posted by coyote
Ottawa's prorogue protest, timed to coincide with several dozen across the country today, wasn't exactly slick. It was long. The student cheer leaders were endearingly amateur. A speaker or two wandered lengthily off-track. And there looked to be a lot of ad-hoc cooks trying to salt their own spice into the bouillabaisse.
But ya know what? If it had all been slick clockwork, I would have been more concerned. That might've meant some oily pro had pumped backroom grease into what looks to be real Facebook populism, rising spontaneously among concerned citizens.
Ya know what else? It was big. Far larger than the coalition rally after Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued in late 2008.
Even so, I heard a trio that looked like pro journalists, asking each other as pros are sometimes wont, if there was any story.
We coyotes, amateur and unjournalistic to a fault, would say there is. It is this: Anger and frustration over Harper's cynical manipulation of the democratic process in general and the prorogation card in particular is grassroots, authentic, and to be reckoned with.
If no smooth professional political types are involved yet, it may well be because the PM's disregard for the niceties of traditional politesse confounded and hamstrung them.
But while he smugly ties Parliament in knots, apparently he forgets that the real power of this country rests in many millions of people who, while they may never step onto the Hill, care deeply that what goes on there should be aboveboard. Especially when somebody starts jacking around with it too much. There's irony in self-anointed populists being bitten by the populace they claim to represent. Based on today's event, the PM might do well to remember that. If he ever got it in the first place.