fear and loathing…law and order…
Head exploding! Not sure how to proceed…
Listening on CBC Radio this morning about how our esteemed federal government is going to try and pass a new “victim’s first” law-and-order bill (The Canadian Victim’s Right’s Act) that will allow for secret witnesses in court cases.
Let me clarify: the bill would allow for secret witnesses to testify, whom the accused would never know, nor never see in a court of law.
Have we learned nothing from Kafka? Should we all be required to again read “The Trial”?
Imagine being accused of something, being charged with a crime, and then going to court and never having the opportunity to address your accusers? Imagine being found guilty! Going to jail. For a crime you may never have done, accused by people you will never know!
Again, I ask: WTF!?
Do you still believe that Stephen Harper believes in democracy? The Rights of the Individual?
Would you still argue that he does not have fascist tendencies? That he wouldn’t love ruling over an authoritarian state?
In a single stroke, he would have us overturn one of the sacred pillars of our society. That not only are we innocent until proven guilty, but that we have the Fundamental Right to face our accusers.
Now, add a another layer to this discussion. Imagine living in our surveillance state where everything you do is now electronically monitored, and then that you could be accused of anything someone else liked, and that you would never get to defend yourself against your accusers in a court of law?
Now imagine that everyone in our society has to live with this reality? That whatever you say could come back to haunt you in a court of law where you have no power to defend yourself?
Yes, this is Kafka. No, this is not a novel.
My grandfather, a WWII veteran, once sagely advised me, that you can learn a lot about a person if you try to imagine how that person would act in a time of war, or social chaos.
If Stephen Harper wants to acquire these kinds of powers in a time of peace, imagine what he would do, if we were at country at war?
Are you still going to vote Conservative in next year’s election?
(P.S. It should be noted that lawyers are outraged – both defense attorneys and lawyers for the crown – as are numerous civil liberty groups. All of whom appeared on CBC Radio to state their opposition to the bill. The government (not surprisingly) when asked to discuss the bill, declined.)