Friday, February 9, 2007

Conservatives should let "Police State" legislation die (updated)

Two clauses of Canada's anti-terror legislation are about to expire under a 5-year sunset provision. If if certain clauses in a Bill are not renewed by Parliament after a pre-determined period, then they expire and are no longer part of the laws of the land.

The two clauses in question give the authorities the right to (in a nutshell) arrest you and interrogate you if they believe you are an imminent threat, even if they have no proof (yet) that you actually are a threat. What I like to call, "Police State", type stuff. ie. The right of the State to detain you for no reason.

Never popular in a compassionate country like Canada. We Canadians like our security, but we like our personal freedoms as well.

The Liberal Party recently reversed course, and declared they would not support the renewal of this part of the legislation.

With the Liberals flip-flop, they leave the Conservatives alone to vote for these detention laws, and draw fire as the wardens of a, "Police State". The Bloc, NDP, and Liberals will all claim that this proves the Conservative "Secret Police State Agenda". They love to tar the Tories with that brush.

That is why the Conservatives should vote with the opposition and let these clauses expire.

But the Conservative Party is about safety and security!, you'll say. Well why be a martyr and lose the centre vote for two legislated powers, enacted by over-zealous politicians, in the wake of 9/11, when they have never even been used?

If the powers haven't been used, then that demonstrates that the authorities already have enough powers to monitor and make arrests when terrorist plots are uncovered. Recent arrests of terrorist suspects in Toronto shows that Canadian police can and will act when the country's security is threatened.

Even if these laws were deemed necesary again in the future, they could quickly be resurrected and passed into law.

The Conservatives should take this opportunity to soften their edges a little, shuffle over to the centre, and let these "Police State" measures expire.


What I actually meant was, should NOT let the legislation expire. :) I did not forsee how badly the Liberals would fumble this issue. The Party of the Charter (TM), has turned an apparent slam dunk into a huge miss. Rather than brand their own party as the defender of the people, the Liberals have instead allowed the Conservatives to portray them as soft on terror.



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