NDP Convention

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Since the NDP supports decriminalization of marijuana - you should be jumping for joy!

Cueball Cueball's picture

It also "theoretically" calls for a withdrawal from Afghanistan, not that you would know it based on the statements of its caucus. The NDP supports "negotiation" with the Taliban, ie, the Taliban surrender, followed by a withdrawal. Likewise there is very little that we can see of the NDP dealing with the issue of decriminalization, or the criminalization of the poor, and the shambles of the legal aid system in this country that allows crown attorneys to ride rough-shod over the poor, under the guise of being "tough on crime".

Sadly the NDP has no position at all on the issue of the dismantling of systems which seek to foment fair-play in the legal system, opting to stay silent on the return of Victorian era legal norms. Instead it is demanding minimum sentences on "gang related activities", and reinforcing the morally bankrupt principle of guilt by association.


The NDP and the BQ voted against the recent Tory changes to the criminal code that increased penalties for drug crimes - while the Liberals supported that nonsense. If you help the NDP to form a majority government, I'm confident that we can yet see a decriminalization of marijuana. I'm all for improving legal aid, but this is something that is almost entirely under provincial jurisdiction and almost all legal proceedings happen in the provincial court system. As for gangs, I'm sorry but my heart doesn't bleed for people who choose to join murderous biker gangs that commit atrocities etc...but actually its your beloved BQ that tends to be the big proponent of a hardline on gang activity because the way the Hell's Angels have been doing target practice across Quebec for the past decade.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Bullshit, its provincial. Federal transfer payments could be increased for the purposes supporting and expanding legal aid. I thought the NDP was some kind of "federalist party", and you were a federalist. What next? Make standards of practice and funding for health care a "provincial" responsibility? How charade you are.

As for making organizations illegal, we can already see the absurdness of this system in action with police forces engaging in dragnet operations picking up "known" associates who participated in high school soccer matches with members of "gangs" whose links are defined by the tatoos they wear. Under such legislation a whole swath of Muslim youths were packaged up in a federal RCMP probe, simply because they attended the same Mosque as some persons, or because they attended the same school.

The case against most of the Toronto 17, quickly evaporated, leaving a trail of innocent people who spent inordinate amounts of time in jail for nothing, waiting for charges to be dropped, while their reputations have been sullied for life.

The only purpose of making organizations illegal is to subvert the neccesity of the police having to get evidence to prosecute on a real criminal conspiracy involving an actual crime, and to allow them to "shake the tree" in the hope that some rotten apples will fall out.

It is called guilt by association and it is a crime which conforms to the principles of the Inquisition, not a modern "democratic" state.


"The case against most of the Toronto 17, quickly evaporated"

Actually most of them pleaded guilty and face long prison sentences - which is what they deserve.

I don't have a problem with cracking down on the Mafia and on biker gangs etc...If an organization exists for the sole purpose of committing murder and extortion and drug dealing etc... like some Mafia crime family, then we should find ways to destroy that organization. For too long we've had situations where known mass murderers are able to evade prosecution by being part of elaborate criminal conspiracies that cover up their individual roles. My heart doesn't bleed for the Joe Bonnano crime family etc...

"Federal transfer payments could be increased for the purposes supporting and expanding legal aid."

Yes, they could, though you can be absolutely certain that if the federal government does that, the BQ and the Quebec government will claim that Ottawa is "humiliating" Quebec by intruding into an area of provincial jurisdiction etc... Personally, I strongly support better legal aid across Canada and having federal funding of that etc... but I also want to see massive increases in federal funding for health care, social services, infrastructure, employment insurance, education, aborginal programs and land claims, foreign aid, poverty reduction, colleges and universities, the farm sector, the environment, forestry, fisheries, youth, the elderly, affordable housing, the arts and much more. The challenge is setting priorities and making the case for why enhanced legal aid should leap frog ahead of every single one of the things i have listed.


These defendants all had access to virtually unlimited legal aid etc... if they were truly innocent and the case against them was so weak, they would have pleaded innocent and been acquitted. If they pleaded guilty - its because they are guilty. I assume these people are telling the truth. i don't know why you seem to think they are lying. Are you implying that because they're Muslims, they must be entering a false plea and committing perjury. That seems like a very racist assumption to make.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Wrong, on almost all counts. Actually, the first sentence handed down was 2 and a 1/2 years and released for time served for a plot to blow up buildings. The rest have yet to be tried or sentenced.

2 and a 1/2 years for participating in a plot to blow up building and kill people, is a very light sentence, especially when the person is then released for time served. In other words the person spent more time in jail than the sentence handed down. The only conclusion I can reach is that the case was so weak that the crown was forced to plead it out, for time served and immediate release, and the defendant complied just to get out.

The fact is that the sentence for conspiracy to commit a crime which can carry a life sentence is 14 years. Its pretty clear that the crown plead the case out to time served just to get any kind of convictions at all, in a very weak and circumstantial case, involving all kinds of questionable activities by the police and their paid stooges, otherwise they would have gone for 14 years or something similar.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Again. 1 sentencing for time served. They did not have unending supply of legal aid. Their bills are paid by their community their friends and family. Legal aid is only so much. You are conflating the issues.

It is a very simple formula. The crown offered the guy time served for a plea. Get out of jail right now, and move on. It's a very tempting deal considering that he would have had to stay in prison for the duration of the trial, which are all still ongoing and he had no guarantee that there would be no conviction.

Threaten someone with 14 years and offer them a slap on the wrist "time served" deal is a very old formula for getting a conviction, which might be used to convict others in the so called conspiracy.

And in fact, the case is being appealed.

As for your appolgia on the position of the NDP on the issue of legal aid. It is quite simple, advocate for a decrease in costs prosecuting people on bullshit, save money on trials and for imprisonment, put in adminstrative controls that punish crown attorney from going on fishing expeditions based on spurious evidence such as the Hueza case, and funnel the money into legal aid. It has no impact on other programs that you say you cherrish.

Its called having a comprehensive "policy". It a little different than having a sound byte, like being "tough on gang related crime", whatever that is.


Why don't you come to the convention and offer the help develop a position on access to the justice system and maybe buttonhole Justice critic Joe Comartin and see what he thinks of your ideas?

Bookish Agrarian

Ah just when I thought that maybe Cueball was trying to make some cogent points on a relevant issue I see he/she/it has strayed back to its usualy stance that everything bad is somehow the NDPs fault.  Disappointingly typical.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Is that what you think? The point should stand regardless of my position on the NDP, but I guess partisanship is first and foremost in the "battle of ideas".


Long thread.


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