Today, in late January, when I Google search “only elite should vote” I get 106 million results. When I Google search “should only the elite vote” (ignoring question marks because I’m trying to fit in with the younger generation) I get 154 million results.
The elite has time to noodle around Google (many of us are in that camp, from a global perspective – university-educated, own a house, two vehicles in the garage, and maybe a Tesla thrown in so we can hold our heads high) apparently; and the blue-collar do not. That is one reason we see tens of thousands of trucks barreling down highways from all over North America, heading for government centres under the guise of vaccine mandates, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.
The New York Times pondered the issue in 2016 in a piece called Should Everybody Vote? The article speculated that having a more focused and well-informed (ominous music in background) group would do a better job of running the country: “We can think of this approach as a matter of modeling our voting on our jury system. We would never accept deciding important and highly publicized trials by a vote of the general public… We could have an unofficial jury — chosen, perhaps, by a consortium of major universities or of television news divisions — that would meet, discuss in-depth and vote several weeks before the actual election.”
Bringing the issue of blue-collar vs. elites back to Canada, back in 2018 we had our ultra-elite Prime Minister say this at a G20 conference: “Well, you know, there are gender impacts when you bring construction workers into a rural area. There are social impacts because they’re mostly male construction workers. How are you adjusting and adapting to those?”
To give the guy credit, taken in context, he could have a point, in a way, if a small town is overrun by a thousand workers for a very short time. But that can happen in any industry, and when you have a trust fund kid, UN-led, Ottawa-centred (with occasional holidays to Tofino on important First Nations days, but I digress), singling out the negative impact construction workers have on communities, what do you get?
This is what you get. Left-wing media outlet the National Observer ran a story in 2019 called Green New Deal tour seeks hope and reconciliation in Canada. How did they elaborate on reconciliation? Quote from story: “(Pipelines and resource developments) involve large numbers of man camps, and wherever there are man camps or any kind of natural resource development, you have high rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, human trafficking, high rates of child-porn rings — both in Canada and in the U.S.” The accompanying picture showed David Suzuki and Naomi Klein beaming with those vicious smiles/smirks that capture so well the hatred and loathing of the entire movement.
While admittedly a fringe view, or one would hope that is accepted as a fringe view, those attitudes have seeped into the generally accepted conversations on our national media channels (we all know who I’m talking about) and are therefore part of the “intelligent discourse” that the NYT ponders might be the best prerequisite for allowing people to vote.
And that is why we are seeing this massive wave of truckers sweep not just Canada but the US as well. The border vaccine mandate is the straw that broke the camel’s back. The convoys are the result of years of frustration. Not just frustration with this overarching elitist frame of politics, but also things like the inimitable Gerald Butts, who took to Twitter after Canada’s most recent election to stand in awe of what a great job the Liberals did to hold onto power – he called it electoral efficiency; the Liberals won by focusing all their efforts on key ridings and won with the absolute minimum of national support required. That’s our elite? What kind of a civic-minded person finds that a good thing? What kind of person at all finds that a good thing?
And those are just a few more tips of the iceberg. Truckers are the ultimate representation of the blue-collar voice that Ottawa shuns like the plague. They will stand for photo ops all day with Greta, but will never set foot in a cab to see what the world looks like for those whose livelihood requires them to do something other than type.
I don’t know if it will end well; the knives are out for the truckers, and the media is doing a bizarre maneuver where they cover every complaint against the convoy but do not focus on the convoy itself. Leading media figure heads like CTV News personnel take to Twitter to mock the whole thing, guaranteeing there to be more fireworks.
Maybe if that was the media’s consistent job and role, the great unwashed masses could live with it. But it’s not. A few years ago, Extinction Rebellion took to the streets to blockade various streets across the country. The media was out in full force; ten protesters at a bridge in Edmonton garnered more media attention than ten thousand trucks.
No one in the media was fretting about whether emergency vehicles would get through or not, as they are with the truckers, and that is possibly the most revolting aspect of this whole media implosion – Extinction Rebellion did not care at all if no one got through. Unbelievably, the police guarded the protesters from angry citizens. Now, the trucking convoy is going to great lengths to keep channels open for emergency vehicles – and the media reports that it may not work.
Interestingly, the more the media and the cultural elites try to disparage the convoy on whatever flimsy grounds they find, the stronger support gets. Support is coming in from the US, Quebec, BC and all over the world. When the laptop class takes to the media to stir inflammatory stories about how GoFundMe donations “may be a form of terrorist funding” if any violence or property damage occurs (I kid you not), the rate of donations goes up.
This has gone far beyond a vaccine mandate issue. It may be Canada’s yellow vest time. It will be an interesting weekend.
Read more insightful analysis from Terry Etam here, or email Terry here. PS: Dear email correspondents, the email flow is wonderful and welcome, but am having trouble keeping up. Apologies if comments/questions go unanswered; they are not ignored.