So you know all those times that the Conservative Party of Canada (currently serving as the governing party) claim that they want to pass tough-on-crime legislation, but they can't because they're only a minority government and the opposition is blocking it? Or because the Senate won't let it pass?
You know, even though the Liberals and even the NDP have pussied out lately and supported Harper's crime agenda whenever it came up?
Well, two reporters from the Canadian Press, with the help of some research by the Liberal Party, have discovered that the main obstacle to their stupid, stupid tough-on-crime legislative agenda is not the senate, but Stephen Harper himself:
Records compiled by the Liberals suggest the Senate has not actually posed a big obstacle to the Harper government. Indeed, Harper himself has done far more to delay his own crime legislation, by proroguing Parliament and other stalling tactics, than Liberal senators have ever done.Of course, the only new part of this is that the Liberals are finally clueing in.
During the last session of Parliament, the government introduced 19 criminal justice bills, 11 of which were still wending their way through the House of Commons when Harper suspended Parliament on Dec. 30, essentially wiping the legislative slate clean.
Of the eight bills that actually made it as far as the Senate, four were passed by the then-Liberal dominated chamber.
Ottawa Citizen columnist and sensible journo-blogger Dan Gardner pointed out nearly a year ago that Harper's strategy is to perpetually milk the political tough-on-crime cow by claiming crime laws aren't powerful enough, then finding ways to blame everyone but the Conservative party for the lack of changes on this front.
The only worry is if the Liberals try to out-Conservative the Conservatives. Their strategy should be to denounce neo-conservative tough-on-crime legislation; not to say that they can do it better!
Don't forget about this opportunity to tell the Liberal Party what you think about crime laws!