Thursday, November 01, 2007

What is Going On Here?

When I first read this article this morning, I thought there must be some kind of mistake. I thought I'd wait to see if it was brought up in Question Period and it was.

Irwin Cotler asked Stockwell Day, whether or not the Canadian government would commute this man's sentence. Day, being his typical cocky self, replied that "The Canadian government was not in the habit of bringing convicted murders back to Canada." (I've paraphrased).

So let's get this straight. Just last week the department of Foreign Affairs was pushing for clemency, now suddenly it's hands off? Obviously Day is more interested in playing "tough guy" again, (which is a hilarious image in itself), than he is in upholding our record of Human Rights. Given that a Liberal asked the question, I've no doubt that he'll once again resort to juvenile turns of phrase, such as "we know the Lib's don't care about murderers on our streets, but we Conservatives do", or something equally as inane.

First, no one is asking that he be returned to Canada and set free. Cotler asked that we push to have the sentence commuted. Good grief, as Cotler pointed out, we don't even extradite Americans back to the States to be tried if the possibility of the Death Penalty exists.

This is serious stuff people. How can this government simply change such an important principal? Canada does not support the Death Penalty anywhere, including the US. Is Day now saying we do?

Surely this requires debate and defeat in the House.

33 comments:

Gayle said...

KNB - this is a big issue. I posted something about it over at RT's:

When the last Canadian was executed in the US, the liberal government attempted to intervene with Governor George Bush to request a stay. The Alliance party took it upon themselves to send an Alberta MP to Texas (I think it was Art Hangar) to encourage Bush to ignore the Canadian government and execute this man.

Interestingly, the SCC has found the death penalty contravenes the Charter, and therefore the Canadian government may not extradite someone to a country with capital punishment until they have assurances the individual will not be executed. I wonder if there is a corresponding responsibility on the Canadian government to intervene on behalf of their citizens. I should think there is certainly a moral responsibility to uphold the principles of the Charter in their dealings with Canadian citizens.

I agree there should be a debate in the House about this. It is revolting that the government would ignore the constitution of this country is such an obvious (and partisan) fashion.

knb said...

Gayle I wonder if there is a corresponding responsibility on the Canadian government to intervene on behalf of their citizens.

I cannot find anything Gayle, but there must be some sort of bilateral agreement. Trying to navigate the government website is a nightmare.

I'm appalled to be honest. Allowing a man to die, simply to uphold your "law and order" persona as a party.

What happened in the Hangar case?

It makes it easier to understand their inaction on so many other cases around the world and of course their attitude about Maher Arar.

This cannot just be swept away and if I know Cotler, he won't let it be.

Ryan said...

Hello hidden agenda!

Not that I agree with the execution, or that I think it's worth a man dying to prove it, but I'm glad that the Conservatives can't help but expose their scary selves. I think they might find that most Canadians are anti-death penalty.

Especially in Quebec where the Conservatives are fishing for votes.

Gayle said...

KNB - I was actually thinking there may be a Charter remedy for this guy (though, sadly, it would probably be too late).

The SCC has said our government may not turn foreign citizens over to their own country unless they have assurances that person will not face the death penalty. It just seems logical that this reasoning could be expanded to a positive obligation on the Canadian government to intervene in these cases.

As for the case Hangar interfered with, the man was convicted under a very perverse "justice" system in Texas. The man was acquitted at first, but the victim's son was able to hire a private prosecutor to re-try him. The son also paid witnesses to testify the man committed the murder (the witnesses were co-accused in the first trial). It was a complete travesty of justice in every way.

knb said...

Actually Ryan, the lust for the death penalty in the US is decreasing too.

Duffy said something odd tonight. He said that the government has changed and there is a lot of change that has gone on. Not change we know about, but behind the scenes.

Gotta say, that scared the bejeebus out of me.

They only allow certain Ministers to speak...those whom they consider stars. I suggest that these stars are going to bring them down.

knb said...

I hope you're right Gayle...I'm sure Cotler's people are searching with a magnifying glass.

I don't know if you saw Duff tonight, but with a slight nod to the last post, (and I know you agree), he said over and over that Cotler was suggesting that the convicted man be brought back to Canada. He NEVER said that of course.

It's freaking unbelievable to me how they get away with this stuff.

And another thing, if (as I said to ran) Duff knows about changes behind the scenes, why the hell isn't he reporting on those? He doesn't hesitate to report on what goes on behind Liberal curtains. Bias exposed.

ottlib said...

There is no Charter remedy for a Canadian convicted and sentenced in a foreign court. It is a matter of sovereignty for the foreign country.

All that Canada can do is request that the jurisdiction about to commit the execution show clemency.

If if does not there in nothing Canada can do.

Most of the time it never works anyway but that is no excuse for not trying. Although, we all know that if Stephen Harper and his gang had their way they would bring back the death penalty so it should not surprise anybody that they would put an end to the old policy of requesting clemency.

Of course, if the MSM was not so firmly attached to Mr. Harper's nether regions they would probably make a big deal out of it and perhaps force his hand. But we all know that will not happen as you pointed out so well in your last post.

don's hottie said...

Pull out thw Wambulence for a murderer down in America just because he's Canadian.

Waaahhhh Harper's a bully. Waaaahhhh he's not sticking up for a killer who is getting what he deserves.
Waaahhhh he's not consulting with the Liberals on whether to fight for a killer to be saved.

Waahhhh waaahhhh waaahhh.

Ryan said...

There you have it, ladies and gents.

A conservative counter-argument.

*clap*

knb said...

A one handed clap ryan. Good grief, did you read the bio on this hottie?

In a way I love that the supporters of this travesty are coming out. They support Stocky and tell us more of what we need to know about him and the Party. Well we knew, but we need these people to expose it.

Well done con's. Keep it up. You are turning Canadians, (the majority of which remember did not support you), against your Party and your cause.

Exposure on this issue, will dog you big time and Day's disgusting peformance in the House?

A Jet-Ski moment...except this time it's serious. It's about Canadian principals, not Party.

Bravo!

Fred Bracken said...

Gayle, your living in a dream world. This guy CONFESSED on CTV W5 to killing these two native indians.Your liberal rhetoric is truly disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Learn the facts before you spew your left wing spin.

Again, this guy confessed on national TV ( it was on CTV again tonight).

How can you open your mouth when you have no idea what your talking about.

Who do Canadians think they are to interfere in US policy.

Grow up you leftist.

The Right is Where its At said...

Fred Bracken

"Gayle, your living in a dream world. This guy CONFESSED on CTV W5 to killing these two native indians.Your liberal rhetoric is truly disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself."

Fred don't be surprised she is a left wing liberal. She isn't ashamed trust me.

"How can you open your mouth when you have no idea what your talking about."

"Who do Canadians think they are to interfere in US policy."

"Grow up you leftist."

Fred they are left wing liberals who want power at all cost no mater what. Fred just come back here tomorrow and you will see how they will lambaste me from A-Z.;)

knb said...

Fred and John...I'll speak slowly.

We know he has said he is guilty.

Again, that is NOT the point. In this country, we do not believe in the death penalty. You might, but then you would, because you both represent much is what contrary to our current laws, values and principals.

So does Harper and there you have his agenda. An agenda to change who we are and what we represent with only 30 something per cent backing.

Get over yourselves. Canada is not now, nor will it ever be what you envision and I for one am glad that idiots like Day are making that clear.

Good news though guys. What you want exists, warmer weather, guns in every home and a law that is as barbaric as any we know. Check out who else in the world supports your beliefs...great company to be in. But hey, at the moment you can move south, even if you don't have a passport.

The Right is Where its At said...

KNB

"Fred and John...I'll speak slowly."

"We know he has said he is guilty."

"Again, that is NOT the point. In this country, we do not believe in the death penalty. You might, but then you would, because you both represent much is what contrary to our current laws, values and principals."

First of all KNB flattery will get you no where.

Second of all KNB I actually don't believe in the death penalty, but this isn't the POINT.

Thirdly he committed the crime in the U.S. where they do believe in the death penalty.
He new what the laws were. When someone goes
to another country you must follow their laws whether you agree with them or not. I think I have been threw this before with you.

Let me say it slowly that even you can understand o.k.? When..Someone..Goes..to
another..Country..You..
Must..Follow..Their..Laws..Whether
you..Agree..With..Them..Or..NOT!!
Is it clear enough?

"Get over yourselves. Canada is not now, nor will it ever be what you envision and I for one am glad that idiots like Day are making that clear."

KNB you have no idea what I envision for Canada. You want idiots just look at your left wing liberal party. Lose one by-election here in Quebec and everyone in the liberal party goes bananas.

KNB you think that there are a bunch of idiots in the Conservative party!!

If that is the case then the liberals are worse then idiots, there stupid.

Example:

This government has been governing this country as if it has a majority. Even though we are in a minority government.

How many minority governments do you know that are able to pass legislation for as long as they have,and the official opposition is in agreement with them? They are about to go to a third year in January. So you want idiots just look across from where the Conservatives sit in the house.

The liberals remind me of someone who says that the movie he went and to see was the worst he has ever seen. But he goes to see it time and time again. Still says its the worst movie ever, smart hey ?

Thats what the liberals do they criticize, but when comes to vote they sit.

"Good news though guys. What you want exists, warmer weather, guns in every home and a law that is as barbaric as any we know. Check out who else in the world supports your beliefs...great company to be in. But hey, at the moment you can move south, even if you don't have a passport."

Good grief KNB get a hold of yourself your losing it.

The Right is Where its At said...

KNB

Correction:

"How many minority governments do you know that are able to pass legislation for as long as they have,and the official opposition is NOT in agreement with them,and still survive for as long as they have?"

burlivespipe said...

Scary things is, morons like the above don't see that the death penalty is different than any other sentence. It isn't about the fact that he's guilty or that the US has the jurisdiction to hand out their own sentence, it's that the death penalty is WRONG. No matter who's handing it out.
Harper's wet dream of emulating American justice gets guys like fred and bozo here excited because its all about the punishment. There's no debate on moral right or wrong. We know the criminal in this case needs severe punishment -- lifetime in prison is pretty bleak, guys -- its that when you follow the 'death penalty' train of thought you again lose any moral standing from your other arguments. You are now the killer.
And as evident by their high crime rate, their incredibly crowded prisons and the fact that a Nancy Grace show can exist with endless subject line every night, America is no expert on justice.
But if you want an expert on hypocrisy, you can look to the White House, but when we've got ol' Potsie at 24 sussex drive now, you can see it in pure two-dimensional colour here at home.

Ryan said...

My favourite part is where being a "leftist" is supposed to be an insult. YOU... UH... LEFTIST YOU! Isn't name calling much more childish than being a leftist? Who needs to grow up here?

I think the point being made here is that a) this has nothing to do with the man's specific crime. The death penalty is a sentence that we oppose for Canadian citizens and others in this country. Since the man is a Canadian citizen, we do have some influence as to whether or not he is executed. Since we have that influence, we should use it and b) this issue is a reflection on the core values of the Conservative party, possibly meant to appease the so-Con base, and reflects the general disconnect with Canadian values represented by the Conservative party and finally c) if I go to Iran, and am involved in an adulterous act, should Canada intervene to save me from stoning? If I steal in Saudi Arabia should Canada intervene to prevent my hand from being severed? After all, laws like that are on the books in those countries. I agree that you've got to follow laws of the country you are in, but we've established certain practices as inhumane and should be condemned where ever possible. I think in the case of murder, a life sentence will do just fine as punishment.

RuralSandi said...

Oh the hypocracy with these so-called "Christian Conservatives". They spout their beliefs in Christ. The eye for an eye (execution) is from the Old Testament. The "New" Testament is about Christ and his teachings - tolerance, separation of church and state, charity, etc.

In other words - the so-called Christians are indirectly saying they don't believe in Christ's teachings and want to remain in the times of the Old Testament - in other words, they "don't" believe in Christ and his teachings.

They can't have it both ways.

Gayle said...

Dear Fred

Before you write posts saying things like this:

"How can you open your mouth when you have no idea what your talking about."

I suggest you take a course in reading comprehension. If you did that you would figure out the case I was referring to in my second post was not the one at issue here, but rather one from 1999 - the details of which I was providing in answer to KNB's question. It was the case where an Alliance MP named Art Hangar intervened in and contradicted the Canadian government's foreign policy.

As for this:

"Who do Canadians think they are to interfere in US policy."

I hope you are not suggesting Canada is the only country in the world to advocate on behalf of its citizens incarcerated in a foreign country? I hope you are not suggesting the US would never interfere with Canadian policy....because if you are, you are proving yourself to be profoundly ignorant.

But hey - don't let the facts get in the way of an uneducated liberal bashing.

Gayle said...

"There is no Charter remedy for a Canadian convicted and sentenced in a foreign court. It is a matter of sovereignty for the foreign country."

That is not what I was referring to.

I was wondering if, under the Charter, there was a positive obligation on the Canadian government to advocate on behalf of Canadian citizens sentenced to death in foreign jurisdictions - just as there is a positive obligation on the Canadian government to seek assurances an individual will not be subject to the death penalty if s/he is extradited to a foreign country to face criminal charges.

Fred Bracken said...

The death penalty is a great way to get rid of a convicted murderer as soon as possible. A good example is Paul Bernardo. Paul Bernardo should have been executed a long time ago.

It's funny how Liberals say that prisons cost too much money so we shouldn't have mandatory minimums, however they have no problem housing Bernardo the rest of his life at a cost of over $180 grand per year.

You talk about morals. Are you telling me that the people of Canada today are more moral than back in the 20's,30's,40's,50,and 60's.

Some people who find that statement ridiculous.

Gay marriage, pride parades, lax juducial system are just 3 examples of an immoral society.

How is it that someone who kills people drinking and driving get house arrest.

You call that moral.

I call it immoral.

Gayle said...

"It's funny how Liberals say that prisons cost too much money so we shouldn't have mandatory minimums, however they have no problem housing Bernardo the rest of his life at a cost of over $180 grand per year.'

Perhaps you are not aware that in the US it costs MORE to impose the death penalty than it does to imprison someone for life.

Those pesky facts again...

Dame said...

The decision came right from The "Dear Leader " ..and this is to Feed the BASE for their not so secret wish to return to the death penalty ...it is a very raw feelings of some very old conservatives .those people never accepted the law of now capital Pubishment.
And they are all "PRO LIFERS"!!!!

yes this is about the hidden agenda ..

marta

Dame said...

some typo sneaked in ... I meant NO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
marta

Ryan said...

I just don't know how to respond to Fred in a civilized fashion.

I guess I'll just pray for him.

SUZANNE said...

According to Angus Reid, only a thin majority of Canadians oppose the death penalty:

http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/death_penalty_backed_in_four_countries/

I don't think that this will harm Harper at all politically.

People may say they oppose the death penalty, but who cares about a murderer?

I'm afraid nothing will be done about this.

knb said...

dame, I hear you and you too ryan.

I'm just too tired to respond to the nonsense. I need the weekend to digest all that has gone on this week.

Suzanne, I'm not quite sure what you are saying. Are you fine with this stance by Harper?

SUZANNE said...

No.I'm not okay with. But nothing will happen because no one cares about murderers.

knb said...

Yes many do care Suzanne, but as I said, I'm too tired and you and I are on different sides of this.

I want you to know that I found your spam and I'm curious as to why you'd list me on that blog?

It's an honest question.

ottlib said...

gayle asked:

"I was wondering if, under the Charter, there was a positive obligation on the Canadian government to advocate on behalf of Canadian citizens sentenced to death in foreign jurisdictions...?"

No.

What is interesting about the level of support for capital punishment in this country is how it changes with how the question is asked.

If you ask the question straight out: "Do you support capital punishment"? the answer is generally a slim majority against.

However, if you ask that question and include an alternative then support drops alot so that a substantial majority state they oppose it.

Generally researchers present the idea of life in prison as an alternative to the death penalty and Canadians support that idea by a very wide margin.

With regard to this harming Mr. Harper I think it may not harm him but it certainly will not help him either. His base may like this decision but if he wants to win the next election, let alone win a majority, he has to look beyond his base.

knb said...

ottlib, in spite of those polls, I think this decision by Harper will pull ex-Libs back. Those who parked their vote...that is if Dion plays this right and by that I mean honestly.

SUZANNE said...

Yes many do care Suzanne, but as I said, I'm too tired and you and I are on different sides of this.

I'm not on different sides of the issue of the death penalty. Read my blog.

And no, not many people care about murderers. They're not going to vote for against one party or another based on this.

I want you to know that I found your spam and I'm curious as to why you'd list me on that blog?

Simple. I list all political blogs that follow my not-very-stringent rules. Your blog showed up in the Liblogs aggregator and I noticed it.

knb said...

Fair enough Suzanne.