Electoral Issue: Criminal Politicians

Electoral Issue: Criminal Politicians

Good afternoon,

The next issue that will be discussed is fairly straightforward; should a politician, who has been convicted of a crime, be allowed to run for public office.

As far as I can tell from the Elections Canada site and other public office eligibility sites such as in Ontario, being convicted of a crime does not bar someone from running for a position in public office or to become a candidate in a federal election. A human is ineligible if they are currently serving a sentence at a correctional facility but become eligible upon their release. Should we allow them to run for office and be in a position of power when it is clear they are capable of committing possibly horrible crimes?

We must first explore the severity of the crime; in other words, was this human charged with a felony or a misdemeanour. Obviously, traffic violations such as speeding or driving without a license are not comparable to other crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon, money laundering or rape. Therefore, if someone has committed a felony and has been released from prison, they should be ineligible to run for public office. If they were to run and obtain a position, this says a lot about the values and morals that Canadians have, especially having been aware of their prior conviction. I believe that Canadians in general are intelligent enough to realize that someone convicted of grand theft, arson, or kidnapping is likely not the best person to represent them.

Now, there must also be a discussion on whether or not someone who holds public office or is an electoral candidate is under investigation for a crime or is being convicted of a crime should be removed. In my opinion, this doesn’t require too much thought; those humans who elected this person, knowing of their clean record, should be safe to assume that their elected human’s record should remain clean for the entire length of their residency. This translates to¬† Members of Parliament and city councillours for Canadian citizens and party leaders for those members of a political party.

All politicians should be held accountable for their actions and the Canadian government should be tough when it comes to handling those who commit crimes while holding public office. Those convicted of a felony and perhaps a number of misdemeanours should be removed. While being investigated, such as President Trump in the United States by the FBI at the moment, public officials should be suspended and most, if not all, of their power frozen until a verdict has been reached. Those in a position of power, such as President Trump or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, can greatly influence the decisions of others and may be able to influence a criminal investigation in their favour.

Public officials are elected to serve the public, therefore, they must assume they are under increased scrutiny by everyone at all times; they must be able and completely willing to represent the public’s interests and values in a government setting.

-IntellectForSale

Immigration Issue: Deporting Criminal Immigrants

Immigration Issue: Deporting Criminal Immigrants

Good evening,

The next issue that will be discussed concerns immigration. In particular, should we deport immigrants, whether they are legal or not, back to their own country if they are convicted of a criminal offense.

First of all, let us define what an immigrant is: an immigrant is a person who comes to a foreign country in which they intend to live permanently. People may do so legally, following all the guidelines set out by the Government of Canada, or they may do so illegally, where the person may “quietly” enter unnoticed and just simply not leave. We shall not talk about immigration policy per se and whether the government is doing enough in terms of screening, etc. We will simply discuss whether we should deport immigrants based on the fact that they have been convicted of a criminal offense.

I believe that the answer to this question is dependent on the severity of the crime. If a human is convicted of committing a felony or a violent crime, then they should be deported and imprisoned for the entirety of the term set forth by the government of the country in which it was committed. This should not be dependent on whether the immigration of the individual was legal or illegal. The home country of the individual would first need to agree to this and the condition of the home country should also be explored before utilizing this option. If the home country of the individual is in the middle of a war or has been hit by extreme weather such as a hurricane or tsunami, then the transfer should be put on hold until such a time that it is safe for them to return. In the meantime, the convict should be imprisoned in the transferring country.

Deportation is also dependent on whether that person came to the country, say Canada, legally or illegally. If someone has taken the time and effort to come to Canada legally and did not commit a felony or violent crime, then they should not be deported, but simply imprisoned in Canada for their entire sentence. However, if the immigrant came to Canada illegally they should be deported for any crime; they should be deported regardless if only on the grounds of illegal immigration. The next point will be discussed more in a subsequent post on immigration policy; I believe that if a time period of roughly 10-15 years has passed since the person has immigrated illegally, then they should be handled in the same way as a legal immigrant.

There have been reports, especially in the United States, where immigrants have been deported after living there for over 30 to 40 years and this is simply ridiculous. If that person has resided in the country for that long, deporting them would only do more harm than good and they would have to start their lives all over again.

In general, a felony or violent crime committed by any immigrant warrants deportation and a non-violent crime of a legal immigrant does not warrant deportation. Finally, up to a point, illegal immigrants should always be deported.

-IntellectForSale

Domestic Policy Issue: Drug Policy II

Domestic Policy Issue: Drug Policy II

Good evening,

This next issue is ultimately an extension of a previous post concerning drug policy. However, this time the question is this: should nonviolent drug offenders be given mandatory jail sentences?

Of course, if you have read my previous post you can already predict my answer; no. Punishing people for drug use is the wrong way to go about the drug issue in Canada. Obviously, drugs are not optimal for a functioning human body in almost every way but it is likely safe to assume most people already know that, especially those who are actually engaging in drug abuse. Humans with a drug problem should be helped not humiliated, therefore no jail sentence should be handed out. We need to educate everyone properly on drugs and not hide that information just in case we “ruffle some feathers” so to speak; easy access to information is the key.

We need to refer people to mental health therapists and to safe havens where they can be slowly drawn off the drugs if they choose or continue doing drugs in a safe and supervised environment. Taxpayers money could be spent in a much better way rather than funneling it into prisons to look after nonviolent drug offenders who, quite honestly, are for the most part only harming their own bodies. There are other ways that drugs are harmful to those humans that are connected to the victim but we will not discuss that here.

Of course, if drug dealers are selling to minors or other similar instances, then there should be a punishment. This goes in hand with my previous post since I argued that all drugs should be decriminalized and could be purchased through government-controlled dispensaries by those who have proper identification and who are not under a specific age. Drugs need to be controlled and those who possess and abuse them should be regulated but the government needs to come up with an alternative and effective way of doing this.

-IntellectForSale

Domestic Policy Issue: Drug Policy

Domestic Policy Issue: Drug Policy

Good evening,

The next issue I wish to discuss is one that likely has many people on both sides, as well as many firmly on the fence. The issue is should Canada decriminalize drug use and if so, to what extent.

I believe everyone has heard one story or another on how drugs have negatively affected someone in their lives or perhaps it has impacted them personally. Many humans start using drugs purely because they were introduced to them by a close friend or weird Uncle Joe and were looking to “experiment”, try something new or were just looking to break bad from their usual routines. Unfortunately, this can lead to heavy drug usage and addiction which may then lead to financial instability, destruction of personal relationships and possibly even death or a prison sentence. While most recreational drugs are, of course, not beneficial to the optimal functioning of the human body, many have been shown to have positive effects when used correctly by individuals who are well-educated on its effects and who are of a psychologically stable mind.

Most addicts start because of a preexisting mental health issue that they may or may not fully realize themselves, or because of social or cultural instability, broken family relationships, finances, etc. Drugs are used as a way to escape this reality; everyone has their own way of coping and while many may not personally agree with going this particular route, the individual made a conscience decision to start using drugs and instead of pointing out how disgusting and irresponsible they are, maybe helping them is a better option.

Canada is one of the slightly more lenient nations when it comes to drugs but not to the extent as others such as Portugal, Uruguay, Australia, Mexico and the Netherlands. Portugal is one such nation that has decriminalized all drugs with astounding results such as a decrease in deaths via overdose and a decrease in drug use altogether. While many in the United States, where possession of any drug, including marijuana, could land you a prison sentence more severe than someone convicted of rape (which for the record is disgusting), may find this ludicrous, we still cannot ignore the facts. Portugal views the drug problem as a health concern and not a criminal one, where those caught with a large quantity of any particular drug were referred to a mental health specialist rather than to a prison cell. This is a much better way to deal with the drug problem then simply throwing them in prison and letting the taxpayers look after their food, healthcare and so forth with no particularly good reason.

Canada should follow in the footsteps of Portugal, decriminalizing all drugs while making a better effort towards educating all Canadians on what drugs are, what they do, and how drugs impact the economy and individual’s physical and mental health. The reason for most problems in the world historically is a lack of awareness, understanding and logical thinking. I propose that the government should treat drugs in much the same way it treats food. Allow individuals to obtain licenses to open up specialized shops for the sale of specific drugs in specific quantities and at a much lower price than drug dealers on the street are willing to sell them for. Of course, there would be a minimum age and consumers would need to produce ID. This would create jobs not only in this area but in safe injection sites where drug users can go, without any judgement, to participate under supervision in their own recreational drug use. The workers at these sites could offer assistance in other forms such as referring them to mental health specialists, psychologists, and others to slowly wean them off the drugs and allow them to get to the root of the problem. There is also the issue of other ingredients laced within the drug that could be fatal such as the recent issue with fentanyl; drug users would not have to worry about the cleanliness of their drugs if purchased by government-controlled agencies and many deaths could be avoided, at the very least.

The government would be able to spend money on healthcare, education and public infrastructure rather than spending millions waging an unwinnable war on illegal drugs being shipped in from other countries or grown right here at home or diverting RCMP presence away from those who are actually in mortal danger, confronted by the real criminals. Of course, there are many other issues to consider such as enforcing an allowable quantity limit (possession), age allowed to possess drugs, proper handling, distribution and sale (and if these should then be taxed by the government), non-public usage of the drugs, ie. drug usage should be strictly private and not in public, and many others.

Perhaps the war on drugs should not be dealt with in this manner, there may be another more intelligent way of tackling it. Clearly, the way many nations around the world, including the United States, is handling the drug problem is not working and there could be any number of reasons for that. At least one thing is for sure and that is humans who want to use drugs always find a way and many will go to great lengths to satisfy their addiction, without any regard of the consequences. Innocent people pile up as collateral damage when there is no need for them to be and rather than punishing users, we can instead assist and educate for a more intelligent Canadian population.

-IntellectForSale