Thursday, November 01, 2007

Harper Believes in Capital Punishment

According to Global National, human Rights groups like Amnesty are concerned about Stephen Harper changing Canadian policy for certain Canadians abroad. Stockwell Day looked positively bored as he stood to defend this change in the House today.

One of the things Brian Mulroney did when voted in the first time was to hold a free vote on capital punishment in 1987. Conservatives were mightily pissed at capital punishment being taken off the books and wanted to reverse that decision. But they lost. They lost in a democratic vote over 20 years ago. The issue has since become dead. But apparently Harper doesn't like democracy (like that's big news) when it doesn't jibe with his point of view. By no longer advocating for life imprisonment, as opposed to the death penalty, for Canadians jailed in capital punishment states, he is de facto thumbing his nose at the democratic decision taken by Canadians through their elected representatives and which was reaffirmed by Mulroney's government in a free vote (did I say that already?) back in the mid-1980s, to abolish capital punishment.

This issue is not just about human rights, it's also about future governments upholding Canadian policy that was democratically determined by previous governments. It's about just how strong our democracy is when the Prime Minister of the day can change a basic policy in this surreptitious manner. No, they're not reinstituting capital punishment for Canadian murderers in Canada, only for Canadian murderers outside of Canada. This garners hardly a bleep, just a small story in a mid-Global newscast. The media let us down again in not blasting Harper for its undermining of our democracy. Because, after all, who cares about some murderer in Montana?

No comments: