Pubdate: Tue, 17 Jun 2003
Source: Fort Saskatchewan Record, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2003 The Fort Saskatchewan Record
Author: Dick Easton


Fort Saskatchewan Record -- Our MP, Ken Epp, is poking under the bed with a 
broom looking for the bogey man while the house burns around him. Consider:

His ill informed position on cannabis flies in the face of what we know to 
be true, that attempts at controlling substance abuse by legislation 
generally fail. That drug abuse is a health issue not a legal issue. That 
decriminalization will reduce profit, and lessen the motive to traffic and 
redirect limited police resources to more important areas, and reduce 
levels of ancillary crime that occur as a result of any illegal activity.

Epp's notion of registering sex offenders is equally problematic, but for 
reasons that are more subtle. Registration reenforces the common 
mispreceptions that most sexual predators are strangers. Registration runs 
afoul of important principles of natural justice including double jeopardy. 
Registration subjects the offender to considerable public abuse. 
Registration may justified, but Epp has reduced a very complicated, very 
difficult and very import issue to a simple strategy that may not work. One 
that, most importantly, may too serve to protect our kids.

Epp belongs to a party whose core philosophy was cast before air planes, 
television, the computer, global warming, species loss and terrorism. The 
world has changed, priorities have, or should have, shifted.

First and foremost, a leader is a good educator. We elect people to office. 
presumably, because they know things we do not, and because in the 
execution of their office they learn other things. This means a good leader 
who is well informed. and serves to educate the electorate. A poor leader 
is one who panders to the unfounded, or unimportant fears of his 
constituents in order to garner votes. There is a special irony in Epp's 
having relinquished his responsibility in the way that he has.

Dick Easton,

Fort Saskatchewan
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