One of the fun things to do is watch the difference in post-mortems after an election between the Left and the Right. The Right inevitably draws out the knives and starts stabbing their own. The leader, or his assistants, or that guy who brought us the coffee at that last rally, someone has to be to blame. We're awful. If we weren't awful we'd have won. And so on.
In contrast, the Left adopts an attitude of bewilderment, follow by denial and ending in arrogance. At first there is disbelief that they didn't win the election. How could that be? They were clearly the obvious choice for voters except those who were too stupid to understand that so how could they have lost? Then there is a denial that the correct procedure was followed. Perhaps the results are wrong, or perhaps the right people didn't get out in time to vote. We did get the majority of votes but our stupid electoral system denied us the prize. Had things gone properly they'd have won, goshdarnit. Finally the true fact of the Left comes out: the people made a mistake. They didn't vote for us and that was wrong. Therefore the results don't count, we're really the winners and if the actual new government doesn't do as we say then they're bad, bad people for ignoring what the people really did vote for.
How else to explain Ms.Brigette DePape's idiotic protest during the new Conservative government's throne speech a couple of days ago? Other than a refusal to accept the results of the recent election because they didn't go according to her lefists views, what else is there to explain it?
Now, a brief primer for our America readers who might not be that familiar with parliamentary democracy. (Both of you pay attention!) In Canada we have a multi-party system dominated by four main parties (well one used to me, now it's awfully minor) and dozens of small, single-issue parties or others with grand dreams. When we vote in a general election we don't vote for a leader or a party but for candidates for the parties in our riding. There may be as many as a dozen people running for the riding's seat in parliament and the rule is simple: most votes wins.
Now there is an obviously problem with this system, called "first past the post". In a competitive riding a person could win the seat with only 30% of the popular vote. Nationally it takes 38-40% of the popular vote to get enough seats for a majority. In this last election the Conservative party under Stephen Harper achieved just that. What it means is that even though there is a majority government, it was elected by a minority of voters.
Now it is quite obvious to thinking people that this phenomenon will happen to both Left and Right. in 1990 the socialist New Democrats won the provincial Ontario election with 38% of the popular vote, for example. Jean Chretien's Liberals ruled Canada with a majority for 10 years but never cracked the 40% mark.
However, for the Left (remember I said "thinking people" so they're automatically excluded) there is quite a difference between when their side wins with 40% and when the Right does the same thing.
For example, during the dark days of Bob Rae's NDP government in Ontario protests against his fiscally and socially insane policies were dismissed with the statement "We're a majority government, we're doing what the people want". When Mike Harris and his Conservatives reduced the NDP to rump status in their 1995 electoral drubbing by getting 40% of the vote (2% more than the NDP had achieved), those same Leftists set out to deny legitimacy to the new government by insisting that since 60% of people hadn't voted for them they had no right to implement their agenda!
Ms. DePape, who if she hasn't experimented with hallucinogenic drugs should save her money since she's already in such a state, is clearly cut from this cloth. Look at the contents of her "press release", timed to come out during her protest:
Even as she was in custody, Ms. DePape immediately issued a press release, referring to herself as Brigette Marcelle, in which she said she had realized that working in Parliament wouldn't help her "stop Harper's agenda."
"This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab Spring," she wrote, "a flowering of popular movements that demonstrate that real power to change things lies not with Harper but in the hands of the people, when we act together in our streets, neighbourhoods and workplaces."
In a brief phone interview with the National Post after she was released from Hill security, Ms. DePape said she planned the protest because "I think that youth need to engage in creative acts of civil disobedience." She said she objected to the Conservative government's policies and that Canada needs "green jobs and a transition to a green economy."
Our version of an Arab spring? Of course, since Stephen Harper is ruling against the wishes of 60% of Canadians so he is clearly an unelected dictator willing to shoot his own people to maintain his place in power. That's why civil disobedience is necessary, obviously. As this piece notes:
DePape called for a “Canadian version of an Arab Spring.” That’s right, we should all take to the streets and demand free and fair elections — you know, like the one we had on May 2. Now you’d think that a college student would know that we enjoy the freedom and system of government that thousands of Arabs are fighting, and dying, to achieve. But she somehow thinks that our first-past-the-post system invalidates the entire democratic process. I suppose we should expect contradictions like this from someone who professes to support democracy, but took a job in the unelected Senate.
“Harper’s agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation,” reads a press release issued shortly after the incident. “We have to stop him from wasting billions on fighter jets, military bases, and corporate tax cuts while cutting social programs and destroying the climate. Most people in this country know what we need are green jobs, better medicare, and a healthy environment for future generations.”
Her press release claims that the Harper government is wasting money on the military. Now there’s certainly a case to be made that a country like the United States is spending way too much on its military and that these unnecessary wars and expenditures are costing lives and bankrupting the country. But the left has done a terrible job of importing this argument into Canada. We need to maintain a military force that is sufficient to protect our borders and fulfil our international obligations.
Ms. DePape is also against corporate tax cuts. Corporations don’t pay taxes, people do. When corporations have to pay more taxes, they offset the cost in one of two ways: Either by raising the price of the goods and service they sell (you know, the stuff we buy), or by reducing expenses. And reducing expenses is usually accomplished by moving jobs to jurisdictions that are more competitive.
But I don’t want to misrepresent her, as she’s not against jobs altogether. She wants everybody to have a “green job.” Do you think she knows what a green job is? It’s a code word for jobs that are created, and supported, by the government, rather than the market. Private jobs are created when companies provide goods and services that people actually want. The government steps in to create jobs when companies are producing things that people don’t want.
DePape’s future is one where our military cannot defend our borders, there are fewer jobs, and a massive debt to pay off. Her idea of democracy discounts any result that is contrary to her viewpoint. Does she think that’s what Arabs are fighting and dying for?
Ms. Depape, and those who think like her, deserve to be held in the highest contempt. People like her believe strongly in the "One vote, one person, one time and we'll fix the ballot box to make sure the correct results comes out" theory of democracy. They're all for freedom of expression as long as you express what they're thinking; freedom of belief as long as you believe what they do and they're the first to bring out the police in jackboots if you disagree with them.
The only thing more pathetic that Ms. DePape's little display (which helps those of us who think that the voting age is already way too low and that it's actually a good thing that most people under 25 don't show up on election day) is the milquetoast response of the Senators. Instead of strongly condemning this affront to the democratic system they supposedly support the best they could come out with was "But she's really a very nice young woman!"
Again, oh please.
Democracy is served best when the losing side recognizes that it is out of sync with the will of "the people" and decides to adjust its platform to better appeal to the masses, not when it arrogantly assumes the people should do what it says and treats the winning side like some of the worst scum humanity has to offer. In such a case the losing side, like Ms. DePape should look in the mirror: they look just like that scum.