Tuesday, February 9, 2010

CAPP, Tea Parties and Things That Go Bump in the Night

There is still a lot of speculation as to whether our new protest movement, that started out as anger over Harper's latest abuse of power, will continue or fizzle and die, once Parliament resumes.

Kady O'Malley gave us a very good critique on her blog yesterday, as she discusses a column by John Ibbitson. I usually can't read his stuff without wanting to poke my eyes out, but he tries, poor man; and every now and then he gets it right. Not this time though.

Over at the Globe and Mail's Ottawa Notebook, bureau chief John Ibbitson is musing about this weekend's Tea Party convention in Tennessee, and the American penchant for insta-populism: revolt first, ask questions later. What, he wonders -- or, at least, his headline writer does -- would it take for Canadians to charge the political barricades in similar (or at least per capita comparable) numbers? (Don't worry, it's a rhetorical question.)

Clearly Ibbitson missed, or simply dismissed the protest rallies on January 23. If he had scanned the crowds and listened to the speakers at the podium, he would have witnessed the charging of political barricades, metaphorically speaking.

And I'm not referring to the politicians who recited their prepared speeches, but to the citizens. People from all ages and stations revealing that this was not a revolt engineered by the opposition, but rather, for lack of a better word, an 'uprising' of ordinary Canadians fed up with the antics on the Hill.

Ibbitson proclaims:

Canada and the United States are remarkably similar countries — so similar, that no one else on earth can tell the two of us apart, unless this Austrian or that Sri Lankan has an ear so well attuned to English that she can distinguish Newfoundland from Missouri accents.

Yet politically, we are solitudes. Americans are perpetually in full-throated reaction to the status quo ... Now it would seem that an equally large, though very different, assembly of Americans is rallying in reaction to Mr. Obama’s statist interventions in the economy, his hopes to reform health care, his government’s projected deficits ... This is no confection whipped up by Fox News. Massachusetts elected a Republican senator last month in reaction to the excesses of Obamanation. Yet here at home, all is quiet.

He then goes on to suggest that protesters should meet Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams at the airport and let him have it because he decided to have heart surgery in the U.S.

I find that notion absolutely absurd, and Ibbitson's entire article proves that he really doesn't understand Canadians at all.

First off, someone electing to have medical procedures done out of the country is not on our radar. We just want our public health care protected at home. So if the Conservatives, in particular NCC's Stephen Harper, believe that they can muster support for private health care by using Williams as the poster boy, they are sadly mistaken.

Another thing Ibbitson may not understand about Canadians, is that we are 'nice'. We would not attack a man who has just had heart surgery for heavens sake.

But Ibbitson's suggestion that Canadians don't protest, makes me think that this man needs to get out more. Canadians protest all the time. The media just doesn't cover it in the same way that Fox News turns it into a week long event.

And we don't protest nonsense. That's not who we are. Those teabaggers and their guru Glenn Beck, are insane. I mentioned yesterday about the Frank Luntz memo that revealed how he uses doublespeak to stir up the masses.

Watch the video connected with this story. They have no idea what they're even protesting. It's all talking points and hyperbole. Just don't ask them to spell 'hyperbole' ... or 'talking' .. or 'points'.

But if Ibbitson did leave his office once in awhile, or even peruse YouTube, he'd see Canadian protest in action. The difference is that our protests are substantive. We don't sweat the small stuff.

For instance he would see Canadian protests:

- To protect our sovereignty

- To protect consumer products from a new risk management scheme designed to replace government inspectors.

- He would see police intimidation at those protests that was not covered by the media.

- And more intimidation

- And protest over the SPP, inked by Paul Martin and put on steroids by Stephen Harper

- Protesting over pepper spray being used on protesters, in an event again not getting much media attention. Mel Hurtig stated that he gave the media leaked documents on Harper's meetings with George Bush and the Mexican president, and they said there was no story there. No story? Our PM was selling us out and there was no story?

- And how about the use of police provocateurs to justify brutally breaking up a peaceful protest?

We also protest inaction on climate change, visits by war criminal George Bush, health care, the war, the Olympics, and pensions. Our First Nations protest the theft of their land and are joined by others ashamed of the way they are treated.

Maybe the real story here, is why the media is so ignorant about the protestations of the Canadian people?

As they downplay the significance of this latest prorogation, waiting for the hubbub to die down so they can once again worry about the important things, like what the MPs are wearing or who gives the best cheap shot, our country is in trouble.

So what does this mean for the future of CAPP:

Following the resounding success of the nation-wide rallies held January 23rd, CAPP organizers have begun planning the future of the movement. Hoping to maintain the momentum achieved by those demonstrations, organizers have begun initiating plans in support of a greater long-term strategy. The strategy involves educating the public about democracy and their rights as citizens through the creation and administration of an independent database of information ....

So the media can pretend not to notice the swelling of the ground from grassroots protest in action, but to borrow from Pierre Trudeau: JUST WATCH US!!!


  1. I wrote and submitted an essay on the CAPP FaceBook discussion forum (link provided). I have some very genuine fears for this great country of ours and wanted to address them on the CAPP page.


  2. I am too Ruth. Especially over Jason Kenney and this nonsense with Israel.

    This government has far too many secrets.

    I'll check out your discussion board.