长达数周的“自由车队”对峙中,没有赢家,只有输家:民主

lindamy

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在长达数周的“自由车队”对峙中,谁是赢家?

不是市长Jim Watson、前任警察局长Peter Sloly或渥太华警察局。不是市议会,也绝对不是渥太华居民。

卡车抗议者?由于人数相对较少,他们成功地制造了巨大的噪音并封锁了市中心,但在获得很少的支持后几乎无法宣称胜利,最终未能实现他们既定的结束 COVID-19 任务并推翻特鲁多政府,你可能还记得,他最近给了加拿大人合法地推翻他的机会。

没有赢家,但可能有一个最大的输家:民主。

“各级警察和政府缺乏信任令人担忧,”渥太华政治学院教授丹尼尔斯托克默说。 “民主需要人民信任国家的合法性。如果他们不再有这种信任,可能会产生可怕的后果。我认为这是潜在的长期最坏影响。”

Democracy the big loser in the 'Freedom Convoy'​

“The lack of trust in police and government at all levels is concerning."

Author of the article: Bruce Deachman
Publishing date: Mar 04, 2022 • 10 hours ago • 5 minute read • 13 Comments
A person tried to run from police but was quickly apprehended and taken into custody Sunday afternoon during a crackdown on the truck convoy protesters.


A person tried to run from police but was quickly apprehended and taken into custody Sunday afternoon during a crackdown on the truck convoy protesters. PHOTO BY ASHLEY FRASER /Postmedia

Who were the winners in the weeks-long “Freedom Convoy” standoff?

Not Mayor Jim Watson, (now former) police chief Peter Sloly or the Ottawa Police Service. Not city council, and definitely not Ottawa residents.

The truck protesters? With relatively small numbers, they successfully made an outsized amount of noise and immobilized the downtown core, but can hardly claim victory after gaining little support and, in the end, failing to realize their stated goals of ending COVID-19 mandates and bringing down the Trudeau government (which, you may recall, recently gave Canadians the opportunity to legitimately do just that).

There were no winners, but there may have been one overarching loser: democracy.

“The lack of trust in police and government at all levels is concerning,” says Daniel Stockemer, professor at uOttawa’s school of political studies. “A democracy needs the people to give trust for the legitimacy of the state. If they don’t have this trust anymore, it could have dire consequences. And I think that’s the potentially long-term worst effect of this.”

This sentiment applies not only to convoy protestors, but also to counter-demonstrators who, frustrated by a lack of concrete response from elected and enforcement officials, confronted truckers themselves, most notably at the “Battle of Billings Bridge.”

People take part in a counter-protest blocking a small convoy of truckers who demonstrate against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates on Feb. 13, 2022.


People take part in a counter-protest blocking a small convoy of truckers who demonstrate against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates on Feb. 13, 2022. PHOTO BY CHRIS HELGREN /Reuters
But the lack of trust in the system was clearly evident among the protestors, a tent that welcomed people with all kinds of grudges and grievances: vaccine and mask mandates, Justin Trudeau, Eastern Canada, communism, the green economy, wokeness, and racialized and other marginalized people and communities. Confederate and Nazi flags waved, while some compared the limits placed on their liberties to the experiences of Holocaust victims.

“It’s a movement that opposes something,” Stockemer says, “and it’s always easy to bring a lot of people under one tent who oppose something. I think the masks and vaccine mandates is an umbrella theme that can recruit people who are dissatisfied.”

Stockemer describes the convoy’s appropriation of nationalist pride as an attractive and clever tactic. “They co-opted patriotism and the Canadian flag,” he says. “There was this idea that you’re either with us, and Canadian, or you’re not with us and you’re not Canadian. They tried to divide society, and that’s dangerous.”

Stockemer doesn’t think the protest had the number of participants or coherence to become a mass movement with any significant long-lasting effects, but he’s worried about the continuing erosion of norms, and the convoy’s possible contribution to that decay.

“I saw a flag comparing their situation to the Nuremberg trials,” he says. “This is completely out of order. Ten years ago, a former U.S. president calling a sitting Canadian prime minister a leftist lunatic would have been the main news headline. Today, you don’t even talk about it.

“What I find shocking,” he adds, “is this acceptance, by some protestors, but also by some politicians, of this very extreme element. We’ve seen a large increase of polarization in a lot of countries, and I think this movement can contribute to that. It can contribute to people not having trust in the government anymore, and if you don’t have trust in the government, you start looking for something else.”

Convoy organizer Pat King livestreams from the Ottawa protests. (Screengrab from Facebook page “The Real Pat King”)


Convoy organizer Pat King livestreams from the Ottawa protests. (Screengrab from Facebook page “The Real Pat King”) jpg
While care should be taken to avoid lending support to far-right extremists, including some of the convoy’s organizers whose voices were magnified in the media, the so-called woke liberal elite that is so disdainful of the convoy protesters ignores them at their peril.

“There are real material issues that are at play here,” says Roberta Lexier, associate professor and historian of social movements at Calgary’s Mount Royal University, “especially as we’ve seen with the 2008 economic crisis and, following that, climate change and its effects, and then we get hit with the pandemic.

“Capitalism has entered a pretty significant crisis, and people’s material conditions are really being affected by those overlapping crises. The reality is that people are suffering, and what the right, or whatever you want to call it, has done really well is they’ve found a way to tap into that anger and frustration that I would argue is often quite legitimate. The system is failing people, and they’ve found a way to tap into that and mobilize it towards something.”

Lexier points to other factors that have contributed to the malaise, including the NDP absconding a left-wing alternative, and years of conservatives, particularly in the U.S., creating distrust and undercutting experts. She cites climate change as a clear example of the deliberate hobbling of science, where both sides of the debate are now expected to receive equal attention.

“Any journalist I know was not taught that that’s how you do objectivity. When 98 per cent of scientists agree on a thing, you can say that. But we spent decades undercutting experts, undercutting media, undercutting government, and basically trying to put the power back in the hands of corporations.”

It’s easy to credit events in the U.S. for the surge of right-wing populism in Canada — particularly, for example, given the funding the convoy received from south of the border. But Lexier cautions against treating it as an external movement that was merely transplanted here.

“The funding is a big part of the story, but we have a lot of home-grown right-wing supremacist fascism that we have to face as a country. It’s built right into the core of who we are, because that’s why we were invented as a nation, to open space for white people to settle the prairies and elsewhere. So it’s a mistake to think this is only coming from the outside.”

A “family friendly” pancake breakfast by the Terry Fox Statue during the “Freedom Convoy,” Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, day 17 of the protest.


A “family friendly” pancake breakfast by the Terry Fox Statue during the “Freedom Convoy,” Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, day 17 of the protest. PHOTO BY ASHLEY FRASER /Postmedia
The task of convincing convoy supporters to switch tents, though, is a difficult one. It’s far easier to stir up anger than it is to explain and address structural realities that are playing with people’s lives. Meanwhile, the elitist approach of the “left” doesn’t easily engender converts.

“There’s a tendency on the left to attack each other for not being pure enough or ideological enough, where you have to have read Marx to participate. The way it’s been approached, by saying, ‘We can’t talk to you if you’re racist or if you don’t already realize that capitalism is failing’ has not worked particularly well.”

Lexier admits she doesn’t know exactly how to reach those attracted to the convoy, except by connecting with people’s material concerns and seeking different approaches to address them.

“Things are awful and, between the pandemic and climate change, they’re just going to get worse. And if we don’t start offering an alternative or start showing people that this isn’t the right path, the one we are on is incredibly terrifying, and we’re not that far from the very terrifying parts of it — doctors and nurses being told not to walk to work in their uniforms and being targeted for their professions is not that far from being targeted as a communist or a Jew.

“It’s not going to get better by policing, and it’s not going to get better by lecturing. It only gets better by acknowledging that this is a core problem of the system that we’re in, and we’re going to have to find a way through that.”

 

hawthorne

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土豆多牛啊,当然是赢家了。还有警察,渥太华同性恋市长都是赢家。卡车司机和支持者是输家
 

马甲190

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我不要选票,我要能让老百姓生活稳定,能感到希望的好的领导者!选票选不出这样的人或者说靠选票选出这种人的可能性很低!
 

马甲190

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对我来说,以前的苏联是一次伟大的实验,现在的民主制度同样是一次伟大的实验
 

lindamy

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对我来说,以前的苏联是一次伟大的实验,现在的民主制度同样是一次伟大的实验
是的,20世纪列斯修正了马恩的理论,带领一群小兄弟,试验了一条极左的道路,绝大多数都放弃了。中国没有首先跟随西方走高大上的民主自由之路,而是打左灯往右转,先着手解决经济问题。

政体早晚需要改革调整,否则和经济基础的矛盾会越来越大。

能够在爆发之前,和平过度最好。
 

马甲190

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是的,20世纪列斯修正了马恩的理论,带领一群小兄弟,试验了一条极左的道路,绝大多数都放弃了。中国没有首先跟随西方走高大上的民主自由之路,而是打左灯往右转,先着手解决经济问题。

政体早晚需要改革调整,否则和经济基础的矛盾会越来越大。

能够在爆发之前,和平过度最好。
中国这条改良的路目前来看走对了
 
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