Thursday, September 24, 2009

Conservatives: Policy By Slogan Rather Than Wisdom

I see that Peter van Loan doesn't think much of today's report criticizing a quiet assault on Canadians by the Conservatives:

“The professor has a different philosophy than us,” Mr. Van Loan told CBC Newsworld. “We think the protection of society has to come first.”

Sure Peter. Throwing more people in prison makes society safer. That's been a classic conservative fantasy for years - and one that the United States has tried to live:

As Don Davies, the NDP justice critic who joined the news conference, observed: “If getting tough on prisons — locking people up longer and more harshly — resulted in a safer society, then United States would be safest country probably on earth.”

Financially strapped American state governments are now desperately seeking ways to reduce their prison populations, including rescinding exactly the kinds of tougher sentencing measures the Conservatives are pursuing.

Conservative Fantasy: Throw criminals in jail, that'll teach 'em.

Reality: Not only does it not work, we can't afford to do it.

I'll leave the last words to the reports authors:

Mr. Jackson and Mr. Stewart contend there is no evidence to support the Conservative approach. They say the little data cited in the 2007 Tory road map was “completely distorted,” while great bodies of evidence were completely ignored.

In Mr. Jackson's words, the road map shows a “complete ignorance of history, of law and of evidence.”

No comments: