Monday, September 29, 2008

Attention War Room: Might Want To Edit The Website

It's almost kind of sad really. The Conservative website rolls out Harper's tough on kids crime agenda, relying on the wisdom of the Honorable Merlin Nunn. This is the person the Conservatives use for inspiration, they base their approach on many of Nunn's conclusions, or so the website argues. Trouble is, Mr. Nunn is out today PANNING the proposal, sort of like Marc Jaccard trashing the Green Shift if you will.

Might want to edit the website, you war room buddha's you:
Canadians would be unwise to follow the Conservative plan for harsher jail sentences, up to life imprisonment, for young offenders, warns the retired judge who shone a spotlight on the flawed youth justice system.

Merlin Nunn issued a landmark report on youth justice two years ago that Stephen Harper claims supports "many" of the Conservatives' newly unveiled proposals to toughen the youth justice law.

But the former Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice took issue with the Tory proposal to boost jail sentences for young offenders, including ratcheting up the maximum youth sentence for murder from 10 years to life in prison, and up to 14 years for other violent offences.

They have gone beyond what I did, and beyond the philosophy that I accepted," Judge Nunn told The Lawyers Weekly in an interview.

"I don't think it's wise," he added, speculating "it might be politically appealing to people who say 'these kids should all be in jail'."

More glowing reviews here:
Merlin Nunn, who penned a 381-page youth justice report two years ago in Nova Scotia, publicly panned the Conservative push for longer jail terms - up to life in prison - for violent convicts as young as 14.

It's a hefty blow given that Prime Minister Stephen Harper repeatedly cites Nunn's work as tacit support for his promised legal overhaul.

Nunn said he agrees that less is more when it comes to sentencing minors. Harsh penalties don't deter crime, he said in an interview from his home near Halifax.

"There's no evidence anywhere in North America that I know of that keeping people in custody longer, punishing them longer, has any fruitful effects for society.

"Custody should be the last ditch thing for a child ... I have no doubt that some of the kids who get convicted have to be held in custody for some period of time - but not lock the door and put away the key.

"Instead of rehabilitating him, you've got a kid that may be 10 times worse than when he went in."

Mr. Nunn, enough with the lavish praise, they're blushing.

The search continues, for one expert, on any file, that genuinely supports a Conservative policy. Fingers crossed, it's only a matter of time, law of averages and what not...


Saskboy said...

Tiny typo - 'their' blushing.

Anyway, this is interesting isn't it? Do the Conservatives have egg on their face every day so far of the campaign?

Steve V said...

Now I'm blushing, thx.

This isn't the first time the Cons have cited someone, who then immediately turns around and categorically rejects the policy.

Karen said...

No it's not the first time but the stories never seem to run very long.

In contrast, the Lib's have all sorts of experts who approve of their platform without endorsing the party.

Does that get reported?

Steve V said...


Maybe when Harper starts bragging about his crime proposals in the debates, Dion could mention the pesky inspirational expert.

At least it's getting some play...

JimmE said...

.. so let me see if I have this straight lurkers, you want to lock-up 14 year olds, ok, fair game some poser busts a cap in some other poser and does hard time - 10-4. So this pumped-up SOB is released after what 25 years? Ok so now buddy is what 39 years old? And most of his wasted life had been spent in prison, 1st acting as some one's b1tch, then learning how to score drugs in stir, next how to abuse younger folks. Great. So now at 39 this time-bomb gets released to the greater world? Good work, now other than breaking stuff, Steve & the EFFING DITTO HEADS actually have a legacy, way to go Steve!

Gayle said...

14 year olds can already get life sentences - if the crown successfully applies for an adult sentence.

Harper is not going to be able to get around the Charter by renaming an adult life sentence a "youth" life sentence. If this actually passes it will be before the SCC with the very first life sentence.

I have actually read much of the Nunn report. Obviously Harper's group did not read it very carefully otherwise they would have known he would not agree with these proposals.

OT, but I noticed in the Globe tonight there is an article about how he is losing traction in Quebec, and now he must turn to Ontario and BC to get his majority. Charest also spoke out against his policies again tonight.

burlivespipe said...

This whole policy morsel was to firm up the 'less educated' votes in the suburbs, give a boost to the party core, and also provide a future wedge that a CON gov't can rally their members around (give us money to fight that evil supreme court!) to attack another Canadian institution.
That not even the man they cite for signalling the need for 'stir for pre-teens' will stand behind it. Not that it really bothers the media moguls any. 'Look, the liberals are leaking!'

Anonymous said...

Face it, the Harper party will say anything.

BI's Pipe, with respect 14-yr olds are not pre-teen, 12 is. Just saying.

That the Harper juggernaught will do or say simply anything for a vote is a given. Canadians are stupid, they think, to fall for it. Granted, Harper party supporters do tend to be stupid, and do send money, so Harper's only 1/4 wrong when he says Canadians are hard right.

The website issue and the Death start took a serious blow when it had to shuffle Sparrow off to Buffalo.

Many minions and no leader. A reflection on the Harper party as a whole, except Steve stands in for the photo-ops.

Canadian Hegemon said...

Can some one tell me how the so called left biased MSM doesn't focus on stories like this?

Karen said...

Can some one tell me how the so called left biased MSM doesn't focus on stories like this?

Sure. The media you describe is but a figment of the imagination from those on the right.

Sad isn't it?

Anonymous said...

This entire piece should be required reading for all progressive voters. I would recommend reading it at least twice because the first read will leave you doubting that these are widespread ideas on the right. Trust me, this is just one who is outspoken, the rest hold this quietly near their hearts or discuss it in "safe" company, as in, they know perfectly well that most Canadians would see this as hateful, and rightly so. Either that, or they have been shamed and humiliated by the more aggressive into complicitness. This is one third of our population, folks.

That means we are the other two-thirds. Remember math class, when we did pie charts? Two-thirds is the bigger portion. That is who we are; the bigger portion. In these final weeks of this election, let's remember why we oppose this group and especially, why we must defeat them. Must. There is no other option. Let's be clear that we are the larger slice of Canadiana, there is no doubt about our ability to kick these people to the curb; we can crush them, they could even end up leaderless. In some ridings, we have as much as 55-65% of the vote. That is our opportunity here, if we choose to seize this moment. Let's start acting like the majority because that is reality. Let's face that reality together.

I would ask all progressives west of Quebec to read the third paragraph three times, the number of times our clear majority splits and breaks away from each other. Those Quebeckers who think centre-left, read that third paragraph four times, because that is the four progressive streams trickling across your land. Compare this to the Conservatives, united they will stand. What did Aragorn say to Frodo in Bree? He chastized the Hobbits for being naive and careless and he admonished Frodo especially with "You are not nearly scared enough."

Finally, GOTV. There is a reason why Democrats push this so hard in the US. They recognize that their elections are won or lost by a very slim margin, in some cases. Here in Canada, we have a wealth of progressive voters who are reliable; our problem is not with numbers, but that we have so many choices on the left. A good thing, it reflects this country's openness and tolerance. We really need to stand together this time. So let's make sure no one person in our circle of friends and family gets away with not voting, offer to drive them. Also, bring picture ID, this is now a requirement.

- Blackstar

Anonymous said...

This is cynical me speaking. (The optimistic and hopeful me has headed off to make coffee.) Could it be that voters don't care about politicians being totally unethical -- that they've come to expect it? I hate to even type that, but every time I talk to people who don't read political news on a daily basis, they shug and say "whatever." WHATEVER???? It drives me crazy.

Steve V said...


I honestly believe the Cons operate within the assumption of "whatever". They are actually quite brazen at times, they think nobody is paying attention, and it remains to be seen if they're right.