11.16.2013 06:50 PM

In Sunday’s Sun: “law and order” and “conservative” don’t belong together anymore

Law and order Conservatives? Don’t make us laugh.

After the fall we’ve had, the notion that Conservatives possess even passing acquaintance with “law and order” is a pathetic joke.

Conservatives, large and small “C,” always like to tell us that theirs is the ideology of law and order. You want a candidate to get tough on crime? Vote for us, they say. (Same with taxes. They claim they cut taxes. That, too, is a charade, but a column for another day.)

Conservatives have been peddling their “law and order” flim-flam for a long time.

Richard Nixon, aided and abetted by Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, used the “law and order” nostrum to propel himself into the Oval Office.

Once there, he and his Watergate cabal broke every law in the book, and Nixon, facing impeachment, resigned. Oops.

Still, conservatives try. “Law and order” and its companion farce, “tough on crime,” are terrific on the campaign trail when you’ve got little else to say. Progressives get tongue-tied on crime, believing (correctly) that we should be building more schools, not more jails. Conservatives love to advocate their unswerving devotion to the law, however, because voters believe (incorrectly) that violent crime is getting more prevalent. (Added bonus: It’s a terrific way of demonizing non-whites, without coming right out and saying it.)

Up here in the Great White North, the two leading proponents of “law and order” are well-known.

One has been Stephen Harper, prime minister of all of Canada. The other has been Rob Ford, the mayor of the largest city in Canada. On crime, both are literally has-beens.

Harper’s story is notorious nationally. His three marquee Conservative Senators of the Apocalypse — Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau — are all under police investigation. They are alleged to have committed fraud and breaches of trust — in effect, they are being probed by the Mounties for having allegedly swindled the very taxpayers their party professes to hold in such high regard.

Their cases are important, because they were appointed to the Senate by Harper and because Harper made them stars on the Conservative fundraising circuit. Their cases are also important because the grubby Senate scandal revelations have thrown the Harper government into months and months of turmoil.

That’s nationally.

Internationally, the Conservative “law and order” mantra has been exposed as a lie by none other than Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

We say “internationally” because Rob Ford is the most (in)famous Canadian of all time. Everywhere you go on the planet now, people know all about Toronto’s crack-smoking Conservative mayor. Forget about Anne of Green Gables and hockey, folks — our national symbol is now a porcine right-winger, allegedly huddled in a backroom at a bar, allegedly snorting something with an alleged hooker.

Every week brings delightful new developments on the Rob Ford front. Last week, my amazing colleague Michele Mandel broke the news that — according to interviews his own staff gave to police — Ford allegedly:

– Drove Toronto streets, filled as they are with taxpayers, after consuming a mickey of vodka.

– Assaulted members of his own staff while drunk in his taxpayer-funded office.

– Took drugs in said taxpayer-funded office, while taxpayer-funded staff watched.

– Snorted the aforementioned substance with the aforementioned hooker, while taxpayer-paid staff looked on, and darkly warned bar staff not tell anyone what they’d seen.

And so on. And that’s just this week, Canada!

Progressives like to say they are better at stuff like education, health care and helping those who need help. They are.

Conservatives have long liked to say that they are “tough on crime,” and that they are way better on the “law and order” stuff.

Thanks to Stephen Harper’s gang — thanks, in particular, to a drinking-and-driving Rob Ford — they can no longer do that.

Conservatives tough on crime?

Don’t make us laugh.

34 Comments


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    Duane says:

    Not to mention that a number of Harperites are being investigated by Elections Canada for breaking election rules, one resigned and lost in a by-election. A Con staffer is being investaged for the Robocalls by police and elections Canada. When it comes to law and order, it applies to everyone else but Con politicians. I love how when sh.. hits the fan, the Cons always find some staffer to be the fall guy. I still think the best is yet to come for Robbie Boy and Harper.


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    Ridiculosity says:

    Conservatives have always made us laugh. (And cry, more often than not.)

    Thankfully, come 2015, they won’t have the last laugh.


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    Cameron Prymak says:

    All those bricks thrown at ‘Lieberals’ with outrage and righteous indignation weren’t bricks at all, they were boomerangs.

    Naturally.


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    james Smith says:

    Keep this in mind Torontians

    http://www.joeydevilla.com/2013/11/14/one-thing-to-remember-during-this-whole-toronto-mayoral-kerfuffle/


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    Kelly says:

    Here out west were familiar with other Cons like Grant Devine’s team (how many of then went to jail again?) And the honest fellows working for Gary Filmon who managed to help lu the NDP into office nonstop since 1999. I haven’t started on BC and Bennett etc. There’s been books written about it.

    The long and short of it is conservatives are phoneys. Our PM is a phony economist who’s only ever been a politician or a lobbyist, our finance minister can’t add — I guess they didn’t teach him how at Princeton (oh sorry wasn’t supposed to mention that, he’s supposed to be an “ordinary” guy… I could go on…)


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    David_M says:

    Whoa, well you were right.
    Conservatives are really, really not going to like your Sun column on Sunday.


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    Pat Bell says:

    Bravo ! A unrelenting truth attack from start to finish !


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    smelter rat says:

    I think you held back a bit too much.


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    Purple Library Guy says:

    They also claim to be prudent guardians of the public purse who don’t run up deficits, and to have even a passing acquaintance with basic economics. These claims evaporate about as fast when you look at them closely.


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    Joe says:

    Kinsella, Let me start by saying your little law and order rant is just that, a rant. It’s a personal rant with no merit! How can you compare Harper to Nixon? Nixon was an US President 40 years ago who, yes, messed up his life. The senate issues is exactly why we would like to see the senate reformed. until that happens someone has to be appointed to work within the system. All you self righteous media are going to try to tell me you’ve never made errors on expense claims? The system is set up to play the write off game as far as one can, whether that’s politically, corporately, personally everyone writes off as much is allowed. So they claimed something they are not allowed to, if the pay it back, no harm no foul. Then you try to connect the idiot Toronto Mayor to Harper??? Please stop smoking crack and call me when you get back to planet earth!

    This whole rant is just your grasp to connect a whack of separate events and blame the conservatives (just like every other media outlet in this country). The changes this government has made in the law and order dept help law enforcement to actually do their jobs more effectively and also help to convict those real people who rob and steal and do harm to our families. I’ve seen it all first hand from working within our system while you just hold an opinion that gets you popular with liberal voters. Hey, you should see if Trudeau is having a closed door men’s only night soon, you’d fit right in.


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      doris says:

      Hold on a minute:
      Dean Del Mastro
      Bruce Carson
      Shelley Glover
      In and Out
      Sona

      Just to name few of the criminals in your side, shall I keep going – no but will stop at Harper the liar and Ford the, well words fail me on that one!

      ps your mandatory minimums just went up in smoke.


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        Eric Weiss says:

        Raymond Lavigne
        Mac Harb
        Alfonso Gagliano
        Joe fontana
        Benjamin Levin

        Just to name a few…

        Every party has scumbags. It’s inevitable. The lure of power in politics attracts those sort. It’s how the leaders try to weed them out or deal with them when they’re exposed that matters.


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          ottlib says:

          Absolutely true. However, only one party actually claims that they are the “law and order” party that is going to stamp out these scumbags, only to show that they are really interested in nothing more than catchy slogans once they achieve power.

          When the Conservatives stop believing their shit does not stink as much as the other guys on this issue then they can legitimately complain about Mr. Kinsella’s column.

          Until then it is it is the unvarnished truth.


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            Eric Weiss says:

            True. I wasn’t disputing the points in the article, but rather the notion that only Conservatives have criminals in their midst.


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    the salamander hordes says:

    .. truth .. the entire page, aside from the snide by Joe ..

    But what is the greatest crime of all.. ? the seemingly legal crime ?

    Ah … once the coveted majority of 20011 was ‘attained’ despite fraud in 247 ridings (says Supreme Court, Joe)
    we truly saw the cowardly attack on the land & people itself begun.. via omnibus bills (Habitat, Canada Pension)
    Led by Stephen Harper & supported without question by his jackalpack of complicits.
    The corporatistas roamed freely in Ottawa, requesting and receiving new laws & removal of laws
    and at the same time, Canada became the ‘Liberia’ of offshore mining companies..
    and government agencies were allowed (Peter MacKay) to spy on us.

    So the perfect crime.. all legal.. and if not, change the laws
    and if the First Nations continue to be ‘in the way’ the Tom Flanagan Plan is already in motion
    crudely being shaped into legislative action by the Harper resource stripper brain trust and hordes of lawyers

    How the so called election of 2011 opened the Pandora’s Box of Stephen Harper, Joe Oliver, Joe Flaherty
    and smug pondscum like Tony Clement, Keith Ashfield, Polievre, Vic Toews, Julian Fantino
    and the unelecteds.. Jenni Byrne, Ray Novak, Stephen Lecce, Arthur Hamilton.. is one for the RCMP to unravel.

    Its up to ordinary Canadians to recognize the foul ethical & moral vacuum and sociopathic actions here.
    Yes, you’ve listed much of what we have identified.. its the stripping of democracy..
    secrecy and obstruction of process and justice .. that is truly threatening.. and very damaging
    The Harper Hypocritical Action Plan & Travesty is stunning in its duplicity
    Elected MP’s selling out their constituents.. to march lockstep behind Harper, Van Loan
    ‘Oh Say Can You See ?? – like smug holier than thou republican asshats ..
    and not a single Glowing Heart to be seen among them ..


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      debs says:

      change the laws, Yep…and remove entire depts that oversee important stuff… like our environment. harper doesnt like scientists…he banishes them, muzzles them, and discredits them(sun news reporting on suzuki is soo over the top its painful)
      Elections canada gets in his way…he starts the dismantling process and refuses to staff it to the extent it needs.
      RCMP get in hisway, doubtful…he has his paid minions in that area.
      he doesnt want to deal with pipeline protests….environmentalists ( and firstnations) are labelled terrorists.
      This govt is soo corrupt and I am soo sick of the denyers, the enablers and the apathetic.
      The fact that the courts found the elections were involving fraud…but there answer is…its impossible to pinpoint who or how, so we wont bother…was too pathetic.
      If the RCMP are able to unravel the mess or corruption created by Stephen harper …im sure by then…Harper will have found a way to shut down the process.
      lets hope Harper doesnt refuse to hold elections, citing saving the taxpayers money or saving the economy or some such BS;..im sure thats next:P


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    JamesM. says:

    People generally do not pay much attention to politics until an election is called, and then it is the simple stuff, that which does not require much thought, that gets the attention of the general population.

    Years ago the Dusenberg car company had very simple but effective ads, albiet targeted to a specific and exclusive part of the population. In the ads one for example showed a woamd dressed very up market standing on the large entrance portico of her huge mansion, looking over her manicured obviously opulent property, the only caption was “She drives a Dusenberg>”

    Flash forward to 2015 and the opposition, Liberals NDP I do not care at this point, could do something simialr say show a picture of Mike Duffy with the one line “he is a Conservative.” Don’t mention any names just the picture and a simple caption, could also inclde Pamela Wallin even Rob Ford.

    I suspect that there would be legal issues using those pictures without permission but the KISS method is what works best, ie keep it simple
    stupid.

    We live in hope.


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    Steve T says:

    Changing the channel a bit here – what did you think of Ezra’s column in today’s Sun? I know you are a fan of Justin Trudeau, but Ezra seemed spot-on in critiquing Justin’s choice of discussion topics with aboriginal teenagers. It seems irresponsible to tell any children – but in particular aboriginal children – of your plans to legalize marijuana.


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      J.W. says:

      Craig Oliver and head of CP Ottawa bureau, on Don Martin Friday, said the story was not exactly true as reported by MacKay. They cited the reporter for the Brandon Sun. This explains why other media are staying clear of it.


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      VC says:

      wasn’t too long ago when I was one; when I was a teenager, we were free to engage in discussion on popular issues of the day, no matter what some white dude with a law degree and privileged social standing thought we should be talking about. If he would have come to the Rez to tell us what we can and cannot discuss, he would have got his ass kicked.

      But it’s a tad rich to criticize the speech of another, what with being a crusader for unrestricted free speech and all.

      Also, as an Aboriginal person, I support the legalization of marijuana and I’ll talk at length with my Aboriginal nieces and nephews (mostly teenagers) about my views. Fuck Ezra Levant and fuck your paternalistic view of Aboriginal people.


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      smelter rat says:

      Why would anyone with half a brain read anything Ezra writes, let alone believe it?


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        Bluegreenblogger says:

        Problem is too many people are operating on half a brain. Loud and opinionated people are colourful, and impressionable folk abound my friend


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    Cynical says:

    Warren, I want to see brutal, vicious and TRUE attack ads that juxtapose the bland face of Mr. Harper with all the faces of the malefactors you mention, ending with a rapidfire intercut of the picnic clip with a bleeped Rob Ford rant.
    “A man is know by the friends he keeps.”


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      Cynical says:

      “known”. Never post in haste!


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    J.W. says:

    I see that Peter MacKay has taken the Conservative Party to the lowest, most disgusting immoral level of political discourse in recent years if not ever, by comparing Trudeau and Ford as examples for youth in the same sentence. Hey Warren, How low can it go??


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    Kelly says:

    Justin Trudeau will become PM because he’s honest and has nothing to hide. He’s believable. Your side is full of liars and assholes…and convicted criminals…and crackhead phoneys. That’s what you guys stand for, now. Everyone knows it.

    Ask yourself…what is it about the conservative party that attracts people like Rob Ford and the people who helped get them elected by lying about their character?


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    Wondering1 says:

    Great column!
    Not a week goes by without the Harper Government doing something stupid, or mean, or worse.
    And yet there are voters out there who are comforted by the notion that they are being lead by a government that knows how to manage their money, appreciates what is important, and will keep taxes low.
    Nothing could be farther from the truth.
    What we are witnessing might have been called a triumph of propaganda in the past.
    I hope Rob Ford has been able to open a few cracks in this fragile mirage.
    We need rapid-fire cataloging of Conservative malfeasance – maybe then those same comforted voters will scratch their heads for a moment, and doubt what they’ve been told.
    This comes close.
    Well done.


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    smelter rat says:

    Dwayne, You’re so full of shit your eyes are brown.


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      smelter rat says:

      Looks like Dwayne has been disappeared. Good.


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        Warren says:

        It was that piece of shit Observant. Same stuff always: hates Quebec, hates women.

        A pathetic nobody who hobbles around in his mother’s basement.


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    smelter rat says:

    From Saturday’s Brandon Sun:

    It was a tweet heard around … well Canada,
    at least.
    Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin
    Trudeau was greeted like a rock star at Sioux
    Valley Dakota Nation on Wednesday, where he
    spoke to a gym full of mostly high school
    students, teachers and community members.
    The students at the elementary school were all
    still in class when he arrived.
    It was part of a day of activities that saw
    Trudeau campaigning with Liberal candidate
    Rolf Dinsdale for the Brandon-Souris
    byelection, which is Nov. 25.
    The school in the community is an elementary
    one and Trudeau visited classrooms before
    entering the gym, which was supposed to be
    filled with Sioux Valley high school kids bused
    in from their school in Brandon.
    The Sioux Valley secondary school facility
    was closed years ago due to mould
    contamination. The students are bused to the
    Sioux Valley High School in the former Fleming
    School site in the west end of Brandon.
    However, as you might imagine, it was all a
    bit confusing as to who was going where in the
    school and I have no idea if any non-high school
    students did slip into the gym as it was at the
    end of the school day.
    If you look at the photo above, taken shortly
    after Trudeau finished his shortish speech on
    the reserve, you’ll see a wide range of ages
    present. So judge for yourselves who might have
    listened to him speak.
    As to the content of the address, toward the
    end of it Trudeau took a few questions from
    Sioux Valley high school students, and one of
    the last ones came from a teenaged girl who
    asked, “Are you going to legalize marijuana?”
    I was running back and forth from the gym
    to an exterior window in a hallway to get better
    cell service to send out tweets, but Sun chief
    political reporter Jillian Austin was in the room
    the entire time and helped me reconstruct the
    exact chain of events:
    • Trudeau repeated the marijuana question,
    which sparked a few laughs from the students.
    • He began his response by stressing the fact
    that marijuana is a dangerous
    substance, specifically for youth
    whose brains are still
    developing.
    • Youth seem to have
    relatively easy access to the
    illegal drug in Canada and
    Trudeau went on to say that
    taxing and regulating marijuana
    is the “way to protect our kids.”
    • The room erupted in
    applause and giggles after that.
    There. That’s it. Nothing new
    in what he said about his longheld
    belief that taxing and
    regulating pot is a good way to
    get it away from organized
    crime.
    And of course, authorities
    would still be cracking down on
    the pushers — as they do now with illegal booze
    and smokes — and kids under the legal age
    would also be subject to the laws.
    Now should Trudeau have anticipated that
    pot would be a topic on high school kids’ minds?
    Of course, on a reserve or at an affluent
    suburban high school in a “white”
    neighbourhood.
    Face it, folks, a lot of teens smoke pot. And
    they get it from dealers who get it from folks
    involved in organized crime.
    Back to the Sioux Valley gym.
    I then summed up Trudeau’s exchange with
    the students as thus, in 140 characters:
    James O’Connor @Monstereditor Big applause
    from Sioux Valley FN students for @JustinTrudeau
    when he explained why he’s in favour of legalizing
    & controlling pot.
    I then watched the rest of the event, hopped
    in my Jeep and returned to Brandon to finish
    my day at work.
    Later that evening, my cellphone started to
    buzz non-stop with tweets from across Canada
    taking my original tweet — which had already
    been an abbreviated version of events —
    completely out of context.
    Using my tweet as ammunition, various folks
    in the Twitterverse condemned Trudeau:
    “Those are children! Who promotes pot to
    children?” and “Pro-weed campaigning in a
    school. What did the parents say? School
    administration?” and “He was pushing drugs!”
    I responded to a few Twitter twits, including
    one who asked me the makeup of the audience.
    I was trying to describe how the event was
    intended for high school students, but I did see
    some kids in the vicinity who, to my middleaged
    mind, looked kinda young.
    So I responded: “The audience was combined
    younger kids and high school.”
    The following day, national media were
    calling myself and reporter Austin, mostly to
    further what they considered another PR bungle
    by Trudeau.
    You know, for a guy who grew up in a
    political family, Trudeau really needs to think
    at bit before he blurts out his answers. Frankness
    and honesty are fantastic qualities, but
    politicians need to realize that every word and
    action they say and do will be recorded,
    analyzed and, often, twisted and taken out of
    context. But I digress.
    I was even asked to appear
    via Skype on Sun News
    Network Thursday morning to
    “chat about Trudeau’s proweed
    campaign to schoolkids.”
    My word. The Toronto
    producer for that show is
    breaking a standard rule of
    journalism with such a leading
    question.
    You just know it was going
    to be several minutes of trashtalking
    Trudeau, which would
    be stuck in an endless loop of
    replays and promos. I declined
    the interview.
    And I’ll now decline to
    watch the ruthlessly right-wing
    Sun TV — despite my original
    hopes that it would be a breath of fresh air in
    the centre-left dominated media world.
    Darn, I digressed. Again.
    Later Thursday, the Conservatives — federal
    Justice Minister Peter MacKay and a reworded
    version by Brandon-Souris CPC candidate
    Larry Maguire — sent out a release entitled:
    “Trudeau Promotes Marijuana Legalization to
    Elementary School Children”
    It began: “Yesterday, Justin Trudeau took his
    reckless plan to legalize marijuana to a new
    audience: elementary schoolchildren.”
    I’ll tell you what’s reckless, bad spin doctors
    who either don’t care about the truth or don’t
    try to find out the facts. You simply can’t base
    a very bold allegation from a federal cabinet
    minister — and a local Tory candidate fighting
    for his political life — on one tweet.
    Even from me 🙂
    Trudeau has subsequently issued a demand
    that MacKay retract his statement.
    But I did yesterday delete one of the series of
    tweets from the event, after it was cut and pasted
    into reports from Yahoo News and Huffington
    Post.
    I decided that it was obviously being
    misunderstood by folks and I perhaps should
    have worded it better. But the mini-blog Twitter
    just gives you 140 characters, so brevity and
    condensation often hinder full context and
    background.
    Which you are all getting here today.
    I also have to wonder why this event actually
    became a story only after my series of tweets.
    While I thought it a bit weird — even wrong —
    that Trudeau was talking dope with the kids,
    there was a lot of local and national media in
    the Sioux Valley gym that day. Including CTV
    National News and Sun News Network — but
    no “Trudeau-pushing-marijuana” stories were
    filed that I saw. Until they twisted my tweets.
    •••

    •••
    James OʼConnor
    EDITOR’S
    NOTEBOOK


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    Bluegreenblogger says:

    What I really do not like about the law and order agenda is the way the courts, judges, and the legal system are being undermined. This week mandatory sentening was struck down by appeal court. The fact is that this law was draughted in the certain knowledge that it would be struck down, you have to wonder at the import of Conservative mud-slinging at the courts? They have been charicaturising them as Liberal Activist judges, etc. The courts cannot fight back in the political arena, so the Conservatives have picked an easy target that will not go away so long as they keep passing popular law’n’order laws that sound good, but are flawed. What really bothers me about this is that it brings our justice system into disrepute, and it certainly appears that this is the deliberate strategy of the CPC. Why would the Conservatives want to weaken the justice system?

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