If a politician can decide on their whim whether someone can cross a border, and makes that decision based on how famous or popular somebody is, how can we keep pretending we have rights?
One thing that many politicians – particularly Conservative politicians who are watching as their core party bases revolt in justified anger – seem unaware of, is that this past year and a half as brutally exposed the fact that most of us don’t have any actual rights at all.
Rather, we have privileges, and those privileges are doled out by politicians when they feel like it, and revoked when they so choose.
Consider this recent story from Politico:
“Canadian officials are in talks with both the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball about exemptions that could open a path for professional athletes to cross the heavily restricted U.S.-Canada border.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino told POLITICO in an interview Thursday that separate discussions with the leagues could result in “national interest exemptions,” which would allow players to avoid some of the pandemic-driven border measures.
But Mendicino stressed the proposals must first get a green light from public health authorities.”
Now, I have absolutely zero problem with these restrictions being lifted, in fact I would encourage it. BUT, that only applies if they are lifted for EVERYONE, not just a few elitist athletes.
After all, what special rights have wealthy athletes been given in the Canadian Constitution?
Does it is say anywhere in there that they have rights the rest of us don’t?
I don’t think so.
And a ‘National Interest Exemption?’
Clearly, that’s a load of BS.
This has been happening throughout the crisis, with the notion of ironclad rights being rendered an absolute joke.
Politicians control all
As I’ve asked before, what rights do we actually have?
Do we have the right to leave our homes and go for a walk whenever we want to?
Do we have the right to keep our businesses open?
Do we have the right to gather with our family?
Do we have the right to drive across a provincial border?
Do we have the right to protest freely?
Until recently, most would have assumed that yes, we certainly have those rights, and they are not something that can be taken away unless someone commits a serious crime and is incarcerated.
Other than that, those rights seemed like the most basic of freedoms, and felt ironclad.
Yet, we’ve watched that sense of stability disappear.
Politicians have banned people from gathering with their families in many instances (even as many politicians broke those very rules).
Interprovincial travel was blocked in parts of the country, even as foreign flights carrying infected people continued pouring into Canada’s international airports.
Protests have seemingly been deemed ‘acceptable’ or ‘unacceptable’ based on the message of the protestors, with politicians and public health officials even praising and promoting BLM protests after they had told everyone to avoid gathering under any circumstances in order to ‘save lives.’
A consistent lack of consistency
This lack of consistency has not only been an example of incompetence by those in power, but an example of how few rights we actually possess.
This really hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves, because it represents a profound shift in the relationship between Citizens and the government.
Whereas that relationship is supposed to be between Citizens and Public Servants (with ‘servant’ supposed to have real meaning), it is has instead become Subjects & Rulers.
Our ‘Rulers’ decide what rights we have, when we have them, how long they last, when they can be revoked, and so on, all without any change to the constitution or debate.
All some provinces had to do was pass ’emergency’ legislation, and the idea of ironclad rights disappeared, something that was even cheered on by many people who have been scared into submission by the government.
And, in quite interesting timing, the federal government is increasing the fine for those who don’t quarantine in a government quarantine hotel:
“Air passengers entering Canada who refuse to quarantine in a designated hotel will soon be subject to a $5,000 fine.
The federal government has announced that, starting Friday, international air passengers who decline to take their required COVID-19 tests or who refuse to check into a quarantine hotel could be hit with a $5,000 fine for each offence — a $2,000 increase from the current fine.”
So, they up the penalty for regular people, even as they look for exemptions for some wealthy athletes.
Are people really this submissive?
This ongoing exposure of our lack of true rights, and the fact that many people have cheered it on, raises the question of whether a critical mass of Canadians have truly become so submissive that they don’t even care if their ‘rights’ are nothing but privileges given out by politicians.
Indeed, as I noted recently, even as the politicians and experts have been revealed to be more and more incompetent, many people doubled down in their fealty to them:
“In a chaotic and unstable world, it is reassuring to believe that the people in charge are looking out for all of us and are highly-competent.
To believe otherwise would require an acknowledgment that we must take more personal responsibility for our health, our fitness, and our preparedness for a crisis, which is a scary thought to many individuals, especially as our society has become far more government-dependent.
And yet, true empowerment comes through seizing control of our own future, and that requires realizing that the government is looking out for the interests of the government, not our interests.”
Governments are not trying to defend or protect our rights.
They’re trying to stay in power. And they think being seen as ‘supporting sports’ by giving exemptions to wealthy athletes will gain them votes, so that’s what they’re doing.
They weren’t there to help youth sports or help regular Canadians have better access to gyms or exercise opportunities (despite the lives that could have saved).
No, they must have felt there weren’t enough votes in that, and they don’t really want a fit, healthy, and independent population anyway.
The mere fact that the feds are seeking to give some pro athletes an exemption to the rules the rest of us are supposed to follow demonstrates how low an opinion they have of Canadians. They think people will be bought off by bread and circuses, and remain oblivious to the fact that our rights have been revealed as illusions.
Will Canadians prove them right?