Tim Hudak (the leader of the “Progressive” Conservatives in Ontario, currently in the running to be the next premier), wants to establish an online sex offender registry. This is for families he says (though apparently had to pull in fake ones for the photo op).

I don’t think such a thing would even be legal here in Canada, thank goodness and the Privacy Commissioner. (Has he even checked it with the Privacy Commissioner? I wonder…)

Records that are accessible by law enforcement is one thing, but an online registry that can be accessed willy-nilly by irrational parents? That’s just asking for trouble. We know that will lead to harassment and vigilantism against people who have completed sentences and probation and no longer pose any threat to society. “Sex offenders” include people who have solicited prostitutes, people who’ve exposed themselves when drunk at parties or outside of bars, kids who sent sext messages/pics to their boy/girlfriends, those boy/girlfriends who then shared the pics with friends. It’s not just serial rapists and child molesters.

We have a “dangerous offender” designation if the government thinks someone poses an ongoing risk to the public. The government should avail themselves of due process to have the perpetrator declared dangerous and not allow them to be released. Not publish the names of ex-convicts so people can harass them or attack them out of anger or irrational fear.

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I spent a few years loving one of them quite intimately in fact. I’m thinking of him today as I see the reports, videos, pictures of protests. I doubt very much that he’s taking part in any of that mind you; he fought in the Iran-Iraq war, but since then tried to focus on his studies and his business aspirations and avoided politics as much as possible. However, I recall his voice distinctly as he commented on Ahmadinejad during the last presidential campaign. “That guy is crazy. Crazy.” Anyway, I feel very connected to Iran and hope that whatever happens in the coming days, they are somehow able to engender a new wave of reform.

Mulling It Over

June 13, 2009

Like everyone else, I’m thinking about a summer election: Yes or no? A tweet from Denis Coderre about 40 minutes ago asks:

En passant qui veut des elections maintenant?

Well, let’s see.

Con

  1. The opposition parties, especially the Liberals, are tapped out financially and wouldn’t be able to put on as aggressive a campaign as the Conservatives.
  2. Summer elections can be annoying which may cause a lower turnout among moderates.
  3. Voter fatigue and frustration at the prospect of yet another election in such a short span of time may cause backlash against opposition parties, especially the Liberals.

Pro

  1. The Conservatives are currently in a very weak position, showing their true colours with the Raitt/isotope issue, economic mismanagement, dismissive and antagonistic attitude to Quebec & central Ontario.
  2. Polls show the momentum is with the Liberals, especially in central Canada.
  3. One of the major criticisms of Ignatieff (at least as far as the media is concerned) is that we don’t know what alternative he’s offering. Of course, an election platform is the venue to show the alternative, and frankly, practically any alternative is better than what we have now:
    • a government that fights the courts to avoid protecting Canadian citizens abroad
    • a government that is more concerned with staying in power than respecting the constitution
    • a government that ignores, overrules, and ousts impartial arms-length agencies
    • a government that brings out the worst in people, encouraging regionalism, divisiveness, and small-mindedness
    • a government that ignores international obligations and treaties
    • a government that protects the oil industry at the expense of protecting the environment
    • a government that has judged that women no longer need to seek equality
    • a government that wants to squeeze every drop of life out of the CBC, until privatization or even dismantling it entirely seem rational options
    • a government that thinks the arts and culture (despite the high degree of income generation) are a waste of taxpayer money
    • a government that wants to privatize our nuclear industry
    • a government that still wants to fight a (1980s American) “War on Drugs” instead of sane approaches such as decriminalization or legalization of marijuana and preventive mental health care and treatment for addiction to harder drugs
    • a government that cuts (already low) funding to science and research
    • a government that pays lip service by apologizing for the residential schools but turns its back on the Kelowna accord and ignores aboriginal poverty
    • a government that says they’re “tough on crime” but supports illegal gun ownership
  4. There is a whole election campaign to drum up support and tear down the Conservatives’ shaky hold on seats outside of their Reform base
  5. Those people who are most firmly in the “we don’t want an election” camp are not going to go to the polls just so they can vote for someone other than the Libs. They’ll just stay home, as they have for the past 5 or 6 elections.
  6. The NDP will look a bit tired with Jack again at the helm, so the non-Conservative vote might not be split as much as otherwise. Same goes for Duceppe and the Bloc.
  7. Voters who went to the Greens last time because they didn’t like the idea of Dion as PM, but still didn’t want to support Harper, might come back to vote Liberal with Ignatieff as leader.

All in all, I think that despite the cons, now is as good a time as any to go. So I say “moi, Denis”.