Don’t get cocky


Mark Jarvis manages to take issue with both sides of the Brigette DePape debate.

… the point here is simply that of all the reactions that DePape’s actions have generated, it is unfortunate that greater reflection about what is needed to strengthen Canadian democracy and how best to address these needs have given way to overconfidence in the status quo.

You might remember Mark from previous posts like Three-part reform. The book he cowrote with Peter Aucoin and Lori Turnbull—Democratizing the Constitution: Reforming Responsible Government—is now on sale. You can read the first chapter here.


Don’t get cocky

  1. My major concerns with the “Brigitte Pape incident” are whether to classify it as “performance art” or “guerrilla theatre” and to contemplate whether one is a subset of the other.

    We will know when Ms. Pape’s future career develops as an artist, an activist, or both.

    • So, let’s assume that Ms. DePape didn’t hold up the sign in the senate, or there were no protests at the G-20 Showboat preformance or for that matter nobody disagreed with Harper. Wouldn’t be a wonderful world? Unions would disappear, social programs would be reduced to the point that anyboy who isn’t an executive of a corperation would live in poverty. Prehaps we could finally get rid of those pesky poor people, Wouldn’t it be a lovely world. Harper could be King! We could all be his servants.

  2. Mark, will this book be available as an e-book?  The offer is still open for the tour.

  3. While we’re discussing the topic …

    When is the Government releasing the background information on the cost implications of its crime and justice bills? Jet fighter costs? The Afghan detainee documents?

    Bridget DePape’s contempt was momentary, but the Conservative Government’s contempt is ongoing.

    • If you want anything more than ESTIMATES you’ll be waiting an awful long time on the jet fighter costs. 

      While the government would like us to believe that we’re not going to spend a dime more than their ridiculous estimate for the F-35s the reason they haven’t signed a contract with Lockheed Martin  to lock in those prices yet isn’t because the GOVERNMENT is afraid to commit, it’s because there’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell that Lockheed Martin would sign a contract which commits them to that estimate, when Lockheed Martin itself doesn’t even know yet how much it’s going to cost them to produce the planes.  Now that they have a majority, it will become crystal clear pretty fast that it wasn’t the actions of the Opposition that’s been delaying the signing of a contract with Lockheed Martin, it’s the fact that Lockheed Martin won’t sign a contract on the government’s oft-mocked terms.  Lockheed Martin is not going to sell us F-35s at the price the Canadian government’s been repeatedly advertising (they can’t), and everyone knows it.

      • I’m not the one who asked for the estimates, the Parliamentary Budget Officer and a couple of parliamentary committees did. Whether the response is fantasy or reality is less important than the persistent denial of information the government used to arrive at its decisions.

        Whether it supports the decision or not, people were appointed and elected to do their job which includes independent analysis of those decision using the information we paid civil servants to gather. If the information gathering itself was inadequate we need to know that. If the Government did or didn’t listen, we need to know that.  

        It’s fundamental to democracy that decisions are transparent and Government information is not a partisan secret to lord over other parties or the public.

        • You are so right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you feel like you are living some sort of police state, Harper-style?

  4. Here’s where his whole piece falls apart”

    If citizens are going to disrupt and disrespect
    Parliament or celebrate those who do, why would we expect politicians
    and governments not to?

    This central question is reversed. If Parliamentarians (PMs especially!) are going to disrupt and disrespect Parliament and reward those who do, why would citizens be expected to do any differently?

    • Decorum would be a zillion times better if Senators or Parliamentarians just held up a sign when they disagreed with someone across the aisle, or in a specific seat of power.

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