Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another Shot Fired In The War Against Reality

Crime rates drop in most provinces
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The crime rate was down across the country and in most provinces for the fifth consecutive year in 2008, according to a Statistics Canada report released Tuesday in Ottawa.

So, great, right? Who, in their right mind, could possibly object to a declining crime rate? Well, step forward, Government of Canada!

Treasury Board President Stockwell Day says the government will go ahead with its plan to spend billions for new prisons, suggesting statistics that show crime is declining in Canada are not accurate.

During a news conference on Tuesday in Ottawa, Day said the government has received indications that more and more people are not reporting crimes committed against them.

"Received indications," eh? "Decided to pretend, since we really, really, reeeeeeeelly want some shiny new prisons to put people in so that we can look tough" is closer to the mark here. Even for a group as ideology-driven as the Conservative Party, this is pretty blatant.

When questioned by perplexed reporters, Day did not elaborate on what information source he was basing his claims, but said he would provide figures to them later.

"Our interns are nearly finished making these figures up," he did not add, although strict honesty would probably require him to do so.

It's a very great shame that actual crime prevention, from the standpoint of public policy, isn't sexy. It requires extending compassion, time, understanding, and often public money to folks that your average cheerful middle-class voter likely finds pretty unappealing. Furthermore, it doesn't allow people like Stockwell Day nearly enough opportunity to go into full Wyatt Earp mode. And that's how we end up with governmental attacks on safe injection sites, billions spent on the closing of barn doors long after the horses have vanished over the horizon, and the bizarre spectacle of the party in government acting butthurt because the crime rate isn't high enough for them.


Kathleen said...

It's all just so weird. And boy does it stink to be a statistician right now in this country.

Kathleen said...

Also, I have another question. IN the unlikely event that the Conservatives are right and that crimes rates are INCREASING but people just aren't reporting, how are new prisons going to help that?! People neglect to report crime for reasons other than prison overcrowding, I think...

Chunklets said...

Yeah - it's just such a blatantly ideological move. Amazing.