Monday, September 20, 2010

August Best Case Scenarios

With the hubbub of the New Brunswick election, I didn't get a chance to calculate the best case scenarios for August. This month shows better best case scenarios for each party than what was possible in July.

These best case scenarios calculate each party's best projection result last month in each region (West, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada).

For example, if the Conservatives had their best result in the West in an Angus-Reid poll, their best result in Ontario in a Nanos poll, their best result in Quebec in a Léger poll, and their best result in Atlantic Canada in an EKOS poll, I've taken each of these bests and combined them.

In other words, these projections are the best possible result each party could've gotten had an election taken place last month, based on the available polling data.

For the New Democrats, their best case scenario in August is better than that of July for two reasons: A) more seats, and B) more political clout.With 18.4% of the vote, the NDP would win 46 seats, a new record for the party. Almost half (20) of these seats came from Ontario, while 19 were won in West, two in Quebec, and five in Atlantic Canada.

While this is only two more seats than the party could have won in July, it is a much better situation as last month the combined totals of the Liberals and NDP did not outnumber the Conservatives. Now, with 140 seats between them, the Liberals and NDP would have the ability to cobble something together.

As for the Liberals, their best case scenario is the thing the party has been hoping for since being defeated in 2006: a return to government.With 35.1% of the vote, the Liberals would elect 127 MPs and form a minority government. The Conservatives would elect only 111 MPs while the NDP would be reduced to 19.

The Liberals win 59 seats in Ontario, 27 in Atlantic Canada, 22 in the West and North, and 19 in Quebec. This is 15 seats better than last month.

It's generally the same size of caucus that Paul Martin won in 2004, but the problem is that the Liberals would need to rely on the support of either the Bloc Quebecois or the Conservatives to get legislation passed - something Martin had to deal with as well.

For the Tories, their best case scenario is only marginally better than July's, but more importantly does not give Stephen Harper his sought after majority.Instead, with 38.2% of the vote, his caucus is increased to 148 seats (six more than July's best case). The Liberals would elect 87 MPs and the NDP would elect 23, while the Bloc would be at 50.

The Conservatives win 76 seats in the West and North, 55 in Ontario, nine in Atlantic Canada, and eight in Quebec. It ensures that their minority government survives for a few more sessions, but probably tests the patience of the Conservative Party for their three-time minority leader.

This month's best case scenarios show that there is still something for all of the parties to go for, but that the Conservatives are no longer dominant. An increased minority would not be a bad outcome for the Conservatives, but another minority government is not what the party is looking for. For the NDP, increasing to 46 MPs would be a great boon to the party, and being capable of forming a coalition with a plurality of seats would give them huge political clout. But as the scenarios for the other parties show, there is a risk that the NDP could be reduced to half of their current size.

Undoubtedly, this month's best case scenario is the best news for the Liberal Party. It shows that they are capable of winning a clear minority, and forming government. In prior months the Liberal best case scenario was always a tiny minority or a runner-up finish. Winning this amount of seats was good enough for Paul Martin in 2004 and Stephen Harper in 2006, so there's no reason to think it wouldn't be good enough for Michael Ignatieff in 2010 or 2011.

45 comments:

  1. OT:

    Gun Registry AR Poll:



    "Meanwhile, a new Angus Reid poll released Monday has found 46% of Canadians want to scrap the registry, 40% want to save it, and about 15% aren't sure.

    The poll also says 44% said a complete ban on handguns would be justified, another 44% said it would be unjustified and 12% were unsure.

    When asked if the long-gun registry has been a success, 16% said it was, 38% said it has been unsuccessful, 31% said it has had no effect on crime and 15% said they aren't sure.

    The online survey, which was conducted Sept. 15 and 16, sampled 1,011 Canadian adults and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20."

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2010/09/20/15407826.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. "When asked if the long-gun registry has been a success, 16% said it was,"


    I think that might just say it all....

    ReplyDelete
  3. I suppose it depends on how people define "success". There is still crime in Canada ergo - any policies aimed at eliminating crime have been UNsuccessful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Can't wait for the projection on the new HD poll. NDP at 14% means big losses. Probably hurts the Conservatives to have them that weak because they don't split enough of the opposition votes:

    Interestingly HD still has Tories quite low in Quebec even though brand new Leger poll has them doing substantially better.

    ReplyDelete
  5. YOur definition of Tories doing better in Quebec is that they are doing as badly as they did in the last election. It will also be interesting to see Tory support in Quebec City crash and burn once the news gets broken that there will be no federal money for a hockey arena.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Shadow:

    ""If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.
    "

    WHO said it ???????

    ReplyDelete
  7. OT:

    Third party ads by foreign organization:

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/09/20/kevin-libin-the-third-party-no-one-talks-about/

    ReplyDelete
  8. Peter drop the nazi stuff.

    And what "lie" have I told today that's gotten you so up in arms ?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Shadow details on the Leger poll please or at least a link.

    TIA,

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  10. AJR:

    Tom Flanagan agrees with us. Too bad he left as Harper's chief of staff. What a different world it might be!

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/guns-and-grow-ops-conservatives-should-be-consistent/article1712802/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Earl go to thread "NB CBC poll added to projection" and that's where you'll find a link to the Leger poll (you can use google translate if needed, the article is in french) and a link to the HD poll courtesy of Barcs.

    National Newswatch also has both polls linked. Its a great site, especially for people who don't use RSS feeds.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Earl:

    The leger poll

    http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/canada/296542/leger-regain-de-vie-pour-les-conservateurs-au-quebec

    September 13 to 16
    Bloc 36
    LPC 22
    CPC 20
    NDP 17


    HD's quebec numbers:
    Sept. 9 to 19

    38-25-14... Green 12, ndp 9






    Peter....
    "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

    ....keep repeating it....

    ReplyDelete
  13. The tide is turning, and pretty late in the game. To me the bestcase NDP scenario although really a pipe dream looks fascinating If this keeps up we're looking@a spring election fursure.Eric I look forward to your next poll of. Polls averages
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  14. "Tom Flanagan agrees with us. Too bad he left as Harper's chief of staff. What a different world it might be!"


    Oh? Was it different when he was there? What was the party's position then?


    I don't think it is inconsistent.

    The firearm registry hasn't done anything to reduce crime. The data in it is suspect, nor does it include a large number of firearms that are out there. The licensing system (brought in by the Mulroney tories) licensed people,... rather than the objects. Ensuring that a person is a responsible owner should be enough.

    But as to grow op's. Can you name me an instance where you allow greater distribution and reduction of penalties and the use .... the problem goes away??? I know prohibition is used as an example. And the accessory crime was lost with its legalization. But, Did it reduce crimes committed under the influence? Is there less alcohol used now than when prohibition was on? Is it better if the crime to get the drug money is only stealing $30 to buy it legally instead of $100 to buy it illegally? I still think the best way to get rid of the problem is to get rid of the stuff that causes the addiction and the behavior...

    Do you think we should register drugs instead maybe?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Shadow and Barcs:

    Thanks!

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  16. Earl I respect Tom Flanagan so I feel the need to reply to that link.

    The problem with his article is its basically saying if you make something legal it reduces crime. Well duh! Its no longer illegal.

    That's like saying if you kill a patient you cure their diesease.

    But the negative social consequences will still be there even if we make it all legal.

    And we lose the ability to fight drug use, which DOES harm society.


    Personally I want the best of both worlds. I want this government to be very tough on crime.

    But I also want it to consider more rehab, more education, more deterence programs.

    Early childhood education for troubled youths. Afterschool programs.

    And make pot a ticketable offence, not a criminal one.

    Unfortunately it seems like people either want to fight crime one way or the other, none of the parties want to do both.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Shadow making Pot a ticket-able offence rather than a criminal one would go part. However the idea is to reduce crime by depriving criminal organizations of the revenue they get from illegally importing, growing and selling pot. It's better than nothing. I like your other ideas as well.

    Earl

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yes, you can't fight crime without targeting both the result and the causes.

    We do need to give money to social programs... tho I think it could be targeted better.

    We do need the jail too though. Whether that is punishment of the offender... or just protection of society.


    But I do think we need a major overhaul of our justice system. ... I am sorry shadow, but I disagree, we do need to pick a direction.

    Its not about rehabilitation.... or we would lock people up in an institution until such time as we think they are of benefit and not a danger to society.

    Its not about punishment of the offender.... some of the sentences we hand out are laughable.

    And this one is the most important. It's not about protection of people and society. Or we would do a better job of making sure the threat, the offender doesn't do it again. Like declaring repeat offenders uncurable and throwing away the key to protect their next victim.


    You have to be both soft and tough on crime to make it work. ... I just wish we would try to make it work.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Barcs,

    I think one problem you have in understanding the decriminalization approach is that you can never "get rid of the stuff". You might as well tell police to go stop the tide from coming in.

    By your own example profits to organised crime could drop by 70% overnight (if not more). You will find very few people these days who think that alcohol prohibition has been a success in any way. Unless building up the mafia counts as success.

    It's the same with pot, and similar problems exist with criminalizing hard drug use.

    I also think Shadow and you have an idea that decriminalization will increase use. This Cato study may give you a different perspective on that.

    I'll just note in closing that pot use in Holland among 15-24 year olds is about 35%. In a country with strong (or draconian) pot laws that figure is 55%.

    Any explinations for these numbers? Do they not show that criminalizing drug use is counter-productive? Just think I haven't even touched on the policing and incarceration costs. This is a pure argument that the drug problem becomes more managable with less criminal prosecution of drug offenders. Any facts/stats to the contrary will be given due consideration by me.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

    "The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

    -- Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

    Now I think we can all agree that Goebbels was an extremely despicable person. Does that make his genius any less? NO

    While not the inventor of propaganda or advertising he's close to if not the greatest practitioner that ever lived.

    How many of you have ever heard of George Orwell, his iconic "1984" is an example of Goebbels thinking where the "Ministry Of Truth" rewrites History every day to suit the current political situation and where War is perpetual.

    Now in Canada we have political parties rewriting History to suit their particular political agenda, or distorting facts to suit. Called "Talking Points" these are nothing but Orwell's "Ministry Of Truth" in a slightly different form.

    To repeat them let alone push them as reality is to succumb to the basest of Goebbels doctrines. People wonder why I am so virulently against them well now they know. Just listen to Pierre Polievre and you'll know.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Other arguments not connected to my last post:

    1) Pot has been estimated as Canada's 2nd largest cash crop, and 3rd largest agricultural export. "Getting rid of the stuff", would have a significant negative impact on the economy.

    2)The best argument for tough drug laws in Canada has always (for the last 30-40 yrs) been that loosening them may cause problems at the border. As Flanagan rightly notes, many U.S states are moving quickly to decriminalize/ legalize. The best argument against, is now about to become irrelevant.

    3) Government attempts to socially engineer morality, or vice behaviour almost never work. It always is a costly failure. That is the crux of Flanagans argument.

    "Prohibition leads to hypertrophic growth of the state’s security and surveillance apparatus, arbitrary searches and seizure of property, pointless criminalization of innocent activities, and growth of genuine criminality as a spinoff from the trade in forbidden drugs."

    That is a powerful, and true statement that should, at the very least, give conservative leaning fellows pause before supporting any kind of "war on drugs" type measures.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Peter,

    I would suggest that you don't so needlessly fulfill Godwin's Law six bloody comments into the thread, and then keep harping on it. Comparing ANY Canadian politician to Goebbels not only disrespects them; it disrespects our country, it disrespects our parliament, and -MOST IMPORTANTLY- it disrespects the victims of Joseph Goebbels.

    It's really unbecoming, and shows the weakness of your case for keeping the LGR.

    In fact that is a tactic that I have never, ever seen Shadow use; so that would make you less civil in my book. Think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Besides... everybody knows that Hitler, and Stalin were big gun control advocates.

    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  24. AJR

    "It's really unbecoming, and shows the weakness of your case for keeping the LGR.
    "

    Congratulations !! You just proved my point. What I said had NOTHING to do with the LGR. Further if you can read you would understand it was aimed at ALL parties.

    Try to be objective instead of jumping off the cliff.

    ReplyDelete
  25. "I also think Shadow and you have an idea that decriminalization will increase use. This Cato study may give you a different perspective on that."

    You cannot make something more available and expect less use... See alcohol prohibition. Do we use less alcohol now that it is legal?




    "I think one problem you have in understanding the decriminalization approach is that you can never "get rid of the stuff". You might as well tell police to go stop the tide from coming in."

    What other things should we decriminalize in an effort to have them done less?? Murder? Theft? Assault? Why do we have any laws at all if simply doing away with them fixes the problem?



    Drug use is something that we are trying to reduce. It would seem to me that if people are still pushing it, that we aren't using our carrot or our stick well enough. Possibly increasing access to social programs and institutions designed to get people clean.... simultaneous with actually punishing people who sell. Put them away for life.. in a real jail, not a best western.


    ......
    Peter, keep on telling it. eventually someone will believe you. Bigger, bigger.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Peter, keep on telling it. eventually someone will believe you. Bigger, bigger.

    OK Barcs you've lost me here. Are you saying that I'm right??

    That propaganda leads to unthinking?

    If you are I agree.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Barcs, I can see you didn't look at the study I so helpfully provided. A shame you didn't.

    "You cannot make something more available and expect less use... See alcohol prohibition. Do we use less alcohol now that it is legal?"

    I'd like some clarity here. Are you actually suggesting that alcohol prohibition was a success? It caused all kinds of social, and criminal problems. That's why almost everyone concedes it was a failure. Do you like seeing criminals pocket huge profits to buy guns with?

    I'd also like you to explain to me why only 35% of Holland 25 yr. olds have tried weed, while that number in the U.S. is 55%. How does that synch with your avalability theory?

    "What other things should we decriminalize in an effort to have them done less?? Murder? Theft? Assault?"

    Total strawman as these are not victimless crimes. Actually we can dramatically reduce these types of crimes, by decriminalizing victimless crimes.

    If you are interested in separating the drug trade from it's criminal element, there is no other way, but to end prohibition.

    "with actually punishing people who sell. Put them away for life.."

    I see that you have no idea how much that would cost. Do you really think it is worth paying to keep someone in jail for life in what is essentially a victimless crime?

    You have a completely different view of what it is to be conservative then I do.

    I believe in LESS needless, counter-productive government meddling. Not more.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Peter,

    I had assumed that you we're refering to Shadow's mention of low NDP numbers. As in Conservatives tell "big lies" and drive down NDP numbers because "people will eventually come to believe it".

    That is an appropiate take on your comment. What other pupose, or point was there? Spell it out for us.


    It's an argument that has no merit, and no place in civil discussion.

    Your claim of non-partisanship also FAILS with this.

    "People wonder why I am so virulently against them well now they know. Just listen to Pierre Polievre and you'll know."

    All I suggested is that you might want to think twice about fufilling Godwin's law so quickly. I'm not wrong about that, whatever the reason you come up with for doing it. It's quite low tactic, and is often considered an automatic loss of the debate, for the one who first uses it. (you)

    What does this wonderfull insight of yours add to the discussion, anyway? Nada, zip, and zero. It's just a BS smear.

    ReplyDelete
  29. The chain of logic that says alcohol consumption is bad, prohibition reduces it, therefore prohibition is good is a syllogism.

    By this logic governments should make cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, and fast food illegal. In fact by Barcs logic, anyone selling these items in a black market should be locked up for life!!!

    Does that sound like a vote winner to anyone?

    When did conservatives so badly lose their way, on that most fundamental freedom... to live our lives with as little government interference as is practical?

    ReplyDelete
  30. I had assumed that you we're refering to Shadow's mention of low NDP numbers. As in Conservatives tell "big lies" and drive down NDP numbers because "people will eventually come to believe it".


    Then you made an extremely faulty assumption, didn't you ?

    This had to do with a lot of thinking on my part over the last few days. There is far too much use of "Talking Points" from all sides and far too damned little actual thinking. Yes Shadow is one of the worst but there are others on here from all sides using their variations .

    It makes for very much less than useless dialogue. If you weren't so pedantic and eager to score cheap Tory points you would realise that.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I do have to apologize AR, I didn't and don't have time to read much at harvest.


    "Total strawman as these are not victimless crimes." ... Neither is drug use victimless.


    "Are you actually suggesting that alcohol prohibition was a success?" no I am only commenting on the amount of use. Is it more now today?? or more use under prohibition?

    "I see that you have no idea how much that would cost. Do you really think it is worth paying to keep someone in jail for life in what is essentially a victimless crime?" No, not the users, the pushers.... and again, it is not victimless.


    "I believe in LESS needless, counter-productive government meddling. Not more." They started a harm reduction strategy for needles in Saskatchewan a few years back.. copied that of Alberta/BC. Saskatoon and Regina each hold about 300,000 people.... Either one of them equals the number of needles handed out/exchanged in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver combined.

    It would seem to me if we did a better job of prosecuting drug dealers than the amount would go down wouldn't it? is a 2 week suspended sentence + time served in remand much of a deterrent? If we put them back on the street in that time, are they rehabilitated? If they are just back on the street is society protected from them?




    I don't think you and I are that far apart.. we agree on the end result, just disagree on some of the best ways to get there. That is what debate is about.



    "When did conservatives so badly lose their way, on that most fundamental freedom... to live our lives with as little government interference as is practical?"

    Have I lost my way when I expect to be able to walk down any street in any town and feel safe?

    I am not arguing we should reinstate prohibition for alcohol, or gambling.. tho we partially still do have given the regulation. I want things safer. And for me that is doing away with the bad guys, and forcing them out of the center of society.

    Its the caveat for social programs at the heart of it Ajr79. If you expect me to pay for the lifestyle you lead,... I expect some input into how it affects me.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Peter,

    If you are comparing Shadow to Goebbels, then I would again suggest that you rethink your worldview.

    It is disrespectful to the victims of real propaganda, as practised by Goebbels, to draw the comparison between him and a guy like Shadow.

    That is absurd, and I don't like how it minimizes the reality of who Goebbels was, and what his victims endured.

    If you don't understand where I'm coming from with that, then I feel sorry for you.

    There is a reason why Godwin's Law exists. It was to get people like you, to stop and think, before making the comparison.

    I contiue to live in hope, that someday you will stop and think about it, before needlessly doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. "This had to do with a lot of thinking on my part over the last few days. There is far too much use of "Talking Points" from all sides and far too damned little actual thinking."

    It didn't look too different from your regular attacks on the government on those right of center, and on shadow....

    You will have to forgive us for just assuming it was just more of your usual talking point. If you are truly asking us to get away from using them... I would only suggest that you not use them while making the request.


    "If you weren't so pedantic and eager to score cheap () points you would realise that." .....

    ReplyDelete
  34. AJR79 i'm afraid you're engaging in a strawman of your own.

    Any direct comparison between American youth and European youth is laughable. The demographics are different, incomes are different, the culture is different - so many other factors that could lead to the discrepancy in drug experimentation than legal status.

    And prohbition was useless because it wasn't targetted. The vast majority of Americans never abused alcohol. However, with the exception of pot virtually anyone who does drugs on a regular basis can be said to be abusing them.

    We know targeted prohibition DOES work, ex. northern and native communities. Or simply alcoholics never drinking again.


    Does legalization increase use ?

    You linked to a study on decriminalization (which is NOT legalization and actually something I might support).

    Everything we know about sociology/psychology says that human behaviour is greatly influenced by the prevailing social/cultural/legal norms.

    Look at tobacco use. Its use has steadily declined because the prices have been jacked up, its increasingly illegal to use it anywhere, and public education programs have demonized it.

    Moving in a more restrictive direction with smoking has decrease use.

    Why do you think that moving in a less restrictive direction with drugs won't increase use ??

    ReplyDelete
  35. I beleive the rationale behind "social programs", like needle exchanges is that is costs less then having HIV run rampant among addicts. When the state pays for their healthcare, it may have an interest in doing so.

    It's a harm, and cost reduction strategy. I'll admit I haven't looked at the research, but Cosh thinks it looks legit, and he is a pretty good judge on those types of studies.

    In short it is an attempt to cost the taxpayer less, not more. The human suffering it might prevent is difficult to measure, but more of a side benefit.

    I don't think places like Insite encourage people to become herion addicts. Do you?

    "Have I lost my way when I expect to be able to walk down any street in any town and feel safe?"

    I have to ask. Have you ever been accosted by a drug dealer, when you were walking down the street?

    Any decision on questions like this should be based on evidence, not emotional appeal.

    BTW, I lived near Toronto for 10 years, and never felt in danger walking around at night.

    It's a self-defeating point anyway, as ending prohibition would go a long way to getting the criminal element out of the drug trade.

    Examples of this are plentiful: porn, gambling, alcohol. They all still have some criminal element involved, but it's much closer to a buisness now. You know, the free market?

    Since alcohol and gambling (and arguably porn) are WAY more harmful to society then weed, and since the demand for it will never go away, what are we waiting for?

    Who is the victim when someone grows 6 or 12 pot plants out in the bush?

    That is why I call it victimless.

    ReplyDelete
  36. If you don't understand where I'm coming from with that, then I feel sorry for you.

    What I do understand is your complete inability to understand anything not told you by Dimitri.

    Consider yourself on IGNORE from now on. I refuse to waste any more time on you.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Shadow,

    I'm open to discussing the best ways of moving in the right direction. I can also be swayed by pragmatic political limitations, and would understand the CPC being wary of moving towards more liberal drug laws.

    What I don't like is the moves in the wrong direction that I've seen out of them. It's just not what I believe conservatism stands for.

    A couple other things.

    1) an alcoholic who quits drinking has nothing to do with prohibition. It has everything to do with his/her own choice.

    I would be open to provinces and/or municipalities being able to set their own drug policy;
    so targeted prohibition is also still in play for me.

    2)Tobacco is legal. Education, and social tabboos are not prohibition.

    If tobbacco were illegal, what do you think the effects might be? Do you think criminality surrounding tobacco would increase?
    Would our prisons fill up with those who are only supplying a public demand? Would organized crime profit?

    It's an interesting thought experiment.

    Trying to control human vices through legislation is a waste of police officer time, money, and prison space IMO.

    I hope that view is the majority in the CPC someday, but I'm not holding my breath.

    ReplyDelete
  38. "I don't think places like Insite encourage people to become herion addicts. Do you?"

    ... I don't think it encourages them not to be.


    "The human suffering it might prevent is difficult to measure, but more of a side benefit."

    It prevents it for some.... it enables it for others.



    "I have to ask. Have you ever been accosted by a drug dealer, when you were walking down the street?"

    Several times... I learned to stay out of that part of town... which wasn't easy since I preferred to bike to university. I also was accosted in the building my uncle lived in. The police forcibly evicted 4 rooms a couple weeks later. And have battled the stuff trying to get friends off the stuff. 2 successful, 1 suicide. Is 2 out of 3 not bad??


    "Who is the victim when someone grows 6 or 12 pot plants out in the bush?" Depends,... who finds it? Who finds the dirty needle? Who gets in the way when someone needs money or a thrill? Marijuana might be a softer drug, but others aren't? But then again... who gets hurt when someones work suffers... The guy standing under the beam that didn't get secured? How will it affect workplace safety? If that's all just collateral damage... then the Iraq war is another good example of victimless circumstances.

    Every choice might be yours/theirs, but lets put the responsibility for those choices on you/them too.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "When the state pays for their healthcare, it may have an interest in doing so."

    ... another one of those cost's/responsibilities... for example.



    "Trying to control human vices through legislation is a waste of police officer time, money, and prison space IMO."

    I still don't think that that is different for any law. Why would it work in a case like soft drugs or alcohol, and not in another where someone might fight that urge to assault? murder? Turn left on red?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Put another way....

    I am more willing to pay to separate someone from me and from society, than to pay to protect them from the choices THEY make,... and CONTINUE to make.

    If they want help getting back on track, I am all for that. Lets build the institutions and put the experts in place to help people. If they want to continue using and endangering themselves and others.... Well they are free to do so,... outside mainstream society and if they do endanger others. We have the moral obligation to act to protect those people they endanger.

    If your definition of conservatism is about freedom to choose, it also has to be about freedom to choose for the others too. For people like me who don't need to be accosted. I moved out of the city. Back home actually, Mom and Dad moved to town and I took over the farm. It was a choice to go back to the farm, and a choice to get away from the type of people I saw daily on some of the streets that I learned not to go down. 6 months later.... they are building a group home for troubled youth down the road. And my right to choose is limited again in favor of the rights of people we are protecting from the choices they made. It's complete BS.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Barcs,

    I'm not suggesting that people be allowed to go to work/school high, or to drive while under the influence. I'm also not saying that people should be allowed to light up where-ever they want.

    As far as dirty needles on the streets go, I believe that was another one of the benefits pointed out by those Insite supporters. I also believe that it has the support of the Vancouver police. It has also cut down on the number of dead junkies they find, for whatever that might be worth to you.

    If it were to be shown in the future that this project had real effects of getting people into treatment, and off hard drugs, would you then be willing to accept it at it as an acceptable taxpayer investment?

    I think it's worth at least a try. Trying to eradicate hard drugs is an impossible task, and has adverse unintended consequences.

    The Taliban love the prohibition of opiates.

    Shadow,

    I don't believe presenting a study showing that decriminalization has been effective in controling the drug problem in Portugal was a strawman, or irrelevant.

    Even my comparison of Holland and the U.S. wasn't really a "strawman". You can try to make the case that it's comparing apples to oranges, but I am not strawmanning anyones argument by pointing out that decriminalization has worked very well elsewhere, without increasing demand.

    I'd be interested to hear why the results would be different if we tried it here, as opposed to Europe.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Barcs,

    The difference between those crimes you mentioned, and drugs, is that all of those crimes (even turning left on Red) can be potentially harmful to others.

    Shooting heroin into your arm is totally self-destructive. But so is drinking yourself to death, smoking two packs a day, or gambling the kid's college fund away.


    I believe in treating it as a health issue, as opposed to a criminal one.

    It's not that I want people in this country to start shooting up. It's that I don't really think that it is the state's place to coerce them not to, under threat of jailtime.

    ReplyDelete
  43. AJR79 I think the essential point where you and Tom Flanigan stand in disagreement with me is whether government action can alter human behaviour vis a vis drug use.

    You put forward the failure of prohibition to stop drinking as evidence that it can't.

    My counter example is anti-smoking laws like high taxes, no smoking areas, and public education campaigns.

    Here is a case where government action HAS decreased drug use.


    Drugs (even pot) have negative health consequences and limited benefits.

    Whatever happens with our drug laws I don't want to undermine the anti-pot message we should be sending to kids.

    I'm open to decriminalization but NOT legalization.

    We NEED the war on drugs. Just like we need the war on smoking. And the war on drunk driving.

    Or else all these negative things will increase across society.

    But i'm certainly open to smarter ways to going about fighting social ills.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'll start by saying that I don't claim to have all the answers, and can take into account practical considerations against this type of system but here is what I think would be best.

    We legalize, tax, regulate, and license cannabis production. It is less harmful then alcohol or cigarettes according to any metric, social or healthwise.

    (and this Lancet graph illustrates this)

    Hard drugs should be decriminalized for personnel amounts, but realistically for now will have to be policed on the supply side. No life sentences thou. About 5-10 years for the worst of them ought to do.

    I never disputed the prohibition or government action could reduce drug use, I was saying that decriminalization does not necessarily increase drug use. I also stated that prohibition leads to other unintended social ills, that remain unaccounted for.

    It is a net failure.

    I'll also say Shadow that I better understand where you are coming from on this, from you last post.

    The thing is our "war on drugs" has to be ameniable to facts.

    I'm all for informing the public about the dangers of smoking, drinking, gambling, and smoking pot; but we have to be consistant in what we do.

    Even if it was not realistic to move in this direction due to the base getting turned off, we could have done better then some of the junk we've been seeing... and tell me some of these prison build estimates aren't giving you a bit of pause.

    We can't afford to pander like that in these times.

    Common sense damn it!

    ReplyDelete
  45. "I'm not suggesting that people be allowed to go to work/school high, or to drive while under the influence. I'm also not saying that people should be allowed to light up where-ever they want."


    Whoops... enforcement... another cost you are not transferring in as you transfer other costs out....



    "If it were to be shown in the future that this project had real effects of getting people into treatment, and off hard drugs, would you then be willing to accept it at it as an acceptable taxpayer investment?"


    Absolutely. So long as it is also shown not to have deleterious effects on the people in the rest of society that immediately surround the site.

    ReplyDelete

COMMENT MODERATION POLICY - Please be respectful when commenting. If choosing to remain anonymous, please sign your comment with some sort of pseudonym to avoid confusion. Please do not use any derogatory terms for fellow commenters, parties, or politicians. Inflammatory and overly partisan comments will not be posted. PLEASE KEEP DISCUSSION ON TOPIC.