Roundup post: Retributive justice for mentally ill offenders

The release of a mentally ill offender has the government reaching for yet another knee-jerk response to a high-profile case. James Moore went on TV yesterday to say that making laws on single cases is bad policy, but those cases expose flaws in the system, and said that the government wants to put in place changes that will put the victim “at the heart” of the justice system. Now, if you know anything about justice or the rule of law, this should be setting off the big red klaxon because some of the most important features of the justice system are that it a) be blind, and b) not be retributive. Putting the victim “at the heart” of the system debases those two central tenets. Yes, the public reacts with outrage when someone is released after they have been treated for an illness which caused them to do terrible things, because they believe that they haven’t suffered enough, and that they’re using insanity as a way to get off easily – never mind that mental illness is real and can have terrible effects, and that when treated the risk the person poses to the community is minimal at best, and never mind that said person is also being supervised in order to ensure that they remain being treated. And even when the government says they want “science” to determine these things, we don’t see them putting additional resources into treatment or prevention by means of early detection of mental illness. It remains reactive and now, they want to add an element of retribution.

The Commons finance committee has recommended that there be a royal commission on the tax system in order to modernise and streamline it. Or you know, they could do it themselves, being as they’re a gods damned parliamentary committee and all. But no, doing it themselves would be unseemly as it would be terribly partisan and all of that.

Kady O’Malley looks at the ruling that Speaker Scheer made, smacking down Peter Van Loan’s attempt to limit the rights of independent and individual MPs to propose amendments, lest too many bothersome votes hold the House “hostage.” Sorry, Van Loan, but parliamentary democracy still carries the day in this country.

Aaron Wherry takes note of the Conservatives’ attempts to frame Thomas Mulcair by his temper, and points to the old reports of Harper and his own anger issues.

More testimony in the voter suppression court case, where the Conservative lawyer is arguing that allowing lawyers to get involved with the electoral process as is happening threatens to turn elections into mere formalities, and that some of the court documents being examined count as hearsay and double hearsay.

The Supreme Court is set to rule on a series of terrorism-related cases today, and will weigh the definition of terrorism versus the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Meanwhile, new Supreme Court Justice Richard Wagner is adding his voice to the calls for reform in the legal system, as it has become too opaque and lack of access to justice is setting up for big problems down the road.

The UK has tabled their succession amendment legislation (with explanatory notes). No doubt Canada’s will be coming in the New Year. Right? Well, once they figure out which constitutional amending formula it requires, at least…

Here is your recap of last night’s political shows, with year-ender interviews with Mulcair and Rae, and that disturbing interview with James Moore on the Turcotte bill.

And Senator Zimmer’s wife is in one of the weirdest and most terribly amateurish short films you’ll possibly every see. And she’s the best thing in it, which gives you an idea of how to scale your expectations.