Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/6/2011 (3321 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
TO hear some of Canada's media mavens describe it, one might think that Brigette DePape, the new hero of whatever revolution it is that may be under way right now, had been leading demonstrations for democracy in the blood-soaked streets of Yemen or storming the presidential compound of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi or spearheading a movement to bring African dictators to justice -- some sort of noble cause like that.
But there was no nobility in what Ms. DePape did to make her such a darling. Rather, she abused her privileged position as a page in the Canadian Senate to disrupt the Throne Speech last week by holding up a sign that, somewhat ambiguously, declared "Stop Harper." That was, in any objective sense, an abuse of privilege and an act of treachery against the Canadian democracy.
It is also pretty hard to figure out what our new Canadian revolutionary means or what she wants. She says she wants a "just and equitable" society, whatever that means. Look around the world and it is hard to find a more just and equitable society than Canada. It's not perfect, but Canadians, including Stephen Harper, are still working on it, so unless by "just" one means a society where all aspects of life are dictated, such as North Korea, and by "equitable" one means the equal sharing of poverty and misery that one tends to find in such just societies, then Ms. DePape needs to explain in a little more detail how "Stop Harper" helps anyone.
The Winnipeg revolutionary might also want to explain what she means by that. Harper was democratically elected to a majority government by a large plurality of the Canadian people and will be in power for four years, barring some unforeseen catastrophe. So how exactly does Ms. DePape propose that we stop him. And, for that matter, why should we? We stopped the Liberals, we reined in the NDP, we ruined the Bloc Québécois -- we chose the Conservatives to run the country.
So "Stop Harper" is either mindless or sinister. Nevertheless, Ms. DePape has become a heroine in some circles in Canada. Shauna MacKinnon, of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, where our young Madame Mao interned last summer, writes: "In this single act of peaceful defiance, Brigette has become a symbol of hope for many who are concerned with the direction the Harper government may try to take us ... Brigette stepped up when we needed a shot of hope and optimism."
Actually, Brigette stepped up to show her contempt for Parliament and democracy and the people of Canada who respect the electoral process. The fact that she has so many foolish defenders is neither hopeful nor optimistic.
Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.
To those who have made donations, thank you.
To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.
The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.
After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.
If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.
We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.