It is not a good time to be a bully.
Maybe it started earlier this year with Tunisia and Egypt, maybe not. Maybe it was just a long time coming.
I like to think that we're witnessing some sort of Social Earthquake -- as the downtrodden, so used to being ground underfoot finally snaps along their fault-line, sending ripples throughout the world and igniting others.
Everywhere I turn, I see people taking a stand against those who would push them down, watching as they dig in their heels and say 'enough'.
From cities and towns to unions and the middle-class, to little Australian boys who've simply just had it.
Here be dragons.
People, all over the world, are reclaiming their power; power given up, power that was traded in good faith -- many of those exchanges, thanks to organizations like WikiLeaks and other brave, individual whistleblowers, now revealed to be based on lies and falsehoods.
Unlike any other time that I can remember, we are witnessing the hard, real effects of 'The Truth' being out and free amongst the populace at large.
This is what happens when folks are allowed to know what's been going on underneath their noses, when the lights come on and reality sinks in just how much we've been lied to. How much, by our silence (on the things we do know), we've been complicit in.
I watch the news feeds every damn day, completely enthralled, as the curtains are peeled back just a fraction further, as more and more of the fetid mess comes tumbling out.
Here's just a few of the of the headlines that've come to light in the last 24 hours:
"Thousands in Yemen march against Saleh" (Hoping to bring an end to their President's 32 year long rule)
"Deaths as Syrian forces fire on protesters" (Protestors gather, call for a 'Day Of Dignity'... are shot dead in the street)
"One dead, scores hurt in Jordanian clashes" (Protestors gather, demanding parliamentary government and constitutional amendments, are attacked by loyalists and anti-riot police).
"Indiana prosecutor told Wisconsin governor to stage ‘false flag’ operation" (fake an attack on himself to help discredit the protesters there)
"Brazil: Video shows police shooting teen at point blank range (VIDEO)" (rubber bullets, but still... the kid hadn't done anything wrong!)
And finally -- somewhat fittingly -- our own Conservative Government has been brought to bear for their actions in a Historic (yes, capital 'H') motion, essentially saying that the Conservative Government has shown 'Contempt of Parliament'.
This Harper Government (tm) -- in an age of calls for greater transparency and accountability -- has been one of lies and secrecy unlike anything I've ever witnessed. At every turn members have been silenced, citizens shut out and told it's none of their concern what's going on behind closed doors.
But it is our concern. If there's one simple fact, it's that we -- the tax paying citizens -- should be holding our Government accountable, reminding them who they work for.
To be honest, I watch the events going on around the world -- watch the people dying like dogs in the street just for a taste of what we currently have and turn up our noses at -- and I feel the bile rise in my throat.
I think about our complacency, about the defeatist attitude many of us Canadians seem to wear with pride whenever we're called upon to do our job and maintain our democracy.
"They're all corrupt", "They're all one and the same"... "There's no difference".
"My vote doesn't count"
God, to think of how many times I've heard this over my short life span. And not just from disaffected youth -- hell, in the last election I knew more 'young people' that bothered to vote than actual 'Adults'.
We are the caretakers of our nation. We are the ones who hold the power.
Today, finally, as a country we have stood up to our own bully. Together, we told them that this is not Harper's house, nor his 'Government'.
And it's about damned time.
So, please, when this next election rolls around... let's make it official.
And kick our own bully off the playground.
UPDATE: An excellent example of my point. People taking back their power.