Monday, October 6, 2008

From Cell Block to Voting Block

The Supreme Court of Canada, in its 2002 ruling in Sauve v. Canada, struck down Section 4(c) of the Canada Elections Act. This was the section of the revised Canada Elections Act (2000) which disenfranchised "every person who is imprisoned in a correctional institution serving a sentence of two years or more." According to the ruling, this clause violated Section 3 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Well now it appears that the "tough on crime" policies of Stephen Harper's Conservatives (a few of which are shared by Jack Layton's New Democrats) are not sitting well with Canada's politically-engaged criminal community, especially those who live in involuntary social housing. For these voters, the message of Stephen Harper's scary hidden agenda really resonates, as many "citizen inmates" fear that the Conservative policies will make it tougher for them to operate their "businesses" and "deal" with their competition with relative impunity.

So, according to a report by CTV's Robert Fife, inmates at one Nova Scotia Penal Housing Complex are rallying behind Stephane Dion's Liberals. Clearly, their allegiance lies with the party that gave us the Youth Criminal Justice Act; mandatory parole after 2/3 of a sentence is served; and a therapy-oriented corrections system -- indeed, the party that (rightly or wrongly) has been associated with the "hug-a-thug" theory of crime amelioration.

Isn't this the kind of endorsement you'd rather keep "locked away." It's not exactly the kind of campaign boost you'd want to boast about or, God forbid, advertise.

h/t Steve Janke and Dust My Broom.

Photo Credit: Jack of Hearts blog --> produced using SDA Lawn Sign Generator

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