~O~The Flaming Car on Politics~o~
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A mysterious thing happened to me the other day when I was watching the news channel. The Canadian prime minister, Jean Chretien was holding a press conference and for one slice of an eerily fleeting moment, he was ~right~ about something. He said something true! I mean, not just true, but he actually had a good point about something. Well, after the initial shock subsided, I thanked my lucky stars that I had the opportunity to tell y’all about it.
What mr. Chretien was talking about was the results of the G8 summit in Genoa Italy, which was riddled with violent protest that resulted in riots, tear gas and one demonstrator shot dead by the police. Mr. Chretien’s reaction to all this was to say that next year’s summit should focus on the actual issues instead of “setting cars on fire”. And oh yes that bloody car, the same damn car must have been in about 20 newscasts, and that’s just here in the sticks, I can only imagine what the larger communities got.
What made the shock of this event even more powerful was the fact that mr. Chretien then gave a working solution for next year’s summit. Make it smaller. After all, the G8 meeting had become such a grand scale event this year that nothing got done. Thus, next year’s summit, which will be held up here in the great white north, will be in the tiny little community of Kananaskas, Alberta. And naturally, with that particular decision, the prime minister fell right back into his old ways of flawed logic.
To be honest, I really only became interested in politics after Chretien came into power, but in that time, a few things have become obvious to me:
Firstly, people are gonna protest. It doesn’t really matter what you’re summit, meeting, delegation, ect is about, someone’s gonna decide that it’s their moment to “stick it to the man” and will gather a bunch of friends together to “fight the powers that be”.
Secondly, everything that mr Chretien has ever done to try and deter violence in the protests has only had the effect of pissing off the protesters and actually inviting more violence into the scene. The summit of the Americas would not have been half as tragic as it was if it weren’t for the big fence that closed off half the city of Quebec.
I have seen a pattern in these kind of events though, and in a way, it is partly the press’ fault that certain event escalate to such levels, and I think the Genoa summit was a good example of that. As I said earlier, there was the same stupid burning car in nearly every newscast. Credit the sensationalist nature of the “action news team”, that flaming car could actually do more damage to the G8 than the fact that the Kyoto protocol was ignored and the fact that money given to AIDS benefits was grotesquely insufficient.
It was estimated in the case of the summit of the Americas that less than a third of the protesters had become violent and had to be deterred by the riot police. Trouble is, guess which pictures sell newspapers. Let’s face it, you only see civil protest of the cover of newspapers when there is no violent conflict to write about.
Either way, it probably won’t make much difference as by the time next summer rolls around the Kananaskas summit will no doubt have become the Calgary summit and we’ll all be right back where we started from. Just remember, democracy has it’s price to pay.
Set the Ray to Jay