01.19.2011 09:19 AM

Death, not taxes

Stephen Harper favours the death penalty – but then again, so does Barack Obama (and others, some of whom may surprise you).

Is it an election wedge issue? Is it a settled question in Canada?

What do you think? Comments are open.

88 Comments

  1. Bill King says:

    I have two very young children. So I can think of at least two scenarios where I would support the death penalty. Unless I took matters into my own hards first.

    Cheers,

  2. No,I do not favor the death penalty…….
    Sound strange from a guy from Alberta??
    The death penalty is an easy way out….in my opinion.
    Long term incarceration,no visitors,no electronics,no reading material and a menu designed by a certain sheriff from Arizona.
    Upside is control,low cost and the opportunity to correct mistake,if person wrongly convicted.

  3. Jay-TO says:

    Too many false convictions. We’d be sending innocents to death. I know that doesn’t bother s reformer but it does bother those with a soul…

    • Patb says:

      double ditto

    • Nick says:

      Given the number of psycho killers videotaping their crimes, I don’t see how we could falsely convict someone. But thank you for assuming that a) our justice system would be THAT fundamentally ravenous and apathetically incompetent and b) that right wingers are all “soulless”.

      • jade says:

        Oh yes, you have a point — how is it that I didn’t see it before. I don’t know how I missed ALL of those psycho killers being convicted because they videotaped everything. What a catharsis to realize that there are no false convictions anymore. I can understand a personal wish to see the death of a killer. It’s called revenge. It is understandable but it doesn’t mean it’s right.

        • robert says:

          I cannot believe some of the opinions expressed above. The gap of ignorance of law and human rights in this country is telling and may explain the reason we have a minority government with an intelligence level one step above the apes.
          We need to consider enshrining the teaching of law and human rights fundamentals within all Canadian schools.

        • Nick says:

          Why do anti death penalty people always assume that every convicted murderer will be executed? I’m saying we save it for just the cream of the crop. And by the way: the need for vengeance is a desire felt by the living and is exacted from other living beings. Vengeance is sentencing a person to live a torturously long life in a box to match the torturously long life the victims of the criminals will endure. Please get off your moral high horse!

          • Andrew says:

            Nick: at the time of Guy Paul Morin’s trial (when he was accused of beating, stabbing, raping and murdering 9-year-old Christine Jessop) the mob was demanding your type of justice. He was convicted. Don’t you think that there was possibility that the death penalty could have been handed out to him at a very emotional time? Think of the pressure the community placed on the prosecutor and the judge. I’d rather put someone in a box forever than kill them just in case “we” make a mistake. Don’t assume that we can be selective handing out the death penalty.

    • Stewart says:

      Triple ditto.

      Killing someone does not undo what’s been done, it only makes society as a whole more barbaric.

      Anyone would want revenge if someone they loved was killed or hurt but that attitude only drags us all down.

      We seem headed there anyway, I’m appalled to see how many Canadians support Harper’s law and order agenda despite all of the evidence that crime has been decreasing for years and years. Lock up all the cannabis users, that’ll make society safer for all the right wing drunks.

      From Harper’s lips “What I said was that I was offered a joint once and I was too drunk,” he said when asked if he had ever smoked.

      That’s some real biblical morals there.

  4. tceh says:

    Is this all Harper has got? Wow He has less imagination than I gave him credit for, and I didn’t give him credit for very much

    Is it an election wedge issue? No

    Is it a settled question in Canada? Not sure, it depends on how extreme the CONs play it.

  5. H Holmes says:

    The death penalty like Abortion, is a great wedge issue for the conservatives.

    I am not in favor of the death penalty.

    I think that that issue would only divide our party further.
    Which we don’t need.

    I suggest keeping this debate closed federally.

    Harper is no idiot.

  6. CQ says:

    As I stated elsewhere a year ago:
    with caution: I’m for the Death Penalty.
    Only for “dead to rights” convictions of “great or mass murderous violence” am I for the limited application of the Death Penalty. Killing someone happens; “vicously killing” also happens.

  7. Ted says:

    It is a settled issue in Canada and it will not be a wedge issue, in part because it is settled and in part because even those who favour killing criminals don’t want to talk about it or open it up for debate (eg. Harper).

    It’s good news for Liberals if Harper is having to talk about these types of issues though. However, when he continually works hard at trying to assure Canadians that the Conservative Party is and will remain pro-choice, anti-death penalty, it’s hard to drive the story.

  8. Mulletaur says:

    Exodus 20:13.

  9. Christian says:

    Donald Marshall, Jr.
    Steven Truscott
    Robert Baltovich
    David Milgaard
    Guy Paul Morin
    James Driskell
    Bill Mullins-Johnson
    Thomas Sophonow

    The above listed are the names of men who were wrongfully convicted of murder in Canada. If we had the death penalty some of these men may not be alive and the Canadian state (which is us) would be guilty of murder. Could you live with yourself, knowing that an innocent was murdered in your name? Not sure I could and given the imperfections of the justice system as evidenced by the above list of names I cannot support the death penalty.

    • Ted says:

      Comments need a “ditto” button to save on typing.

      They don’t so: Ditto, Christian.

      The only two things I would add are:

      – much productive research has been conducted on psychopaths, pedophiles, rapists, murderers after their conviction. This helps solve the problem or equip society to better catch these future problems early on.

      – none of this is to say that society is better off with these convicts out on the street, as conservatives often like to paint such a position.

      • SQ says:

        In contrast:

        Clifford Olsen
        Paul Bernardo
        Robert Picton
        Russell Williams

        In some circumstances, my feelings on the death penalty are a little to the right of Attila the Hun. And this would include pedophiles. But I do see the point about encompassing those that fall within the wrongly accused/convicted. So I fall into the category of Bill King – touch my kids – stand clear cause you wont make it far.

        • Andrew says:

          SQ: you can’t be selective with the death penalty. Are you willing to risk killing innocents? I can’t. Plus death is too easy for the likes of Olsen et al. Put them in a liitle room (4′ x 8′) with no direct human interaction (no media, no books, nothing) and let them experience hell on earth for the rest of their lives.

          • Nick says:

            Andrew, with all due respect, you can most definitely be selective with the Death Penalty by not making it a minimum sentence or mandatory sentence for anything. Save it for those cases where there’s a video of the crime and lord knows they exist. Psychos seem to love making movies. What I find most interesting is that you would subject people to a life of torturous solitude (and revel in that fact) yet still feel entitled to take the moral high road. The names listed up top would probably have been spared anyway.

    • Michael Reintjes says:

      Don’t execute anyone based on Circumstantial evidence then….problem solved. Personally I,m against the death penalty but if you’re watching some sickening self made video of a guy brutalizing and killing someone there is little doubt about his guilt.

  10. V. Malaise says:

    Too many people have been wrongfully convicted.

  11. H Holmes says:

    Wedge issue that targets their key demographic.

    Stay away.

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/03/18/ekos-poll018.html
    The same poll suggests Canadians are divided on the issue of capital punishment.

    Forty-six per cent do not support the reintroduction of capital punishment while 40 per cent do. Another 14 per cent said they had no opinion.

    Data from 2000 suggests that opinions on this issue have remained relatively unchanged in 10 years. In June of 2000, 43 per cent disagreed with capital punishment while 44 per cent agreed with it.

    Those who support the reintroduction of capital punishment tend to be Conservative supporters (53 per cent), residents of Alberta (48 per cent), men (43 per cent), seniors (45 per cent), high school grads (48 per cent) and college grads (46 per cent).

    “These indicators are interesting social barometers at any time but they become even more interesting in the current political context,” said EKOS president Frank Graves.

    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/03/18/ekos-poll018.html#ixzz1BUxqVgMy

    – Another thing most people don’t realize is that it is much more expensive to have the death penalty then to incarcerate someone.
    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty

  12. WesternGrit says:

    Posted this over at Blast Furnace:

    The death penalty – or any other form of State-sanctioned murder – are NOT about what the public wants, Anon #1 (I’ll agree with you on that), BUT they are all about human rights. The death penalty is a basic violation of the Universal Human Rights Declaration – something we give China much grief about.

    Sure, we’d love to see Bernardo suffer (and I’m sure his fellow inmates are doing that, or will, given the opportunity – and much more likely than if he got the easy way out of his miserable life). There is also a faint hope that he will reform, or at the very least show some genuine remorse. We reform a huge percentage of our prison populations, with a low recidivism rate.

    Your arguments “for” the death penalty seem to brush over the ultimate punishment often (and I do mean OFTEN) given to completely innocent people. How can you justify that? I mean given both situations, the person incarcerated for life still suffers – most likely more than the one who gets the easy way out (death penalty), gets to watch his friends and family suffer, etc., etc. The alternative scenario is the state-sanctioned murder of someone who is completely innocent – as is understood to be the case in 25-30% of US death sentences.

    Oh… I’m not a Dem, and I will criticize their right of center movement with not doing a lot of things correctly. Obama needs to act on the death penalty, as he does with the gun issue – but unfortunately both issues are NRA/Religious nutbar love-children which would result in hard political times for anyone who tries.

    As Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”. It’s true.

  13. Banishment to the tundra with a week’s supply of food and a plastic hunting knife.

  14. Dan says:

    I’d rather see them remove the “faint hope clause” when it comes to the parole hearings for convicted criminals that everyone knows will not result in anything.

    I am agaisnt the death penalty mostly because I think it’s an easy way out for the criminals although I do concur that some crimes are so atrocious that your gut feeling is to kill the criminal.

    I’ve seen studies that show that it actually costs more money to impose the death penalty because of rights to retrials and appeals than it does to house them for jail.

    But I don’t see this being a wedge issue, and think its a lsightly patehtic attempt for Ignatieff to bring up the whole hidden agenda angle again… it’s not goign to work on someone who has been Prime Minister for five years, you can’t demonize him as the boogeyman.

    BTW, I am a Liberal in case any of you were wondering.

    • Jan says:

      The question is what he would do with a majority. It seems odd that someone would claim to believe in certain things and at the same time vows he would never want to enact them.

      • Nick says:

        You’re right Jan. The best leader is one who keeps his personal beliefs hidden away and aims his moral compass by moistening his finger and sticking it in the air to see which way the winds blow before sharing his so called beliefs instead of one who shares them frankly and is capable of tempering them. What would Harper do with a majority? After all the Liberal fear mongering and attempted character assassinations, I’m now morbidly curious. At this point, anything less than a Christian fundamentalist totalitarian regime in which everyone is armed would be a letdown. If all he gives us is Senate reform, I want a refund. They said there would be blood!

  15. allegra fortissima says:

    “feeling very manly today” – congrats, Sir, even the international media takes notice:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8172916/WikiLeaks-guilty-parties-should-face-death-penalty.html

  16. Namesake says:

    No, I don’t think it should be made into an election issue: he’s entitled to his opinion, and to expressing it, and I believe him when he says he knows it’s too divisive an issue to get through and/or to benefit his Party, so he won’t be pursuing Legislation on it — at least, not in his next term.

    So in some sense, it IS kind of reassuring to hear from his own lips that he’s not an ideologue to the point of pursuing Bills he KNOWS he has no chance of winning, and that he IS quite aware of and at least partly responsive sensitive to public opinion, and that he’s not so much of a dictator that he’s pursue something that he doesn’t think at least half of Canadians could get behind.

    And it would be wrong to campaign against him now on the basis of something he might hypothetically do 5 or 10 years from now only if the tenor of the country had changed sufficiently by then, such that collectively ‘we’ (or at least the proverbial 50 + 1) DID want him to, then.

    It would run against two important grains: innocent until proven guilty (or, more accurately, no punishing for future crimes that haven’t been committed yet and wouldn’t be unless certain conditions are in place); and… democracy (sure, there can be a tyranny of the majority, esp. just a 51% one, but those who try to pre-empt that can be portrayed as upholding & trying to enshrine a tyranny of the minority on something there IS room for reasonable people to disagree on).

    On the other hand, much of that interview was grist for my mill on the proposal that all the Parties’ fundraising communications to their supporters should be made publicly available, because:

    – if they’ve been busily extracting money out of social conservatives on the basis of complaining about & making vague statements about wanting to change things like capital punishment & the right to an abortion in this country, but they actually have NO INTENTION OF DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT UNTIL THEIR BASE GROWS TO NEARLY 50%, well, that’s just dishonest: it’s like a charity raising money on the basis of a disaster in Haiti but not actually spending money ON that charitable end (which Revenue Canada would regard as: fraud, and revoke their charitable registration for).

    – and if they’ve made public declarations that they WON’T be trying to change the laws on those social conservative issues in order to win over swing voters and other types of conservatives and get into Government, but meanwhile they’re using their enhanced financial status and credibility AS the governing party to continue to stoke some people’s concerns about those issues they said they won’t be pursuing so that they can continue to be a strong Party & hope that the people they’re reaching with these letters will be actively converting others to those causes, as well, such that they WOULD do something about them once that 51% popular support threshold is met, then that’s a kind of bait and switch betrayal, too, except of the non-social-conservatives who were led to believe that these were sleeping dogs they wouldn’t be re-awakening.

  17. Mr. Chamberlain says:

    Mr. Harper:
    “Many people I know are pro-life,” he said. “What I say to people, ‘If you want to diminish the number of abortions, you?ve got to change hearts and not laws.’

    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2011/01/18/harper-mansbridge-interview-tues.html#ixzz1BVAxT3bs

    Can you imagine Mr. Harper being interested in changing “hearts” OVER forcing change? — That is so far from who he is! Beware of it is to have your heart changed by Mr. Harper!

  18. Dave Roberts says:

    A recent poll shows 62% of Canadians favour the death penalty for murderers.

    http://www.visioncritical.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/2010.01.22_Crime.pdf

    I don’t see how this can be a vote getter for the Liberals or NDP when Harper specifically stated he has no intention of re-opening the issue.

    • Namesake says:

      hmm, I think if Harper had confidence in that number & believed that 62% of all (voting) Canadians really do favour reinstating the death penalty already, at this point, that that would meet his “hearts” threshold & he would’ve given a very different answer to Mansbridge’s q. (or, more likely, would’ve just evaded it).

      But this was only the view of “1,001 Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists” — i.e., self-selected, more opinionated types like us who LIKE to give their opinions, which may not be very representative of the greater cross-section of Canadians who don’t hold as strong views and who may not have thought about it much, yet: for whom there’s 50% less support for it, as Mr. Holmes reported above (the Ekos poll showing only 40% think they’d definitely support the reintroduction of capital punishment).

  19. Tim says:

    I think Stephen Harper does personally favour the death penalty. I don’t know where things would end up if he were to reopen the issue, it’s a very close call and divisive . I don’t think he will reopen the matter. I hope he won’t.

    My suspicion is that this foray, like the attack ads are more about talking to the base and filling up the old war chest than potential issues for the election that hasn’t even been called yet and won’t be until after the budget.

  20. jon evan says:

    This entry is pure spin.
    PMSH did not say he “favours the death penalty”! You completely take him out of context of course for the purpose of hopefully creating a wedge issue. Not!

  21. Heather says:

    If you haven’t yet seen it, I highly recommend watching “The Life of David Gale.”

  22. Ian says:

    Sure, it can be turned into a wedge issue. I am puzzled though about why Peter Mansbridge asked the question. It seems to have just come out of the blue. Is this a current-day topic of discussion that the CBC wanted Mr. Harper to weigh in on, or did the PMO hand them a list of questions for the interview.

    • matt says:

      I assumed that Mansbridge asked the question because CBC felt obligated to test the “hidden agenda” majority waters. Given Harper’s graceful response, it may have been at the behest/suggestion/consent of the PMO. The reason I think Harper’s response is graceful is because it’s something I think most parents agree with: there’s a least one set of facts for any parent where the “punishment to fit the crime” is execution or worse. But while I think most, if not all, parents feel that way, the large majority of Canadians don’t want to amend our laws to capture that sentiment. Which is what Harper also said. And so the cries of outrage on the part of the opposition suddenly make Harper look like the political leader parents best relate to (suburban parents being the target Tory demographic).

  23. Nuna D. Above says:

    The lives of those murderd by Communists don’t matter much to “progressive” people. Does anyone on the left call for Fidel Castro to be held accountable for the lives he’s taken? The lives of the tens of millions who have died because environmentalists blocked the spraying of DDT to fight malaria, or block the development of electricity in Africa, don’t matter to “progressive” people. But the life of a serial killer, that’s when they decide to crow about how liberal and sophisticated they are.
    Turning a blind eye to the tens of millions of deaths in the name of liberal-left causes does not mean you are more cultured than than a rural Albertan who wants to hand Clifford Olsen. It means you’re willing to see people killed by the state for a different reason.

  24. Steve T says:

    The death penalty seems a bit of a leap in Canada. Before we go there, let’s:

    – Lengthen sentences for murderers, rapists, etc, and remove the “faint hope” clause. Life in prison should mean exactly what it says.

    – Abolish, or substantially revise, the Young Offenders Act.

    – Put more boundaries on how activist judges hand down touchy-feely sentences. Something I’ve long advocated is to require judges to live in the worst areas of town. Perhaps then they will understand the repercussions of handing down short sentences, or otherwise letting repeat offenders continue to repeat, repeat, repeat. Right now, it seems many judges feel that their role is to play social equalizer.

    – Get rid of the aboriginal “sentencing circle” process. A crime is a crime, and the punishment should be equal across all races.

    Once we get there, then maybe we can talk about the death penalty.

    • CQ says:

      Our new Governor General had recently authorized University Scholarship monies to the convicted, and light sentences served and released, teenaged sisters of Toronto neighbouring Mississauga [or one of sisters first then also the second or just one, reportage quality was shoddy] who killed their mother in a bathub. A very long way to go indeed.

    • Nick says:

      Well said, sir!

  25. new says:

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/harper-says-personally-favours-death-penalty-wont-reinstate-20110118-183039-003.html
    Well nothing shocking to me Harper is working 5 years and need 3 more years like Bush we need army to stop sad am Husain to take Harper out of pm of Canada out we do not know what political model he is looking for 8 years can turn all country to new shape not able to come out of it or stock him forever like other Arab kingdom —live forever plus we must appreciate good job and ignore bad job but I am thinking since Harper in power except beating up Muslim inside or outside Canada what other good job he did I cannot think of anything else…. lol sorry Mr. Harper for frank opinion we need to change you soon before it is too late or change to new PM soon before it is too late you can not change us…
    http://www.thehilltimes.ca/dailyupdate/view/39
    With new minster Mr. Long time opp Mr. Fantino can teach how to put death penalty work is he the one who keep arrest or send undercover cop to give drug in hand of subsidizing housing and sell them weapon and Create environment to get easy fish children make sure no Italian kid only multicultural black and Muslim and must be poor too, Role model of them are Mr. Reagan who sold weapon to Iraq later they must take weapon out of hand of Iraq first let them do crime next go and stop that crime it made environment that criminal able to do crime to stage need big army to stop him or other criminal they feed and seed it or Mr. Bush who made up story of network to follow Muslim for 10 years to steal big trillion inside country under recession to their minatory rich group rich still rich and poor is poorer, Plus if you study all conservative countries with deal penalty all of them are think this way they made few around rich and not fair justice to rest of country, Do not come near me or I kill you sound familiar all country with conservative create hate and love war and love deal penalty and Mr. Haper signed that group of political party he must say he agrees with deal penalty or they kick him out he has not choice to blindly agree whatever history group conservative said it as main frame this is like bible book they cannot change their ideas. In harsh rare time someone take a gun to kill you can do self defence or prevent them but if big country fight you and big group you need review solution and not take gun to bomb them it is go to fault of politic and fault of government lead big mascara happened.
    For example if someone with gun go to rub I steal by killing people then he may ready to die or some to kill him too in self defence or police in duty made some harsh decision to help innocent in most cases all society is get blame family education and environment their doctor mental illness and so on. But if you create environment that innocent turn to become criminal and you made them fish or fight everybody and hate all opposition and not like to listen to good advice because your political party told you they are accountable for their conspiracy and corruption act too because so many corruption caused so many people killed innocently of political game too. They create hate feed one group and ignore other group they most are racist hate other not agree with them they cannot resist differences and they give them tools for kill and then they come after him…They live and feed with war and pentagon war game and made Jet on air their income is come from that method kill to survive… their brain not working other way around, If all after all arrest did not work then he made them keep crazy of all house of rest and then if did all job done so mental hospital ,If not kill them they turn them to suicidal and real criminal by beat them up in jail sound familiar, I saw so many mafia movies similar cases
    Death penalty sound familiar, I think Mr. Harper only reason who left Toronto the city he was born because he hated multi cultures, He went in Alberta to see less kind of people like us or see Muslim around him except their mayor, As microbial mouse to how change Muslim become Christian or act like Muslim from UAE eat like them pork and alcohol and Act like them we only missing casino there.
    If we review method of conservative and how they sound hate in their voice in their blog or Tories
    God know who send all money to their blogs I am sure it is not Harper?s wife tax money as big donation, They talk hate they only like people who listen to them 100% they cannot resist someone with differences or respect them, they stay in minority o feed their own business group around them privately who care about rest of Canada the rest bunch of loose who left their country come to Canada if they are sad as conservative blog keep saying you can go back where you come from that is their answer, Who is role model for them I am sure it Mr. Bush or other similar or do not forgot Israel pro too
    when you take side between two group fight and kill each other rather than tell them stop killing each other it means you like I kill Palestinian and I like pro Israel while Canada side must only take justice and not take any of those criminal kill each other for 63 years using religion as a weapon and permission to kill so many innocent people in street as visa permit plus Harper proof of all 5 years he like death penalty he is doing it for so long and he sees solution for all problems in Middle east and Muslim radical to act like them and take war and weapon and kill them eye over other eye Christian way no mercy or no other better solution left here is war is other way of deal penalty just out of Canada land or if we sees mafia movie the person Italian actor come near family and so kind and act normal and when he goes change to new character and keep the gun and knife and how badly kill the competitor for drug or other illegal organized crime, Now we must earful some people may look kind inside Canada but their hatred bring them out of Canada land with gun to kill?
    Even army right man of Harper for 5 years found guilty of rape killing two innocent Ontario girls much younger than him proof ,Who are employees of Harper is work out of Canada colonel rusel Mr. jail man. if Harper not know when he hired minister or army right man hired criminal who did all crime in Canada do we expect that colonel did good with Muslim out of candy and when we see Harper fire other minister girl when photo taking she seat with bunch of posit… girl in parties all sound strange how they recruited employee and minster for themselves, as long as you sound hate and made sure like their party welcome make sure donate Tories blog famous SDA too.
    All Muslim immigrants back to their country sound German Nazi in cabinet while she is only German around us talk Nazi hate racism talk, when you have cool friendly kind environment and change it with scream hate call naming and pull string to one way how do you expect hate not go up when hate go up it is easy fish to do crime and then death penalty, When plan made it take time to put chain together to link it this is plan take long term to achieved, Environment must be ready, To turn Quebec French and English non French turn to new Israeli and Palestinian separation, We have lots of land, Plus they are not listening to Harper, is he control frik Conservative has problems think they can force you listen if not listen you are out and If again not listen they made plan conspiracy to make you label and end… death penalty…

  26. Abigail says:

    Why is the diligent Canadian media ignoring Ignatieff’s “not so hidden agenda” of “lesser evils” such as “torture, targeted assassination, denial of rights, preemptive war”, espoused publicly just a short 6 years ago in the NY Times?

    I hope Liberals don’t think that capital punishment is a “greater evil”!

  27. Deke says:

    There is a hint here from Harper about just what he would do with a majority. He agrees with capital punishment and is against abortion but think abortion should be dealt with first by changing folks minds. hmmmm. Does not seem much different than his fixed election date promise, his taxing of old codgers coupons, his word on not having a deficit. Actually when you throw in his law and order prison building and fear mongering about crime and punishment this guy could sit on the right and of God with a bloody ax….mind it would be a pretty old fashioned God. Say Baal or maybe Odin.

  28. michael hale says:

    It’s not a wedge issue for the simple reason that no one actually believes it will be brought in. The “boogeyman” phase of beating up on the Cons is over. To beat them, we all need to highlight fears that resonate and that seem “true” to individual voters. Capital punishment doesn’t make the grade.

  29. Steven says:

    Notable (Progressive) Conservative Prime Ministers John Diefenbaker and Brian Mulroney opposed the death penalty.

    Harper affirms his Reform /Alliance allegiance.

    Harper will not hesitate to use Private Member’s Bills [Ref. Candace Hoepner / Gun Registry Abolition] to “back-door” his true intentions.

    SH has packed the Senate with a clear majority of Cons.

    Imagine what SH will do with a Majority in teh Commons.

    Caveat Emptor!

  30. Hugh Whalen says:

    A principaled conservative’s position against capital punishment is that it is a government program and we should expect results accordingly.

    As to settled … well, settled seems to work for most people like this …

    I propose A (whatever “A” is).

    If my proposal is defeated I will try again. That is, the issue is not settled.

    If my proposal succeeds then the issue is “settled”. (See Quebec separatists for the classic example.)

    Hugh

  31. new says:

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/01/19/john-ivison-harper-should-accept-liberal-death-penalty-dare-hed-win/

    we have so many liar writer work in Global and mail and especially in national post are lie too much of thier delusion of thier wish
    and all those number they will drive god knows may be from reading lottery balls
    saying from thier data statatistic that unknow for all people may be only minority again vote for hiddne vote
    we never heard it

    saying:

    “On the contrary, polls suggest nearly two-thirds of Canadians are enthusiastic supporters of the death penalty for the crime of homicide. An Angus Reid poll in 2009 suggested 62% of respondents supported the death penalty for murder, against just 29% who opposed it. Nearly one-third of Canadians would support capital punishment for rape and 17% backed the death penalty for kidnappers.

  32. M. Gause says:

    On a lighter note, check out http://www.peopleforcorporatetaxcuts.ca, it made my day!

  33. A majority Harper Con gov’t may not introduce bills on capital punishment and abortion. However, Con MPs may introduce private members bills which other Con MPs could “freely” vote for these bills. Remember how the anti-registry long-gun private member bill was supposedly a free vote. All the Con MPs voted for the bill.

  34. new says:

    Conservative parties in world not trustfully people because they are angry people and love to kill people to made themselves in revenge and solution for fast while this is lead never was fast solution it arise more problems as history proof it. In similar case this can be like organized crime that keep killing each other as hate each other and saying if you are not with me we cut your business we put you in economic ban trade an etc… this is like mafia game to me created by Irish or Italian long before radical Muslim invented that Harper saying in world people know us we can kill too like other UN as we lost seat join the crowd.

    Harper is doing game play such with UAE, Harper love war and killing in any shape can be war can be help terrorist Mosad or help capital punishment, As long as this kill goes to Muslim not to his colonel Russell Oliver… for joke. In Result, Since Dubai and UAE are caught one of Israel masood who assonated on or Hamas or I do not know Palestinian in hotel, Harper pro Israeli tried to fight in any small cut business of UAE saying shut up we have right to kill anybody we like to kill in UAE, Law is not for us I know new right of capital punishment, If this evil goes in corruption anybody just over hate kill anybody else, This is treat national security of Canadian and repetition of Canadian too

    Harper do not like money he like more killing Muslim and defame Islam first second fight his opposition third to help some minority to made billion dollar profit that is I see from conservative party and in first priority for him he must increase hate to always sometime to fight with it

  35. Abigail says:

    new — Ignatieff hates Muslims more than Harper. Ignatieff approved the Bush invasion of Iraq, when he worked at Harvard university in Boston, and even called himself an ‘American’. He even wants to ‘torture’ suspected muslim terrorists. Ignatieff is 100x worse than Harper.

    • Namesake says:

      ‘zat you again Consistent / Observant / Harry S. / Oscar / Unohoo [You-know-who]? Begone.

    • hugger says:

      Regardless of what Harper or Ignatieff think, what do you think?

      Do you think the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were justified? Do you think our current direction in Afghanistan is the correct choice?

      Don’t pass off to some politician your rights as a Citizen and your ability to speak for yourself.

  36. hugger says:

    Compare crime rates in the US to Canada. Compare homicide rates. Compare the number of people incarcerated or involved in some sort of judicial order in the US to the numbers in Canada or the rest of the world. Harper should move to the US. Maybe he can find some peace of mind there. Our policies are not perfect, and we need more focus on cause and effect and treatment of mental disorders but revenge won’t deter gang activity nor will it stop the actions of those who are severely mentally deranged. (They don’t need prodding from the Tea party either)

    Rather than being particularly interested in the latest shiny thing Mr. Harper throws at the fishes, I found this to be of more interest. My apologies Mr. K for going off topic.

    AECL reactor orders blocked by Ottawa: McGuinty

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2011/01/19/mcguinty-aecl-sale-ottawa.html

    I remember Petro Canada. I remember when we owned a Railway. I remember leaders with vision, and a Country focused on building a future, a just society, not one focused on revenge and retribution.

    Again my apologies Mr. K. I only watched a minute of the first Harper interview. I am a fair man, and I have given Mr. Harper fair chance to make sensible points, and to advocate policies for the betterment of the future of Canadians, but I have seen little of that. Very little. Unfortunately I guess, at this point I am no longer interested in giving him further latitude and feel this way. If I wanted to hear from another arsehole, I would fart.

    I don’t care what his personal feelings are regarding capital punishment. I don’t care about his Temperance League like thoughts on legalizing marijuana. I am not interested in his quest to destroy Ontario’s manufacturing capacity in favor of immediate benefits for our resource sector, which would do ok without him anyway.

    I want a Prime Minister who can bring more to the table than the ability to manipulate the dark side.

  37. orval says:

    The fact that Prime Minister Harper can say ON THE CBC that he personally believes that capital punishment is appropriate in cases but as PM will not seek to change the law, and that he believes abortion is wrong but it is a matter of conscience, not law, and not have the press and pundits go wild with “scary” American-style neo-con hysteria shows how little currency the whole “hidden agenda, Harper=Bush” scaremongering has anymore.

    In 2005 Harper said there would be a true free vote on gay marriage and that he would abide by the result. There was, and he did. Mr Graves can fantasize about starting a “culture war” until the cows come home…there ain’t going to be one. The Liberals got to find something dramatic fast or they’re done (sorry, promising to repeal notwithstanding clause has already been attempted).

    Most amusing part of Mansbridge interview was when questioned about deficits and debt, PM Harper smiled and commented about being attacked from the right by the CBC! Even Mansbridge smiled and looked embarrassed. I also liked the discussion at the end about the World Jr Hockey Canada-Russia gold medal game. Harper showed genuine interest in how that game unfolded, and offered his views on why those Canadian teenagers had the disappointing result they did (not realizing that they lost momentum in the late second period). Then he talked a bit about coaching and about how this experience will improve those young hockey players in the future. It was such a genuine, unaffected conversation. It was not a photo-op of Harper pretending to watch a hockey game on TV. For the life of me, I cannot imagine Ignatieff being able to talk about a junior hockey game with any level of empathy and appreciation – he’s just not that kind of a man. This leaves an impression that he is “less” of a Canadian than Harper, that sucks but it is a consequence of being away from the country for 30+ years, and it shows.

  38. Wannabeapiper says:

    Wow wee…you certainly hit a nerve here and have posed a question that will produce endless debate. I think it is a wedge and a big one. I have not met a senior citizen yet, who opposes the death penalty or who supports the young offenders act, or believes the courts are acting in the best interests of the people. Most have very little respect for the status quo. As for me, when we are a victim of evil ie Barnardo, I think it is time to put them away. What is the point of locking someone in a cage for 25 years and then continuously reject their appeals for parole, many of whom try to better themselves by becoming Jail House lawyers and then try to manipulate the system. On the other hand maybe true retributive justice can only occur behind bars.

    What do I know…just saying………….

  39. Anonymous says:

    The death penalty is barbaric. First, the execution of even one innocent person (maybe you?) would be one execution too many. Second, research shows the prospect of the death penalty (as compared with life imprisonment) has little or no deterrent value and is just as expensive – capital punishment solves nothing. Third, as a society, we must take some responsibility for the antisocial among us. If we believe a 10 year old who kills can be rehabilitated, at what age of the killer would we arbitrarily deem rehabilitation impossible?

    Given the Prime Minister’s record over the past five years, I am amazed at the number of people above who trust the Prime Minister when he says he will not re-open the debate. Why the Prime Minister would bother to enlighten us with such “personal” views if not to cynically stoke the hopes of those with similarly barbaric views is beyond me.

  40. hugger says:

    orval says:
    January 19, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    “and not have the press and pundits go wild with ?scary? American-style neo-con hysteria shows how little currency the whole ?hidden agenda, Harper=Bush? scaremongering has anymore. ”

    40 year mortgages, manipulation of down payments basically ending up in 0 territory, cutting corporate taxes and rumored cuts to personal income taxes while running record deficits, plus Afghanistan and the F35’s etc., doesn’t ring your bell?

    Did you read about the latest moves Cargill is making in the world of potash? There is a way around everything if you have enough money and enough power, and enough lackeys.

    Maybe we should talk about Arctic Sovereignty now. You know, them flying Russian Bears and all that. I guess that is just more talk from Mr. Harper. I haven’t seen anything concrete on that issue evolve.

    Better to listen to a real Canadian I suppose, as opposed to an impostor.

    The late great Stan Rogers, a true Canadian.

    From Radio Hugger; The Northwest Passage

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th-WDf42rG0

  41. Art Williams says:

    I would come out of retirement and work against the Conservatives if the death penalty became an issue in the campaign. That is how strongly I feel about this issue.

    • PETE says:

      You should come out and work against them in any event because Harper is not to be trusted with anything. Somewhere today I read he has broken 145 promises in 5 years;the lies would be even higher in number.

      • Gotta luv it………..you read “it” today,but can’t remember where.
        Sounds like yu need someone to find your shoes,in the morning.
        How in the world do you remember your political prejudices????

        • Namesake says:

          Thanks for the Tiny Tory riposte, there, Tim.

          Or just maybe Paul was about to go to bed, so he could, you know, work in the morning, and so didn’t bother to furnish the source,

          which anyone could easily find (google: broken 145 promises, limit the search to Canada, & there’s: 19,000 results today)

          Anyhow, here’s the actual list (so far):

          http://www.liberal.ca/files/2011/01/Five-Years-of-Harper-Broken-Promises.pdf

          • It is an impressive list to be sure.Very few of them would have made a difference in my life(nor,I suspect,in yours)but they are great fodder for conversation at the liberal dinner table or inhouse cocktail party.
            I doubt repeating them will make much difference in an election.
            Were all these promises written up and presented in the Conservatives “blue book”……as opposed to all the promises that were written up in the liberals “red book”??
            p.s. Paul….who is Paul?
            I was “riposting” to Pete….
            Are you having trouble remembering,as well??
            Or maybe Pete,Paul and Namesake all live in the same house……now that could cause confusion.

          • Namesake says:

            Peter, Paul… well, I knew it was one ‘o those Bible names; but I’ll certainly defer to you on matters of Peter Principles

  42. Namesake says:

    Hmm, here’s a new wrinkle we need some legal minds to weigh in on, WK, to judge what Harper may’ve been up to:

    It turns out that the Supreme Court has strongly signalled, and all but ruled, that they’d regard the death penalty as a Charter violation if it were reinstated in Canada, in a 2001 decision (which concerned extradition).*

    And yet Harper was conspicuously silent on that in the Mansbridge interview, when he had the golden opp. to put this issue to rest.

    Instead, his coy reference to not planning to do anything about it in the _next_ Parliament (until there’s more definitive popular support for it) is being taken as a “Sign of life” for it.**

    So the q. is, Is Harper & the CPC still holding out a ‘faint hope’ for reinstating capital punishment here because:

    – they just want to milk the issue in fundraising letters for a while longer, but have no intention of doing anything about it;

    – they’re prepared to proceed with legislation which would challenge to SCC to rule on its Constitutionality square on (as on the ‘Let’s Arrest Refugees Who Arrive by Boat’ bill); or,

    – they’re just playing the long game, and are gonna stack the Court with CPC-ideology-friendly appointees through attrition, and push the thing through once they figure they could survive a Charter challenge once it finally made it to the SCC?

    * United States v. Burns, 2001 SCC 7, [2001] 1 S.C.R. 283
    http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/2001/2001scc7/2001scc7.html

    ** http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/Signs+life+death+penalty/4135660/story.html

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