Mr. Bill Siksay
Mr. Speaker, if I had been told that I would standing in the House supporting an opinion offered by Newt Gingrich, the Republican to end all Republicans in some of our minds, and Pat Nolan, the Republican leader of the California State Assembly from 1984 to 1988, I would not have believed it.
I would not have believed that it would possible that Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Nolan would release the kind of statement that they have recently that says that they were wrong, that the approach that they championed, to build more prisons, to give tougher sentences, to put people in jail longer, the “three strikes and you're out”, which I am sure Mr. Nolan was around for, that hideous attempt at justice reform. All of those things have only served to make communities poorer and more unsafe.
Here they are, turning their back and calling for the kinds of smart on crime measures the New Democrats have championed for years, generations in fact. It is really hard to believe that I could stand here and be on the same page as Newt Gingrich. My colleagues say that he has come to our page, and that is great. He has seen the light.
It just goes to show that even the strangest people can be rehabilitated in their views of society, and that I am open to that possibility. I look forward to the possibility of somebody actually struggling with the numbers, the research and the experience of this kind of legislation, and then examining it carefully.
Mr. Gingrich deserves some kudos for taking the risk. This is a huge political risk for a Republican in the United States, to write this kind of statement and to re-examine something that he championed so vociferously. I think that is a very—
Topic: Government Orders
Subtopic: Criminal Code