Oh yeah definitely. I don’t mean to say that the Quebec protests are illegitimate or unwarranted. Education is a right, and should be made a priority. Governments shouldn’t back down from their promises to help the youth get through school and find a job, especially when we’ll be the hardest hit when babyboomers retire and we’re stuck with the rising costs of taking care of the previous gen who subsequently screwed us over.
And Bill 78 is an egregious affront to democracy and the right to free speech and assembly. It marks all the wrong steps in dealing with the situation.
And you’re right. Harper has been a menace to Canadian parliamentary democracy and fundamentally undermining everything Canada has been built upon these past 145 years.
But I think we need to look at the bigger picture here that we have it much better off than many other youth. 50% youth unemployment in Spain. Tuition costs that are multiple times higher for youth in the States. Even generally, our standard of living in Canada is much better than, let’s say, my homeland of the Philippines, irregardless of Harper’s doing. And we’ll get him out of office, and hopefully whoever steps up to the plate next can and will do a better job.
And the other thing that I’d like to mention is that the media surrounding the Quebec protests have been ignoring the shadowy politics and divisiveness of student protest groups, such as the CFS. Their methods, unnecessary, divisive and dominating. Much of their policy suggestions are inefficient and nonsensical (although I do agree with some of their basic tenets). Yes, tuition protests are much more justified here in Ontario with much higher tuition rates than in Quebec, but nothing has been done to make anything worse. And I’m not going to protest at the will of the CFS who continues to undermine universities throughout Canada.
Yes, we must do better.
We must do better to keep Harper accountable.
We must do better to relieve students of their ill-fated futures of rising debt, rising tuition costs and little to no employment entering the workforce.
But are protests in “solidarity” with Quebec students the right way, considering the “leadership” and record of the CFS? I don’t think so.
And for the record, I think they have all the right to protest. As long as its peaceful. And I hope both sides, police and protesters restrain themselves from violence.
As the article author, who I don’t completely agree with, says: “Solidarity is not always good, nor is it a substitute for actual action… [it] is a feel-good word, an ideological substitute for an actual ideology.”
I’d use a different word for “caring about other people”. Compassion. Empathy. Not throwing molotov cocktails.