OK, not exactly a chorus, just a single warbler.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson backs a cabinet colleague's controversial claim that unreported crimes are too high and he urges Canadians to step up and call the police more often. But Nicholson stopped short Wednesday from fully endorsing the view of Treasury Board President Stockwell Day, who a day earlier raised eyebrows when he claimed Canada needs more prisons in part because so many crimes go unreported.

"If you ask, is there unreported crime in Canada, there's unreported crime, there's no question about it," Nicholson told The Canadian Press in an interview. "We treat all crime as serious in this country and we encourage all people to report crime to the appropriate authorities," he added. "I get anecdotal evidence and there are certainly some studies on that."
Let me guess. The studies were conducted at the Fraser Institute, right?

The Montreal Gazette blows them both out of the water:
No doubt many crimes do go unreported. But let's think this through. Many of the unreported incidents mentioned to the pollster may not have been crimes at all. Many property crimes, such as auto theft, are routinely reported, if only for insurance purposes. Society's attitudes toward offences rooted in racism, and toward sexual assault, have been growing steadily sterner, we believe, making reporting more likely, not less. And federal prisons are for offenders sentenced to two years or more; that is, perpetrators of serious crime. Do you believe that the worst crimes are the least reported?

For all these reasons it's hard to accept Day's claim. We're also puzzled that the Conservatives waited until now to uncork this argument; there's a whiff of intellectual desperation, and a just-discovered old survey, in this. The solution to a genuine national problem of unreported crime, if there were such a problem, would not begin with more prisons. It would begin with encouraging supposed victims to speak up, and continue with more resources for the provinces for police and prosecutors. More prisons would be the last step, not the first. We're not buying, Mr. Day.
I'm not buying it either.

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