The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Attack In Ottawa will be used to justify losing more rights

Prime Minister Harper pretty much confirmed it:

‘Our laws and police powers need to be strengthened’

Yup.  Never let a crisis go to waste. I’m very sad that MPs and their staff were scared, and I’m sadder that a soldier lost his life.  But one attack does not justify increasing the police state.  However, if Harper wants it done, it will be done, a Canadian Prime Minister with a majority might is very close to a dictator, and in practical terms only the Supreme Court can check him.

Freedom in the West, such as it was, was nice while it lasted.


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  1. guest

    Yep, that’s the playbook. But one fatality of a a soldier on ceremonial duty for a jihadist, that’s not exactly a national emergency, not even for a micro-state like Andorra. We have mentally challenged teenagers that manage more death and destruction that. Of course even the hint of an imaginary threat to the financial or political class ranks a lot higher than thousands of murdered school children. Hence the disproportionate reaction to the Occupy movement.

  2. adanac

    You are far from the only one who thinks that way. Most of us know Harper has no decency, honor, ethics nor morals, what-so-ever. Harper will use every dirty tactic in the book, to stay in power. We know Harper all too well.

  3. John Measor

    Today and in the coming weeks will be a focal point for Canadian democracy. The Canadian state has enormous powers, as with the Canadian executive (PMO), far beyond that of even the U.S. of U.K. post-9/11. I watched with bemusement as Americans debated new security and legal authority grasped extra-constitutionally by the U.S. Executive branch following 9/11, knowing that the Canadian PMO already held those powers and (as Ian points out) with a majority government can exercise them without oversight. The Supreme Court will take years to overturn legislation and the Conservatives are comfortable believing the sole arbiter is the electorate – or at least the ~35% of the electorate that supports them.

    I would dream on the fifth estate asserting itself and acting as a break on power, but I won’t hold my breath. They should question why the event occurred and unfolded in the manner it did. If those executive and security state powers were inadequate to stop this act, then a true democracy might begin to ask where the failure occurred rather than dreaming up greater authorities by which to undermine personal liberty.

    Personally, I think this is a mental health issue expressed through the security theatre our public commons has been crafted to be following 9/11. The tragedy will serve as a vehicle to expand state power – as Ian correctly laments.

  4. just waiting for things could not get worse, this generation will prove them wrong.

  5. Welcome to our (U.S.) nightmare. 🙁

    These officials walk a rough and disingenuous line with what is being projected through the media. I cynically say “projected” because one does not trust even the quoted anymore. “He’s a jihadist” / “He’s a lone mentally-ill wannabe.” I suppose they want to catapult “jihadist” to the general public, and at the same time diminish him in order to perhaps try to demoralize ISIS? But the general public, along with the “genuine” jihadist movement* hear both sides of this mixed message.

    Bad articulation and PR all around. This is madness.

    *I get that there is a space in which there is a genuine fear of the West, and there are thoughtful “freedom-fighters” – “terrorists” from the West’s official position (yet I remember Gilliam’s “Brazil” all too well) – but it seems the point of their spear is populated with psychopathic opportunists satisfying their bloodlust. They are inspiring banal maniacs.

    Again, madness.

  6. jcapan

    Well, if the beheadings of a few westerners led the US to completely lose its shit, it’s no surprise that Harper would see this as a fine opportunity to brownshirt his burgeoning petro state.

  7. Apneaman

    This simply makes it official. Canada was lost at least a decade ago. Almost everyone I know, including my own family, is preoccupied/obsessed with consumer culture. Most people define themselves by their collection of corporate consumer choices. That is what passes for their identity. Lot’s of talk about Canadian family values, but nothing matters anymore except material goods and food experiences (Food trucks, celebrity chefs and theme restaurants). No talk of climate change or any other serious issue. It’s all so phony now.

  8. Ian Welsh

    Canada was lost when the Governor General allowed Harper to prorogue in order to avoid a non-confidence vote.

  9. Ouch! we deserve better, not much better, mind you.

  10. Ian:
    Is the Governor General the Queen’s representative? If so, that would make him part of the fascist regime and Harper’s BFF.

  11. Ian Welsh

    Yes, she is (in this case, it was a she.) All GG’s aren’t bad, there’s no way the one prior to her would have allowed it.

  12. kj1313

    Harper is scum but I do trust the Canadian Supreme Court slightly more than the one in the US.

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