Thursday, January 21, 2010

Harper Brought Out the Canadian in All of Us - Much to His Demise

I have said before, that Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament (now 207,558 members) is more than just a protest group. Sure there is anger, but mostly there is solidarity, and above all patriotism. The Oh Canada above was posted there.

Neoconservatism relies on turning people away from the polls. They play to their base, while driving the opposition's base away. But to Harper's demise, he may have just driven the opposition's base to the polls, so I think we are going to see a much better turnout next election. I hope so anyway.

Because this is what happens when you don't mind your political store.

Two comments on the board this morning are typical:

With the vision from Christopher White, the “elite chattering classes” came thundering across the plains, valleys, mountains and surge channels of the troll ridden, undemocratically suppressed provinces and territories of the once great nation on the planet Earth known as Canada. And the nation reunited in the name of Democracy.


I'm from Ontario, but am now retired and living in Nova Scotia. I also have computer puffy eye syndrome. I just don't spend this much time on it, but for the past week or so, I haven't been able to drag myself away. It's truly wonderful to experience this. I had faith in my fellow Canadians and they have met the challenge.

The Globe and Mail suggested that the Opposition did a better job at PR by convincing Canadians that prorogation was about the Detainee issue. The nerve of that Corporate right-wing piece of trash newspaper wannabe ... did I mention that I haven't had my coffee yet?

CAPP has nothing to do with the Oppostion, but everything to do with the Canadian public.

Online storm over prorogation updates 'the protest wheel'
January 18, 2010

Perhaps you’ve noticed how protest has become an online centre of attention.

Our current civic information structure is defined by undirected links, mash-ups, updates and postings. More so than ever, individual activism can snowball mass change.

It’s how an Albertan graduate student’s impulse to create a Canadians Against Proroging Parliament Facebook group kicked into high gear a movement that’s led to local chapters, freely distributed banners, catchy sloganeering and this weekend’s national Canadians For Democracy! Not For Prorogation protests.

The barrier to political activism has never been lower.

Log onto Twitter, and the pro and con opinions can be accessed by typing in the hashtags #capp (Canadians Against Parliamentary Prorogation) or #roft (Right of Twitter, a play on 'Right of Centre'). Want a non-partisan news stream of links about the proroging issue? Try #cdnpoli or #canpoli.

If protest is unnerving authority by behaving unexpectedly, social media accomplished this. The “dead zone” announcement of prorogation went front page with users re-distributing mainstream media dispatches of staged photo ops and talking point memos. If anything, this online culture of participation has undermined Stephen Harper’s culture of secrecy.

“By itself, social media is not going to overthrow the Harper government,” said University of British Columbia professor Alfred Hermida in an interview published by Canadian online magazine The Tyee, analyzing this Canadian “online uprising.”

The BBC News vet — who studies the Web 2.0 impact on journalism — ultimately considers social media “an indicator of social change.”

But, “liking” a posting dissecting the torture probe or even re-tweeting a humorous quip by @cheddar_harper (Stephen Harper’s cuddly, ginger tabby kitten is a popular Twitter user) doesn’t necessarily guarantee attendance at the Jan. 23 rally. Evgevy Morozov, a Foreign Policy magazine contributing editor and commentator on the Internet and politics, pinpoints the downfall of web politics with the appropriate phrase “internet slacktivism.”

He describes “feel-good activism that has little or no political and social impact,” and warns, “Let us in the future be a bit more skeptical about the need to recreate
the protest wheel.”

But why would we expect online protests to only lead to traditional mass offline protests?Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing anyone’s right to democratic action. But if social media has already re-booted citizens’ “idle chatter,” surely we should consider how it also updates “the protest wheel.”

It’s these online connections that are enticing me to make those offline connections with people in my community — or at the very least, serve up a steaming plate of perogies.

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