So recently an interesting story came to light which is actually over 30 years old. Roman Polanski, the director of such films as Rosemary’s Baby, The Pianist, and my personal favourite: MacBeth, (who’s wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson Family) had sex with a thirteen-year-old girl in 1977. He plead guilty and was expected to simply receive probation with no prison time, however it appears the judge suggested to Polanski’s attorneys he would get prison time. So because of this Polanski did the only reasonable thing…ran. He ran all the way to his home country of France.
Most countries have extradition treaties with the United States, where Polanski committed the crime and was convicted of it, and France is no exception. So a crucial question remains: How is it that for 30 years, Mr. Polanski was able to avoid arrest? For two reasons: Number one, whenever he left France he stayed in a nearby nation and was in and out before the authorities even noticed, and number two, French policy dictates they do not extradite their citizens.
Yay France! Stand up for your people! Even those assholes who frak 13 year olds…okay maybe not them, but it’s probably a bad idea to change your policy whenever you feel like it. Consistancy for the win! But this situation is an interesting contrast to a recent event in Canada which really makes me want to vote for any kind of change in the federal government, even the BCPC, the Batshit-Crazy Party of Canada (not affiliated with the Republicans).
For years, Mark Emery openly sold marijuana seeds over the Internet to all sorts of people, some of whom were in the United States. He was a marijuana advocate and made no bones about wanting to legalize it. He hails from Vancouver and calls himself the “Prince of Pot” and recently he was arrested by Vancouver police at the request of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.
That’s right, when the Americans asked us to arrest one of our own citizens, we said yes sir. That is pathetic. How far does America’s legal arm reach? They should have little to no jurisdiction outside their own borders, just as we do. While I would have no problem if the Canadian government decided to arrest him, I do have a problem with Americans reaching over the border to grab one of our citizens for a crime he committed on our soil. I want just one person to explain to me why this is any of their business.
I wonder what they would think if the roles were reversed, and I have the perfect example. We have a hate speech law in Canada. If you promote hate in any capacity, you are going to jail. Local (Sudbury) politician David Popescu was convicted of such last month after saying “homosexuals should be executed” at a debate at my old alma mater, Sudbury Secondary School. (Quick disclaimer: I do not agree with this law, I believe that people are allowed to say whatever they want, and I am allowed to call them an ass hole for saying it.) So imagine if Canadian officials asked the FBI or the local police force of Topeka, Kansas, to arrest Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, aka the god hates fags cult. They protest the funerals of not only gay people, but also American soldiers, with signs saying all sorts of things including “thank god for 9/11”. There is a warrant currently out for Phelps’ arrest in Canada for a protest he did a while back on Canadian soil and if he steps one foot within our borders, he’s going to jail. So if Americans can take one of our citizens for breaking a law on our soil, surely we can take one of their citizens for breaking a law on our soil.
Recently, Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland because he was stupid enough to warn them first. But Mark Emery never set foot on American soil. He has stayed in Canada because he knew that was the smart thing to do. This event shows me Canada is not an independent nation. We are bullied around by the United States and we need to stand up for ourselves. We need to make it clear that we are our own nation and we make our own laws. We can make our own copyright laws, our own drugs laws and our own prostitution laws, and if American politicians have a problem with that, they can go to hell. We are not America Junior.