I'll Always Have Time for Those Who Protest

I was surprised by some of the reaction to Brigitte DePape brief protest in the Senate chamber last week. Not by the overwhelming on-line support, but by some of the politicians’ responses.

She has become a folk hero in cyberspace but, even politicians who we might expect to be a bit more tolerant of her actions pretty much trashed her protest.

It was expected that the Jason Kenny’s of the world would wade, outraged but I was a bit disappointed when Jack Layton gave us all a little lecture saying “We have been pushing for decorum in the House of Commons. You don’t have decorum if people are standing up holding up signs in the middle of debates and solemn moment. We encourage protests; it is part of a great long tradition of democracy. But it should be happening at the proper place and at the proper time.”

I have heard that kind of response from the “left” before. There is seldom is a "proper place and proper time" if it is inconvenient. Protest is great but just don’t do anything that might draw attention away from Jack.

Implying DePape used the wrong venue to stage her protest, even Elizabeth May waded in saying “Essentially, in theory, we’re in the presence of Her Majesty, that is the sovereign, That isn’t Stephen Harper’s room. That’s somebody else’s room.”

Oh Pleeese. In the presence of her Majesty?

It took 20 seconds out of Harper’s big day. No one was hurt. It wasn’t even noisy. Stephen Harper looked pissed off. So what?

She lost her job as a page but, I can’t imagine that paid very well anyway, knowing how the government is usually eager to exploit our youth. At least now she has a few better opportunities to choose from.

American documentary film maker Michel Moore offered her a job and issued a statement saying “For a young person to do that and to do it peacefully, and quietly and with grace, I thought it was a very powerful moment. Every now and then there is an iconic moment where an individual takes action, and it inspires others to think about, you know, what else we would be doing.”

The Public Service Alliance stepped up and said they would hire her if she wanted to work for the union, and the Council of Canadians offered her a job in their organization. Not bad for someone who just graduated.

I agree with DePape when she says, “Contrary to Harper’s rhetoric, Conservative values are not in fact Canadian values. How could they be when three out of four eligible voters didn’t even give their support to the Conservatives?”

Is a Harper Majority fair? Not in your life.

Is it legitimate? You bet.

The Blue Meanies did manage to gain a majority with less that 40% of Canadians supporting them but, they did it using the rules in place. Our first-past-the-post electoral system isn't fair but, Harper didn’t do anything the Liberals haven’t done before him.

And, we let them do it. 

It takes guts to stand up and do what that young woman did. She gets my vote, hands down.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. It took a lot of cahoonies to do what she did. I thought she chose the perfect time to do it, her job was finished in 3 weeks anyway.
    I too was surprised by Laytons response, and Mays response as well. It was the speech from the throne, which was written by the Cons. I am disappoint in the ND's and the Greens...


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