Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Within a few days, perhaps hours, we'll have good sense of what the Opposition will do about Harper's negation of their role. The Governor General is another matter.

If they are as absolutely gutless as precendent suggests, we have decisions to make.

1. Do we meekly let ourselves become subservient to a federal 'government' which at the minimum does not represent us, and more often than not works actively against us, in the hope that we'll minimise its effects and hope the Opposition will somehow get its act together?
I hate to think it but this seems the most likely. Canadians, this generation, seems content to remain passive and tsk and parse calls for action and warnings of the implications of high misbehaviour. This is not unusual for societies facing change. There is a lag between when a paradigm-shifting event happens and when a critical mass of the population moves from cognitive denial and confusion to a place of acceptance and acts to mitigate their circumstances. Things have to get really bad, and a certain amount of hardship-learning must happen before most people are able to embody change. This can take years. In the meanwhile, we can create the infrastructure of resistance.

2. Do we attempt to gain enough support to march on Ottawa and actually force a change? If in fact enough people could be convinced to march on Ottawa, that is one thing. The trick is to be willing to go to the wall and beyond to affect change. Modern protest events fail in part because they have become little more than noble expressions of desire for change which are easily ignored. They keep targetting the official change-makers, while failing to seize power and make the changes themselves. Take a page from the Iranian or Ghandian book, and stay in the streets beyond the point where the state is forced to employ lethal force or fall, and the chances of winning increase exponentially. Follow-through is vital. Such an action may not be possible now, but eventually it may - see number 1.

3. Do we instead or in combination, focus on opting out of participation in the Harper regime? There is a latent power in passively undermining the legitimacy of the Harper caudillo regime (it is now more than fair to call it a regime, and Harper a Canadian version of the caudillo). Start loudly arguing for provincial seperation. Work on the local and provincial levels where we are not so beholden to the Conservative government and the failures of checks and balances within the system. Stop paying federal taxes. Whatever you do, let it delegitimise the Harper Regime. This also may not be possible at scale for a while - again, see number 1.

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