Top News

Laws control the lesser man?


An old Chinese proverb says, ""Laws control the lesser man; right conduct controls the greater one."" It is becoming harder and harder to distinguish who is the greater one. That old proverb needs to be turned on its head! Let's take the Harper government, for instance. They're always talking about law and order and pound their chests about getting tough on those who break the rules. If the government makes enough rules and punishes severely those who try to break them it won't be long before we will have a perfect society, is their mantra.

The Future Is In Our Past -

An old Chinese proverb says, ""Laws control the lesser man; right conduct controls the greater one."" It is becoming harder and harder to distinguish who is the greater one. That old proverb needs to be turned on its head!

Let's take the Harper government, for instance. They're always talking about law and order and pound their chests about getting tough on those who break the rules. If the government makes enough rules and punishes severely those who try to break them it won't be long before we will have a perfect society, is their mantra.

Yet when Helena Guergis, Minister of State for the Status of Women, arrived late for a flight in Prince Edward Island, she became frustrated and caused a scene because security didn't relax the rules and allow her to board the plane quickly.

Less than a week later, Cabinet Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn, who only last year praised airport security publicly, lost his cool after security staff confiscated his bottle of tequila, which exceeded the 100-millilitre carry-on limit for liquids.

How can anyone, even a Harper Cabinet Minister, believe that s/he can get through Canadian airport security with a bottle of tequila? Don't those Ministers who are tightening airport security every day expect to be subjected to the rules?

Here are two Ministers of the Crown who flew off the handle at the person on the front line who is trying to do a job. Can a Cabinet Minister see beyond his/her own ego to realize the untenable position in which they put frontline security staff? Isn't it about time that some of them walked a mile in the other person's shoes?

To add insult to injury, in the minds of many Canadians, Helena Guergis' husband, former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer, seemed to get a break from the very justice system that is supposed to enforce all those rules that will ensure a perfect society.

During his time as an MP, Jaffer spoke in several Conservative public-service radio announcements that demanded stronger sentences for drug dealers. He became known for his tough stance on illicit drugs. Then true to the 'one law for them and another law for me' mindset, immortalized by the American FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, with regard to homosexuality, Jaffer was arrested for drunk driving and drug possession.

The only trouble is Jaffer wouldn't become the recipient of his tough justice. There was a plea bargain in which Jaffer pleaded guilty to careless driving and had to pay a $500 fine. The charges of cocaine possession and drunk driving against the anti-drug activist were withdrawn.

According to CTV news, Prosecutor Marie Balogh told the court there was no reasonable possibility of conviction on the more serious charges of cocaine possession and drunk driving, saying there were "significant legal issues" impeding the case.

Needless to say the Opposition Parties are having a field day. Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh said, "The plea bargain contradicts promises by the Tories to get tough on crime." The New Democrat Justice critic asked, "Why was the cocaine possession charge dropped?"

During question period in the House of Commons, the plea deal sparked an angry exchange. "What is the government's comment on a dangerous driver in possession of illicit drugs getting off with no record and a $500 slap on the wrist?" asked Liberal MP Anita Neville.

The government is keeping mum. They seem to believe that if they ignore it long enough it will go away. And maybe it will. The public mind seems unable to remain focused on any one issue long enough to explore the inconsistencies.

We have abundant evidence, with ever increasing numbers, to point clearly to the fact that the one who shouts the loudest about the sins of others is often covering up his/her own sins. In fact, it has even become a motto that never fails: if someone is condemning people publicly, you can bet the farm without any risk that what they are really condemning is their personal sins. Yet, we rarely connect the dots.

As Mark Twain once said, "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt." Are we clinging to a dream? Maybe we really want to believe that there are strong and responsible persons that can see clearly what's wrong, and will lead the way to justice for all.

It appears we are failing to understand that there is no difference amongst us. Powerful people make the rules but they are rules that are to be applied to everyone else. It never crosses their minds for one second that it could, and even should, apply to them.

Me thinks Mr. Harper is illuminating the problem. His lack of an appropriate response reminds us that the rules will be enforced until the rules apply to the rule makers. Is Mr. Harper exhibiting the arrogance of a majority government, knowing no one has gumption enough to stop him?

Perhaps Stephen Harper thinks he is the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. O.K. You can scratch that! Our Premier won't get any criticism unless it is about healthcare, and the jury is still out on that one.

Recent Stories