What Per Cent Civility?

Well, talk about putting the civil back into civil disobedience.

Most of you have probably heard the recent hoopla out of Parliament Hill.

During the particularly ceremony-heavy Throne Speech, a page walked out into the middle of the floor and, in full view of the cameras and stunned costumed oldsters, she produced a red octagonal sign with the words “Stop Harper”.

It was a moment that lasted a lifetime, broken by the appearance of a Gilbert and Sullivan extra, who promptly escorted the quixotic lass out of the Red Chamber, where the Senate normally holds court.

I’m split down the middle on this one here, gang.

On one count, if you’re going to stage a major protest, you couldn’t do it in a grander and more peacefully solemn way. Publicly flipping Parliament the bird while they’re in the middle of their biggest pep rally takes a lotta guts.

I actually know this particular protester, having met her at the Saskatoon Fringe in 2008. And while she indeed is a theatre performer, her protest I truly believe came from her desire to see change, rather than to see her name in headlines.

So I give her thumbs up for having the bravery to do what most folks spamming Facebook with anti-Harper articles never will.

However, the argument her camp uses as the reason for this huge statement holds no water.

It goes basically as follows. (Warning: math is involved.)

They say the majority of Canadians didn’t want Harper to be their Prime Minister. The proof for this is in the numbers, they say. Only 40 per cent of Canadians marked an X next to the Conservative name.

That of course means the rest of the voting masses, 60 per cent if you will, said “no thanks” to Harper.

Indeed, 60 is a larger number than 40. You wacky kids are correct on that one.

But watch as I magically apply a shred of common sense and critical reasoning (a trait that seems to be lacking by both sides of this issue).

True, 60 per cent of votership did say no to Harper – but that’s because they were saying yes to the NDP, Green, Liberal, Bloq, Marxist/Leninist, Marijuana, Independent, and so on.

So – when we separate that 60 into its factual salient parts, it’s pretty simple and obvious to see that the 40 per cent figure is actually quite a large number indeed.

In fact, a great many Canadians – why, I might even say a majority – voted for the Conservatives, ergo Stephen Harper.

Let’s be perfectly honest: if the NDP had swept a majority in this last election, no one would be uttering the words: “voter reform”. But after watching the sea of blue wash over the country, suddenly, it’s “Time for Change”!

These panicky diatribes are making you idealists look silly.

I will tell you some things I learned from travelling extensively through Canada.

One – there are tons of people with opinions diametrically opposed to yours.

Two – rednecks vote.

This is going to be a long four years isn’t it?

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