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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED -- Law enforcement and politics are a bad mix in a democracy although they are routine in most forms of totalitarian government

 

RCMP senior management under investigation by the OPP. The national police force in charge of enforcing the law was found to be in breach of the law, not once, but seven times.

In the past year, official complaints of obstruction of justice have been laid by two RCMP members – one retired and one still serving – against the Commissioner of the RCMP, the former Commanding Officer of “E” Division (BC) and various other senior officers who were involved in the decision making process following the death of Robert Dziekanski at YVR in October of 2007 ...

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As part of our justice system, the RCMP should be immune from political pressure. That is not possible when the Prime Minister chooses who to appoint as RCMP Commissioner. The RCMP is politicized and corrupt at the highest levels.

The RCMP should have no hesitation to investigate a legitimate complaint about any officer of the government or cabinet, but when the Commissioner owes his or her position to the Prime Ministers Office (PMO), there are hidden strings to consider. Investigating the Prime Minister could mean a quick end to a long career.

That is a problem easily remedied. One solution is to have an independent body choose the candidates for the position of RCMP Commissioner and have the House of Commons Justice Committee interview the candidates and make a selection.

Candidates for Commissioner need not come from the RCMP ranks.

They should have high level policing experience preferably at the command level, but fresh eyes on the force could result in improvements that decades of ‘wash, rinse, dry and repeat’ have overlooked.

Policing is changing, with the changes occurring in society and in technology. It is too easy to get left behind.

In any of the scandals our government is facing there are lessons to be learned.

The lesson here is that police forces should operate at arm’s length from politicians.

Law enforcement and politics are a bad mix in a democracy although they are routine in most forms of totalitarian government.

Our steady creep toward a totalitarian form of socialism is troubling. We need to defend our freedoms and rights while we still can.

 

John Feldsted ... is a political commentator, consultant, and strategist. He makes his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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