Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Yesterday I noted that it's wrong to see the opposition mobilization in response to the Cons' decision to shut down Parliament as merely a mirror image of the Cons' attempts to turn public opinion against the progressive coalition when there was plenty of mobilizing going on from both sides in December 2008. But it's worth noting just why the current situation is so different.

This time, there simply isn't any way for the Cons to present even a remotely plausible countermovement. Harper's primary line of spin about prorogation has been that it's simply a routine Parliamentary procedure - and while some Con supporters may be sufficiently irony-challenged to be willing to attend a rally of the newly-formed Canadians Who Don't Think This Whole Prorogation Thing Is Worth Caring About, the apparent stakes for the Cons are nowhere near high enough to be worth the trouble of mobilizing. (Not to mention that they'd probably prefer that the whole issue get forgotten, rather than wanting to keep it in the public eye.)

So rather than the mass movements cancelling each other out and giving the ultimate advantage to the Cons' money machine, this time the anti-Harper protests will almost inevitably go unopposed in kind. And if they manage to make enough noise to keep Harper's contempt for democracy in the public eye through what was supposed to be the Cons' calm before an election, then Harper's latest shot at Parliament may well prove to be just as much of a mistake as the fiscal update which first helped send thousands into the streets.

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