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L'etat, c'est Jean

Monday, 04 December 2000 07:27

Conventional wisdom goes like this: In the past, the people of Canada deferred to authority. A few white guys in suits ran things behind closed doors and we, the peasants, thought that was just fine as long as our lords and masters kept us stuffed with bread and amused by circuses.

But then came the Revolution: The Charlottetown Accord was torched and the Conservatives guillotined. Traditional institutions lost the unquestioning respect of the peasants. As Peter Newman put it in his best-seller, The Canadian Revolution: From Deference To Defiance, Canadians ``staged a revolt against the notion of having their personal decisions made for them by self-selected hierarchies dedicated to their own perpetuation.''

Mr. Newman wrote that in 1995. To read it after the 2000 election is to be, well, embarrassed. Not embarrassed for Mr. Newman and the pundits who still spout this stuff. Embarrassed for us. Embarrassed that Canada's peasants just endorsed the rule of a tiny clique of guys in suits dedicated above all to the clique's perpetuation.

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