On Dec. 31, 2009, in the grey and waning days of the first decade of the New Millenium, Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of the little cold country north of the US, took democracy a giant step forward.
(By the way, to all you Americans, yes, there IS something north of your border, besides Alaska....it's us! Surprised? So were we.) How did Mr. Harper advance the cause of democracy you might ask? Well...makes a good bedtime story for all the little voters in democracies around the world. So gather around the fireplace, pull up a chair and read. In Canada, thanks to our British ancestors and their silly desire to have some sort of right to stop kings from doing whatever they wanted, we used to have what we like to call "Parliament". This fancy word just means a place where we 'parler' to each other (don't forget, by mistake we let the French speakers stay on in Canada and boy are we sorry now). Basically every Canadian of voting age, even if we weren't white or middle-class or male, has the right to elect someone to represent us and talk for us in this so-called "Parliament" or 'place where Canadians get to help run our government'. However, turns out (boy were we surprised again) democracy lets all sorts of people say all sorts of things about our divine leader. That isn't helpful in running a country efficiently, as we have discovered over the past few years.
So our leader, quite rightly, has decided to make sure that these so-called 'MPs' (who claim to represent us) can't get into the Parliament for at least three months. This will stop them from saying nasty things about our divine leader and his followers. These "MPs" (to use the term they use for themselves) have some silly idea that our troops might be turning prisoners in Afghanistan over to be tortured. Now everyone knows that ALL Afghanis are terrorists or Taliban or maybe even devils on earth who should have no human rights. Even if they say they are simple farmers, they can't be, can they? Because otherwise our soldiers wouldn't have arrested them . Since the soldiers are just doing what they were told to do by the government of Canada (his name is Stephen Harper) we all know it is NOT THEIR FAULT if they make a mistake. But, just suppose they DID make a mistake (highly unlikely, but let's pretend it could happen) then whose fault would it be? Well, yeah. It would be 'he who shall not be named in Parliament' But if we talk about this in the 'talking place' (Parliament) it might make it harder to keep the trains running on time. It would slow things down. It might make us question what our glorious leader is doing. We can't have that can we?
This is a huge step forward for democracy in Canada and one we fully expect other leaders of democracies to learn from. You might ask what good does only 3 months do?' Those 'MPs' will just come back and ask more questions. Maybe...but maybe they've learned their lesson about not asking questions. If not, well....maybe they'll learn it if they are locked out for 6 months. Or 9 months. Whatever it takes to establish Stevie's democracy in Canada. Once and for all.