What makes any magician worth their salt is the art of misdirection. Get someone looking here when there is something else going on over there. Some magicians are better than others, but all trickery has an element of misdirection intrinsic within it.
With Bill C-51, Prime Minister Stephan Harper’s new anti-terror bill, he proves himself to be as clumsy a magician as he is a musician.
It is obvious to anyone who has had their head above the ground lately, that this bill is a desperate attempt to push back the growing criticism of his hell-bent-for-leather rush to suck as much dirty oil out of the ground as he can before the environmentalists – Native and non – grow to critical mass; or until Alberta falls into a giant sink hole brought on by fracking and the tar sands.
Bill C-51 may restrict the comings and goings of recognized world-wide terrorists, but it is mostly about “shutting up dem pesky Injins” who have a powerful political and moral standing to resist him, according to international law.
Although the yard-sticks have not moved much in the past 20 years, they have moved and Canada’s cover has been blown as the most peace loving and friendly places to live in the world.
Bill C-51 is Harper’s counter offensive against Onkwehonwe people who are gaining support from not only Canadians, but from people around the world.
We find it strangely ironic that at the same time Harper is deflecting attention while robbing Onkwehonwe people and Canadian citizens of their rights and freedoms, the only four remaining original copies of the 800-year-old Magna Carta have been gathered together in a London museum for the first time in history. Maybe one of those copies should be sent to Ottawa.
For those who may have never understood what that document is or its importance, let’s just say that pretty well all “free” Nations around the world base their understanding of the Rule of Law on it. And why not. It makes sense the same way the Great Law makes sense.
In the year 1215, 40 barons joined together to declare their rights to King John of England upon threat of civil war. To save his own neck and remain in power, King John reluctantly gave in to their demands and gave his assent, making it law. It is a long and difficult document to read, but there are three main points we will drawn from it for now. The Magna Carta guaranteed:
1) That taxes cannot be arbitrary.
2) That free men cannot be imprisoned without first being judged by their peers or the law.
3) That justice cannot be denied or delayed.
All other laws must conform to these recognized truths. When they do not, the rest of the world will speak up. Over the past few years many have been looking at Canada with different eyes as more and more evidence of Canada’s historic mistreatment of Indigenous Nations surfaces through public protest, social media activism, and articulate calls to justice by Onkwehonwe lawyers and scholars. The United Nations has brought Canada up short using Canada’s own laws and treaties to do so. Fair minded Canadians, maybe hearing their own real history for the first time in generations, are ashamed of it.
So long as there is such a thing as common decency, fairness, truthfulness, treaties and the Magna Carta, we hold out hope that the power of tyrants is curtailed.