The Ugly Side of Democracy In Canada – Anti-Harper Rally Reactions – Editorial by Jamie Gilcig – Sunday June 12, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario HD VIDEO

Cornwall ON – I’m still a rookie in the journalism field.     I’m not really a journalist although I portray one occasionally.    I’ve not been burdened with some of the hypocritical rhetoric it takes to be a top notch network Newsy.

My eyes have really seen a bit of how news works; what gets reported, what doesn’t.  Frankly it’s scary.      Here in Cornwall I met someone at the local courthouse who shared that she felt it was not good that journalists don’t spend enough time watching the wheels of local justice turn.

I can of course understand where she was coming from, but it costs money to have people standing around watching to make sure people’s rights don’t get trampled.   Just like it costs money to cover events.

The G20 really opened my eyes.   Not the right or wrong of the many participants, but what was covered, what made the news; the clips chosen and of course the spin.

Friday I was emailed an alert to the Anti-Harper Rally in Ottawa.   It was not broad casted around much.   No big commercials.     As I drove up to Ottawa from Cornwall I listened to CFRA which is a news format which weighs heavily on politics.   Not a word was mentioned of the rally in the over an hour it took me to get to our Nation’s capital.    CBC did release info about the upcoming rally,

When I got there the park was just filling up.  It was the starting point before people marched to protest in front of the Conservative convention.  I joked early on with another media person that there were more of us than them, but the park filled up rapidly.   There was a huge police and security presence as well.

Opening speech at Anti-Harper rally.


The guest speaker was Brigette De Pape, the Rogue Page who this time would speak and not just hold up a sign.   The messages were many; some of which I personally could support and a few which I could not in a million years.

To me, in this frighteningly and rapidly Conservative changing world it was Democracy in action.   Democracy doesn’t mean allowing only positions you agree with.   This week I read a story about a Blogger in China being sentenced to a year in a labour camp for writing something that simply upset a local party official.       That’s 1984.    That’s almost what it can be like in the US right now.    That’s what it’s like in far too many countries on our planet.    And that’s why many of our forefathers gave their lives in World Wars; so that facism couldn’t get its grip on the world.

The Raging Grannies don't seem to like Mr. Harper...

What was even scarier was the response and comments to the Anti-Harper rally.   It’s ok to disagree.  It’s constructive to debate a position.   When did our politicians and leaders become so thin skinned?  When did some of the people that post messages become so deranged and hateful?

Brigette De Pape has become the poster child for a lost generation or two of Canadians who only now are inkling at becoming political.     There’s a huge knowledge gap.  There’s going to be a learning curve.   There’s going to be herding mentality akin to how the Harper Conservatives gain and maintain their support; ie people repeating messages or staking out turf without really knowing what they’re talking about, but being caught up in the energy.   That also isn’t unique; it was very popular in the 1930’s.

Brigette Speaks


It should be interesting to see how Ms De Pape evolves and rides her wave of awareness.      To those that attack her they should cut out the rhetoric as we live in a Country where a Bev Oda not only has documents changed, but pays no price and is actually re-elected.       See what scares me isn’t what people like the Harperites do, but those that vote them back in.

And yes, now is a good time to start talking about issues in Canada.  I was handed a card at the rally that documented that 6,201 votes was the difference in 14 ridings in the 2011 Election.  Those 14 seats will be the historical difference to the limited safety of a minority government and the changes that may happen during Mr. Harper’s majority that had over 600 people marching from that little park in Ottawa through to the Conservative convention.

The good news is that young people and many other Canadians are starting to talk about our country and many of the issues that are key to all of our futures.  Now if we can just get more people to do the same this will be a better place.

March leaves to Conservative Convention



[dih-mok-ruh-see] Show IPA
–noun, plural -cies. 


government by thepeople; a form of government in whichthe supreme power is vested in the people and exerciseddirectly by them or by their elected agents under afree electoral system.

a state having such a form of government: The United Statesand canada are democracies.

a state of society characterized by formal equality of rightsand privileges. (from
Doesn’t that definition say it all?   I’m not so sure Canada needs an Arab Spring, but we do need to work together, respect each other, and get back to having the type of Democracy that was envied by countries around the world and lead in peace, and not simply be a follower in war.
We need more people to speak out.  To talk to each other, and to start to look at our country and what we allow our politicians to enact.   You do get the government you vote for and if you aren’t happy about something and want change you have to make it happen as it sure won’t happen on its own.
Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

Best Western



  1. One of the reasons why I despise ALL politics, and ideology, is that their stock in trade is Hypocrisy and division. So, the Left holds up a pretty juvenile action by someone who was being paid quite well for a political job as a ‘ heroine’? what, exactly , did she do? I love how they try to boil this down to a ‘ stab at the cold heart of oppression in Canada’…really? Oh yeah, one of the signs in the pictures stating that 60% of Canada didn’t vote for ” Harper’ ( notice how the left belittles the PM by constantly referring to him by his last name? ) Isn’t it easy to forget that the Chretien/Martin govt’s won on Popular Votes of 40%, 38%, and 40% respectively.
    Now , before I get branded an ( OH NO) ….Conservative….I have no use for them, or the Liberals, or the NDP. The only good thing that came out of this past election is that I don’t have to see Mr. Deuceppe’s face on TV anymore. So , the Conservatives have a Majority? SO WHAT. They’re no better or worse than the alternative. To those who screamed ‘ OPPRESSION” all about the G20…well, gee now: Governments are supposed to stand by and let idiots smash up windows and bust businesses and set fire to vehicles? THIS is what is called ‘ Reasoned Protest”? By all means, prosecute the police who went after the bystanders who were doing nothing, but those who vandalized got exactly what they deserved. Or perhaps we like it better when our PM personally throttles a protester? Oh , yeah, sorry…he was a LIBERAL PM. Relax, people; The Sun still rises in the East. The Domtar site is still an Eyesore. The Bridge is STILL there, for now. And the present Conservative Majority Government is not the Antichrist. They’ll be caught up in the same scandalous positions that all Governments get put in, govern some more, and the world will still turn. The way the Liberal Left and the CBC are carrying on, we’re presently living in the End Times. Hardly. That’s happening down South. Let’s keep it there folks, and let’s have a reality check on things.

  2. @ Jim. The police did nothing to stop the vandalism spree. They stood down and just let it happen. They even abandoned two old and stripped cruisers to be vandalized. The following day they started beating and arresting peaceful protesters.

  3. Author

    Jim this is the problem with much of the media in our country. I WAS AT THE G20. I spent the afternoon. I video taped. There was no trouble until after the real live human beings who stood up and spoke left. This was not reported as much as the small group of unidentified people burnt a single police car and made a few clips. And of course after that it was let’s clear the square and embarrass Canada.

    If what really goes on and happens isn’t covered; isn’t documented; then is it any wonder why certain perceptions exist and opinions form?

    We live in a country that supposedly allows people to protest; to have their say; rightly or wrongly; whether we agree or not. That’s what Democracy is.

  4. Jim, despising all politics is in itself a political stance. And if we sit on our hands, refusing to vote, because all parties are rotten, we may wake up one morning up to find people in jackboots ordering us around and worse.

  5. @ PJR. We might be getting closer to that than we think.

  6. Free speech and most of the other rights now guaranteed us, were earned by civil disobedience… crack a book and look up someone like John Ball or John Lilburne for example.

    The young page that stood up and protested silently in a chamber of bagmen and cronies — all unelected and some, in a most undemocratic fashion, planted there by Mr. Harper immediately after rejection at the ballot box – this young woman was representative of what produced democracy in the first place and is its lasting hope.

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