(SNN) - It sounds like an outrage. If the grumbling masses on news site comment boards can be believed, the Harper Government has misused its powers and imperiled a terrorist investigation, in order to force through dangerous, freedom-limiting legislation. These measures, they claim, would never be accepted by the public without a little bit of smoke, mirrors and emotional opportunism after the Boston bombing. “How dare the evil Conservatives abuse their power in such an obvious manner?” they thunder via their foam flecked keyboards.
The provisions were passed in the House on Wednesday, after some dipping and dodging to change the date of the motion, leading some conspiracy theorists to point and say “See? See?” The bill was originally legislation brought in by the Liberal Party as a reaction to 9/11 and allowed to lapse years later without a single person being affected by the content.
Admittedly, the articles specified in the legislation do carry rather scary, Orwellian concepts; that being the ideas of preventative arrest and secret “investigative hearings”. Both are designed to give the police and courts the tools they might need to thwart a would-be terrorist attack before it happens. It doesn’t seem to make much sense having terrorists running about but you can’t do anything until they blow something up. However, opponents of the law, such as the NDP caucus, fear the new powers will be misused to oppress law-abiding citizens.
I find all this conspiracy stuff a bit rich. The government certainly never needed the new laws to oppress folks before. They were doing fine, thanks; just ask that Arar fellow. As far as the new laws compromising my freedoms unduly, I’m as freedom-loving as the next fellow but I really don’t see this legislation affecting me in any way, nor would any other law-abiding Canadian. They’re not looking for us.
The strongest argument, however, for not seeing deviousness in the government bringing in this legislation, using revelations of alleged VIA Rail bombers in our midst as a backdrop, is that this government doesn’t need to go to that much trouble. They have a majority. They can pass anything they want to, with near-authoritarian powers. Why on earth would they take a chance on compromising a high profile terrorism case when they already have the numbers to enact whatever they wish without complicated, risky machinations?
It makes no sense, but then, jabbering opinion-smiths often don’t.
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