Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Lesson From Egypt

The other day I wrote a post contrasting the fervent engagement of the Egyptian people as they pursue their demands for a representative democracy, contrasting that passion with our own seeming indifference to the deficits we face here at home.

This morning's Star has published a letter from James Quinn, a Hamilton area activist and biology professor at McMaster University, on the topic of what we can learn from Egypt. I reproduce it below:

Re: Morsi calls in the military ahead of constitution vote, Dec. 10

I think we can learn a thing or two from the protesters in Egypt.

They have won the right to elect their own government. They went through the election process. They did not face robocall scandals and ended up with what was deemed a fair election. They thought they were in a democracy.

But Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has made decisions that were not part of his platform when he was elected. The protestors recognize that their elected leader should not be free to do as he chooses until the next election. They recognize that this is not democratic. Are they just being idealistic?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has passed two omnibus bills, C-38 and C-45, that devastate our environmental and waterway protection in very dramatic ways. He has declared open season on nature. He has paved the way for dangerous rapid expansion of the Alberta tar sands.

I do not recall these dramatic changes being mentioned in his election platform. The people of Canada have not had any democratic input into these dramatic changes.

We have lost our democratic rights to this Conservative dictatorship. We should learn from our Egyptian colleagues and take to the streets.


  1. I get your point but I don't know if a direct comparison is fair. The issue of democracy and minority rights is an interesting dilemma. In Canada, it might look like the First Nations and a coalition of Buddhist, Muslim and Jewish groups going against a predominantly in name "christian" majority. If that were to happen, who do you think NATO would support?