This morning, I opened Facebook to see the above picture posted by the Conservatives. It ostensibly appears as a ‘poll’ to determine opinions on the subject of parole for those sentenced to life imprisonment, but is really nothing but a shoddy, underhanded subterfuge. Clicking the Disagree ‘button’ simply takes you to the following page which begs donations to the party and then leaves you only the option to select ‘I Agree’.
This pathetic little trick is typical of the Conservative’s history of entertaining only those opinions that match their own and ignoring or suppressing those who dissent but, on following the link, we are treated to yet another example of the sane old Conservative tactic of fear-mongering in order to divide Canadians and focus attention away from real issues. The Harperite stooge who penned this latest effort tells us:
“Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair think heinous murderers like Paul Bernardo and Clifford Olson should get a chance at freedom.”
Talk about pandering to the ignorant, the under-educated, and the easily swayed!
Anybody with access to Wikipedia can quickly learn the following as regards the infamous Mr. Olson:
At his sentencing January 14, 1982, the trial judge remarked, “My considered opinion is that you should never be granted parole for the remainder of your days. It would be foolhardy to let you at large;”
In 1997, Olson was denied parole, for which he applied under Canada’s “faint hope clause”, which allowed a parole hearing for convicts who had served at least 15 years;
Canadian law allows inmates convicted of first-degree murder to apply for parole after serving a minimum of 25 years. Olson’s second parole hearing, on July 18, 2006, was also denied; and,
Olson was then entitled to make a case for parole every two years and was once again refused parole in November 2010.
Most importantly, and a fact conveniently ignored by this pathetic party, Clifford Olson died in 2011 without ever having been granted parole!
Clearly, life in prison, meant life in prison for Mr. Olson so and it remains unclear how either Mulcair or Trudeau could be in favor of his being released at some point. Politicians do not decide who gets paroled; the Parole Board makes these decisions based on legislated criteria and, generally, do what is appropriate. Moreover, and, again, a fact not mentioned by the Conservatives, section 753 The Criminal Code of Canada permits a Judge to declare certain individuals ‘Dangerous Offenders’ and sentence them to prison for an indeterminate period. For some, this will mean never being released. Why then is the Conservative Party raising this non-issue?
It has long been the strategy of totalitarian powers to create ‘enemies’ in order to sow fear and convince the masses to give up freedoms in exchange for ‘safety’. Canadians, for too long now, have been divided and polarized by the Conservatives repeated tactics of creating issues that draw attention away from their agenda. In the instant case, we are being told that a vote for the Liberals or the NDP will result in swarms of killers being granted freedom to murder us all in our beds. I really don’t wish to descend to using the hyperbole that so often marks this sort of political discussion, but I can no longer avoid the feeling that there is something about Harper and his cohorts that smells of fascism.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE … If you are as heartily sick of this as am I, then, come election time, cast your vote for whichever non-conservative candidate in your riding has the best chance of winning