Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Death penalty

There are few fundamental issues which really agitate me but the death penalty is one of them. When I was attending school in the US, my stubborn and determined point of view on the subject left bruises and scars on those who felt that it was a justifiable form of punishment.

It was my opinion then, and it's my opinion now, that they were wrong on every conceivable level.

This video dramatises the Conservative government's weak position on the death penalty through their unwillingness to intercede on behalf of Canadians facing capital punishment in other jurisdictions.

I don't really believe there is a covert agenda of this government to bring the death penalty back in the Canada. The mainstream of Canadians won't allow it.

However, there is no doubt in my mind that this government is using this issue to pander to that minority that do. As Jeffery Simpson noted today:
You either oppose the death penalty, or you don't. If you oppose it, you don't want it befalling a Canadian wherever he or she is. You work to get the Canadian home, behind bars.

Unless, of course, you really favour the death penalty, but don't want to risk a debate in Canada. And you've got a bunch of hang 'em high backbenchers for whom the death penalty there is the next best thing to having it here.
Of all the issues which a government can use to pander for votes, there is a low moral ickiness to any government willing to use this particular one for political gain. Add it to the list why Harper should be denied a majority.

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