Does BC set the national agenda?

http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook

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In an eloquent essay on the anniversary of 9-11, Michael Ignatieff unpacked the unspoken contract that binds us to our leaders, and vice versa.

It goes something like this: in return for power, national government must provide, at minimum, protection for its citizens — protection from without (terrorists, invasion and so on) and from within (exploitation, environment and so on).

That includes protection from crime.

So it’s interesting that while the feds struggle to establish a permanent constabulary in Afghanistan, they are simultaneously threatening to withdraw the national police force from B.C., a move that has Premier Christy Clark threateningto form a new provincial force.

Such are the ironic collisions at the corner of Small Government and Big Military.

Is it the right thing to do? Many, especially those who find it hard to forget Robert Dziekański and Ian Bush, say it’s long overdue.

But leave that aside for a moment.

More interesting than thoughts of a BCPD is how B.C. is becoming the province that checks the national neo-con agenda, despite having voted en masse forthat agenda.

We rejected the HST through a provincial vote.

We stood up for Insitethrough the courts.

Local media activists, OpenMedia.ca, led the opposition to usage-based Internet billing and are leading the charge against attempts at easing the rules on online spying.

And while not a strictly Canadian movement, the good culture jammers over at Vancouver’s Adbusters magazine started the #occupywallstreet movement that started the Wall St. protests in New York and that could rebound back into Canada this week.

And now we may send one third of the national police force packing.

If only we had a thoughtful leader like Michael Ignatieff to focus the discontent. Well, never mind.

Just stay tuned to The Hook to find out what other B.C. moments might play spoiler to Stephen Harper’s dreams of remaking Canada in his Conservative image.

— Geoff D’Auria

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