Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Memo to David Akin

On the Hill: Memo to Brigette: There are no shortcuts in politics. It takes long, dull, dreary work

Everything you argue is based on the premise that political activity should take place within the system, with established institutions and its rules of law, and you're arguing that this is the only method of moving forward if one wants to enact change - with a little hard work, of course. But, as anyone who has ever been involved in wide grassroots political movements - protest or otherwise - knows, one is not obliged, on any grounds, to work within the system. In fact, it's very difficult to hollow things out from within because one is always bound by the structures of the system and its institutions. One can and might have to work against the system, and, as the 60's remind us, sometimes civil disobedience is necessary --even for its own sake without an immediately achievable goal. Sometimes disruption is a good thing.

Obviously DePape chose the latter on her recognition - shared by even those who do work within the system - that our system and its institutions aren't as democratic as they could be, especially in terms of the democratic principle of representation, a principle that some see as the very bedrock of democracy. We are, as many have noted, one of the four western countries which continue to believe in the illusion that a first-past-the-post electoral system is really democratic, whereas in fact the most one can say about such a electoral process is that it's somewhat but not competely democratic in the representational results it yields.

In the end, with your respect for the system and its institutions, you're not much different in your perspective than May or Rae, and I'm sure you work just as hard.


  1. I think this is the most thoughtful thing anyone has said about what happened.

  2. It's important to understand that every protest movement will manifest an iconic moment. Brigitte DePape IS the "Stop Harper" voter education campaign....