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It’s Happened There

-by Nigel Best

“One day you’re going to rise from your habitual feast

To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast

They call Revolution.”

-Call It Democracy, Bruce Cockburn

“Already the dark dogs with the sharp teeth are sniffing at the short chains they've been constrained by for a long time. They sense there's been a shift in the winds and are waiting, drooling, at the prospect of being unchained. Their pointed ears facing out into the darkness await the sound of jack boots on gravel, the crisp jangle of keys that will set them free. There's blood lust behind their yellow eyes, hear it in their howling.

There are a lot of scared people who are going to be falling asleep from here-on-in with one eye open and a finger on the trigger of a gun.”

-Nigel Best, 2016

In the USA, the result of this week’s mid-term elections is the moment the country may slide into autocracy.

Worse, the country may begin to slide into the grip of dictatorship or, much more vilely, fascism.

Of course, Tuesday’s vote may stem the tide for the Yanks... for now. Do I have faith in that? No! It’s been shown time and again that people vote against their own best interests.

If voters should get out and show their disdain for this slide into... Hell! then again, maybe it’s what the citizens want; A “strongman” to rule over them.

Let’s face it, there’s been little ballyhoo around the country about the releasing of the vicious dogs I wrote about once Trumpty Dumpty took the reigns of power back in 2016.

In fact, a vast number are quite content that the chains were taken off the braying dogs.

Which will seem fine until the dogs start tearing into the flesh of the rights and freedoms of anyone and everyone.

The sun will go down on Tuesday night, then rise again Wednesday morning. Somehow, though, one way or another, the air you breath will feel different.

Take the province of Ontario, Canada (think large state like Texas.) This week, the teeth of authoritarianism tore at the very fabric of the rights of its citizens. The air had changed.

Federally, Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In the event of a major uprising, let’s say, revolution, the document has a Notwithstanding Clause which can be invoked to suspend those rights and freedoms.

It’s a safety valve designed to only be used if the country or province is burning to the ground.

This week, though, the premier of the province (think state legislature) invoked the clause to impose a contract on over 55,000 education support staff, in the process denying the workers’ union to negotiate or strike, both fundamental rights outlined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

On average, the workers currently earn about $39,000 annually. The union had tried to negotiate with an unwilling government for better pay. After breaking off negotiations, and sith the union in a position to strike, the government invoked the Notwithstanding clause.

This is how authoritarians work. A lack of regard for the rules. A wave of the hand, and rights and freedoms are erased.

(It’s quite a hypocritical moment, though. The same premier this week has his lawyers arguing that he should not have to testify at a government hearing as it will undermine his rights. It’s also infuriating that one of his party members has recently stood in solidarity with women in Iran standing up for their rights whilst voting down the rights of workers in Ontario.)

The premier and his jack-booted ass-kissers in government are revelling in stomping on workers’ rights with their size 10 boots.

What is at stake is not just the rights of workers in Ontario. Good money can be bet that other authoritarian-leaning provincial leaders in the country will look at Ontario and decide the way forward in restricting any rights deemed dangerous can be revoked by using the Notwithstanding Clause.

Dangerous times.

If you think authoritarianism can’t happen in the USA, look no further than your upstairs neighbours in Canada. No-one expected it there.

A heads up to the USA, especially to those who cannot be bothered to get out and vote, apathy is what the politicians expect from you.

Once in power, don’t be surprised when the bastards use the teeth of their dogs to rip at the flesh of your rights and freedoms.

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