Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Tough On Facts
I post the above cartoon, because I think it representative of public perception. The problem for Liberals, Harper has embraced a tough on crime philosophy, while concurrently arguing that others are weak. Most of the rhetoric is pure smoke and mirrors, but it relies on the exaggerated media coverage to tap into the sentiment that crime is rampant. If you ask Canadians if crime is on the rise, I suspect a clear YES, despite the facts.
The good news, statistics don't support the Tory thesis on crime. It is imperative that Liberals make the case, the Harper approach is akin to American style justice. Do we need super jails? Point to the fact that foreign delegations often visit Canada to see our penal system, our methods of rehabilitation, the way in which we house criminals. Why would other countries want to learn from Canada if the system is so flawed? Are there any Canadians impressed with the American approach to justice, has that resulted in safer communities?
Liberals lost the issue when Martin made a fool of himself during the last election. No sense of conviction, just pure calculation, to look tough on crime. What Dion needs to do is demonstrate areas where the Liberal Party genuinely supports tougher measures, while casting the Harper fixation as over the top. Call out the media, ask the questions about sensationalizing, armed with the facts? In other words make the conversation a more detailed discussion, as opposed to the simple sound bites, which Harper owns. If we challenge the media, they will be forced to respond and/or acknowledge the disparity between the Tory rhetoric and the statistics. It really is our only hope to get into the game on this issue, because essentially Harper now stands alone.
Posted by Steve V at 11:49 AM