Where is modern civilization heading?

As a society are we heading in the same direction as the ancient Romans? If so the question becomes.......

Are our leaders fiddling while civilization burns?

While we ponder the question I will post my personal thoughts on this blog. Often I will focus on current events that catch my interest, however I am not and do not pretend to be a news organization. I'm simply a guy with his own thoughts on issues that I believe affect our country and society.

Be forewarned, I have been accused of being a right wing thinker and if that is offensive please move on. Remember, this is my blog and my opinions, and unlike many facets of our already over-governed modern society they are not being forced on anyone.

However, please feel free to leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent, after all this is a free society we live in (at least for now).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ahhh....A man after my own heart!

The last few days have seen a flurry of outcry in response to a remark made by one of Canada's senators. Now while I could comment about the fact that our political parties seem to have more interest in playing a game of one-upmanship than actually running the country, I will hold my tongue on that issue for another opportunity (Lord knows there are enough of them). Rather today I will share my thoughts on the comment that actually started the ball rolling on this one.

The comment was made by Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, who has made a few remarks in the past that have got him into hot water. While I can't say I agree with all of his remarks I do see the wisdom in his latest one. Now before I go any  further here's a little history on the man, Boisvenu became a prominent victims' rights advocate after his daughter was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 2002.  Prime Minister Harper appointed him to the Senate two years ago.

So what did he say that has got opposition parties and bleeding hearts up in arms?
How about if we just quote the man himself

"Basically, every killer should (have) the right to his own rope in his cell. They can decide whether to live," Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu stated, referring specifically to inmates who "had no hope of rehabilitation".

So this is where I get confused.... Why all the drama?
This man has hit the ball out of the park on a number of issues near and dear to my heart.

First off,  the man is speaking of individuals for whom the chance of rehabilitation is virtually non existent and that in turn can never be released into society (Paul Bernardo, Robert Pickton, etc). Keeping them in prison until they die is not only a tremendous financial burden on society but could also be deemed by some as "cruel and unusual punishment". After all, what exactly is society hoping to achieve through the exercise of life long imprisonment, I suspect it is a case of proving "who the better man is" in the sense we will not stoop to their level. While it may make the more liberal thinking individuals amongst us sleep better it is in reality a massive drain on societies resources. Resources that could actually be used to better the lives of law abiding Canadians.

Secondly, it is simply one more example of how our government feels it must exercise control over every aspect of our lives. Even when an individual through his own acts is removed from society as punishment, our government still wants the final say in how and when his life ends. Although, it would be a cruel irony if the right to die was given to convicted mass murderers while being denied to every other Canadian citizen (IE Sue Rodriguez 1994). But on the other hand those in jail already eat better and receive health care more promptly than many Canadians do.

Unfortunately a few hours after making the comment, and following an outcry from the opposition and a flurry of media interest, Boisvenu issued a statement saying the comment was inappropriate and he withdrew it. What a shame, it appears that the Senator does not have the strength of his own convictions. The funny part  is that if there is one job in all of Canada where you don't need to ever bow to outside pressure, it is sitting on the Senate. Talk about a "life sentence", once your there your almost impossible to remove.

On another note, it appears that a Quebec (only in Quebec!) man has filed a criminal complaint against the Senator over the  comment as he believes it could incite suicide. Jacques McBrearty, a Saguenay resident, said he was disturbed by Boisvenu’s remarks and decided to file a complaint with Quebec provincial police. “If I don’t [file a complaint], who will" stated Mr McBrearty. Well Jacques, I think the point here is no other individual would, for good and obvious reasons.

However this whole episode opens another can a worms..... the death penalty. Once again I find myself agreeing with another comment the Senator made at an earlier date.

"Under certain circumstances, I think we could reopen the debate"'  (Sen. Boisvenu voicing  his desire to have the death penalty debated in Canada).

All I can say Senator, is keep the pressure on and next time don't be so quick to back down as there are lots of us agreeing with you on this issue. Don't let your own party, political opponents, or the occasional misguided individual like Jacques deter you from what is you know is right.

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