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Brigette DePape

Posted on 5 June 2011

I’ve been thinking about Brigette DePape. She’s the parliamentary page who pulled out the “Stop Harper” placard during the Throne Speech. She was fired.

I’ve seen a lot of people cheering her on, glad she’s standing up for what she believes in. Never mind she’s breaking the rules of the page program. Never mind she’s decided her own politics override the decorum of our political system.

You may support DePape. But as far as I’m concerned in doing so, you void all rights to be upset with any rules Harper or anyone else breaks, so long as they are standing up for what they believe in. I wonder how many people cheering for DePape’s “Stop Harper” sign would be just as vocally defending her if the placard read “Get the socialists out of Parliament”, “More Military Funding”, or “Stop Abortion Now.” It’s all good as long as she’s exercising her right to free speech, right?

She was not breaking the rules to stop some massive conspiracy. She had not uncovered some sinister plot that only she knew about and decided to blow the whistle. No, she’s upset that the election didn’t go her way and decided to disrupt the throne speech in order to get a few minutes of fame.

One of the key lessons to living in a democratic system is recognizing the legitimacy of the government you didn’t vote for. DePape has said ‘three out of four eligible voters didn’t even give their support to the Conservatives’, but guess what? That’s more people than gave their support to any other party. It’s not that three out of four people voted for another party and the ballots were tampered with or something like that. In most cases, they just didn’t bother to vote.

Again, you may make the argument that our overall system is flawed. But I don’t see pictures of DePape holding up a “Stop First-Past-the-Post Majority Voting.” And I seriously doubt that if the election had gone another way with similar numbers, she’s be proudly holding up “Stop Layton” signs. If she did, I wonder if the same people would be cheering.

Filed under: Best Of, Canada

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