‘It offended her professional responsibilities’

by Aaron Wherry

Ned Franks considers the circumstances of the rogue Senate page.

Brigette DePape’s breaking of the rules governing the behaviour of the staff of Parliament was not civil disobedience. She was not protesting a specific law or policy. She was simply objecting to the results of a democratic nationwide election in which she, along with every other citizen 18 years or older, was entitled to vote. Her act was amusing, and held a sort of childish charm. But it offended her professional responsibilities.




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‘It offended her professional responsibilities’

  1. Her actions broke the terms of her contract of employment, and so there were consequences I’m quite sure she foresaw.

    The writer seems to say that this strips her act of any meaning. I suggest he do a quick media scan on the reportage following, and calculate the worth of press coverage. Her message got through, whether or not if offended her professional responsibilities.

  2. How can an old fart like Franks pour on this level of disdain without even taking into account her AGE.

  3. Typical leftie, all drama and no logic.

    Stop Harper?

    From what?

    Winning a democratic election?

    Idiot

    • Democracy doesn’t begin and end at election time.  In a functioning democracy, the government represents the people throughout its time in office and the people not only have every right to try and influence it, but the government should listen to them.  The fact that it hasn’t happened that way for a long time is no excuse for attacking someone who is trying to be heard.  Really, we should all be getting off our butts and demanding the same.

      • Did you listen to her interview on CBC? Canadian Uprising? Seriously?

        It’s time for all the lefties to come to grips with the election.

        You lost.

        Try again in 4 years.

  4. “Civil disobedience has a legitimate and important place in politics. It is a knowing and intentional contravention of laws or rules for an important purpose or cause, such as a desire to change a bad law. It can demand willingness to suffer the consequences of that disobedience to prove the sincerity of the perpetrator’s belief and cause.”

    Franks is authoritarian who thinks he gets to decide what civil disobedience is. Apparently, only Rosa Parks type situations count as civil disobedience and everything else is childish. And other than Natives, I can’t think of any Canadians who have anything to complain about, so everyone keep quiet and know your place. 

    I think Brigette DePape shockingly ignorant but she also has right to speak out if she thinks she lives in bad country. Elite aren’t in control when citizens speak out, disrupt authority, and that’s wonderful. 

    I feel contempt for Parliament myself and I am glad DePape showed her contempt as well.

  5. Why be so much harder on an 18-year old than than on a 67-year old seasonned politician who falsified official documents and lied to parliament about it?   Do Canadians hate their children?

    • “Do Canadians hate their children?”

      Good question. 

      Between 1988 and 2005, almost two million babies lost their lives to abortion. The recorded total from Statistics Canada is 1,811,707, a partial record which excludes roughly 10% of the actual number of abortions performed between 2000 and 2005, due to incomplete reporting.

      For over a decade, Robin Sharpe has been known as Canada’s most notorious child pornographer, a label he wears with considerable pride ….. So after his many legal battles(and 18 months in jail) Sharpe moved to Montreal …. “”Things aren’t taken as seriously here as they are in English Canada. It’s a bit more laid-back, accepting. I think people tend to mind their own business a little more.” ….. Dozens, if not hundreds, of pedophiles would agree. The arrest of Steve Goldberg, a notorious U.S. pedophile in his own right with a spot on America’s Most Wanted list, in a Montreal suburb this week further illustrates a point many pedophiles themselves admit: far more than any other city in North America, Montreal is a good place to live if you happen to be attracted to children.” Maclean’s, May 2007

      • For those who are born the parents and the society are merciless.

      • Obviously we are much tougher on young Canadians than on adult Canadians – this contempt of parliament just shows the difference. If you are an adult and you misbehave you are rewarded; if you are a young person of 18 you are fired.  I’ve had four children, all adults, I’m sixty, but if I were now of childbearing age and seeing how our society is evolving, treating young Canadians with much less respect than adult Canadians, I would not have children.

  6. Can this young woman show us in what way she differs from the rest of us.  Besides protesting, what efforts has she made to improve the world?  Has she given up driving to reduce C02? Has she visited the elderly?  Has she worked in a soup kitchen? 

    • She wrote all of that on the back of her sign, I’m told.

    • She hasn’t altered documents and lied about doing so to parliament.  Had she done that she would have been rewarded.

    • Well according to her bio on the Loran scholarship site (She was a Loran scholar), she was president of her highschool social justice committee, so I’m going to guess that, yes, she has done some things to improve the world. 

    • Given that she was working as a parliamentary page,  that suggests she’s done more than most of us have — she’s gotten involved with our democracy at far more than just election time.

  7. I had no idea there were so many old fuddie-duddies in Canada. LOL

    • So many, I’m thinking of investing in cardigan manufacturers.

      • LOL also signs saying… YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN

        • It’s like a flashback to the ‘Get a haircut and a job’ days.  Good times!

          • These guys would never have survived the 60s. LOL

  8. Two words in response to Ned Franks’ authoritarian thoughts on the professioonal responsibilities of government employees: Munir Sheikh.

  9. Other than that last sentence (which became the title of this article) I tend to agree.  It wasn’t civil disobedience, any more than someone working for Suncor coming out and saying that we should make oil companies pay for the increased rates of cancer we’re seeing around Fort MacMurray.

    Was it high-stakes principled political action? Yes.. (whether you agree with her principles or not, it’s pretty obvious she went into this knowing she’d probably lose her job and decided it was worth it) so she has my admiration for that.

    Other than that though.. not sure how terribly effective it was. A general message like that, without there being any larger issue it could be attached to is unlikely to survive past the first busy news cycle.  She was fortunate that there seems to be not a helluva lot going on right now, so it’s extended her presence.

    • Good post, Thwim.  I have no problem with her staging a protest.  My problem is a substantive one regarding the mixed message she was giving out.  It’s the fact that she was mixing up a procedural/structural political objection  (the shortcomings of our first past the post electoral system) with a nakedly partisan one (she hates Harper and his policies and makes this ridiculous assertion that he’s a dictator akin to Assad and Mubarak etc.).  That’s what I had a problem with.  If you have a problem with our first past the post system, then to have credibility as a protestor or spokesperson on that issue I think you have to keep your objection principled and non-partisan, and address the obvious point that, e.g., Jean  Chretien won power with 38% of the popular vote (and we didn’t have lefties or liberals protesting about that), Glen Clark won a provincial election in the 90s while losing the popular vote (and we didn’t have Dippers or other lefties protesting about that — wonder why?).

      But in her interviews, she started ranting about how Harper is a dictator because he won an election under first-past-the post, as though that’s somehow illegitimate.  But there are so many obvious counterpoints to that (e.g., who is she suggesting SHOULD BE Prime Minister, Layton, who got even fewer votes than Harper?), and she didn’t even attempt to address any of them.  Nor did the journalists like Solomon, who just pitched meatball/powderpuff questions to her, allowing her to spew out predictable lefty talking points in reply.

      The bottom line for me is that this woman is obviously extremely partisan politically, and if she wants to criticize Harper for his policies, fine.  But to claim that she’s some sort of spokesperson for reform of our electoral system while making these ad hominem accusations of Harper being a dictator (along with that idiotic, histrionic reference to the Arab Spring), to me that’s where her credibility flew right out the window and she was revealed for what she really is:  a partisan hypocrite.

  10. Brigette Depape’s behaviour is certainly acceptable. It is the hockey stick
    by which many will measure her generation. A country may make the
    mistake of voting fascists in but, as our parents’ and grand parent’s
    generation proved, – there was but one way to get them and their
    appointments out. It wasn’t through signs or voting. As part of the 60% not favoured by the Inner Party, I vote for Brigette’s actions.

    • So we’re not going to be able to get Harper and the Conservatives out of office by voting against them in the next election? 

      •  No. I think that was it, Orson. Any fifth grader will tell you that Parliamentary Democracy is a way for the citizens of sissy countries to hand over their personal liberty to someone else.

        • So would you have been ok with us handing our personal liberty over to Jack Layton?

          • I’d be OK with carrying Rex Murphy on our shoulders into the House. He would make an excellent ‘dollar a year man’. Although, Orson, I did get a phone call from Alexis de Tocqueville warning me about handing my liberty over to anyone.

          • If Harper received ONLY 39.6% of the the vote why is he allowed to maintain 100% of the power?

    • I couldn’t agree with you more! I vote for brigette Depape’s action.

    • Why is it that everytime somebody does something just to make a point, (that the right doesn’t agree with,) then there must be some ulterior motive. Brigette DePape held up a sign that simply pointed out her concerns with Harper. She wasn’t expecting to get rich from this action. She wasn’t expecting to become a star from this action. And, yes, she didn’t expect to make a profit from her actions. I know that that’s hard for somebody like you to believe. She simply wanted to make a point! NOTHING MORE!!!!!!!!!!

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