The naive, spoiled, Quebec student leaders, along with the entitled, well paid “public” (as in taxpayer funded) sector union officials, who are protesting in Montreal about tuition fees and all things capitalist, don’t get it.
They don’t get that their fundamental right to protest and shut down entire Montreal neighbourhoods does not trump the rights of others.
Either Canada is a free country or it isn’t. Either political disagreements are settled at the ballot box or they aren’t. Because, angry disruptions and riots lasting a hundred days are no longer peaceful protests, they are the beginnings of anarchy.
Yet, listening to Quebec’s student leaders, you’d never guess that Canada was built on the rule of law, has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that covers everyone and allows free elections when we disagree.
In fact, it seems that they actually believe that their “fundamental rights” to cause mayhem and defy laws are above everyone else’s right to peace, order and good government.
Well, I have news for them, when you STOP others from doing what they have a right to do (as in deliberately stopping students from going to classes, interrupt existing classes or shut down businesses that provide employment), that is what Marxist totalitarianism looks like. And, leaders who hold to that kind of ideology are narcissistic, lacking in compassion and completely intolerant of opposing views!
Leaders in democracies, on the other hand, like in Canada, try to balance the rights of everyone. Which is why consensus is so difficult and why we have the right to make changes at the ballot box.
Life is not fair. That has always been true. Some people have more than others. Yet, striving for a better life can be the very spark that pushes people to rise above their circumstances. And, that is what a free country is all about, not free in terms of getting everything handed to us on a platter, but free to pull ourselves up by our boot straps and making our own way.
Which brings me to a couple final thoughts. As a former professor in education, I would like to send a message to all those college and university teachers who are protesting with the students and/or condoning shutting down classes — you should be ashamed.
Why? Because what may have started out as legitimate protest, has become anarchy. And so, early on, it should have been you who explained, just as is happening in Greece, that there are limits to social demands and entitlements.
The parents who are condoning and protesting, along with their children, should be ashamed as well. Have they never said no to their children? Have they never taught them that there are consequences to their behaviour and actions? No? Well, perhaps now might be a good time to start. As the saying goes, better late than never!
The crux of the matter is that the fundamental right for Quebec students to protest, along with their public sector union enablers, does not trump the rights of others to expect adherence to the Canadian principles of peace, order and good government.
Update: (1) Here is a link to a New York news item about the lawlessness in Montreal. Unfortunately, the fact that the protests are getting negative international attention bodes badly for tourism revenue this summer. Do the protestors care? No, they don’t. Rather, they only seem to care about “their” fundamental rights. Talk about magical thinking. It is as though the student leaders think the Quebec economy can run on empty.
(2) There is apparently a blog that includes protestors daring the police to arrest them. However, I will not put up the link to give them traffic. Which only goes to prove that there is an entitled generation out there that has not been taught that with rights come responsibilities. Just thinking or alleging that Jean Charest is a dictator does not make it so. What exactly do all these student and occupy people actually want? To make us a third world country? A communist country? If so, they have no idea what a dictator and dictatorship are really like!