Mixed feelings here - while I obviously misinterpreted the articles I read and that sucks for me, it's much better for the country that ALL of the measures outlined below not be passed via one bill. I'd still prefer to see these five measures separated, though, their progress through the House last session notwithstanding.
Luckily, though it doesn't apply to this legislation as one bill, I can still happily stand by what I said about omnibus legislation in general, my mockery of the logical somersaults you have to do apply to the government's agenda on age of consent vs. youth offenders, and my blatant opposition to those ridiculous security certificates.
Below is the original post, lest I be accused of avoiding my mistakes.
OK, I realize that omnibus bills are sometimes a politically smart way of getting stuff you want passed passed, but a look at Ontario will tell you that lying is sometimes a politically smart way to get elected, and we're generally not in favour of lying to get elected, so the fact that something is politically smart obviously doesn't automatically override the fact that something isn't exactly moral.
The contents of the crime bill the government will be putting forward apparently includes:
- raising the age of sexual consent,Now there are a lot of VERY different measures in here. For instance, raising the age of sexual consent is a decision that depends on reasoning that more or less contradicts the rationale used when deciding to strengthen the Youth Criminal Justice Act - are youth responsible for their actions or aren't they? If you think someone who is 14 should be treated as an adult when they commit a murder, then why shouldn't they be treated as an adult when they make the decision to sleep with someone much older than them.
- increasing penalties for impaired drivers,
- toughen bail provisions and impose mandatory prison sentences on "gun crimes,"
- reintroducing security certificates*,
- toughen the Youth Criminal Justice Act,
- new initiatives on dealing with elder abuse,
- new initiatives on curbing identity theft,
- awarding police new powers to deal with drug dealers.
- funding the recruitment of 2,500 new officers.
If all of the measures in this bill are important to Canadians and meeting their demands, then why not put them through individually and get a real mandate from Canadians, especially since Harper will be claiming a mandate after the bill passes?
The answer is that many of these measures are not popular, but there are enough issues that are very important to different groups that even if the Liberals weren't avoiding an election like the plague it would be fairly likely to pass. By forcing them though together the Conservatives can masquerade as if they've been given a mandate to pursue all of these proposals and pretend it wasn't all just to force through unpopular (and even unconstitutional) legislation via a few strong issues and bad Liberal polling numbers.
*The security certificates are a lapsed anti-terror measure that allows the government to detain non-citizens suspected of terrorist links without too much hassle, which was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, which I guess must not be a problem. I think Scott Reid broke ranks to vote against this last time, now he'll likely be required to vote the line on a confidence motion. Sad.
cross-posted to The Natural Society