Why Canadians Support Conservative Crime Control Policies

Matt Gurney, a writer for the right-leaning National Post ventured an opinion as to why Canadians will support the Conservative government’s massive prison building plan, despite the fact that crime rates have been falling for two decades. I think he’s part of the reason why.

  1. Journalists keep the memory of rarely occurring violent events alive in the minds of readers. The public “remembers” these events because the National Post et al. keep reminding them, over and nauseatingly over.
  2. Gurney blurs the distinction between being sentenced to life imprisonment and the parole eligibility date. Applying for parole after 22 years doesn’t mean it’s granted by the panel of citizens which comprise the Board. And the sentence isn’t over at parole which is revocable for violating its conditions and not necessarily committing a new crime.
  3. Gurney gets graphic in his descriptions of crime to evoke the very emotional reaction which he attributes to injustice (whatever that means). He writes that a man in Toronto  “shot his wife and four-year old step-daughter in the head at point-blank range” which is different from, “shot his wife and step-daughter”.

That’s just a start. The premise he entertains, that “thugs have more rights than citizens” is meaningless and can neither be proved nor disproved. Ditto for his wish for “true justice and security”  – a phrase which says more about the writer’s unspoken assumptions than it does to offer us a solution to the issue he’s raising.

I thank Mr. Gurney just the same for writing this piece because it’s useful for us to understand how and why so many Canadians support draconian crime prevention policies: they read the National Post.

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