Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bill 78 and the Slow Decline. . . .

If there were any doubts in your mind that we are inching our way toward a police state, there can surely be no doubt left after this week's passage of Bill 78 in Quebec. That part of the Bill that deals with public demonstrations is a deeply draconian measure that effectively puts an end to the very notion of public opposition. As written the Bill necessitates that anyone who wants to engage in a political demonstration of more than ten people must notify the police eight hours in advance, indicating place, numbers, and destination of the demonstration if it proposes to occur in more than one place.

Most police states in the world have such laws which are de facto meant to make political demonstrations illegal. The police appear to have the power under Bill 78 to exercise prior restraint concerning any demonstrations and can effectively keep any demonstrations (which they allow to proceed) away from any place that might be deemed 'politically sensitive.'

What Bill 78 really means is that if you and nine friends get together in the park to enjoy the afternoon and someone starts talking about politics, you can be arrested. Sound melodramatic? It's not. Just open a history book and read about how police-states have emerged and you will see that when it starts it all sounds innocent and harmless, and is always deemed necessary by the governments involved.

Our governments are full of hypocrites. They cry indignantly when citizens of Syria and Egypt are subjected to government oppression, but they don't miss a beat in oppressing their own people. Remember when Stephen Harper was the leader of the opposition and never tired of criticizing the Government of China for its oppressive practices? As Prime Minister he is a great advocate of those very practices as he guts our own human rights laws, seeks to fill the prisons, wants access to your home computers, and slowly shuts down any and all opposition. And Mr. Charest (like so many Liberals) is nothing more than a mindless follower of Harper's draconian ideology. 

3 comments:

doconnor said...

This law is remarkably similar to the laws that are being used right now to stifle descent in Russia.

kirbycairo said...

That is what I was thinking doconnor, and the dismantling of democracy in Russia is such that the government still claims that it is a richly democratic system.

Owen Gray said...

And it's all done under the mantra of "public safety."