Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sorting through the spin - with big update at end

There's so much political spin these days about just who's tougher on crime, that it leaves my poor head spinning.

On one hand we have Lorrie Goldstein (Tories get tough on crime- Sun) telling us this morning that the Tories are the only national party to take this seriously:

From time to time, the Liberals, Bloc, NDP and the old Progressive Conservative party, when the public outcry became so deafening that even they couldn't ignore it, might grudgingly agree to do something, although never much.

Their default position, however, was to ignore this outcry and even on those rare occasions when they deigned to hear it, make a great show of saying they could not respond to the cries of the uniformed mob, even though there was no mob and it wasn't uninformed.

There was just a lot of Canadians frustrated at never being heard.

Lorrie, you can count me among those 'frustrated Canadians'.

The Omnibus bill includes the following measures:

...(1) longer mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes (2) placing a "reverse onus" on people seeking bail after being accused of gun crimes, to prove to a judge they are not a threat (3) sanctions against drug-impaired driving (4) raising the age of sexual consent to 16 from 14 (5) putting a reverse onus on a criminal after he has been convicted of three serious, violent offences, to prove to a judge he should not be declared a dangerous offender and jailed indefinitely....


Lorrie calls them 'baby steps', adding that if we want a more serious approach, we may have to elect a majority Conservative government.

By contrast, today's National Post includes an op-ed by Ralph Goodale on the same subject - Harper's Crime of Deceit.

Ralph tries to convince us that the Liberals are tough on crime, and he goes about it by using words like 'Conservative fiction', 'disinformation campaign', 'ruse' and 'falsehood' (which is really, really close to the word "lie" - why not just say it?).

Goodale says that the Liberals offered to fast track 70% of the justice bills, but that it was actually the Conservatives who were playing games:

All five of them were already passed through second reading in the House of Commons. Four of them were actually completely done in the House and had gone on to the Senate for final approval there. Three of them were included in the Liberal fast track offer stretching back at least eight months. They could be the law by now, if the Conservatives had not stalled their own agenda.

So, let's assume he's right; that the Liberals are all for being tough on crime, and that the government is playing some little game. Why didn't any of the previous Liberal governments ever bother to introduce these measures if they thought it was such a great idea?

Anyway, Gayle and I are having an ongoing discussion in a previous thread. Feel free to join us.

Personally, I'd really like to know the truth. Why didn't the Conservatives accept the Liberal offer to fast track those bills? Was it simply a big game?

* * * *

Update: Sandy's not buying it - Goodale's Arrogance.

And here's a jaded view - Political power is the name of the game.

Christian Conservative - Goodale doesn't get it:

Did you hear that? "As much as 70%". Ralph, Ralph, Ralph... you keep talking about the 70% you agreed to fast-track, but you keep ducking and dodging whenever anyone asks you about the other 30%. It's the other 30% that's the issue... WE WANT IT PASSED, IMMEDIATELY.
Bravo!


* * * *
Big Tuesday Update!!! Where do you stand on crime, Stephane Dion?

This is a must-read by our Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Rob Nicholson.


37 comments:

Anonymous said...

We'll see how tough the Liberals are on crime when they vote on the legislation....or not?

In the meantime I'm sure we'll be treated to no end of the MSM's shock and awe speculation about how THIS TIME the Harper government will be brought to its knees in a confidence motion around this issue. I can just see Jane Taber squinting through her new bangs, and Duffy twisting in the wind to find a story there.

Anonymous said...

Sandy's snagged it more of the usual Liberal arrogance.

Hey, maybe if the Liberal senate hadn't held the original bills up for so long we'd be further ahead?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Hey, maybe if the Liberal senate hadn't held the original bills up for so long we'd be further ahead?

You bring up another good point. Just because the omnibus bill passes through all levels of Parliament does not necessarily guarantee a swift passage through the Senate (which as we all know is dominated by the Liberals after way too many years of Liberal patronage).

Gayle said...

Just to bring you all back to earth here, I thought I should remind you that the conservatives did not agree to pass their own legislation until June 5, just before the summer break. Harper prorogued parliament in September, thereby killing his own bills.

The Senate did not have the bills long enough to consider them before Harper killed them (and bear in mind they were in the Senate for less time than Harper delayed them in the House).

If Harper had not prorogued, some of these bills would probably be law by now (or close to it). Even after he prorogued he could have brought them back at the same level where they left off, but he chose to play politics instead.

I understand why some of you want to comfort yourself with the notion that the "senate would have screwed us anyway", but the facts are facts.

Sorry - Harper is to blame for this one folks.

kursk said...

Gayle..love your partisan spin as always, however, the conservatives want the legislation as they drafted it, not some watered down version of the bill as envisioned by the liberals.

Have you added the days some of the individual bills were held up in the liberal dominated senate?

Something like a combined 900+ days?

Liberals are soft on crime , you and everyone of your idealogical pals know it, so please spare us the bleating that it was the conservatives fault.

BTW, didn't liberals agree during the election with many (if not all..) of the unaltered provisions in the bills?

What changed? Other than the liberals lost and they see a chance to make some political hay..

Don't like, don't agree with it?
Vote it down.The last thing a liberal party lead by Stephane Dion would want to do is make a last stand on a hill of the govts choosing.Crime, Afghanistan, Kyoto are all petards ready for Dion to be hoisted upon..

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I thought I should remind you that the conservatives did not agree to pass their own legislation until June 5, just before the summer break.

Seems to me there was some kind of deal made so that the opposition would allow them to be passed, but I could be confusing this with some other type of bill.

Gayle said...

"Gayle..love your partisan spin as always, however, the conservatives want the legislation as they drafted it, not some watered down version of the bill as envisioned by the liberals."

You are so funny - I wonder why, then, the omnibus bill contains each and every amendment that was contained in the original bill?

But hey, don't let the facts get in the way of a good liberal bashing.

Gayle said...

joanne - there was a deal between the conservatives and the NDP on the minimum sentences for gun crimes bill - I cannot remember the details. The rest of the bills were passed as the liberals proposed in March.

Anonymous said...

Don't buy it Gayle. The Lib. senate stalled liked nuts.

All of the amendments in this omnibill? Great. Shouldn't be a problem supporting as is then right?

...next excuse

Wally

Gayle said...

Wally - the liberals have said they will support it. In fact they said they would fast track this bill in the same way they offered to fast track them last March. Please go and read Joanne's link.

I am sorry if your bias is so strong that you cannot accept the facts, but I am not going to be convinced the facts are wrong simply because you hate the liberals.

Anonymous said...

Nice try Gayle...are you the next Kinsella? Anything from Hansard to back up your spin?

liberal supporter said...

Nice try Gayle...are you the next Kinsella? Anything from Hansard to back up your spin?

Nice try yourself anon. Do your own research.

And pick a name.

Gayle said...

anon - if I might direct your attention to the article written by Goodale linked to by Joanne you will note Goodale makes that claim.

If he is lying, no doubt the conservatives will come out in full force to deny it. Perhaps they can even sue him for slander.

At a minimum, you can expect the conservatives to release a statement saying Goodale is lying.

But he is NOT lying, so you will see no such thing.

But keep living in denial. Conservatives love it when their voters refuse to acknowledge they are not perfect in every way.

Ti-Guy said...

Nice try yourself anon. Do your own research.

Nice try, LS, but it's *you* who...

...feh...that's as far as I can go with that wingnut "nice try" locution. Notice how often they use it?

paulsstuff said...

"But the truth keeps tripping them up. For more than a full year now, the Liberal Official Opposition has offered repeatedly to fast track as much as 70% of all the justice measures Mr. Harper's government has brought before Parliament. With the government and the Official Opposition voting together, easy passage would have been assured. But inexplicably, the Conservatives declined.





"All five of them were already passed through second reading in the House of Commons. Four of them were actually completely done in the House and had gone on to the Senate for final approval there. Three of them were included in the Liberal fast track offer stretching back at least eight months. They could be the law by now, if the Conservatives had not stalled their own agenda."

OK, I'm not great at math, but 3 of 5 does not make 70%, right?

And Ralphie left out the part thebills were sitting in the senate for 200+ days. And Gayle, if you think Ralphie is telling the truth because the Conservatives never challenged what is on the Liberal website, go look at the Conservative website and tell me why the Liberal's don't deny any of the things on there. Sheesh.

A Liberal writes an op-ed for a newspaper and its taken as gospel. No, Ralphie would never play partisan politics, would he?

Want the real truth. Look at what all the parties are saying. The truth can be found somewhere around the middle. By that I mean not left or right:)

Gayle said...

paul - I know this is hard for you. Truly, I do. But you really have to stop with the rhetoric and consider the facts.

As I said above, the crime bills did not hit the Senate until after they were passed by the House on June 5. That was just before the summer break. You might recall Parliament did not reconvene until a few days ago because Harper prorogued.

200 days?...well maybe, but that is because of the summer break silly. I did not see Harper et al meeting with all their commitees over the summer break - but I guess you think the senate should have read Harper's mind and realized he was going to kill his own bills by proroguing parliament. Of course, your complaint about the senate does not explain why Harper is delaying things even more by reintroducing the bills in the House rather than sending them straight to the Senate.

As for the rest, if you cannot see the difference between the conservatives' silly little character assasinations on their website, and the hard facts contained in Goodale's article, then I cannot help you. I have been posting about this for days - long before Goodale's article. I very specifially recall the liberal motion in March - I recall it being discussed on MDL and it being reported on in the papers.

You can hide your head in denial all you want. It does not change anything.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

And Ralphie left out the part thebills were sitting in the senate for 200+ days.

Paul, that's what I thought. Do you recall which bills?

The truth can be found somewhere around the middle.

Exactly.

Good grief. The way Gayle goes on, we should be calling Goodale 'Saint' Ralph!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Just catching a MDL repeat. It seems that the age of consent bill is the one that's really been slowed down in Parliament and the Senate. I wonder why?

paulsstuff said...

"You can hide your head in denial all you want. It does not change anything."

Again Gayle, try taking Goodale's comments with the partisan slant included and decipher what the actual true story is. The offer to fast track 3 bills out of 5, which I'm still waiting for an explanation how that equals 70%, included amendments that basically watered down the bills to the point of not really imposing any change to the status quo.

Now, and you and Goodale might not like it, but it's time to put up or shut up. These crime bills will be voted on as early as next week, and it appears it will be a confidence vote. If Dion and Goodale believe some of these bills to be flawed, then they should vote against it instead of worrying about what's good for the Liberal party and it's election chances.

As for the senate, quite often I flick back and forth between Duffy and Newman, and they have both had Liberal senators on in the past admitting they were holding up bills because they had the clout in the senate.

And if you actually read my post, I'm admitting all parties and politicians are playing politics, and yes, that includes Ralphie. Who did he demand an apology from today?

jad said...

If the Liberals are so keen to get these crime bills passed, perhaps someone can explainwhat happened with Bill C-10, mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes.

On June 13,2006, the Bill passsed second reading by 157/116, with the Liberals voting against the Bill. It then went to committee for the best part of a year, and at third reading on May 29,2007, the Bill was passed by 157/117, with the Liberals again voting against it. These references are all from LEGISInfo, the Library of Parliament.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/LEGISINFO/index.asp?Language=E&Chamber=N&StartList=A&EndList=Z&Session=14&Type=0&Scope=I&query=4691&List=vote

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Jad, thank you for that! It is the exact point I was about to make, but I didn't have the specifics. Rob Nicholson mentioned C-10 on CTV's Question Period Sunday.

The way the Liberals held up mandatory minimum legislation for so long makes you wonder how they claim to be 'tough on crime'.

Anonymous said...

It looks like jad just proved that gayle and Ralphie are in the same boat ..spinning away.
And it is not up to anyone here except gayle to 'prove' her point by backing it up with Hansard references.
But I guess she can't.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon, I agree. And this issue about Proroguing Parliament only added a few more weeks to the total time the Bills were held up.

Also, it is my understanding that the Liberals prorogued Parliament on occasion - once even for their own leadership convention; thereby abandoning some important bills.

Anonymous said...

Chalk one up for the Lemming Nation once again. Can't see the facts for all of the internal spin they can muster.

Good posting all!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Good posting all!

Anon, it gets better! See the latest update on the main post.

Greg said...

There are two things I find odd. First, most of these bills had already been passed by the Commons. Why not just reintroduce them at the stage they were in before Parliament was prorogued? Second, as I understand it, only one of the bills, the "Three Strikes You're Out" bill, is seen as controversial as it may not be charter proof. Why not slice that one off and work on it further in committee and let the others pass?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Why not just reintroduce them at the stage they were in before Parliament was prorogued?

There were three different options put out there yesterday by three different house leaders. The NDP wanted it all split up into separate bills. The Liberals proposed fast-tracking it to committee stage. The Conservative house leader suggested fast-tracking it to final voting stage, I believe.

The Speaker told them to try to sort this all out ahead of time so Parliamentary time isn't wasted.

the "Three Strikes You're Out" bill, is seen as controversial as it may not be charter proof.

Yeah, from what I have read, this is an area of concern and I think it is awaiting some kind of court response. I'm not sure what would happen if it were passed and then deemed to be unconstitutional or something.

Gayle said...

Yet again, I wonder why it is some of you are so opposed to the facts.

Fact - the Senate only got the bills just before the summer break. I suspect one of the reasons the conservatives delayed passage of the bills until then was so they could complain the senate was holding them up, when in fact the Senate only had them for a few days before the summer break. Maybe if Harper had told them he was going to prorogue, they could have made arrangements to sit over the summer and consider them, but he did not and they did not.

Fact - whether or not you like it, it is not the Senate's job to simply rubber stamp bills that come from the House. They are supposed to review them in committee - this process generally takes more than a few days. Liberal bills also spend months in the Senate before they are passed.

Fact - as I discussed with Joanne in a previous thread, the liberals certainly did not agree to the mandatory minimum sentence bill, and the NDP did. On the other hand, the NDP did not agree with raising the age of consent adn the liberals did. This is one reason why I question the tactic of reintroducing both pieces of legislation in one bill, because clearly if they were introduced separately they would pass without a problem. This is just more evidence that Harper's motivation is not our safety, but rather political games.

Fact - I have already admitted the liberals motion to fast-track the bills was proceduraly illegal.

Fact - I could care less whether 3 out of 5 equals 70% - are you so desperate to slam the liberals that you have to quarrel with Goodale's math skills?

Fact - Both Goodale and Dion have said the bill will be passed. Why do you all keep telling them to put up or shut up? This is no longer a question of whether they will pass - they have already passed and they will pass again. This is a question of how Harper is playing political games with these bills, and how so many of you little lemmings will completely ignore all the facts that contradict your belief that Harper is the Second Coming.

Fact - Harper could have reintroduced them at the stage they were at when he prorogued. If he had done that they would already be in the Senate. By reintroducing them into the house he is ensuring their passage will be delayed by months.

Believe me, I hold no illusions about the liberals in this debate. The mere fact they brought forward a motion that was procedurally illegal is evidence they are politicking too, but it does not change the fact that the suggestion by the conservatives that the liberals are holding up this legislation is simply not true.

(I guess you all can now admit the liberals did offer to fast track these bills now that Nicholson has admitted it).

"Good grief. The way Gayle goes on, we should be calling Goodale 'Saint' Ralph!"

No need for exaggeration Joanne - we both know the truth is on my side, which is why I suppose you are so interested in discrediting me.

"I'm not sure what would happen if it were passed and then deemed to be unconstitutional or something."

It would be of no force and effect - but not until after millions of tax dollars were wasted while it whiled its way through the courts.

And no, I do not think the liberals should agree to pass it, though they will, so all parties are responsible for that particular waste of time and money.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

No need for exaggeration Joanne - we both know the truth is on my side, which is why I suppose you are so interested in discrediting me.

Discrediting you? I was merely expressing my amusement at your being such a Goodale cheerleader, much the way I am kidded for being a Harper fan.

However, if that felt disparaging to you Gayle, I apologize.

Gayle said...

I was not cheerleading Joanne. Simply pointing out that his article contains facts that support my argument is not cheerleading.

But, I probably over-reacted. I have been getting it from all sides on this thread :).

Joanne (True Blue) said...

But, I probably over-reacted. I have been getting it from all sides on this thread :)

Hey, I know how you feel! Whenever I leave one little comment at Red Tory's, his cabal is all over it. At least this crew doesn't call you a c*nt, and I wouldn't allow it.

liberal supporter said...

Bounder: Ah good morning. I'm Bounder of Adventure.

Tourist: Hello. I'm Smoke-too-much.

Bounder: Well you'd better cut down a little then.

Tourist: I'm sorry?

Bounder: You'd better cut down a little then.

Tourist: Oh I see! Smoke-too-much, so I'd better cut down a little then.

Bounder: Yes...I expect you get people making jokes about your name all the time, eh?

Tourist: No, I'd never noticed it before.

Bounder: So, you're interested in one of our adventure holidays, are you?

Tourist: Yes I saw your advert in the bolour supplement.

Bounder: The what?

Tourist: The bolour supplement.

Bounder: The colour supplement?

Tourist: Yes I'm sorry I can't say the letter 'B'

Bounder: C?

Tourist: Yes that's right. It's all due to a trauma I suffered when I was a sboolboy. I was attacked by a bat.

Bounder: A cat?

Tourist: No a bat.

Bounder: Can you say the letter 'K'?

Tourist: Oh yes, Khaki, kind, kettle, Kipling, kipper, Kuwait, Keble Bollege Oxford.

Bounder: Why don't you say the letter 'K' instead of the letter 'C'?

Tourist: What you mean.....spell bolour with a K?

Bounder: Yes.

Tourist: Kolour. Oh thank you, I never thought of that. What a silly bunt.


And our word for today is: bunt!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Ho-ho. Better get that one trademarked too, L.S. ;)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Or, Kopyrighted. You know what I mean.

liberal supporter said...

It's from Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Sorry, I forgot to attribute, what a silly bunt!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.S. - No bopyright for you!

Möbius said...

Howls of derisive laughter, Bruce!