You can stop crying now, Svend
I know that any legal system, no matter how well-written its laws or how erudite its legal professionals, will not serve justice every single time. But it would be nice to see the Canadian system serve justice a little more often.
Of course, I don't know what I was expecting in Svend Robinson's case. Maybe that a guilty plea would result in a criminal conviction. But hard-hearted bastard that I am, I didn't realize he'd already suffered enough.
"This is a gut-wrenching tale of a man who has achieved much, more than most, and who has taken a fall, probably more than most. All for a bauble, a trinket, a ring," said Judge Ronald Fratkin..."On the balance, I'm satisfied that the credits outweigh the debits for Mr. Robinson. I'm satisfied that what he has gone through, the public would say is enough...The end result is that Mr. Robinson needs help. He's fallen a long way. He has embarrassed himself. Further, he is always going to be remembered for this. This is not going to go away. As I say, the public, at least in Canada, I think, has always lived by the guiding principle: You don't kick somebody when they're down. Mr. Robinson is down."
Really? I didn't think collecting an $86,663 per year pension and jet-setting to Scotland on the public purse was "down." Maybe by "down" the good judge means Svend's new job arbitrating BC union disputes. Either way, because Robinson was an MP, his embarrassment is enough punishment. In contrast, if I were to steal - not 'pocket', STEAL - a $64,000 ring, my public embarrassment would count for nothing. I would get a criminal conviction.
Today's lesson, boys and girls: the most important thing to do before committing a crime is practice crying at a press conference. Oh, and agitate for twenty-five years in parliament to create the most liberal judicial system possible. It worked for Svend.
Update: The Globe and Mail's take on Robinson's sentence. To which I say "Hunh?" I thought an editorial was supposed to take a position.