In the fair and frozen lands of Kanadoodle, we take great delight in criticizing governments that fall short in the treatment of their citizens. With shaking heads and finger wagging we point to the despots in other countries who bludgeon their critics in order to maintain power in their steely grip. But it’s not just the world’s dictators that raise our ire – even events south of the frost line have come in for some serious ‘tut-tutting’ by our politicians and newscasters.
When ‘Murica’ Grand High Imperial Twitterbug (GHIT), Ronald Rump, got de-elected and cried ‘stolen!’, Kanadoodle’s newscasters were at the front of the line crying ‘shame’. When the GHIT’s court threw out the fifty year old law ensuring equal access to abortion, our newscasters talked of the assault on women’s reproductive ‘rights’.
Do we in Kanadoodle get to criticize because we have achieved perfection in our constitution – our fabled document that enshrines all our rights and freedoms as citizens in a vibrant democracy? Sadly our glass house proves not so perfect. We have a nifty clause in our constitution that allows provincial legislatures the ‘right’ to ignore constitutional guarantees if they so choose. They just have to invoke a part called the ‘Notwithstanding’ clause and presto, whammo, your rights and freedoms disappear. Now ain’t that a bit of political beauty?
Yep, Fug Dord, Premium of Ontariario, got his band of legislative hooligans to pass a law prohibiting lowly paid school workers their right to strike or protest on pain of billion dollar fines and jail. Knowing this law would fail in a constitutional challenge, he invoked the ‘Notwithstanding’ clause and his party majority passed it.
With that kind of assault on freedoms, one might expect convoys of trucks parking in the capitol city of ‘Toranna’ honking horns and blasting the politicos. No, our ‘freedom wimps’ are too busy lapping up television appearances in a government sponsored road-show so there was nary a peep, let alone a honk, from that crowd. One might conclude that wearing a mask is a far greater crime against democracy – at least to the ‘freedom wimps’.
And, to be fair, Fug was only following in the footsteps of other provinces like Kebec and Roberta who’ve use the ‘Notwithstanding’ clause when it suited their political purposes – after all, what politician doesn’t dream of bludgeoning their opponents? Oh no, we mustn’t be too harsh with Fug, he’s since backed down on using the ‘Notwithstanding’ powers – apparently the ‘little guys’ had too many friends with Fug’s address.
The lesson for Kanadoodle and ‘Murica is that democracies are frail things and no one should take the ‘rights’ of a democracy for granted. In Kanadoodle the ‘Notwithstanding’ clause can remove citizens of their rights and, in ‘Murica, constitutional ‘rights’ can be interpreted away by their Super-preen Court. When people vote for idiots, their country moves ever closer to a time when someone takes over and removes the right to have elections. Once that happens, you only have to look around the globe to see how hard it is to get it back.
TL:DR – In a democracy there is no such thing as a ‘right’ if voters don’t vote for those who’ll defend it.