Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Dear Jason Kenney et al.,

Regarding your "war criminal" list, you say,

"The notion that such an individual enjoys the same privacy rights as a law-abiding Canadian citizen is bizarre in the extreme," Kenney has told Postmedia. "And the fact that people are concerned about this just shows the kind of ideological process obsession that some people have that overrides any consideration for the public interest or the integrity of our immigration system."

That "ideological process obsession" you speak of actually describes the long and arduously established system of laws, rights, and conventions that maintain the largely peaceful society we live in. Many of us are obsessed with it because it prevents the state, personified in this case by you, from arbitrarily singling out and acting against individuals it does not like.  The "process" part consists of the rigorous interrogation of the evidence against a person before they can be labelled and punished as, say, a "war criminal." 

Your contemptuous dismissal of process in is alarming because it suggests an utter lack of respect for the system of laws that govern this country. Publishing lists of names such as this recalls authoritarian regimes of present and past that have mad enemies lists, where neighbour is encouraged to turn on neighbour, and the state thieves people from their beds at night.

We, the process obsessed, are concerned that you will use the same arbitrary avoidance of legal process to publicly label individual Canadians as some form of criminal and act against them outside the normal processes of police and courts. Your Party has already demonstrated its willing to tolerate the arbitrary arrest and detention of more than a thousand Canadians peacefully protesting your G8 and G20 meeting. Your Party has demonstrated its willingness to single out young Canadians and exclude them from political functions based on what it has 'creeped' on their Facebook pages. Your party has demonstrated its willingness to avoid parliamentary process that might work against it.

We are concerned that these trends together consist of a slippery slope toward turning Canada, and our democracy, into something much more inline with the fascist and authoritarian regimes like the one you have sent our Air Force to bomb in Libya... 


riley dog said...

we're fucked. kenney would treat us the same sooner or later.

Jim said...

Rights are indivisible, Martin Niemoller would remind us. That Mr Kenney does not seem to understand the rule of law is not startling; many people do not.

That a member of parliament does not understand the rule of law is surprising, but not shocking; such people do get elected from time to time.

That a minister of the Crown does not understand the rule of law and openly speaks of it with disapproval is shocking.

Greg said...

I didn't read the article yet.

Was Jason Kenney going after Gordon O'Connor and stripping him of his rights and sending him to Syria for his complicity in the torture of detainees in Afghanistan?

Because that would be wrong.

Rev.Paperboy said...

That a minister of the Crown does not understand the rule of law and openly speaks of it with disapproval is shocking.

Shocking, but no longer surprising.