I watched Trump campaign "events" with disbelief; misogyny, hate messages, plain craziness and felt smug about Canadian politics. O, there were politicians calling each other out, missteps in parliament and political cartoonists lampooning our representatives but there was some degree of civility to it.
I am not against protests. If a person feels strongly about any issue, it is their democratic right to make their opinion known, with the ultimate right to vote a government or politician out of office. It is not a right to name call and shake signs that bear messages of hate. All this happened on the steps of the Alberta legistlature. The red signs held up by some members of the crowd are professionally printed and were provided by Rebel Media, Ezra Levant's "newsite." He, of course, also has his right to organize and to make his views known. I fear that he was taking advantage of people who aren't well-informed but are reacting to the carbon tax with their guts. No one likes new taxes, recession or unemployment. This rally was not offering solutions and turned uglier yet when the crowd began chanting, "Lock her up. Lock her up."
As Rona Ambrose, official leader of the federal opposition pointed out, "It's not even original." Trump supporters originated the chant to show their disdain for Hillary Clinton. Brian Jean, Wildrose and official opposition leader, and Conservative leadership hopeful Chris Alexander addressed the rally. Jean claims he left before the chanting began. Alexander says he tried to change it to "vote her out." He looks way too delighted in the video to be trying anything seriously.
Polititians everywhere are now decrying the chanting, the homophobic signs and the whole atmosphere of the rally. They are distancing themselves from it while trying to say that the participants are displaying their dissatisfaction with the Notley government. That is their right but there are better ways. Peaceful demonstrations, even heated debate and making your opinion known as I am.
I can't help but suspect that the NDP government was targeted by The Rebel partly because their reporter was banned this year from a government news conference. Then there is the blatant misogyny the female members of the legislative assembly have faced. Legitmate concerns about a carbon tax? It is your right but please, protest it in a legitmate way. This only focused the country on how badly we in Alberta can act.
I've been writing on and off for years and this is where my more serious pieces will be.