Saturday, December 06, 2008

Duelling Pro-Democracy Rallies

With a pair of duelling rallies going on in downtown Toronto, I figured I would scout them out before doing a bit of Christmas shopping. Agree or disagree with them, seeing hundreds of people braving the cold to protest is a sign that democracy is alive an well in Canada (despite what people at both rallies would have you believe).

First up was the Tory pro-democracy rally at Queen's Park. I showed up, hearing a speaker calling the "coup" the "saddest moment in Canadian history" - and here I thought that honour was reserved for the Gretzky trade or the death of Matthew Cuthbert.

Next up was Peter Kent who is, truth be told, not a bad speaker. He called "the unholy alliance" a "betrayal of the democratic process and a betrayal of Canada". It's good to see that the prorogation has helped cool down the heated rhetoric. Kent's pitch to the media there was that the Liberals should back down - he claimed Liberal MPs had approached him last week asking him to tell Harper to prorogue because they didn't want the coalition to go into power.

Speaking of caucus dissent and of not wanting to get into power, John Tory was up next and he opened with "Welcome to the seat of democracy in Ontario". Well, it's a good thing democracy was able to find a seat to run in!
After he spoke the crowd chanted "Har-Per! Har-Per!" - even at a Conservative rally, he can't get support. Ouch. Of course, the crowd was a bit off on their angry mob shouting points, as the guy next to me started chanting "No More Rae Days!" at one point, for reasons only he understood.

Dion was scheduled to speak at the other rally at one and, knowing how prompt he always is, I figured I should head down to Nathan Phillips Square.

The coalition rally was, appropriately enough, larger than the Conservative one. They had a stage, printed signs, and Mary Walsh. Even the chanting was more organized, with Marg leading everyone in a "Yes we Can...Ada! Yes we Can...Ada!".

It turns out I'd missed Dion, but I arrived in time to catch Jack Layton in all of his mustachiod self-righteousness. "Harper took away your right to vote!" Jack boomed.

Following this, the musical entertainment played "let's not be separated tonight" - so even if the Bloc has a veto on policy decisions in the coalition, we can rest assured that they do NOT have a music veto.

No doubt Gilles was able to provide the "Oui" signs.

There's nothing like a 500 word sign to really get your message across at a rally.

I always knew Santa was a Liberal! He dresses and red and spends billions buying gifts for people every year.


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