It comes as no real surprise to those who have witnessed Tom Flanagan casually call for state assassinations or defend the very civilizing project that led to the abhorrent Indian Residential School system to learn that he made flippant comments regarding child pornography while giving a talk on the Indian Act. So when Flanagan, a former adviser to Stephen Harper, was summarily dropped as a commentator by the CBC and labelled a persona non grata by the Alberta Wild Rose Party and Conservative Party of Canada, the reaction among many in academia was: What took you so long?
Toby Rollo is a PhD candidate in the department of Political Science at the University of Toronto where he specializes in democratic theory and Canadian politics.
From the get go, commentators have cautioned that Indigenous peoples would be wise to play their cards right lest they squander what little patience and benevolence the Canadian public has left for Indigenous issues. Those who hold this view seem curiously unaware of how movements such as Idle No More work. Like the Civil Rights movement, these are not public relations battles; they are Constitutional struggles. And so we can expect general bewilderment and frustration from the public as Idle No More pushes through in 2013.
02/03/2013 11:52 EST
The Indian Act is the most glaringly anti-democratic impediment to Indigenous self-government. Although they are elected, Chief and Council have no democratic authority to govern because they are constrained from above by the Act rather than from below by their people. The arrangement is insultingly arbitrary.
01/31/2013 05:16 EST
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