Spot the Victim, Manitobans…
I just read Aaron Wherry’s piece on an exchange in the House (of Commons, for my American reader(s)) that featured Thomas Mulcair questioning Vic Toews as to whether he was clear as to who the victim was in the murder of Ashley Smith while in the care of Correctional Services.
Oh, did I say murder? I meant, killing. No wait, death. Er, failure to thrive… until she expired… while in protective custody.
Here’s the piece: http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/11/06/the-commons-vic-toews-again-imparts-his-judgment/
But it essentially features Vic Toews deflecting responsibility for his department (which we used to call Ministry, but never mind, what the hell do words matter anymore when cheating doesn’t) and suggesting that the NDP doesn’t care about victims (you know, because they’re practically socialists, although Thomas Mulcair might take issue with that phrase and leave it at “practical”) because Vic Toews takes issue with the notion that Ashley Smith was a victim of the bureaucracy for which he is supposed to take responsibility, as opposed to… a teenaged girl who was practically begging for it?
And this made me think about the whole victim mentality and how it is that Vic Toews wouldn’t wonder that maybe the original victim of Ashley Smith, the postal employee at whom she threw crabapples, might not have expected that she’d get the death penalty, er, I mean, fail to thrive until she expired while in protective custody as a result of his complaint against her.
I mean, bear in mind, dear Sooey Says reader(s), Vic Toews isn’t just any powerful man who hooked up with his children’s teenaged girl babysitter (at the time, too, not later when she was no longer a teenaged girl, although I guess they’re still together so all’s well that ends well and teenaged girls are often more mature than we give them credit for in this era of victim rights – depending on who you know) he’s eventually going to be dispensing justice from the bench – in real life, not just from the House of Commons.
Although, out in Manitoba, where the lines are a little blurry, I guess, and it’s normal for middle-aged men to hook up with teenaged girls.
So, who’s the victim? Well, if Ashley Smith had pelted me with crabapples while I was delivering the mail I’d want something done about it. Like maybe she has to pick up her mail down the hall at a mental health facility in which she is getting treatment for her unsocial behaviour. Although, true, when my in-laws’ dog bit their postie they had him put down – even though he didn’t break the skin and even though the postie was kind of an asshole (although so was Bogie and he shouldn’t have been allowed to run loose because my in-laws knew the postie was kind of a dog-baiting asshole and Bogie was a postie-hating asshole – who also liked nothing better than to wrap his paws around their daughter-in-law’s leg and commence humping it while they caught it on their new camcorder).
But if that something done about it resulted in her failing to thrive in protective custody until she was dead, I’d be suing my government, because I’d feel like now I was in part responsible for her death. And that was not at all what I expected to happen when I complained about her pelting me with crabapples while I was trying to deliver the mail.
And that’s really the problem with victim rights, isn’t it, which is why they shouldn’t really enter into the dispensing of justice, and which is why Vic Toews has a nerve deflecting responsibility for the… expiry… of Ashley Smith instead of accepting it.
Further to that, as my friend who volunteered as an advocate for prisoners and had to be escorted through the prison to protect her from the guards put it – we send people to prison as punishment, not for punishment.
But surely Vic Toews, our Minister for Public Safety (if you can fucking believe it), understands that – right?
Well, no, he doesn’t. Or, at least, he may understand it, he just doesn’t believe in it. In fact, he’s on record, over and over and over, expressing his belief that people don’t end up in prison as punishment, they end up in prison for punishment.
He believes in torture in captivity. It’s at the core of his belief system.
So, good luck to Thomas Mulcair trying to get through to Vic Toews about victim rights, justice, all that moral gobbledegook about how we should treat each other, in good times and in bad.
Oh, and best lock up your teenaged girls, Manitoba, ’cause here come da judge, any day now, come home to dispense him some justice.