Saturday, January 23, 2010

Canadians Have Spoken

And they are in favour of democracy

Today, thousands of Canadians spoke out across Canada.

It's impossible to disapprove of their verdict: they are in favour of democracy.

Certainly, not all Canadians agree about the recent Proroguement of Parliament. In particular, not all Canadians believe that it was undemocratic. This author, for example, does not agree that the proroguement was undemocratic.

The proroguement of Parliament is entirely constitutional, and has been routine throughout Canada's history -- particularly when a government is preparing a significant policy shift, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper currently is.

Many Canadians don't agree that this is sufficient reason to prorogue Parliament. That is their opinion, and they are entitled to it.

Some Canadians argue that the Conservatives are attempting to avoid questions about the torture of Afghan detainees. Many of them are partisan Liberals avoding addressing their own party's direct responsibility in that matter.

But those who attended the rallies out of a sincere belief that the proroguement was undemocratic have delivered a verdict that deserves respect, even if one doesn't agree with it.

In particular, 3,000 people attended a rally on Parliament Hill to protest the proroguement.

Which reminds one that just over a year previous, Canadians spoke out. It was impossible to disapprove of their verdict: they were in favour of democracy then, and are in favour of it still.

In particular, 3,000 people attended a rally on Parliament Hill to protest the Liberal-NDP-Bloc Quebecois Coalition, proponents of which wanted to implemented without an election, and almost immediately following an election in which Stephane Dion, the leader of the Coalition, had rejected it.

Many Canadians argued that the Coalition was entirely constitutional, and thus democratic.

It seems that regardless of who perpetrates a perceived affront to democracy, Canadians will come out and protest against it. Regardless of whether or not one agrees with either assessment of either controversy, this is a very encouraging fact.

Canadians are very much in favour of democracy -- we're merely in disagreement regarding what threatens it.

Few things could be more democratically healthy than that.

Other bloggers writing about this topic:

Scott Tribe - "My Call: The Anti-Prorogue Rallies Are a Success

John Steins - "When Will We Prorogue Harper?"

Steven Whitworth - "The Regina Anti-Prorogue Rally"


  1. What is the makeup of the "non-partisan" ?

    If they had roughly 20,000 in total show up to protest "x" , and political parties such as the NDP are behind this latest stunt? Do you still define this a grassroots non-partisan movement against prorogue?

    Why not identify, name the names who are the chief actors in this call to action?
    Our media has invested a great deal of time, money in providing ad space and publicity for this latest "scandal" of the month.

    How many of these concerned Canadians were already invested in a different political agenda/view of the current gov't?

    1) Against Afghanistan- We have an exit date.
    2) COP15- Environment - Dead
    3) Unions
    4) Activists (Fill in the blank)

    I don't think this was a worthwhile issue to rally the troops.

    The next budget if hints are leading to cuts will be a much bigger issue.

  2. Personally, I don't look forward to any cuts.

    But I do look forward to seeing Mark Francis howl about them.

    I'll be looking forward to an opportunity to ask him what he thinks of the "tweak".


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