Imagine going to work as you do every day—“same old, same old.” Then you open your mail. Your day is thrown into a tailspin when you open a parcel and receive a human foot.
Or perhaps you take a leisurely shopping expedition—and suddenly shots ring out. You and those around you are thrown into a frenzied panic, fleeing for your lives while those weaker and slower are knocked down and trampled in the stampede.
In the last week, the world’s attention turned to Canada twice as our cities displayed a Canada that none of us ever wanted to see. We could go on indefinitely citing cases of individuals gone bad, and unimaginable grief, anxiety, and terror imposed on a quiet and law-abiding citizenry. We all know that these are not isolated incidents, but the symptoms of a much greater problem that faces Canada today.
For the first hundred years, most Canadians shared a worldview that was the very foundation on which our country was built: our Christian heritage. Characteristics of this heritage were equality of opportunity such as the world has not seen under any other worldview; respect for the rights of others—the natural outgrowth of the biblical mandate to love one’s neighbour, freedom to believe and speak according to conscience; and the freedom of movement and association without restriction.
This shared worldview produced a common understanding that our fellow citizens should be treated with respect, and that those who violated this principle would be disciplined, either by their own family or by the justice system, depending on the severity of the violation.
Today, things are different! The government emasculates the family, usurps the family’s responsibilities, and then deals ineffectively with the family’s role.
Trying to regulate the lives and behaviour of 35 million citizens—all with their own challenges, frustrations, disappointments, and desires—(in a broken justice system) has become an impossible task. When governments abandon the moral underpinnings that once allowed the people both freedom and personal responsibility, they are inevitably tempted to use the power granted them to extend their domain, rather than to protect their citizens. The responsible use of the authority of the state requires restraints that are determined by someone greater than the state or the individual.
This is the secret strength of the CHP policies and platform. They are based on unchanging principles that uphold the dignity of humankind submitted to the guidance of a loving God. Christian Heritage Party policies are based on what is determined from above, not the selfish and often foolish policies adopted by desperate societies. Our policies recognize that there are at least four spheres of government: self-government (the first and most important), family government, church government (that voluntary submission to a shared system of beliefs and ethical practices), and civil government in its various forms (municipal, provincial and federal).
When an individual fails to govern himself (i.e., when self-control fails)—as happened with the perpetrators of the above crimes, and in many other socially maladapted people; when family control fails to curb or prevent violent antisocial behaviour as it obviously failed with the perpetrators of the above crimes; when people have not placed themselves under a moral authority such as the church; then the civil government must step in to protect its citizens and to establish non-negotiable standards of behaviour.
At that point, excuses must not be allowed to derail justice.
All citizens must be held accountable for their actions. Attempting to moderate the demands of justice in response to “extenuating circumstances” (such as a criminal who has come from a dysfunctional family) is not what society needs. A gentle rap on the knuckles can never be an appropriate response to violent crime. Violent offenders must be dealt with in a manner that protects society. The role of government is not to protect offenders from the consequences of their actions by providing an excuse for their behaviour. The role of government is to mete out justice to those who have offended the standards set by society.
“Why?” is a valid question when analyzing the conditions that precede violence but an attempt to understand cannot be considered an adequate response. Rather, “Never again!” must be the response and the commitment of civil governments; and that commitment must be backed by consistent action!
A person who has killed and dismembered his fellow man, needs to feel the unified and uncompromising response of a society that is horrified by such uncivilized behaviour and will not accept it. The government must fulfill the responsibility it bears for meting out a justice that says “never again.”
The person who made the decision to shoot a “gang rival,” wounding bystanders in the process, the person who caused a terrified crowd to stampede and trample one another in their flight, that person must feel the full force of a society that is horrified by such behaviour and will not condone it for any reason.
Let the cry for justice go up from Canadians! We cannot tolerate lawless behaviour. We owe it to all law-abiding citizens—and the generations yet to come—to enforce the rule of law and to establish unchanging standards of behaviour. Canadian victims should not be further victimized by a legal system that—in misguided compassion—shows more concern about a perpetrator’s troubled past than his victim’s heartache and loss.
CHP Canada will firmly enforce the just provisions of law to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. Your family and mine must be protected from lawless and violent offenders. Peace, order, and security for all citizens can only be maintained when the rule of law is based on unchanging moral principles, and when it is enforced without bias or feeble excuse.
Those who think they are above the law must be taught to respect the rights of others. If they have not formed a habit of self control, if their parents have not taught them self control, if they have submitted to no moral guidance beyond the selfish desires of their own hearts, then they must learn it at the courts of criminal justice.
New York City, with all its lawlessness and decadence, was said to have regained some sense of peace and order when police began enforcing the law for minor property crimes as well as for major violent ones. A society that respects the rule of law will begin to rediscover the importance of self-government and family government.
The types of crimes we have seen in the last week must not be allowed to become the “new norm.” They must be treated as blights upon Canada, and those who perpetrate them must be dealt with by the full force of the law.
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