The stage is now set for round two of the charter debate. It’s sort of like a Star Wars sequel, only in this one it’s the bigots and the political opportunists that strike back. Maybe in some ways it’s the Empire, if you mean by that the dominant oppressive forces that are in play in Quebec and broader Canadian society nowadays.
During the infamous debate about the charter, I wrote that Pauline Marois, with her quest into the heart of darkness of Quebec, had given Harper and the Conservative Party a priceless electoral blueprint. In fact, contrary of common knowledge, the Conservative movement and the Sovereignist movement have a lot more in common than the rest of the electoral pack.
With C-51 it looks as if, unfortunately, that my prediction has been vindicated. Xenophobia sells in Canada in general and in Quebec in particular. The snake oil of security and secularism in disguise has become but another means to divert attention away from unpopular neo-liberal shock doctrine while reinvigorating the omnipresence of the state.
For all that the libertarian prophecies of neoliberal and neoconservative think-tanks, their rhetoric of “no government is good government” and that “government is the problem,” C-51 is nothing more than a power swap in favor of more state power. It’s an 18th of Brumaire coup that allows neoliberal forces to consolidate their coercive power.
C-51 is ultimately a brilliant strategic move. It enables this Conservative government to do two things. First and foremost, they can use it to sideline any in depth debate about the economic model that they have imposed on Canadians from coast to coast to coast since their tenure in power, a model that is tatters. You just have to take a look at Alberta. Secondly, it allows them to crush any resistance that might have already been brewing, to kill in the egg social and environmental movements such as Idle No More or more recently ShutDownCanada.
In the House of Commons, Liberals and Conservatives alike called for non-partisanship and for consensus, even though consensus cannot happen in the absence of debate. That, though, is the objective. The incidents that took the lives of two Canadian Army officials, in Ottawa and in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, gave the Conservatives the perfect opening to apply their shock doctrine.
In the wake of those events the country was in shock. It was time to pass legislation that couldn’t be passed before, and this is where C-51 comes into play. This bill is the armed-wing of the economic policies that have been put forward by this Conservative government.
C-51 will outlaw any tentative to unseat or destabilize the Conservative economic agenda. Further with the Liberal Party voting in favor of it, it seems that at the end of the electoral cycle win or lose, if the Liberals win, Stephen Harper still wins.
In this context “Islamic Radicalism” and “Terrorism” are merely facade. Needless to say, when toddlers kill more Americans than terrorism, it puts the whole debate into perspective. It’s a means, a destructive means towards a destructive end. Quell the opposition to the petrostate once and for all.
The good news coming out of C-51 is that we are all or can possibly be defined as “domestic terrorists” within the months to come. We should wear that badge with pride and oppose this bill vehemently in the streets and the courts. Let the battle begin! #iamaterrorist.
A luta continua!