Inside Politics

Marketing the law-and-order agenda

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The Conservatives take their law-and-order agenda very seriously.

It's one of the policy areas that party strategists believe Canadians support in large numbers, and which clearly distinguishes the Conservatives from the other federal political parties.
Right now, the government has about a dozen, different Justice bills before Parliament. And yesterday, Government House Leader Jay Hill indicated those bills will continue to be given priority in Commons business.

Now, every bill introduced in Parliament is given a number and a formal title at first reading. Most of those titles are fairly straightforward.
For example, Bill C-3 is called An Act to amend the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act.

Bill C-9 is An Act to amend the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992.
When it comes to the government's justice program, the Conservatives prefer far more descriptive language. They don't want anyone to miss the point that they are getting tough on crime.

Below is a sampling of the government's proposed justice legislation, with titles:
Bill C-34    Protecting Victims from Sex Offenders Act.
Bill C-46    Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act.
Bill C-47   Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement in the 21st Century Act.
Bill C-52    Retribution on Behalf of Victims of White Collar Crime Act
Bill C-53   Protecting Canadians by Ending Early Release for Criminals Act.
Bill C-54   Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act.
Notice the heavy emphasis on ''protecting'' Canadians from crime, on bringing Canadian criminal law into the ''21st century.''

So much better than simply entitling your bill An Act to Amend the Criminal Code. Because using that name would make it sound like you're all about policy, and not about marketing your tough-on-crime image to Canadians.
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