Sunday, June 20, 2004

Campaign Diary, Day 29: Child porn storm.

On Friday night -- or, rather, Saturday morning -- I wrote a long entry about the Conservatives and the press releases they sent out about child pornography on Friday. But then, at 4 a.m., I woke up in a panic, believing that I had written something terrible and offensive. I went to my computer and yanked the entry.

Looking back on it now, the entry was neither of these things. The gist of it remains relevant now: I have nothing but contempt for those who use Holly Jones' death to score political points.

The Conservatives tried to do so on Friday:
A Conservative press release bearing the headline "Paul Martin Supports Child Pornography?" was sent to media outlets across the country at 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday and recalled at 4:35 p.m.

"Conservative Party would like to recall the message, "Paul Martin Supports Child Pornography?," the party said.

It then sent the initial accusatory release out again at 4:49 p.m., and recalled it again a few seconds later.

"Today, Martin says he's against child pornography. But his voting record proves otherwise," said the original.
This type of electioneering is pretty despicable. Just as Paul Martin did not kill homeless people, he is not for child pornography. (Nor is Jack Layton. Did the Conservatives retract the press release they issued on Friday titled, "The NDP Caucus Supports Child Pornography?" I can't find it on their website anymore.)

I believe that Harper should apologize. Not to the Liberals and the NDP, but to Holly's mother for using her child's death to win an election in such a crude way.

Mind you, our child pornography laws are pretty messed up right now. There's this absurd argument that if child pornography has artistic merit, then it should be legal. I agree entirely with Andrew Coyne on this issue:
[W]here the state should draw the line is not between possession and distribution, or whether the material has artistic merit, but whether any verifiable harm resulted from its production or consumption ie, whether actual children were involved.

No comments: