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Richard Klagsbrun

Occupying democracy

We saw some of the intellectual bankruptcy that characterizes the current “Occupy Wall Street” movement in the form of Senate page Brigette De Pape, who, after unfolding a homemade protest sign during a joint parliamentary session, proclaimed, “Canada needs its Arab Spring.”Her statement reflects a lack of intelligence among a certain class of activists rather than the frustration of the Canadian populace about the failure of our democratic institutions. Remember, when De Pape unveiled her crayon drawing, Canada had just seen a free, fair, democratic election. But the problem for her was that the NDP, her party of choice, lost.For De Pape and the vacuous, aggrieved losers that lionize her, that was not an indication that their ideas and policies had been rejected by the vast majority of Canadians, who between them voted overwhelmingly for the Conservatives and Liberals. For radical activists, it was a call to “resistance.”Understand what that really means. These people are anti-democratic fanatics who think that because they lost an election, they have the right to ignore it and rebel against its outcome.There were provincial elections in Canada last week. In Manitoba, the NDP was victorious. Are there calls by Conservatives and Liberals to “resist” the democratic choice made by that province's electorate? There are not.But when the Conservatives win an election, radical wannabe-autocrats betray their agenda. In that sense, perhaps De Pape was telling the truth about her wishes for an Arab Spring in Canada. What started as a popular movement remains in danger of being usurped by power-crazed totalitarian religious zealots who want to impose their will on their countries and deny them democracy, just as the Khomeinists did in Iran in 1979.There are vehicles for change in democratic societies such as ours. Protests are valid forms of them, but protests are not entitled to take peoples freedom of movement and livelihoods away, as the… Read More