August 5, 2010

Tough on crime? Pfff

CANADA - The Conservative minority government of Canada is sagging in the polls and is trying to boost their numbers by appearing to be tough on crime. To this end they want to spend $9.5 billion CDN building new prisons, despite the fact that crime rates in Canada are at all time low and crime rates have been steadily dropping over the past three decades.

In an effort to boost support for these new prisons, Stockwell Day has come up with a virtual boobeyman... unknown criminals who are getting away with crimes because Canadians don't report all the crimes happening.

I'll give you an example of a crime: My roommate keeps stealing my ravioli. She's also stolen my freezies, my juice, my ice cream and my beer. But I don't report her to the police because frankly its expected that my roommate will sometimes steal food.

Last year some prick vandalized my bicycles. I could have reported it, but what would be the point? Its vandalism. I don't really know who did it and reporting it would be a waste of time.

And there's all those people we see jaywalking, smoking within 9 meters of a public entrance, speeding, "rolling stops" through stop signs, etc. They're minor infractions of the law and really not worth bothering police with.
"Hello 911? Um, yeah, this woman just drove through a red light... Um, no its not an emergency... No, I didn't get the license plate... Oh, okay... Sorry for bothering you."

So this concept of expanding Canada's prison system to imprison people who are committing crimes which would result in a slap on the wrist or a demerit point on their license is just ridiculous. Its a complete waste of money.

And really that $9.5 billion could be used elsewhere. That is enough to create 271,428 new jobs paying an annual salary of $35,000 each. Best of all, thanks to income taxes, sales taxes, etc. the government would get 99% of that money back eventually and it would boost the economy in the meantime.

Prisons don't really boost the economy. Sure, the construction workers building them get paid, but I am sure we could be building something more useful to Canadians. Bridges, roads, subways, solar panels, wind turbines, an hydro electric dam... things that are useful for transportation or creating electricity are far more useful than a prison that won't be used.

There are better ways to be tough on crime. Increasing funding for forensic research is a start. Upping the minimum sentences for murderers and sex criminals is another. Better yet, up the sentences for fraud artists who currently get out after only 2 to 3 years. 1 to 4 years is practically a slap on the wrist.

The Conservatives want to be tough on crime, but apparently they're really soft in the head.

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