A Page Gets Turned


Now I never write about politics here so I would ask you to indulge me just this once.  Last Friday was the opening of our Parliament in Ottawa and one of the Parliamentary pages, 21 year -old Brigette DePape smuggled a protest sign in under her skirt that read, “Stop Harper.” During the throne speech, she walked to the center of the Legislature holding the sign out for 20 seconds before she was escorted from the Legislature and fired later that day.

As you would imagine, the press were quick to pick up the story this week with marginal coverage.  There were stories about her parents: Mom is proud, Dad is not. Stories about celebrity support: Michael Moore thought it was great. What really irked me however was an interview she did yesterday where she compares her action to the unrest in the Middle East this past spring.  “Harper’s agenda is disastrous for this country and my generation.  This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab spring, a flowering of popular movements that demonstrate that real power to change things lies not with Harper but in the hands of the people.”

Whatever your opinion of Harper, I think we can all agree that we just had a ‘popular movement that demonstrates where the real power lies’; it’s called an election sweet-heart!  You had your chance to make your statement then, I had my chance too.  Just because you managed to get a job in Ottawa doesn’t give you the right to a second protest vote! Organize your protests and then get people to vote! That’s how you change things!

In Egypt, the youth led protest group was opposing a regime that had chosen it’s own leaders for nearly 40 years.  We have been given the opportunity to choose our own leaders in this country for more than 140 years! Around the world that is almost unheard of!  To compare your stunt to that kind of courage is pathetic.  She’s getting job offers from her self promotional stunt; Protestors in Egypt are struggling to feed their familes this summer.  The unrest in the region has been devastating for tourism: Egypt’s bread and butter.

Good luck to anybody who would hire this self promoting hack.  How long will she last at her next job before she’s looking to take over there too?

O.K.  I feel better now.

One thought on “A Page Gets Turned

  1. What a fascinating story, eh? I’m a bit surprised you took the same wrist-slap approach as the media, choosing to focus more on attacking her and her methods, rather than highlight the good points in her message. I totally agree with you that a comparison to the middle east was misinformed and inappropriate, but one thing she keeps repeating is that sometimes civil disobedience is necessary. Similarly, from a Christian perspective, sometimes a little holy anger and radical action is appropriate to counter injustice. Brigette contends that political action happens every day, not just during an election. Telling her to save her political action for the ballot box is like telling a Christian to save his faith and acts of charity for Sunday morning at church. She got to see first hand how our the current system in Ottawa is archaic and flawed, and just because we’ve been doing something for 140 years, as you mentioned, doesn’t mean it’s still ideal or relevant. Her points are excellent: Harper has a majority government but the majority of Canadians did not vote for his party, and I would contend, don’t share the majority of his values or agenda. The system needs a fix. This girl is not a “self-promoting hack” (self-promotion doesn’t involve risking losing a job and a potential career, quite the opposite) but an informed, courageous, creative citizen. As one veteran MP said, what she did was the most exciting thing that’s happened in parliament in 7 years. The time and place for this act was perfect. It made much more of an impact than if she had, say, changed her Facebook status to “Stop Harper.” The move was calculated, bold and brilliant, in the non-violent Canadian way. This girl just might change the world for the better. She’ll go places for sure, but hopefully not to one of Harper’s brand new prisons.


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