Lay off of Day. He’s right in that less and less Canadians are reporting crime. However…
- Stockwell Day on the podium, defending the $9 billion the Conservatives are spending on prisons.
- Calgary Grit does his regular summary
- Winnipeg Free Press scolds Day
- National Post defends Day
- Macleans wonders about Tory tough talk on crime (in 2009)
- Globe and Mail beats Day and the Harper Conservatives to a bloody pulp
- CTV, a normally Tory-stalwart, has questioned Day’s and Harper’s argumentation/logic
However, you’d be surprised as to what comes to rescue what could have been the emblematic symbol of the census- and statstics-hating Harper Conservatives.
Yes, the census saves Day’s libertarian buttox.
At least, it’s something similar to the census. Every year the General Social Survey [PDF overview by statscan] (Wikipedia) asks about specific social issues like how many hours Canadians in general spend on chores or with Grandma. Or what sports Little Jimmy down the street plays. It too is backed by jail time and fines to secure statistically correct data. Questions that have been the supposedly too intensive, too intrusive in the census have, essentially, saved Day’s behind.
National Post journalist John Ivison notes that:
The Crime Victimization study, part of the broader General Social Survey, found that in 2004 only about 34% of criminal incidents came to the attention of the police, down from 37%in 1999 and 42% in 1993.
A BCer in Toronto highlights this irony in another way: Day is correcting the bias creating by voluntary reporting of crimes by building those prisons.
Putting these ironies aside you also have to gander over at two more points:
- Day and the Harper Conservatives want to pump $9 billion into prisons to lock up the criminals of unreported crimes. This is, for all intents and purposes, strange considering the need for prisons should only be met by the demand for them. Otherwise it’s just a waste of money. It would be like spendings $9 billion to incarcerate unicorns.
- The spending spree on prisons is still just that: a spending spree. Day and the Harper Conservatives have dolled out $9 billion for prisons without prisoners. How is this spending spree fiscally responsible? How does it compare to the claims of the Harper Conservatives of being fiscally responsible and fighting for stabilizing force for Canadian businesses? Obviously, the last two questions are rhetorical and are answered, of course, in the negative. Also, the Harper Conservatives have been notorious big spenders for their entire term.
So lay off of Day. He’s right in that less and less Canadians are reporting crime. However, does that really matter?