|His defence: no Army helicopter|
was available to airlift him out
Refusing to follow the law due to believing in a greater ethical principle often moves society forward by raising our collective consciousness. It brings about change in the world by opening our eyes to injustice. While in the moment, those breaking the law are often demonized by the majority, later generations may praise them for the principled visionaries they truly are.
The names of Ghandi and Rosa Parks come to mind immediately.
Some would suggest Peter Goldring should be added to that list.
And by "some", I mean only Peter Goldring would add himself to that list.
Last Sunday morning, federal Conservative (until Monday) MP Peter Goldring (Edmonton East) was not only talking the talk of opposing tougher drunk driving laws, he was walking the walk. If you define walking the walk as refusing to take a mandatory breathalyser test from roadside police, then yeah, he walked the walk.
One might think that he was just completely wasted and belligerent towards police officers when he refused to take the breathalyser but you'd be wrong! This is a position of principle! On the preceding Saturday night, Peter Goldring was debating drunk driving laws and arguing against stiffer regulations.
In the past, he also argued that police roadside traffic stops for drunk driving are an infringement on our freedom.
And so, he puts money where his mouth is. I mean that literally, too. He was afraid police would smell the alcohol on his breath that he stuffed his mouth full of paper bills.
Now the cynical among you might say that he's just trying to one-up Rob Anders as the most embarrassing Conservative MP from Alberta. Between Anders calling Nelson Mandela a "Communist and a terrorist" and Peter Goldring calling Louis Riel a villain, I think that with Goldring allegedly committing a criminal act raises the bar for Anders significantly. Still, I like Rob Anders to come out as the bigger political embarrassment.
This principled position of Goldring could lead to minimum fine of $1000, up to a maximum of $5000, along with a one year driving prohibition. However, it is possible that it could lead to up to a prison sentence of 18-months.
My plea to Peter Goldring would be this: if you truly believe what you did was right and sought to expose the injustice of drunk driving laws, then demand the maximum sentence from the judge. Canadians will then rally behind you - way, way behind you - and denounce the severity of your punishment. Your inability to serve in Parliament would just be the price to pay for your crusade for justice.
Peter Goldring should serve 18-months in prison for the greater good of Canadians.