‘This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab spring’


In the midst of the Governor General’s reading, a Senate page decided to protest the Speech from the Throne. The rogue page promptly issued a news release to explain her actions.

Senate Page disrupts Throne Speech

Harper’s disastrous agenda needs to be stopped with creative action and civil disobedience

Ottawa/- During the reading of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s throne speech today, a young page was yanked from the Senate Chamber as she tried to hold up a stop sign placard reading  “Stop Harper.”

“Harper’s agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation,” Brigette Marcelle says. “We have to stop him from wasting billions on fighter jets, military bases, and corporate tax cuts while cutting social programs and destroying the climate. Most people in this country know what we need are green jobs, better medicare, and a healthy environment for future generations.”

Brigette Marcelle, 21 and a recent graduate from University of Ottawa, has been a Page in the Senate for a year, but realized that working within parliament wouldn’t stop Harper’s agenda.

“Contrary to Harper’s rhetoric, Conservative values are not in fact Canadian values. How could they be when 3 out of 4 eligible voters didn’t even give their support to the Conservatives? But we will only be able to stop Harper’s agenda if people of all ages and from all walks of life engage in creative actions and civil disobediance,” she says.

“This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab Spring, a flowering of popular movements that demonstrate that real power to change things lies not with Harper but in the hands of the people, when we act together in our streets, neighbourhoods and workplaces.”


‘This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab spring’

  1. I love moxie!

    • But only if no one knows who I really am!  Hahahahaha

    • As a fellow bleeding-heart leftist and filthy pinko, I feel it advisable to step in and suggest that you take a deep breath and consider the effectiveness of your plethora of posts.  I recommend you watch this TED video ( http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind.html – TED, btw, is fantastic generally ) and consider one of the underlying messages.  Morality (and low empathy) may have biological origins and as such may not necessarily be a choice, and that learning to empathise and work with (or around) conservatives may be more productive.

      For example, I would absolutely love to have all the efficiency “experts” on the Right working to keep fully funded federal programs efficient.  It’s when they start to cut the funding because they don’t care (about anyone who isn’t up to their standards) that we run into problems.  

      And lest I seem preachy, I have incredible difficulty not raging against the callous, arrogant right.  That doesn’t mean I don’t counsel you to try.  (If only for your own image.)

      • Cats belong in a box.
        E. Schrödinger

        • Well if you look closely at my picture, you might see I disagree.

          • Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

      • “Morality (and low empathy) may have biological origins and as such may not necessarily be a choice, and that learning to empathise and work with (or around) conservatives may be more productive.”


        Jonah Goldberg, National Review: 

        “Remember the cocky, arrogant kid in nursery school, the one who always thought that he had all the answers and that he could do whatever he wanted, and was always ignoring what the teacher had to say? Chances are this bully grew up to be a conservative.

        Right now, I have no doubt that some liberal readers are nodding their heads and saying, “Yes! That makes total sense. Conservatives are such bullies!”

        Well, according to the latest “scientific” study this is nonsense. In fact, it’s the other way around.

        Here’s the lead from a story in the Toronto Star about a new study in The Journal of Research Into Personality: “Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.”

        Ever since Theodor Adorno came out with his scandalously flawed Authoritarian Personality in 1950, liberal and leftist social scientists have been trying to diagnose conservatism as a psychological defect or sickness. 

        Adorno and his colleagues argued that conservatism was little more than a “pre-fascist” “personality type.” According to this school, sympathy for communism was an indication of openness and healthy idealism. Opposition to communism was a symptom of your more deep-seated pathologies and fascist tendencies. 

        According to Adorno, subjects who saw Nazism and Stalinism as similar phenomena were demonstrating their “idiocy” and “irrationality.” Psychological counseling, many argued, could cure these maladies. 

        But for some it was too late. In 1964, an ad in the New York Times reported that 1,189 psychiatrists determined that Barry Goldwater was not “psychologically fit” to be president.

        In 2003, another Berkeley study, led by John T. Jost, reviewed four decades of research of conservatism and found that conservatives tended to be fear-driven dogmatists, terrified by ambiguity. The study linked Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The findings were hardly surprising since they basically recapped the branch of “scholarship” launched by Adorno.

        Perhaps the more revealing psychological insight can be found in the fact that so many liberals think disagreeing with them is a form of psychosis.

      • I am also a fan of Haidt’s message, although I’m not sure I agree with him about the innate differences between conservatives and liberals. What I wonder is whether a desire to travel or read books is really an indication of “openness to new experiences” for somebody that has spent their lives traveling and reading books. 

        I guess my perspective is a bit different from many other people. I am a right/libertarian-leaning person, but I have always lived in left-leaning urban areas or college towns. I barely know any conservatives. For a lot of the people I know (including myself) visiting an Applebee’s WOULD probably be a more novel experience (relative to my everyday experiences) than reading a new book, or visiting backpacking in Europe for the 12th time.

        I also question the degree to which liberals actually question authority or devalue in-group loyalty or purity. The tricky part is that by definition, they are members of an in-group for which those are core values. I’m much less swayed by people’s conscious answers on an online survey than I am by revealed preference. In-group loyalty is very valuable to people on the left – look at the calls for resignation when people in academia express non-approved views (eg. Larry Summers’ comments on women), or how Lieberman is probably the most hated Democrat in the senate.

        As Haidt notes, the left has its own purity issues too – with the environment and food leading the charge. Sometimes these positions are in keeping with the facts, but at others they are not (eg. there is no evidence that genetically modified food is unhealthy, or that naturopathy works). 

        The left also has its own authority structure. On the face of it, it tends to involve elevating statements from experts, but even then certain types of expertise get more play than others. Some academic experts are ignored (eg. nuclear physicists, when they are talking about nuclear waste or economists not named Paul Krugman), while others are celebrated (eg. sociologists and climate scientists). What is more, academics are engaged in empirical research – not making the kinds of normative statements that are needed for any public policy. The reality of any policy is that it will have tradeoffs, so you need to make a value judgment that X is more important than Y (something that is inherently unprovable). 

        What I am suggesting is that both the left and the right contains a mix of cheerleaders and open-minded people. The motivations that bring us to the political stances we take are diverse – I tend towards the right in part because I questioned authority and rejected the values of my community. Emily, in turn, doesn’t sound like she is all that interested in new ideas and experiences. I share Haidt’s goal – I like talking politics with people I disagree with over a beer. However, I think we need to understand our ideological differences through the prism of how each of us got there individually, rather than making sweeping macro-statements.

  2. Just for fun, I called the number on the bottom of her press release to set up an interview.  It was answered by another girl who informed me that Brigette was not yet available for interviews because she’s still being held by Parliamentary security.

    Maybe I’ll interview her later, just because I’m curious what motivates someone to do something like that.  What does she envision with the “Arab Spring” thing?  A popular uprising against the evil dictator Harper?  :)

    • So should we riot in the streets until the military takes over, like in Egypt?

  3. Always appreciate the idealism and tenacity of youth. I support any non-violent actions people use to express themselves.

    Thank you for shaking up what would be another boring, self-congratulating speech laden with empty platitudes and market researched keywords, Bridgette. You were the only one with something sincere to communicate.

  4. What a tool.

    All she’s accomplished is to be unemployable by anyone but opposition parties and certain NGOs…and ensuring that in the future, pages get the full patdown every time, because they’re clearly not trustworthy enough to be responsible adults at that age.

    • You sound remarkably like the Chinese govt.

      • No, the Chinese government sounds like this:·胡锦涛在湖北就加快转变经济发展方式等进行调研·李克强3日在中南海会见莫桑比克外交与合作部长 ·王岐山在俄罗斯会见伊尔库茨克州州长梅津采夫 

        • I doubt AVR can speak French, much less Chinese so I used English….speaking of which, why are you giving us the schedule of some Chinese officials?

          I know, I know….you’re joking…

          • I can in fact speak passable French – not that I very often need or want to – but how does that pertain to anything we’ve been discussing, dear?

          • Like I said, you sound like the Chinese govt….no dissent allowed.

          • No dissent allowed is a concept OE-1 knows a great deal about … she does’t allow it either!

          • Ooh, love the sexism dripping from your “Dear?”

        • 非常有趣的,暴击推理。让我笑的时间超过senisble。

          什么是ChiComs,至莫桑比克? – 

          • Wow, are YOU out of date!

    • “What a tool. All she’s accomplished is to be unemployable by anyone but opposition parties and certain NGOs …”

      You say tool, she thinks genius. Ms Marcelle not going to have to get proper job now, she gets to live off the labour of people she despises. 

      • Ms Marcelle has a great future.

        • If you like sleeping on someone else’s couch!

          • She needn’t worry about that….you might

    • It’s a little scary that some young Canadians have such disdain for democracy.  With enough people like her, there goes the farm.  She’s the type of person that allows for Communist revolutions.

      • Well, the pundits and commenters in Ottawa didn’t show any respect for Mary Ellen Brosseau  either. 

        • I fail to see the comparison.  Brosseau is the exact opposite of this twit.

          -Brosseau volunteered for an election
          -This twit did not volunteer, she surreptiously and unexpectedly inserted herself without permission into an official proceeding

          -Brosseau hardly campaigned at all and had no lust for power, she simply provided the voters in her riding the opportunity to vote NDP
          -This little twit seems to think that she should get everything she wants, despite what the voters decided

          -Brosseau won an election and has decided to serve the people
          -This twit wants to negate the peoples’ desires  She did not win an election of any kind, and she has absolutely no respect for democracy.

          • She was equally trashed by the political and media establishment, that’s the point. Don’t understand how you could miss it. I was clear the first time.

          • The reason I missed your point is that you don’t have one.

            Neither one was trashed by the media.   Most of the CBC and the Globe and others are cheering on Pape.  And as for Brosseau, I can’t recall a single media establishment trashing her.  The only thing the media did was ridicule the NDP for having such a large number of inexperienced MPs.  They pointed out Brosseau does not speak french, but at the same time, nobody is holding that against her.

            Pape deserves to be trashed for this stunt. She wanted the attention and now she’s got it. She’s a narcissist who clearly craves attention.

          • You live in some alternative universe from the “Vegas” girl at the Carleton Pub and the rest of us.Smirking, ridicule, rude jokes, insults, it was all there. You must be too selective in your media choices.

  5. “Most people in this country know what we need are green jobs, better medicare, and a healthy environment for future generations.” …… Contrary to Harper’s rhetoric, Conservative values are not in fact Canadian values. How could they be when 3 out of 4 eligible voters didn’t even give their support to the Conservatives? ….. “

    Conservative values are facts of life, Ms Marcelle. Many people aspire to what Cons represent: two parents, few kids, nice quiet school, picket fence in suburbs. Sounds boring but it is something powerful within many people. Few aspire to be earnest fishwives like NDP, that’s why they don’t win Fed elections.
    If most Canadians know we need “green jobs, better medicare, and a healthy environment”, why did we vote for majority of Con MPs? It is rare for Canadians to vote more than 50% for one party – most of the time, party in power has around 38-42% of vote.

    And Ms Marcelle also forgets that, regardless of fancy numbers and stats that cloud issue, Cons were able to convince enough people in each riding that their candidate would best represent them. Pure democracy has spoken. 

    I like Ms Marcelle gumption – young people irritating authority is way life should be – but don’t let her anywhere near levers of power, thank you very much. 

    Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it ~ George Orwell

    • Mmm no, most people don’t aspire to be ants.

      And most people didn’t vote for Harper.

      • Neither did I, but Harper still managed to get the Liberals to commit ballot box  suicide!  

        • I think you’re on the wrong thread…this has nothing to do with Liberals

          • More people didn’t vote for Layton.

  6. She wrote this after she protested at the G8/G20:

    At the height of Saturday’s protests, I saw twenty five thousand Canadians exercising their political agency in a way I have never before seen. It was truly inspiring and it brought me hope to know that so many people care about these issues and are doing something about it.
    Returning to Winnipeg meant coming back to everyday reality. My Dad told me that protesting at the G20 was unproductive and ineffective. I was crushed. Suddenly, riding in my parents’ car, I felt powerless. He was not the only one sending this message to his children.  Many of my friends received similar text messages from their parents as well. In Toronto, discussing alternatives in the caravan with other activists, and holding my sign proudly on the streets of Toronto, I felt like we were changing things. But at home I began to question whether or not we were making any difference at all. Perhaps we just had the illusion of change because we were surrounded by like-minded people. When my Dad asked me “what did the protests change?” I didn’t have an answer. They certainly did not change the G20 agenda.
    But my question for him and his generation is: what will change things, then?  If protesting is meaningless, as he suggests, what can we do to create a more just society?


    Also, she travelled to the G8/G20 protests in this van, which looks like it was decorated by my eleven year-old niece:


    • “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

      • When JFK said those words, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t thinking about Canada.

        • Doesn’t matter what country he was thinking about….it’s true for everyone.

          • I’ll have to assume that Crit_Reasoning is short for ‘Critter’ reasoning, not the formal kind. This is the second of two almost identical fallacies, in a short search down the comment section.

          • OE-1 …. Wrong Again!

          • It’s a universal truth

          • …that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife?

      • Juvenile minds do tend to violence when they’re perpetual losers in a functioning, legitimate democratic system, yes.

        • Ahhh now don’t talk about the Americans like that.

          • Ahhhh OE-1 …. how cute!

        • Violence? Like the pushing and shoving of peaceful protesters done by the police?

      • “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

        People who don’t want to bend over to will of State are making revolution impossible and if they resist than the State can’t but help to get violent?

        No thanks to Kennedy’s nanny fascism.

        George Orwell ~ Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

        • LOL do even YOU know what you’re talking about?

          • Yes, I know what I am talking about. 

          • Well that’s two of you….you and the voice in your head.

          • OE-2 … better the voice in his head then your unhelpful mean spirited offerings.

          • OE-1 …. I suspect he does and it may be that you lack the ability to follow or even grasp the concepts. 

          • “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

            “People who don’t want to bend over to will of State are making revolution impossible and if they resist than the State can’t but help to get violent?”

            “LOL do even YOU know what you’re talking about?”
            Look at photo: who is making peaceful revolution impossible and making violent revolution inevitable? Ontario Premier. The State. Authority. President of USA. Whoever is in power.
            “The number of arrests linked to the G20 summit in Toronto has climbed to over 900.

            Jillian Van Acker, spokesperson for the G20 Integrated Security Unit, made the announcement this morning (June 28), according to reports from the Globe and Mailand the Toronto Sun.

            This makes the G20 summit the site of the largest mass arrests in Canadian history. With 856 arrests, the Clayoquot Sound logging protest in 1993 previously held that record.

            The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has condemned the sweeping arrests made by police at the G20 protests.

            “It would appear that the presumption of innocence has been suspended during the G20,” the organization said in a statement on Sunday (June 27).” 


          • The only problem here is that you don’t understand the original quotation

      • “Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

        – JFK

        • True….not a lot of thought going on with this thread, that’s for sure.

          • Hey OE-2 …. that is because of your shallow end contributions.

        • It’s not actually Kennedy. Any of it. All of this Kennedy quote stuff references the words of the late Ted Sorenson. A genius. 

           Would love to hear the Soudas version!

      • Peaceful revolution is possible in this country – but that doesn’t mean all revolutions are going to succeed. We had an election a month ago – revolution lost. 

        • The revolution is going on right now, and will continue.

          You seem to be thinking in terms of peasants storming the bastille.

    • Good find – that was my first thought, she must have been at the G8/G20 protests. Bet she had lots of time to be posting and tweeting all those anti-Harper comments between her paging duties, lol!!!

      Now that she’s been removed from her position as a page, and has found her true calling as an activist, I’m sure Sid Ryan will give her a job in a heart beat!

      • If she did this to the Beijing Politburo, people would be calling for a Nobel, and she’d be over the China sea, with cement overshoes, in a helicopter.

        So, good for her. Speaking truth to power.

        • Good thing you point out the stark contrast between China and Canada. Here she is interviewed on TV and will likely end up with one of those taxpayer funded jobs for life.

          However, if she was really interested in “truth”, then she should have held up a sign saying “I’m a sore loser and can’t be trusted to do my job.”

    • I hope your eleven year-old niece has a more self-control over a first year logic fallacy list.

      I don’t care how the van was decorated. I don’t care about the van at all for that matter.

      • Hear! Hear!  Who cares about the van!   

        But she went to the G/20 and she felt a connection with and identified with the people she there.  She found she had a voice and she very much liked it. I find it sad that the people at home failed to understand her excitement and her pleasure in her participation in her very first large adventure for there was an opportunity for her father to channel her towards more meaningful participation in the democratic process which was surely lost.I almost wish that I had some influence with her because I would have counselled her to change her message to a somewhat more productive one …. given her participation at the G/20 and the massive failure of the Toronto police to act in accordance with their limits under the Constitution of Canada, perhaps a sign that said “Order a G/20 Royal Commission” would have been a better message …. or, in my knowing her, I might well have found a better and more react-able issue then the “Stop Harper” sing she displayed on the first day of a majority government.  An immature mistake, that sign, but an understandable one when the only guidance you get is from people very much like youself.   Protest is legal and the goal of every protester really should include some thought of  how to make a protest effective, rather then just reflective of an irrational hate.

        She is young.  She will learn or she won’t. It’s up to her.  Good luck to her.

  7. What a shame to waste such publicity and to risk her job on such a vague and unhelpful message.

    • How old are you? 

      • I’m in my ’30’s – why is that at all relevant?

        • That means you’re far too old to run for the NDP.

          • And too old to understand her message as well apparently

          • Just in from Syria “please help us we’re being killed in Syria” How dare that ignorant shameful Page compare our government to that one!

          • Oh….it takes physical killing for you to be concerned eh?

            Well the G20 was at least an effort in that direction

          • Physical killing? As opposed to metaphysical killing?

          • No, as opposed to a police state….or even a govt that allows no dissent.

          • Canada is a police state? The vast majority of the world would risk death to live in such an oppressive country.

          • Oh stop being a young fogey, and get a clue.

          • OK, I’ll get a clue. Are they sold at Sears?

          • It’s a fogey store, but probably an upgrade for you.

          • As long as they don’t have unionized employees I’ll grab a Clue for both of us.

          • LOL you aren’t Hekuba, you’re Methuselah!

          • OE-4 wouldn’t understand the difference … it’s what hate does to you.

          • When we’re all in prison for not showing proper respect for the Glorious and Democratic Republic of the Canadian Government of Harper, perhaps we will have time to reflect on prescient action.

            Right now, I’m merely savouring the moment.

          • Which party was it that invoked the War Measures Act during peace time and 465 people were arrested and held without charge?? Right, the one that finished third.

          • You do know what century we’re in now, right?

          • Wait until Harps brings in the new treason legislation. 

          • OE-3 only understand hate!

      • OE-2 …. Me thinks he’s, at the very least, much wiser then you.

    • Actually the job was ending in a couple of weeks anyway – it’s a one year term.

  8. ‘Canada needs an Arab Spring’: What?? She wants a free virginity test??

    • You never understood any of it, didja….

      • She should watch Lara Logan for information on Muslim Brotherhood-inspired “liberation”.

        • And you shouldn’t read tea bag sites for yours.

          • CBS News is a now a teabag site!

          • No, just that idiot version of it you posted

          • You think you know better than Lara Login who has first-hand knowledge that the ‘Arab Spring’ means being gang-raped by the Muslim Brotherhood? Your arrogance is breathtaking.

          • She wasn’t raped, and it wasn’t the Muslim Brotherhood….your ignorance is breathtaking.

          • Wrong.

            It was the Muslim Brotherhood and they were repeatedly shouting anti-semitic slurs at her. Lara’s exact words on 60 Minutes: “Because I think of the sexual assault, was all I could feel, was their hands raping me over and over and over again”

            Those are HER words not mine.

          • Sorry…no.

          • Actually…Yes indeed.

          • Sorry, no. Mubarak’s men

          • Heruba420 —- Please listen to Original Emily Minus 4, SHE WAS THERE!  Bwwwhahahahaha

  9. It’s offensive to compare the minor political disagreements in this country to the serious and bloody oppression suffered in the Arab world. The analogy is embarrassing. Get some perspective.

    • My perspective will no doubt improve when Dear Leader throws me in prison in a few years. I wouldn’t ask for a repetition of her performance, however.

      It was one of those dazzling one-act, one-actor, one-time creations that should be admired for years.

  10. Had this happened in China’s seat of Mercedes-driving Mandarins, the Conrad Blacks and other esteemed, if leaden-prosed, pundits would be calling for the Nobel prize

    • It’s just like she’s standing in front of the tanks in Tienanmen square! How heroic!

      • Well, you’d be driving the tank

        • When I took my tank-driving test I drove the tank into a ditch by oversight. The next day I received assignment to an antitank unit.

          • This experience makes you eligible for a management position in Harper’s new procurement program.  When can you start?

          • As soon as I receive assurance that no Quebec jobs will be involved.

          • Hell no, the new No Bid Procurement Office is to be located in Vaughan, Ontario.

          • Perfect. Very convenient commuting from here. Is it OK to use you as a reference?

          • I’m afraid not, I believe there is a picture of me and Ignatieff on the internet. 

          • Won’t be a problem. We can photoshop Stephen over Iggy.

          • Given Harp’s profile it will cover me and Iggy.  People will wonder what the heck Harper was doing at a Thinker’s Conference. 

          • Touché

      • What did I tell you? Head of the class for you! Great apologetics.

        The much maligned and sainted and prison-persecuted Lord Black himself couldn’t have done better, or missed the point more widely.

        • “Contempt of parliament” is a time
          honoured tradition that deserves to be rewarded.

  11. LOL listen to yourselves! 

    Woo-eee….wadda buncha ‘old people talk’!

    You guys don’t even sound like Beaver Cleaver….you sound like Ward and June Cleaver!

    Glad there’s a few young people on here anyway!

  12. I’m sure Dear Bean-Counter will man up to this page’s elegantly understated rebuke better than his fawning courtiers.

    I can just hear his levers and clockwork clicking with grudging approval.

    • It will begin with him declaring that of course he believes in freedom of expression BUT…..

  13. I’ve never understood this lefty-Liberal obsession with how many people voted, or didn’t vote, for the Conservatives.  It’s so unhelpful, and there are so many obvious counterpoints.   Chretien won a majority government with 38% of the popular vote, and I don’t remember Liberals marching in the streets demonstrating against that.  I don’t remember young Liberal pages in the senate disrupting Chretien’s throne speeches.  Glen Clark’s NDP actually LOST the popular vote against Gordon Campbell’s Liberals in one of the BC elections in the 1990s, and again, I don’t recall NDP supporters complaining about that.

    If you don’t like our first-past-the post system, fine, but to characterize it as a “Harper” problem and/or to claim that it makes Harper some sort of evil dictator, that’s just patent BS and doesn’t help the debate at all.  I have no doubt that if Layton had won the election with 39% of the popular vote and similar voter turnout, this young woman would have no problem whatsoever with that.  It’s partisan hypocrisy, plain and simple.

  14. Special note to @google-27871c9b658439ecb5eed6723725949e:disqus 

    I have no intention of answering your multiple idiotic posts. Go fish.

    • Oh my goodness …. I feel soooo especial to be so personally addressed by a simple single track hate monger who contributes nothing useful to any topic or conversation and who most always relies upon ad hominem attack rather then using any form of convincing or reasoned communication. 

  15. She’s a child, acting childishly. She’s sullied the reputations of all of the pages who work hard and do their jobs, just to make a spectacle of herself. And the sad part is that Ms. May will probably hire her now.

  16. From all she said, we can gather that Mr. Ignatieff was her inspiration.   Rise up! Rise up!.  Don’t take it anymore. 

    Her outburst, like Mr. Ignatieff’s, caused a bit of a chuckle.

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