Police hang off a truck as authorities work to end a protest against COVID-19 measures that had grown into a broader anti-government demonstration and occupation lasting for weeks, in Ottawa, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. The head of Ontario Provincial Police is defending comments he made about the “Freedom Convoy” posing a threat to national security. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Police hang off a truck as authorities work to end a protest against COVID-19 measures that had grown into a broader anti-government demonstration and occupation lasting for weeks, in Ottawa, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. The head of Ontario Provincial Police is defending comments he made about the “Freedom Convoy” posing a threat to national security. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Leaving extremism behind

The United States isn’t all bad, but when it comes to politics and political discourse, Canadians need to avoid the path our neighbours to the south are charging down.

Specifically, we need to avoid the violent divides you can find in just about every corner of their politics.

It may already be too late though. Paul Pelosi’s attacker may have been Canadian in name only, he has lived in the U.S. for two decades, but still, it shows how deep you can absorb their divisiveness to the point where attacking and beating the 82-year-old spouse of a political opponent seems like a reasonable thing to do.

What anybody thought an attack like that might gain for their side is unfathomable. It seems totally without reason and does nothing to point out the flaws in your opponent‘s politics, though it does indicate some pretty serious flaws in your own thinking.

And there is the freedom convoy from last winter that we’re still talking about as we head into this one. The basic idea of the convoy was a good one; a group of people had something to say and carried that message to Ottawa in a way guaranteed to draw attention to their cause. That’s good, we support peaceful protest, and the vast majority of the convoy protesters were probably planning on nothing more than that.

But the extremists among them took it too far, going from protesting and bringing their concerns to the government to trying to extort change, not to mention personal threats against political leaders.

These kinds of attacks on our political system are, frankly, wrong, and not in keeping with the Canadian goal of a just society. Unlike many countries, assassination is not considered a political tool in Canada.

When Canadians disagree with our leaders, we just complain incessantly, and then perhaps foot them back in for another four years; just to be sure, you know.

Joking aside, the extremism we are seeing in U.S. politics needs to be avoided. The potential for the U.S. to influence Canadian politics has always been there, but we need to focus on raising the bar on our political discourse.

– Black Press


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

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