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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tim Hudak scores on his own net

This week Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak announced that if the Conservatives are elected they will institute a policy requiring inmates in provincial prisons to perform 40 hours/week of manual labour:
"I just think it's the right thing to do," Hudak said Thursday. "It's time for inmates to give back to society."

The mandatory labour would include picking up garbage, cleaning graffiti and raking leaves and inmates who refuse to do it would be denied television, card games or other perks, Hudak said.

"A PC government would end the practice of letting convicted prisoners spend their time watching TV or playing cards. We will make work programs mandatory," Hudak said. "I'm not asking prisoners to do anything more than what hard-working Ontario families do everyday — and that is go to work."
I think this is a colossal mistake. Hudak has just handed Dalton McGuinty a club to beat him with in much the same way that John Tory flubbed the religious schools issue in the last provincial election.

Liberals love to portray Conservatives as heartless monsters who would put orphans and pregnant welfare mothers to work in sweatshops to earn their keep, and Hudak has just reinforced this stereotype. It makes him look like Ebenezer Scrooge - prepare yourself for commercials this fall with pictures of Hudak and a voice-over of Alistair Sim muttering "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"
Details on whether inmates would be manacled together to prevent escape have yet to be worked out, [Hudak] said.
Is he serious? Are the Conservatives really prepared for Ontario citizens to drive past manacled prisoners in chain gangs picking up trash along the 401 under signs that proudly proclaim "Working for a Better Ontario - Tim Hudak, Premier" while sanctimonious Dalton McGuinty solemnly intones "this is not the compassionate Ontario I believe in"?

Is there really public clamour to make life in prisons harsher for inmates, even among the so-called Conservative base? Was it really necessary for Hudak to look tougher on crime by tightening the screws on people already in jail?

The only thing missing is for Hudak to defend his policy by donning mirrored sunglasses and saying "what we have here is a failure to communicate" while tapping a billy club ominously. Be prepared for that public service message from the Liberals in the fall.


Anonymous said...

This will add costs too because you'll have to hire extra police officers to watch over these convicts. Plus, you will be taking jobs away from school or college kids looking to make some extra summer cash.

Anonymous said...

Agree that this was totally laughable. It goes to show the lack of substance in the Ontario PC party agenda.

The PC Ontario party insiders seem to be in denial that there is a problem, but where I stand (as an Ontario PC party member) this is going to turn out to be a pathetic election. No one is giving Hudak any respect, and he’s done nothing to change that. Right now Andrea Horvath is a more credible alternative to McIdiot than Mr. Hudak.

It may not be too late – if they get a useful platform that shows seriousness, not just partisan hackery and childishness.

By the way, the reason I am posting anonymously is because blogger just doesn't work properly with my gmail login. I usually post as Mikhail.

Dave B. said...

Is it too late to switch leaders? If we do it next week, the new leader will still have 4-5 months to put his ideas before the electorate.

Jacquie said...

The Ont Liberal party would be wise to get the message out that this initiative would cost honest people - the entrepreneurs who win the contracts to provide these services - their opportunity to earn an honest wage; that the PC party would take away opportunities for Ontarians with initiative to earn a living.

The_Iceman said...

Yeah, Evan Soloman was pretty pissed off about this too. When in doubt, agree with E-Solo.

Anonymous said...

I like it. Mr. Hudak earned my vote. I would rather have crooks and thieves earning their keep in jail than running our Legislature.

The_Iceman said...

Here, Here! What Ontario really needs is a 3rd term of Dalton McGuinty. This is noble work you're doing.

Just being honest said...

He's still the first politician in a long time that has even suggested putting back some of the punitive aspect back into incarceration. The easily fake-offended opportunist left will probably milk it for all it's worth but I certainly agree with the principle.

The Trusty Tory said...

Listen to the Iceman chant with his pom poms. I love how we should just gobble this nonsense up with glee and act like everything is okay in the neighbourhood. The election slogan should read - "Tim Hudak - A different kind of Liberal."

First, we have the promise to remove the HST off of hydro bills and remove the debt retirement charge, with no statement on how to recover the $1.2 billion in lost revenue and how to pay back the remaining $14 billion. Then we have a promise to inject $6.1 billion more into health care. Then we have this dumb announcement, with no plan for security or how he intends to replace the existing classification system, then today he announces that he'll share the gas tax with not only the existing cities, but in total 444 municipalities, and inject more money if need be. Um - where the hell is all of this supposed to come from?

But keep blindly cheering away for a guy who's becoming more liberal than the Liberals.

Eric said...

"This is noble work you're doing." Huh? You know what's going to give us a 3rd term of Dalton McGuinty? Bonehead policies from the PCs like this one that repel centrist voters.

I may be a Conservative, but that doesn't mean I have to blindly accept idiotic moves by Hudak et al out of some sense of party loyalty. Maybe if the PC leadership gets some criticism from their own supporters they'll think twice before shooting themselves in the foot again.

Cytotoxic said...

I knew I could count on your blog to be insightful unlike the braindead partisans and "tough-on-crime" mouthbreathers.

The_Iceman said...

Hey, I agree, Dalton McGuintiy deserves a 3rd term. This is what's best for Ontario. One of my passions in life is paying taxes, and nobody is better at making that a reality than Dalton. I want to pay as much in taxes as is possible.

McGuinty Akbar!!!

Neo Conservative said...

sorry, diogenes.... totally disagree.

you're worried about the cost, just truck big rocks into the pen, hand out sledgehammers... and tell the cons to make gravel.

no more computers, no yoga classes, no weight piles and no conjugal visits. this is prison, not club med.

everybody else has to work... why should they get to loll around all day?


Cytotoxic said...

"tell the cons to make gravel."

WTF would we do with gravel?

Anonymous said...

Your profile says you live in BC, how is anything that McGuinty does going to raise your taxes? One might say, given your choice of relocation, you in fact do like paying taxes.

Madman2001 said...

I also see no reason that the convicts shouldn't be made to work a 40 hour week. It needn't be in a chain gang, but I think 40 hours a week doing something productive (Painting? License plate making?) might get them in a real-world rhythm.