I think it is great that CKDR does stuff like their recent poll on winter tires, but I do have to weigh in with a Contrarian View on the subject.  I was pleased to note that the majority rejected the idea of mandatory winter tires; it shows we still have some of our common sense and desire to be free citizens.  I was disappointed to see such a small majority, as it shows we do have a substantial population who have bought into the notion that we are all idiots, and need the government to look after every aspect of our lives.  As if a government dominated by coddled over-educated city folk will do a better job of looking after us than ‘the common sense of the common people’, looking after ourselves.  Of course there could be a substantial number who think the question and all such questions are silly, and would not respond, so the majority view could be much different than the actual numbers.

It is not winter tires I object to, I am amazed at how good modern tires are, but it is not law we need, it is information.  If everybody is informed as to how well they work, people can weigh that against their downside (short life, or having to change spring and fall), and make their own common sense decisions.  Those who have to get out on the highway every day to go to work, or those who do a lot of winter travel will no doubt put them on.

What I object to is the idea of more regulation; we have way too many laws already.  A personal example, my wife was rear-ended by a drunk driver, a repeater who would face jail time for this offence.  We had to appear in court in case they needed her as a witness.  The drunk was represented by an obviously city guy lawyer; he got up and recited some obscure reference which made no sense to us.  Nor to the prosecution, apparently, as they folded up like a $40 Canadian Tire tent, plea-bargained, and the guy avoided jail.  Gossip in the courtroom was that this lawyer travels all over the province, keeping drunk drivers out of jail, for $14 000 a pop.  Apparently he is so hugely expert on the narrow areas of law related to drunk driving that he can always bamboozle prosecutors, who obviously have to deal with all the laws, and can’t be as up on a narrow area.

I recently related this story to a retired constable, who said that when he started, the rule book he was required to work out of was less than an inch thick; when he retired, the rule books totalled over 6 inches of shelf space, with a whole lot of references to other books thrown in.  We have so many laws now that everybody is a criminal most of the time, if you obey this law, you are violating that one.  Police, prosecutors and judges cannot keep up with them all.

Even more objectionable is that this would join the list of laws which arguably serve no useful purpose, but merely give the authorities an excuse to pull you over, search you and your vehicle, confiscate any property they think might be proceeds of crime, and generally let the public know the government is in charge, not the people.

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