Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quebec Student Protests are an Example of the Purest Form of Democracy

Warren Kinsella has already mentioned this over at his website but I thought I would throw in my two cents.

I have read several pundits and commentators over the last few days that have been quite critical of the student protests claiming that they are undermining our democracy.

Hell, Macleans even infers that the students have become the new "ruling class" in Quebec.  We could only wish there was some truth to that assertion.

It is no coincidence that the most critical pundits are those that are on the conservative side of the political spectrum.  In a previous post on this blog I mentioned that the balance of influence between corporations and individuals has been badly skewed in favour of corporations.  For conservatives they believe that is how it should be and any movement that might bring that balance of influence on to a more even keel is considered a threat. 

I would like to say that calling these demonstrations a threat to democracy is just a political tactic but my experience debating with conservatives indicates to me that a sizable number of them actually believe what the say.  They actually believe that ordinary citizens expressing their displeasure towards a government policy or just a government is somehow undemocratic.  Most of the time it is the organized fashion of the protests that they get hung up on.  Someone writing a letter to the editor or to their Member of Parliament is democratic but a group of people with the same goals organizing to push for the realization of those goals is not. 

As I have stated before I believe North America needs more examples of the type of democracy the students in Quebec have been engaged in.  Whether you agree with their demands or not they are demonstrating that ordinary citizens with a little organization and alot of committment can tip the balance of influence back towards ordinary citizens (at least for a little while) and remind the real ruling class on this continent that their grip on power is not as firm as they would like to believe. 

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