Father Raymond de Souza had an interesting article last week in response to the Dziekanski inquiry. In it he wonders openly why, until this inquiry, so many conservatives were willing to defend the RCMP they would have publicly condemned any other body of government from the beginning.
Just last week in Vancouver, the Conservative government announced tougher anti-gang measures to acclaim from the law-and-order crowd. No one seemed to think it a bad idea to give the most coercive branch of the state more power still. No one wants to be seen as soft on crime.
Does being tough on crime require being soft on the police? If government bureaucrats at, say, the Canadian Wheat Board, had acted unprofessionally and then cooked up a story to excuse their malfeasance, conservative commentators would have flayed them mercilessly. But dress the government officials up in red serge and give them a gun, and the benefit of the doubt is to be extended — even over the body of a dead man.
[...] State bureaucrats of all types frustrate the rest of us on a routine basis when they put their own priorities ahead of their public service. The difference is that police possess deadly weapons rather than the office supplies with which most government clerks do their damage. The Mounties... expressed regret over the incident, but also said that they would react the same way if they had to do it all over again.
Other state agents — the police-friendly prosecutors — have seen to it that there will be no criminal charges, despite the catalogue of lies told by the officers involved...
It’s the kind of bureaucratic fiasco that does not surprise conservative-minded Canadians when it comes to health care, the postal service, military procurement or the gun registry. So why, when it comes to the police and the prosecutorial state, are we so willing to extend the benefit of the doubt?
A good question. Read the full article here.
Cross-posted to The Shotgun.