I’ve had arguments before about the legitimacy of using the description “hidden agenda” against the HarpoCon campaign. I believe that the most recent move by the HarpoCons, specifically Doris Day, exemplifies the hidden agenda.
Canada does not have a death penalty. There are times when I wonder if we should, for people like the Paul Bernardos and the Alan Legeres, but, nonetheless, we’ve decided as a society that the death penalty is not a just punishment, and we’ve eliminated it as an option. We’ve also refused to allow the extradition of criminals if they are likely to face the death penalty abroad, including extradition to the nation boasting the sixth most executions in the world (in 2006), the USA. We’ve also historically requested clemency for Canadian criminals abroad who have been sentenced to death. This is no longer the case.
Where exactly in the campaign literature for the HarpoCons did they indicate that we would be rolling back the justice clock 50 years? The very fact that a bunch of Conservative back benchers were yelling out “he’s a murderer!” when Mr. Dion brought this up in the House of Commons implies that, given a majority, we could see the death penalty re-instated in Canada (if the courts didn’t move to block such a move).
To me, this is the epitome of the Hidden Agenda. The Cons campaigned largely on economic issues and on the promise of cleaning up government (in the wake of the Sponsorship scandal). They didn’t campaign on their social conservative leanings (despite the many instances where individual Conservative candidates insulted/assaulted gays, minorities, women, immigrants, etc.). In fact, the Stand Up for Canada campaign book does not mention re-instating nor respecting the Death Penalty anywhere.