Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament.
On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green leader Elizabeth May
wrote on her blog
“So, while it is too early to jump to conclusions, I intend to hold fast to the following: we must ensure that this appalling act of violence is not used to justify a disproportionate response. We must not resort to hyperbolic rhetoric. We need to determine if these actions are coordinated to any larger group or are the actions of one or two deranged individuals. If it is the latter we must develop tools and a systematic approach to dissuade our youth from being attracted to violent extremist groups of any kind. We need to protect our rights and liberties in a democracy.
“We do know that through history these kinds of events open the door to a loss of democracy. Naomi Klein details the elements of seizing the opportunity created by tragedy or tumult in Shock Doctrine. The title of her new and important book on climate, This Changes Everything, is correct – the threat of the climate crisis changes everything. The shootings on Parliament Hill do not change everything. It is up to all of us to ensure that, to the extent we encounter demands for change, we keep in the forefront of our minds that once we surrender any rights it is very difficult to restore them. Let’s demand answers, sensible policies and proportionate responses.”
Speaking in Parliament the following day
, Elizabeth May conjectured:
“If I were a betting person, and it is good for my bank account that I am not, I would put money on these being the acts of isolated, disturbed and deeply troubled men who were drawn to something crazy. I do not believe that it was a vast network or that the country is more at risk today than it was last week.”
Earlier in the month she had opposed Canada giving military support to the US effort in Iraq
, finishing her speech by saying that “bombings have never ended an Islamic or any religious extremist threat. Time after time it has made matters worse.”
There are only two Green MPs in the Canadian Parliament, but they voice the concerns of many Canadians.