Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Canadian military saw pandemic as opportunity to test propaganda techniques (ottawacitizen.com)
325 points by doat 23 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 131 comments



> A military investigation determined what the Canadian Forces public affairs leadership was doing was “incompatible with Government of Canada Communications Policy (and the) mission and principles of Public Affairs.”

I would hope that deploying the military against your own citizens is against more than just an executive branch policy that can be changed at any moment.


It's not, in Canada. The government may elect to invoke the War Measures Act [1]. Pierre Trudeau did this when he drove tanks into Montreal to quash the Québécois nationalist terrorist organization, the FLQ in the October Crisis of 1962 [2].

[edit] Posse Comitatus is more of an American thing - for the record the War Measures Act was subsequently replaced with the Emergencies Act [3].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Measures_Act

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Crisis

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergencies_Act


> Pierre Trudeau did this when he drove tanks into Montreal to quash the Québécois nationalist terrorist organization, the FLQ in the October Crisis of 1962 [2].

Its been a while since my high school history class, but i don't think that's correct. If i remember correctly, the military troops involved in the flq crisis were at the request and under control of the province of quebec, not the federal government (under the constitution of canada, law and order is a provincial responsibility). Trudeau did temporarily suspend some civil liberties, in particular the right to habeaus corpus. However the tanks were entirely provincial not federal, so had nothing to do with trudeau and their deployment did not involve the war measures act. In fact, as far as i know, the prime minister isn't even allowed to prevent the province from requistioning military help, at most they can charge them money for it afterwards.

IANAhistorian.


More recently, the military was deployed against citizens during the Oka Crisis.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oka_Crisis


Highly recommend all Canadians take some time to read about the Oka Crisis, very interesting part of Canada's complicated history with indigenous relations. There's a 2020 film called Beans about a 12 year old Mohawk girl living through the heart of the crisis, thoughtful and powerful Canadian cinema.


The war measures act was repealed in 1988


Indeed, it was replaced with the Emergenices Act as I mentioned.

In fact Justin Trudeau considered invoking it for the first time since the replacement in the COVID situation.

[edit] Between that and the Notwithstanding Clause [1] there's a lot of latitude here.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_33_of_the_Canadian_Cha...


The emergencies act doesn't allow for using military in the event of a public welfare emergency, as you seem to implying. It doesn't even allow for the federal government to order the police around

> 9 (1) Nothing in a declaration of a public welfare emergency or in any order or regulation made pursuant thereto shall be construed or applied so as to derogate from, or to authorize the derogation from, the control or direction of the government of a province or a municipality over any police force over which it normally has control or direction.

https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-4.5/page-1.html#h...

[Provinces can request military help, but that's unrelated to either the emergencies act or the now repealed war measures act]


Just want to mention that notwithstanding clause doesn’t apply to mobility rights for what it’s worth. Section 1 of the charter also allows a lot of latitude.



The court used the section 1 of the charter in that case, not the notwithstanding clause. Also CCLA is appealing that case if I remember reading right.


I meant in response to your second part about sect. 1 applying.


Ah makes sense. My bad.


Wait, are those two Treudeaus relatives?


Justin is Pierre's son.


Yes.


>I would hope that deploying the military against your own citizens is against more than just an executive branch policy that can be changed at any moment.

That's not reality


It seems like they were trying to boost the message of the government to the citizens. I'm not totally sure that's deploying the military against the citizens in a country that has a democratically elected government. I think the point here is that maybe they had good intentions, but the government didn't ask for the help, so it wasn't really "compatible" with the governments communications policy.


It's worse than that. Of course the government can call the army against its own population, that's what armies were for before modern "crowd control". Counter-insurrection doctrines were specifically developed to reduce the bloodshed from military interventions so that social control and political repression would be more socially acceptable.

Without even talking of the most famous colonial wars during which these techniques were developed (Indochine, Algeria), the French army has repeatedly massacred its citizens during the Paris commune in 1871 (10-50k dead) [0] or during the may first demonstration in Fourmies in 1891 (9 dead) [1].

Nowadays the army is still used against the population but rarely with actual bullets. The police has a much bigger killing record (including during demonstrations), but at least two anarchists i know of were killed by explosive grenades thrown by the military police (gendarmerie) during ecological protests: Vital Michalon in 1977 (physics teacher) [2] and Rémi Fraisse in 2014 (botanist) [3].

Even more recently, during the Gilets Jaunes protests, the army's anti-terrorist patrols (Sentinelle) were redeployed by the government to defend key buildings/institutions from a potential revolution. That move was criticized both by soldiers who said it was not their role, and by opposition parties. They even deployed the Gendarmerie's armored tanks in Paris, which was a first. [5] Despite teargas being banned by the Geneva convention against chemical weapons, these tanks were equipped with stronger chemicals, which the government denied, before acknowledging its existence (they did not use this "powder" during the protests). [6]

On the countryside, especially in rural land occupations against GPII (Grands Projets Industriels et Imposées, or Grand and Imposed Industrial Projects), also known as ZADs [7], the Gendarmerie (military police) is heavily deployed, both regular "Gendarmerie Mobile" units as well as "PSIG". These units PSIG units, involved in fast deployment for crushing popular dissent on the countryside, were 37 in 1978, 138 in 1988, 310 in 2000 and 370 in 2015 [8], so we can say that aspect of counter-insurrection apparatus is growing. In Bure, where the local population is opposing the construction of an underground nuclear storage facility [9], there are more stationed gendarmes (both GM and PSIG) than there are inhabitants, and the operation has often been described as a military occupation [10] unseen since WWII. You have road blocks and mobile patrols doing ID checks on everyone, and the local forest has been privatized and is heavily guarded, and local residents have been regularly fined for just taking a walk in the forest. It is not uncommon for the local population to be ID-checked 3 times going to the supermarket and back. More information about this struggle against industrial capitalism can be found here [11].

This is just for France. In more democratic countries, the situation may be different. But i know in America (north and south) the situation is very similar with the national guard (or equivalent) called to crush popular insurrections against injustice, corruption police brutality, and privatization of public/indigenous land.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Commune [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusillade_de_Fourmies [2] https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vital_Michalon [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9mi_Fraisse [4] https://www.francetvinfo.fr/economie/emploi/metiers/armee-et... [5] https://img.lemde.fr/2018/12/08/0/0/2000/1333/1872/1246/30/0... [6] https://paris-luttes.info/macron-pret-a-utiliser-des-armes-1... [7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zone_to_Defend [8] https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peloton_de_surveillance_et_d%2...

[9] The storage is not operational yet, and there has already been serious injuries and collapses, so the inhabitants are concerned that the engineers promising the facility will store nuclear content safely for >10K years have no clue what they're talking about.

[10] https://reporterre.net/Bure-En-Meuse-nous-vivons-sous-occupa...

[11] https://bureburebure.info/category/english/


I think France has a particularly bad record in this regard, having both pretty lively politics, and Napoleon's 'whiff of grapeshot' in its DNA.

Still, this is more or less the basic pattern of how nations and armies work together. For example, the fascist coup that started the civil war in Spain was originally stymied by the fact that many of the insurrectionary military units were stuck in Africa in the Spanish colonies.

The problem with armies is that even with the best of intentions, you end up using them, and if you use them, sometimes you win and end up having to do counterinsurgency in conquered territory. Then you get a whole load of people coming back home who started their professional career thinking of the population around them as the enemy, and have all the counter-insurgency methodologies as reflex and came of age in an enviroment where such things were normal.

From a UK perspective, it's always interesting to follow the careers of people in the early 20th century, as they move from one counter-insurgency to another, and they take techniques with them from one conflict to another, so you get guys who learned to torture people in Ireland ending up torturing people in post-war Greece, then they get jobs as police officers in the UK, and you can't help but wonder what they might have done there, what attitudes they brought to the job.


> I think France has a particularly bad record in this regard

Indeed, but this is true of any colonial empire, including USA, Russia, China, Turkey, and the list goes on.

> Then you get a whole load of people coming back home who started their professional career thinking of the population around them as the enemy, and have all the counter-insurgency methodologies as reflex and came of age in an enviroment where such things were normal.

That's the history of modern french policing and the BAC, the "anti-criminal brigades" units patrolling in plain cloths and unmarked cars, often beating first then asking questions and regularly involved in trafficking/criminal schemes. They directly descended from the "Brigade Nord-Africaines" who were involved in controlling the north-african populations, as outline in Mathieu Rigouste books (if you speak french).

Also worth noting that unlike some other countries, France mostly did not have a denazification process after WWII, and the police officials (préfets) orchestrating political/colonial repression under De Gaulle were the same officials collaborating with the nazis. This history and culture of police continues to this day, despite many police officers blowing the whistle on the corruption and abuse of the entire apparatus.

It looks like the only way forward is a complete dismantling of the prison/police/military industrial complex (alongside MANY other social reforms, otherwise it'd lead to the formation of private militias, not community justice/accountability). This argument was of course common discourse in the anarchist circles since the 19th century, but gained notoriety in the 1960s/70s when many scholars (such as Angela Davis or Michel Foucault) refined those ideas and developed proper studies/explorations of the questions.

Not that these reflections have died, if anything they've been revived by the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA (and equivalent anti-police-abuse movements elsewhere), but it's sad to see the current State of mainstream media where social critique is no longer welcome... unless it's from a fascist perspective (for example, notorious french fascist Eric Zemmour was for many years daily on public television spreading ideas of hatred, before moving to private channels after he was condemned repeatedly for hate speech).


We have investigated ourselves and found that we did nothing wrong


The plan would have seen staff move from traditional government methods of communicating with the public to a more aggressive strategy of using information warfare and influence tactics on Canadians

A remarkably opaque statement and I can't see where the description gets more detailed. Does anyone know what actually happened?

I could some opaque commentary on this whole situation in return: "At the moment when almost every aspect of international political life and a growing number of those aspects that count in internal politics are conducted and displayed in the style of the secret services, with decoys, disinformation and double explanations (one might conceal another, or may only seem to), the spectacle confines itself to making known a wearisome world of obligatory incomprehensibility, a boring series of lifeless, inconclusive crime novels. It is true that the realistic direction of a fight between black people, at night, in a tunnel, must pass for a sufficiently dramatic motive." [1]

[1] Debord http://www.notbored.org/commentaires.html


> The federal government never asked for the so-called information operations campaign, nor did cabinet authorize the initiative

Plausible deniability. So, yes, sure, the generals decided to do this putting their careers at risk if/when discovered.

And when the civilian government found this out, where was the indignant outrage that we could expect for what was clearly military insubordination?


Not even "plausible deniability". They don't even need to ask for these things off the record because the generals are not idiots. They know what their bosses want well enough that nobody need ask. You see this behavior all throughout government.


"anticipatory obedience"

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorauseilender_Gehorsam

Sadly the article only exists in German because, well, the most well known example of it is how people acted under Hitler.


This is, in fact, a very obvious and well known facet of management technique in the white collar world. Often, when faced with a hard or completely distasteful call, it's possible to structure your communication on a way that you never actually tell anyone to do the thing, but it gets done anyway.

It is a cornerstone that marks the difference between an exec who can and an exec who cannot CYA.

This is also why "Can I get that in writing", or asking something outright in an email is a fantastic way to corner a squirrely exec.


I see links to Japanese and Chinese too. Can't use them, though.

Anyway, https://www.deepl.com/translator works perfectly via cut&paste from .de to English for this.


It doesn't work like that here. Our PM is not the commander in chief.


If the head of the Executive and Legislature is not in charge of the government who is? The Governor-General may officially be the Executive but that's a rubber stamp, not an effective constraint on the power of the Prime Minister. Reality and legal forms are not the same thing.


In Canada, the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy is the rule. A written Constitution is a recent addition. In a minority parliament, the legislature can be a very effective check in reality. Executive (Crown powers) are also distributed by the Governor General to the entire cabinet. Depending on the relative strength of the politician, they are technically colleague — unlike the American system where they work for the president. The Canadian prime minister are usually in fact and in legal form “first among equals.”


Time to buy stocks in Canadian shredder companies...


“Included among those tactics … criticize on social media those who raised questions about military spending and accountability.”


They're going to be busy now!


The article literally talks about retired generals tweeting.

that sounds incredibly mundane



Never let a good crisis go to waste


And the corollary: if you need a good opportunity, create a crisis.


Definitely writing that one down...


If the UK hasn't been doing the same thing I'll eat my hat.


We absolutely have, the SAGE subcommittee SPI-B employed what are in my opinion some unethical behavioural psychology tactics. The level of nationalism around the NHS is an absolutely masterful method of propaganda, I don't agree with it in the slightest but I do respect the talent of its architects! Ask your average Briton and they genuinely believe the NHS is the best health system on the planet, they'll also be absolutely adamant that this is their own opinion and that fetishising a government department to this degree isn't nationalism.


It absolutely has. I maintain that without social media, which simultaneously provided a way into everyone's thoughts, and also contented people with a feeling of connectedness while living under house arrest conditions of historic proportions, people would have simply rejected the whole campaign of Covid restrictions.


Quarantines and lockdowns have been used throughout history to combat epidemics, with great success. Why do you think that the only thing that made people accept the latest ones is social media?


Your other comment got removed, probably for being overtly hostile and lacking in any objective facts or evidence. Here is my reply anyway:

The IFR of Covid overall is very low (0.4%, by some estimates). If you are under 50, it's basically not worth worrying about. Is that the BS you are talking about? Find me some actual numbers on those things you describe, and not just fear-laden imagery spread in the media and online, or I'll stick to my opinions of who is spreading BS.

My local health district currently is at 75% capacity. It has also treated fewer patients than average every month since March 2020. In fact, my country turned out huge numbers of old folks into nursing homes where they all spread Covid and died while we were shut up in our houses to "protect grannie". Blindly following the "protect the hospitals" mantra has caused huge healthcare issues where I live (UK), and will possibly cause the failure of our socialised healthcare system as we know it. Hospitals currently have single-digit percentages of Covid patients, yet cannot get anyone else treated because of the absurd amount of Covid restrictions. In my principality (Wales), it was recently published that the backlog of cancer patients will take a decade to clear (obviously, those patients will just die).

It was quite quickly discovered that the most effective care for a Covid patient was fairly simple - bed rest, and low-flow oxygen. Healthcare was not limited by bed numbers or equipment.


> Find me some actual numbers on those things you describe, and not just fear-laden imagery spread in the media and online, or I'll stick to my opinions of who is spreading BS.

So you think that the makeshift morgues and people dying in the streets was just a media operation? Hospitals were over capacity in many places, if you have a hard time believing this you really are trying to hard to ignore reality.

Here are the numbers for France, since March 2020 - https://www.data.gouv.fr/fr/datasets/synthese-des-indicateur...

All in French, but Google Translate should help you. The column you're searching for is TO (Taux d'occupation, occupancy rate). You can see it's over 1 many times, in many different regions, for weeks at a time. And this is in a country that did heavy lockdowns the first two times, and then very strict curfews (18h at one time). It doesn't matter that for people under 50 in perfect health the mortality rate is minimal - if the hospitals and emergency services are over capacity, those people can't get help for anything. And of course that's discounting the fact that even many U50s have comorbidities.

> It was quite quickly discovered that the most effective care for a Covid patient was fairly simple - bed rest, and low-flow oxygen. Healthcare was not limited by bed numbers or equipment.

And where do those beds and oxygen come from? Are they not "bed numbers and equipment"?

Your country is an unmitigated disaster managed by clowns. And even they realised that lockdowns are needed after weeks of insisting on the opposite. Why do you think that is?


Which makeshift morgues? Which people dying in the streets? Remember that video from China in early 2020, showing people literally dropping in the street? You can't be talking about that, surely.

>And where do those beds and oxygen come from? Are they not "bed numbers and equipment"?

Remember how I explained that the total number of patients treated every month in the UK since March 2020 is less than average?[1] It very clearly follows that we were not limited by beds.

>Your country is an unmitigated disaster managed by clowns.

Yet it has a Covid mortality rate per capita of around the same as most other developed countries. Admittedly a little on the high side, although the US has now overtaken the UK in recent months. Certainly about the same as France and Spain.

[1] https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/sta..., click on the link under "Provisional Monthly Hospital Episode Statistics for Admitted Patient Care and Outpatients Dashboard ", and then go to page 2 of the silly web app. Observe how the NHS runs at near 100% capacity, until March 2020, when it has run consistently less than that (and continues to do so).


In the US the treatments are absolutely limited by bed availability. And towing around a statistic like "less people are being treated" is the entire point the not shill world is trying to make. Do you know why less people are being treated? Because the beds are full of people with COVID and hospitalized COVID patients take longer to treat than most other hospital stays. So the beds are being filled and not emptied at regular rates leading to less people being treated. Maybe it's extremely different in the UK but here in the US people with your attitude are a huge problem.


Here's the data on bed availability where I live (Wales):

https://statswales.gov.wales/Catalogue/Health-and-Social-Car...

To pick out two dates, roughly at each Covid peak:

16 Apr 2020: 3,033 general beds occupied, 3,200 general beds available. 190 ICU beds used, 204 ICU beds available.

25th Jan 2021: 7,840 general beds occupied, 1,459 general beds available. 218 ICU beds used, 49 ICU beds available.

The publicly-available statistics do not support the notion that our hospitals are in dire straights due to sheer numbers of patients, nor the idea that they were full to bursting with Covid patients. As I have said repeatedly, they were emptier than usual.

Further, denigrating anyone who disagrees with you as "shrill" does you no favours.

Edit: Hopefully you understand why I'm upset about this topic. I suffered with a very young family under effective house arrest for many months, and many further months of restrictions (some of which are ongoing), as well as the inevitable long-term effects on my country, all to "protect the NHS". As the figures clearly show, at the peak of the first wave, the hospitals were less than 50% full.

The immediate question is - what on earth else has gone wrong?


Has it occurred to you that the statistics for Wales only might not be telling the same story? How were the hospitals in England and Scotland? Considering it would be impossible to force a quarantine between them, a global UK policy wasn't a ludicrous idea. Furthermore, the point of the restrictions was to stop the exponential growth before hospitals were overwhelmed.

> Edit: Hopefully you understand why I'm upset about this topic. I suffered with a very young family under effective house arrest for many months, and many further months of restrictions (some of which are ongoing), as well as the inevitable long-term effects on my country, all to "protect the NHS

And many many others did, but don't bitch about it for months on end.


Months? I'm going to be paying for this folly, probably for the rest of my working life.

I thought you told me that we couldn't compare numbers between different countries, what with them being different and all? Wales is an especially interesting case, because we had significantly more onerous restrictions than England (and if I lived in England, I might not have such a strong opinion that the downsides of lockdowns outweigh the benefits).

As you absolutely insist though, here's the data for England:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas...

For the time period April-June 2020, overall occupancy was at 65%, compared to 90% for the same period in 2019. Some pandemic.


Because they all feel a need to deny that people willingly participating have both agency and practical intelligence. Agency you make decisions and act on them. Practical intelligence means being able to weigh risks and your own knowledge to make appropriately hedged bets.

And another thing people engaging in prosocial mitigations have seen that they actually work and thus feel a sense of control over the situation. That in particular rankles political and public health leaders, and especially rankles covid denialists.


Has Canada, a territory of extremely low population density, been under strict stay-at-home orders - prohibiting not "to see other people", but just to leave the house? I remember the months-old anecdote of a policeman accusing a driver, while fining him, to have put the community at risk, because in case of car accident he would have forced human interaction. I am not sure - I have little information.

So, right: if that is factual (it is unfortunately possible), to arrive to such degree of irrationality and abuse against clean, linear thinking and good sense, social media can only have a relative weight.


> Has Canada, a territory of extremely low population density, been under strict stay-at-home orders - prohibiting not "to see other people", but just to leave the house

It doesn't seem to be the case - during the Spanish flu pandemic, there was no central health authority and every municipality deal with it however they could, usually by shutting down everything non-essential and mandating masks. However the patchy response resulted in lots of deaths, and thus precipitated the creation of a federal health department.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-mandatory-mas...

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/1918-spani...


As far as I can tell, lockdowns that were this widespread and restrictive have never been used before in history ever, the closest examples to them were during the medieval era but were still more targetted and limited in scope than these ones, and the narrative about them always having been used is itself a propaganda tool used to stop people questioning them.


> As far as I can tell, lockdowns that were this widespread and restrictive have never been used before in history ever, the closest examples to them were during the medieval era but were still more targetted and limited in scope than these ones

Yes, because usually up until present day they were used at the city-level, by city authorities. Why? Well, most epidemic-capable diseases came from trade, usually in port cities, hence quarantines and lockdowns of port cities. ( not to mention that countries and their administration were much less centralised, public health authorities didn't really exist)

But today, with air travel, and the much more connected nature of our existence ( people travel for leisure, a lot), combined with the specifics of the virus ( long incubation period, high chance of no symptoms whatsoever, high spreadability), made country-wide lockdowns a good idea.

Were they a bit too much in some cases? Of course. For instance in France, during the first wave there was a total lockdown, and public places like beaches and parks were closed. There were people complaining in the Brittany region, because they had zero cases ( apart from those transferred to their hospitals), and couldn't use their beaches which are huge and open air. Nonetheless, the risk that the virus "escapes" from hospitals, or that people from nearby regions travel there to use the regional exceptions, and spread the disease further was deemed to be too big. Because, again, many carriers are asymptomatic and the incubation period is rather long.


Ah yes, the asymptomatic aspect of Covid, a disease so deadly most people need to be tested to know they came near it.

How did the "connected" nature of our existence make it necessary to shut down entire countries, as well as the air travel links? My local playgrounds were officially closed until late into 2020 (obviously, I ignored that), as well as all sorts of other places that were obviously harmless. In fact, the worst place to go was hospital, where the infection rate was pretty bad.

It became obvious quite quickly who was at risk of Covid, and I do not understand why patients were not sent home for bed rest with a portable low-flow oxygen kit (as that was found to be the most effective treatment), and the rest of us allowed to continue with life as we saw fit.


> Ah yes, the asymptomatic aspect of Covid, a disease so deadly most people need to be tested to know they came near it.

Wow. Yes, because while you might have zero symptoms, you still spread it, and will probably infect multiple other people ( the so called R), especially without masks and other such precautions. Those people will infect many more in their turn. Among those, some will develop symptoms, sometimes heavy, and it's highly probable there will be people with comorbidities who can die even with abundant care, which isn't a given if hospitals are full from all those with heavy cases.

> My local playgrounds were officially closed until late into 2020 (obviously, I ignored that), as well as all sorts of other places that were obviously harmless

The point of those restrictions was to stop people from meeting, at all. Of course parks are a better place to be than a store, Covid-wise, but not if you gather in groups.

> How did the "connected" nature of our existence make it necessary to shut down entire countries, as well as the air travel links

People travel between cities, all around the world, daily. Whereas before there'd be a few traders going from Milan to Geneva in the space of a few weeks, now you have multiple daily trains with hundreds of people each. Don't you see how that changes the equation and how that helps spread a virus which is usually without symptoms ?


> The point of those restrictions was to stop people from meeting, at all. Of course parks are a better place to be than a store, Covid-wise, but not if you gather in groups.

So the idea of the citizen in these - sorry, _decadent_ - societies is not that of an educated, rational and reasonable (with voting rights) agent who will act responsibly and with appropriate proportionate care,

but that of an unreliable liability which will act with the property and wisdom of a problematic child. ("They could go in the wilderness but then they may mingle".)

A few of us will ask: so, where is dignified Society to be found nowadays?


If you're at risk of Covid, stay at home (which is behaviour very common in old folks anyway, during flu season). Frankly, even then your risk is very low. I know several people in their 90's who tested positive for Covid and survived just fine.

>The point of those restrictions was to stop people from meeting, at all.

Yes, the insidious and damaging idea that meeting people at all is dangerous, as we are all disease-ridden carriers of death. When I made a complaint at work that the Covid policies were making the workplace demoralising and miserable, the head of the Health and Safety committe specifically told me that government guidance was to "eliminate conversations". How is this at all healthy for us as a society?

You're also still taking about planes and trains, when I was asking how does that justify being literally shut in my house. Saying that, I understand your point of view. Covid is so bad, that absolutely no risk of passing it must be tolerated, and policy should be set accordingly.


When? Maybe a town or village got isolated, and becaome the "unclean" zone.

There is absolutely no precedent for putting entire countries under effective house arrest for months at a time, and for a disease with such a low mortality rate.


They were more local, more flexible, and were used to combat highly-deadly epidemics such as the plague or spanish flu. Such previous epidemics were more deadly, and were perceived as such by the local population, who therefore probably found the measures more justified.

Also, the 2020 quarantines arrived at a time where global resource inequalities were at unprecedented levels in human history, and when popular insurrections were growing across the planet (Liban, France, Soudan, etc), so they were interpreted (in my opinion, rightly so) as a political repression measure more than a sanitary measure... which was confirmed by the lack of sanitary measures from most governments, including the French government who during the pandemic cut public hospitals budgets by 800M€, continued to shut down hospital beds while the bodies were piling up, and covered up their failures (such as destroying the national mask stocks before the pandemic) via heavy propaganda campaigns.

Finally, opposition to the quarantines was fueled by how unevenly the measures were applied. Government officials and rich people have been publicly documented eating in restaurants and throwing parties, while common people like you and me were routinely beaten up by the police, fined or detained, for daring to go out and breathe fresh air (which here in France was illegal by decree for most of the 1st quarantine, before that was relaxed).

I don't think social media is entirely responsible for the growing conspiracy theories (Qanon) and other forms of popular opposition to quarantines, but they sure played a role in giving more facts to the population to know for sure the government can't be trusted to protect the local population (at least here in France).

PS: For historical context on a previous epidemics, you may be interested to take a read at this article, which offers an anarchist perspective about the 1884 cholera epidemic: https://crimethinc.com/2020/05/26/the-anarchists-versus-the-...


> They were more local, more flexible, and were used to combat highly-deadly epidemics such as the plague or spanish flu. Such previous epidemics were more deadly, and were perceived as such by the local population, who therefore probably found the measures more justified.

Yes, previous epidemics were more deadly, but also easier to contain because:

1) cases were symptomatic

2) incubation period was lower

So the effectiveness of quarantines and lockdowns was much higher and easier to measure ( we have no more visibly sick people, and it's been like this for a week, everything is OK).

> Also, the 2020 quarantines arrived at a time where global resource inequalities were at unprecedented levels in human history, and when popular insurrections were growing across the planet (Liban, France, Soudan, etc),

I can't comment on Lebanon and Sudan, but in France you're flat out wrong.

There were the Gilets Jeunes, whose numbers were falling all through 2019 and were at less than 100k before the protests against the retirement reform, which were sometimes done in coordination [0]. In any case, the numbers for february are at 10-30k protestors, which is nothing for a country of 67 million inhabitants.

> which was confirmed by the lack of sanitary measures from most governments, including the French government who during the pandemic cut public hospitals budgets by 800M€, continued to shut down hospital beds while the bodies were piling up, and covered up their failures (such as destroying the national mask stocks before the pandemic) via heavy propaganda campaigns.

Again, you're flat out wrong. Hospital beds were reorganised and more emergency ones were added - this is why during the third wave hospitals in many regions were over "original capacity"; in Ile de France we got to ~140% if memory serves me right[1]. Mask stocks have been falling since 2009, so you can't pin that on the current government[2].

> Finally, opposition to the quarantines was fueled by how unevenly the measures were applied. Government officials and rich people have been publicly documented eating in restaurants and throwing parties, while common people like you and me were routinely beaten up by the police, fined or detained, for daring to go out and breathe fresh air (which here in France was illegal by decree for most of the 1st quarantine, before that was relaxed).

It wasn't illegal to go and breathe fresh air, there was just a distance limit from your home.

> but they sure played a role in giving more facts to the population to know for sure the government can't be trusted to protect the local population (at least here in France).

That's funny, because the government's approval was very high during the initial waves, and Macron's is still higher than before the pandemic[3]. Not only that, but he's the first one since Chirac to have such a high approval this late into his term.

Honestly i think the French government's action was among the best possible ( and obviously i'm not the only one if Macron's ratings are any indication); at any case, they were really trying to strike a fine balance. No lockdowns on the third wave, keeping schools open, financial help, etc.

0 - https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9roulement_du_mouvement_...

1 - https://www.data.gouv.fr/fr/datasets/synthese-des-indicateur...

2 - https://www.lemonde.fr/sante/article/2020/05/07/la-france-et...

3 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_on_the_Emmanue...


> cases were symptomatic

Agreed, that is a major difference, that affects both body count and popular perception of the virus.

> There were the Gilets Jeunes, whose numbers were falling

Yet many polls agreed the gilets jaunes were as popular as ever. And if you think that dozens of thousands is a low number, can you name any other protest movement that has gathered so many people weekly for over a year? There was also a growing uproar about the new pension reform, the last of which back in 2010 led to the almost-collapse of the government (many petrol stations across the country were already out of fuel).

So my case is not that there was an actual revolution taking place in France, but rather that there were epicenters of insurrection which cost the State en private sector billions of euros: the gilets jaunes, the anti-5G movement, the ZADs, riots against police abuse in popular districts, growing and more coordinated strikes across all sectors. The elites tried to ridicule those movements (such as pretending the gilets jaunes were antisemites), then tried to repress them (including deploying armored military vehicles on the streets of the capital), but nothing killed the ideas so they were growing afraid of an actual revolution. They seized the pandemic as an excuse to reinforce social control on every level and make "acceptable" totalitarian measures while disseminating propaganda that the danger to you and your loved ones is your neighbor, not the State or the bosses. Some kind of anti-social opportunism, as described by Naomi Klein's Shock doctrine.

> Hospital beds were reorganised and more emergency ones were added

Reorganization is a word like reform, which means very little in itself but works fine in the mouths of neoliberal apparatchiks to downplay their tragic actions and their human cost. Also, you seem to be acknowledging it's possible to cut beds and at the same time expand "emergency ones" to appear like you're doing something good when you're in fact tearing down public service, so my point stands. "Look at this pie i baked just for you (while i was robbing your house)"

There were many health workers protests and strikes before and during the pandemic, denouncing the hypocrisy of the government's measures and exposing their terrible working conditions and the (bad) effects it has on patients. Are you saying these people (who know best because they talk about first-hand experience) are wrong and the government propaganda is right? I'm tempted to believe the health workers i've met who were severely burnt out and depressed (yet did their best every single day), rather than the psychopaths in power.

> Mask stocks have been falling since 2009, so you can't pin that on the current government

Oh i'm not blaming it on the current government. When i say the government, i liberally mean "those who hold power, whatever their party is". This was indeed a problem with the previous Hollande-formed government, but may i remind you that most of LREM (including Macron himself) were key players of that previous government? Whoever the head of this monstrous hydra, the result for the common people is the same: hard labor and unlimited suffering.

> It wasn't illegal to go and breathe fresh air, there was just a distance limit from your home.

On this specific point, you are wrong. The "going out for under 1h and less than 10km from home" checkbox on the laisser-passer forms was added late into the first confinement. For over a month, maybe more, it was illegal to go out just to breathe fresh air, unless you had a pet to walk (another checkbox).

> Honestly i think the French government's action was among the best possible

Breaking news: according to the french government propaganda in various news outlets controled by the State or private billionaires close to the State (Dassault, Lagardère, etc) i just read, the french government is the best government in the world. /s

Sarcasm aside, the government's actions and hypocrisies have been widely criticized, but the most striking fact about this whole pandemic is that the president single-handedly decided the fate and civil liberties of millions of individuals behind closed doors (the scientific community at large was not consulted, and when it occasionally was, it was ignored): do you think having a single unskilled individual announce surprise securitarian measures every other week on television is what we can call a democracy? It sounds like the very definition of a dictatorship.

Related: why are cops the only civil servants exonerated from wearing masks and getting mandatory vaccines? Why then are reactionary media fixated on the fact that lawless (non-white) proles in the suburbs are not civilized enough to respect the quarantine, and not addressing the elephant in the room? (it's a rhetoric question) It's a feature of authoritarian regimes than their armed hand (the police) needs to benefit from some forms of privileges, in order to keep the status quo intact.

Overall, we may agree or disagree on specific points, but i would recommend you check out more independent media sources every now and then to get a different perspective on things. There's only a handful of nation-wide independent publications left and they're worth encouraging: Mediapart.fr, CQFD-journal.org, reporterre.net. If you're more interested in popular analysis/discourse than professional journalism, i'd recommend medialibres.org, a planet [0] of various self-organized outlets for social critique.

Happy reading

[0] A planet, for the younger among us, is an aggregate of different RSS feeds. It's sort of like Google News, but you can setup your own to track the news sources of interest to you. For example, Planet Debian has a collection of blogs from the Debian ecosystem.


>Honestly i think the French government's action was among the best possible

Is that because you were relatively unaffected by the downsides of the various restrictions? It can't be because the overall Covid fatality rate is better in France, becase it's about the same as the UK.


No, it's because i think they made the mostly right choices and did around as best as they could given the circumstances and resources they had. Restrictions were imposed only when necessary, and adapted ( e.g. during the third wave there was a curfew, but no lockdown to minimise the economic effects). Communication was good and transparent. Overall I'd say I'd give them a 7.5/10 ( they could have done better, most notably in realising the gravity of the situation earlier on).

And as i said, the approval rating of Macron and his PM during the initial waves, Édouard Philippe, are much higher then before the pandemic, and literally unprecedented for a French president since moving to the current system ( 5 year mandates, etc.). The last French president with a similar approval rating was Chirac, and he passed away last year.

Comparing fatality rates between countries is complicated for a number of reasons ( weather, organisation of cities and families, customs ( e.g. french people used to kiss each other on the cheek when meeting, even complete strangers), age distribution, hospital capacity, medical reserves, etc.)


Yet France did no better in deaths per captia, than the "shambolic" UK, or Sweden, where life seemed pretty tolerable, nor most of the other EU countries, in fact. (Nor many developing countries that did very little to contain Covid, but I'm sure we will both agree we can't really rely on those figures).

It seems to me there is very little clear link between how a country responded, and the overall death count.


As i said elsewhere, comparing countries is complex due to a varietyof differences. The closer they are, the more fair rhe comparison will be. Sweden did much worse compared to its neighbours in a similar situation.


That's a pretty big cop-out. Yes it is, but France and England are pretty similar.


Well, you obviously were in a somewhat-privileged position to consider they made the best choices. For most of us, the quarantine was a hardship, especially for numerous families (many poorer people live with less than 5-10m²/person), people in situation of house abuse, persons with addiction problems or even with mental health issues (among which loneliness and depression can only be worsened by quarantine).

Also worth noting, while the richer classes were in their villas ordering food delivery service, the rest of us often had to wait in line for over an hour (the supermarket only took 5-10 people at a time) sometimes only to find empty shelves without toilet paper or pasta.

Then, because the hospitals didn't have any resources for the flow of patients, they actively triaged patients before they even reached the hospitals. There are many accounts of people dying or getting close to death because the emergency services refused to give them services, because they had strict directives to only care for people with specific symptoms.

Then of course, there's the "essential workers". The indispensable tiny hands of the capitalist machines. These have been the most exposed to the Covid and have ensured that private corporations such as Amazon profited more than ever during the pandemic, yet saw exactly 0 benefits from their hard and hazardous labor.

We could talk about food security. That official State-financed food banks (such as Les resto du coeur) closed their doors, at the same time that undeclared work came to a stop due to the confinement, leading the most precarious among us to actual famine. Many city halls and local non-profits had to improvise to deliver basic food for survival to millions of people, because the government and its vassals failed their job.

Finally, the government, to my knowledge, did not requisition the many resources at its disposal. I read that story about a clothing workshop from Paris who had to insist with the prefecture to be turned into a somewhat-official mask-producing facility.

So, what did the government do? Apart from tearing down our lives and profiting (in capital) from it? Apart from their theater plays on television to let us know there is no danger (yeah, they Chernobyled us again), masks are useless, and a strong racist police is the only weapon against the virus?


Typical. Those still exorting us that lockdowns were worth it, are those who did not feel the ill effects. Personally, lockdown as I experienced it here in Wales (which was particularly draconian and frankly absurd at times) was absolutely brutal on the social and emotional health of my family and those closest to me. I know one young family in particular who I don't think will ever be the same again. Combined with the almost complete lack of subjective evidence, as I go about my days, of any kind of deadly pandemic, you'll forgive me for my opinions.

Edit: Not forgetting the financial repercussions, which I suspect as a helpless taxpayer, will burden my family for the rest of my working life. The UK has already imposed a whole new tax, to try and dig the NHS out of the hole it is in.


And Brexit


You've got that backwards. Brexit is the prime example of the British public rejecting a campaign that was being pushed on them.


Both sides did heavy pushing, albeit one included much more lies (where are the 350 million per week for the NHS, Boris?)


Weren't there a lot of fearmongering whoppers of budget black holes, economic collapse, shortages and famine, increased risk of war, etc., coming out of remain? How do you judge which side lied more?


They are literally running out of petrol right now. Grocery store shelves empty. Still year one.


More like - Brexit has highlighted the state of our crumbling and badly-run domestic HGV industry, now that there isn't a pool of Eastern Europeans prepared to do the work for lower wages. Personally, I'm excited to see an industry given such a chance to redeem and re-structure itself for the better.


I didn't say there would be no positives or negatives to either side, I said there were lies from both sides. Which there clearly were.

I just find it strange that people think one side has the high ground because they didn't lie to the public quite so much, according to people who lied to the public.


Does anyone have any good examples of these propaganda techniques used in Canada? Trying to find where the propaganda was used in a way that would be noticeable versus common public health communiques.


From the article:

  The Canadian Forces had to launch an investigation after a September 2020 incident when military information operations staff forged a letter from the Nova Scotia government warning about wolves on the loose in a particular region of the province. The letter was inadvertently distributed to residents, prompting panicked calls to Nova Scotia officials who were unaware the military was behind the deception. The investigation determined the reservists conducting the operation lacked formal training and policies governing the use of propaganda techniques were not well understood by the soldiers.


As mentioned:

"The investigation determined the reservists conducting the operation lacked formal training and policies governing the use of propaganda techniques were not well understood by the soldiers."

So that's a one-off versus some sort of ongoing plan and limited in any case due to it not even being an intentional release. This above attempt was from untrained reservists who weren't trained properly in the techniques and was accidental release in nature, not intended.

The following seems to imply more systematic, non-accidental information campaigns:

"Last year, the branch launched a controversial plan that would have allowed military public affairs officers to use propaganda to change attitudes and behaviours of Canadians as well as to collect and analyze information from public social media accounts.

The plan would have seen staff move from traditional government methods of communicating with the public to a more aggressive strategy of using information warfare and influence tactics on Canadians. Included among those tactics was the use of friendly defence analysts and retired generals to push military PR messages and to criticize on social media those who raised questions about military spending and accountability."

It would be nice to have a few examples of this intentional use of propaganda techniques versus the one "accidental release" and innuendo so we can see what is being alleged here as intentional information warfare.


I mean, that's what they would say isn't it? "Oh no, I accidentally had several squads go out and install industrial-grade loudspeakers in the woods and approved the sending out of forged warning letters to actual residents, oopsie doopsie!" and "Ah those guys weren't supposed to do that grr, sorry we'll tell them to stop!". Like yeah, ok, sure. Regardless, it's more than a little scary, not just that they're intentionally targeting the Canadian public, but that the people doing it are this incompetent. Unless they intended to get caught and that was part of the plan, who knows.


I couldn't find the actual report, but in the news reports I looked through, it seems they somehow tried to amplify "good" social media messages about covid (wear a mask, covid is dangerous, etc etc), and bolster the government's messages about covid?


Canadian here: if that's all they were doing, they were damaging the cause. The linked article also mentions suppression of military critics which is quite troubling. The military meddling with propaganda/info war on the population they are sworn to defend is just a giant breach of trust.

It's like the NSA monitoring domestic comms in the States, that's not why they exist - leave it to the FBI.


That’s not the FBIs job either.


"Who rules Canada?" Flaherty (1988) https://sci-hub.se/https://www.jstor.org/stable/20025198


In universities it’s usually necessary to submit a proposal to an Institutional Review Board (IRB) and get approval before experimenting on human subjects.


Unless you think you’re exempt!


The Wolves of Nova Scotia!


For those that don’t know the reference, the Canadian military was caught a year ago in a slip up while conducting another domestic propaganda mission, a training mission reporting a loose pack of wolves in Nova Scotia.[1]

[1]https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/forged...


What's the difference between propaganda and good PR?


The term Public Relations was coined by Edward Bernays, whom wrote the incredibly influential book quite literally called 'Propaganda' in 1928. That should make it clear enough.


Propaganda 1928 is just my favorite book ever, it is written in such a tone as to both be a perfect introductory and a hard authoritative first hand source and compilation of Bernays experiences

Excerpt > “Universal literacy was supposed to educate the common man to control his environment. Once he could read and write he would have a mind fit to rule. So ran the democratic doctrine. But instead of a mind, universal literacy has given him rubber stamps, rubber stamps inked with advertising slogans, with editorials, with published scientific data, with the trivialities of the tabloids and the platitudes of history, but quite innocent of original thought. Each man's rubber stamps are the duplicates of millions of others, so that when those millions are exposed to the same stimuli, all receive identical imprints. It may seem an exaggeration to say that the American public gets most of its ideas in this wholesale fashion. The mechanism by which ideas are disseminated on a large scale is propaganda, in the broad sense of an organized effort to spread a particular belief or doctrine.”- Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda


Bernays was also a director for the Committee on Public Information during World War 1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_on_Public_Informatio...

“[George] Creel urged [Woodrow] Wilson to create a government agency to coordinate "not propaganda as the Germans defined it, but propaganda in the true sense of the word, meaning the 'propagation of faith.'"” à la https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congregation_for_the_Evangeliz...

"Creel later published his memoirs of his service with the CPI, How We Advertised America, in which he wrote:

“In no degree was the Committee an agency of censorship, a machinery of concealment or repression. Its emphasis throughout was on the open and the positive. At no point did it seek or exercise authorities under those war laws that limited the freedom of speech and press. In all things, from first to last, without halt or change, it was a plain publicity proposition, a vast enterprise in salesmanship, the world's greatest adventures in advertising… We did not call it propaganda, for that word, in German hands, had come to be associated with deceit and corruption. Our effort was educational and informative throughout, for we had such confidence in our case as to feel that no other argument was needed than the simple, straightforward presentation of the facts.”"


Whats the difference between a regime and a government?

One word for people we like doing a thing, one word for people we don't


I tend to think the word PR is the result of propaganda applied to the word propaganda. It isn't obvious to me that there is a good form of propaganda. Useful, perhaps, but not upright and positive.


Actually you arent wrong. It was either Ivy Lee or Edward Bernays who were the primary people behind the shift to "public relations". One of their first triumphs? Selling cigarettes to women as " freedom sticks".

It always cracks me up when I meet a pr person and ask about Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays and they dont know anything about them. Some sort of sadly delicious irony.


Its the exact same thing. Also under the same definition: misinformation, disinformation, actual information.


Happen to have just finished a biography of John Buchan (author of "The Thirty-nine Steps" among many others, as well as being Governor General of Canada 1935-40). In the first world war he was high up in the Propaganda Bureau - which was considered quite successful, including by the Germans. He also wrote some of his fiction with a view to influencing public opinion.


Probably useful to workshop messaging in event Quarantine Act was ever triggered.

>The federal government never asked for the so-called information operations campaign, nor did cabinet authorize the initiative

Does this insinuate teh gov was informed and explicitly did not authorize or military acted independantly?


If you want to build trust, instead of propaganda, how about you lift the liability exemptions from the vaccine manufacturers. And lets see how far they're willing to push the vaccine, if they can be sued for causing harm.

If the vaccines cause no harm, they have nothing to worry about. Right. Then why the liability waver?

Instead we allowed the government to shift all the risk onto the public. And the military wants to drum up propaganda. You can't fool all the people all the time.


I'm not sure if you're invoking Bob Marley but if you are I salute you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2W3aG8uizA


Government secrets are incompatible with Democracy.


Psst, folks. It's not just Canada that's doing this. Just sayin'. A lot of unsavory, freedom damaging shit is currently being enacted in the US under the same pretenses and distractions, too.


100%. We still have some very strong protections built into our Constitution, but we all know that we need to actively fight to keep them in place.


What's particularly irritating is we've been through a milder variant of all this already with 9/11 and Patriot Act, and yet it seems people have learned little to nothing at all. A cockatoo has a longer attention span than the Western public.


[flagged]


> The federal government never asked for the so-called information operations campaign, nor did cabinet authorize the initiative


I wonder if that statement will stand the test of time (and declassification).


paper shredders are probably running in 3 shifts around the clock right now.


[flagged]


Please don't reply to a bad comment by breaking the site guidelines yourself.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

Edit: it looks like you've been doing this repeatedly lately. Would you mind reviewing https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and taking the intended spirit of the site more to heart? We'd be grateful.


You’re right, sorry!


Appreciated!


[flagged]


Would you please stop posting flamewar comments to HN? It destroys what this site is supposed to be for: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.

Also, would you please stop creating accounts for every few comments you post? We ban accounts that do that. This is in the site guidelines too.

You needn't use your real name, of course, but for HN to be a community, users need some identity for other users to relate to. Otherwise we may as well have no usernames and no community, and that would be a different kind of forum. https://hn.algolia.com/?sort=byDate&dateRange=all&type=comme...


Didn't they end up not being able to prosecute most of these guys because of entrapment? [0]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrapment


Pretty sure you are just making things up now unless you have a source.

There were lots of arrests, lots of convictions, some fleeing to Cuba and subsequent detentions. Nobody in the Chénier cell the precipitated the crisis was let off on entrapment or, as far as I know, ever alleged entrapment. They regarded themselves as patriots and I believe they would have found the idea very offensive.

None of this of course has anything to do with Justin Trudeau and the fact that the FLQ members negotiated passage to Cuba seems to undermine this weird Castro thing too.


> as far as I know, ever alleged entrapment.

It's not like the prosecution is going to brag about it, when they simply have the option of not going to trial or make a plea bargain.

> Pretty sure you are just making things up now unless you have a source.

I wish.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_controversies_involvin...

https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1977/11/14/the-gang-that...

> and the fact that the FLQ members negotiated passage to Cuba seems to undermine this weird Castro thing too.

The calls, meetings and official visits were all recorded. There's nothing to undermine.


What does this have to do with my reply above? Genuinely confused.


Had you read the material I posted,

"In 1974, RCMP Security Service Corporal Robert Samson was arrested at a hospital after a failed bombing - the bomb exploded while in his hands, causing him to lose some fingers and tearing his eardrums - at the house of Sam Steinberg, founder of Steinberg Foods in Montreal. While this bombing was not sanctioned by the RCMP, at trial he announced that he had done "much worse" on behalf of the RCMP, and admitted he had been involved in the APLQ break-in."


I have no love for the RCMP, but I don't understand what this has to do with entrapment related to the FLQ crisis. Sorry I asked.


> "suspend constitutional rights" (apparently that's a thing over there)

That's a thing in the US too. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_Japanese_America...


Considering that the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms wasn't even in the constitution until 1982 (and up until then the constitution was controlled by the British parliament), I have no clue what he's on about with it being suspended in the 70s.

Incidentally, that (the charter being put into the constitution and the constitution being put under Canadian control) happened during Pierre Trudeau's term.

There's also the notwithstanding clause in the charter, which allows for the government to temporarily (for up to 5 years, subject to renewal) pass bills violating some of the charter rights so long as they declare they are doing so, but Pierre Trudeau, and Justin Trudeau, and in fact the federal legislature as a whole, have never used it.

Edit: Ah, someone else pointed out that he's talking about Trudeau invoking the war measures act... that didn't implicate any constitutional rights, because there basically weren't any. There was a bill of rights and freedoms at the time, but that was a normal law not constitutional, and apparently exceptions had been passed for the war measures act...


Thats a very dishonest history of the rights of Canadians derived as subjects to her Majesty.

And a very dishonest portrayal of the October Crisis, a time when English Canada was shocked that PET would go so far to stop the FLQ.

A journo even asked PET how far he was willing to go to rid Quebec of the FLQ and got the famous answer: “just watch me”

No, PET knew he was violating the basic principles of Canadian freedom, but didnt care.


> Thats a very dishonest history of the rights of Canadians derived as subjects to her Majesty.

I assure you, it's not dishonest, it might be ill informed. I'm not a Canadian legal history scholar...

What, pray tell, constitutional rights did Canadians derive as subjects to her Majesty prior to 1982? Also how was the Canadian parliament able to bypass those rights when they didn't have authority over the constitution? Sources would be appreciated.

> And a very dishonest portrayal of the October Crisis

It's not a portrayal of that at all, it's a simple statement that an act and was invoked and a point of law without discussing the events that caused it to be invoked.


It’s very obviously a thing in the US, and you don’t need to look back into history to prove it. Every right guaranteed by the constitution can be suspended by the government, with the only limit being whatever SCOTUS thinks it should be. Given FISA courts are operated by the SCOTUS Chief Justice, it could be reasonable to conclude that SCOTUS hasn’t done a particularly great job of safeguarding those rights.

The US arguably makes some of the robust constitutional guarantees in the world, but they still pose little obstacle for a government that wants to subvert them. The illusion of civil liberties is even weaker in most of the rest of the world, where they’re often granted only by ordinary legislation, which can of course be changed by ordinary legislative processes.

The argument for this system is that the government must be able to suspend rights in response to an emergency, but the problem with that is that there’s always an emergency going on somewhere. The war on terror is already in its 4th presidential administration of being an emergency.


its easier in canada. the charter of rights and freedoms has weasel words in it that make it not absolute. In the US they ignore it, in canada the courts can declare infringements 'reasonable' based on the 'limitations clause'.

>1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

So its basically more of a guideline when it matters.


> its easier in canada

No, its just explicit in Canada, where in the US it is, for the federal government, found implicitly in the tension between positive grants and negative restrictions in the Constitution, and, for States, the actual limits are only implicit in vague language (the 14th Amendment “Due Process” clause, into which much of the content of the Bill of Rights has been read in a form applicable against the States.)


In the us there are grey areas. In Canada they can just ignore it if they can convince a judge to say it doesn't apply, and the judges are political.


> In the us there are grey areas. In Canada they can just ignore it if they can convince a judge to say it doesn't apply

You realize that those are just two different ways of saying the exact same thing, right?

> and the judges are political.

While the judicial branch in the US is sometimes distinguished from the elected “political” branches, federal judges and especially thise of the highest court which serves as the ultimate arbiter of Constitutional interpretation are very much tied into partisan politics; if that hadn't been clear before, all doubt of that was erased during the Reagan Administration (continuing similarly thereafter), and the further heightened judicial political drama of the Obama and Trump Administrations has bolded and underlined that for anyone who still somehow had doubts.


>You realize that those are just two different ways of saying the exact same thing, right?

It's really not.


how does that interplay with the 10th, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.", where it seems the residual between positive grants and negative restrictions goes to the states/people?


I think the “Not Withstanding Clause” is the funniest bit of Chretien’s (the real author) constitution.


Good. It's an open secret that nations like China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have been conducting massive propaganda and disinformation techniques against the citizens of USA, UK, Canada, etc.

I hope this raises awareness.




Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: