The only possible justification for the invocation of emergency powers in the context of the Canadian Trucker’s protest and the occupation of Ottawa is the facticity of a fascist threat. Precisely, was the Freedom Convoy infiltrated by either domestic or foreign far-right elements. The Liberals have called for these extreme emergency measures and the NDP have supported them, but notably, the Conservative Party of Canada has been unequivically opposed.. The upshot of this bifurcation on the understanding of the facts or, at least on their interpretation, heralds the arrival of an unsightly and possibly irrevocable division in the political culture of the nation. We watched with incredulity as this happened to our neighbours in the USA. Their polity is now irreconcilably split between those who are ‘deplorable’ and those who want to ‘make America great again!’ Many thought it could not happen here in Canada, but the spread of such political decay in the liberal democracies of the West seems ubiquitious and inevitable.
While communal and sectarian sentiments are present in all societes, they are generally innocuous, until they are exploited and exacerbated by politicians to populist ends.When the nation’s mainstream politicians either court extremist sentiments (lets call this populism) or deem it fit to cast such aspersions on significant sections of their fellows (and this the spectre of populism), they are indubitably heralding a clamitous eventuality for their polity. When populism presents itself as an inherent part of the electoral process, it threatens to usurp democracy itself. (see my series of posts ‘It is Time to be Clear 1-8) But returning to the events in Ottawa, this facticity remains in question – are there far-right elements behind the Truckers movement, and was there in fact a tangible threat to the security of the nation? If there are organized right wing groups funding and/ or running the movement with a view to toppling our democratically elected government, I too am in full support of the invocation of draconian emergency measures. If, however, these fringe elements are meerely incidental and opportunistic hangers on to this movement, and their role and import have been greatly exaggerated, then I must take a very different stance.
Will these matters be aired and debated for the consideration of all Canadians? This question holds oraclular import for the future of the nation. Is there fascism … and who are the fascists?
Oh Canada, how are thy Laurentian fathers (and sons) fallen!