If you'll forgive me going all Bagehotian for a moment, in a country such as Canada, the post-election Speech from the Throne is the defining act of constitutional monarchy: the Queen or her viceroy comes to parliament to read words placed in her mouth by the Prime Minister of her newly elected government. It's the logical endpoint of Magna Carta: the state as servant of the people. So, when you urinate all over a Throne Speech, it's not like lobbing a pie at the Defence Minister during a war debate: You're disdaining the very essence of the constitutional order.
But that's all a little too fusty for a know-nothing like Brigette DePape.
Miss DePape applied to be one of the 15 young Canadians who get chosen by Black Rod (for American readers: don't worry, it's an ancient parliamentary title, not a porn star from the Seventies) to intern as pages as the Canadian Senate. So take a look at this picture of last week's Throne Speech in Ottawa: The Governor-General is reading out the government's program, and Miss DePape steps in front of him to hold up for the cameras her own ingenious substitution for representative government: A "STOP HARPER" sign. When she's removed from the chamber, she's ready with a press release and a publicist to book media appearances. She says Canada needs its own "Arab Spring".
What, you mean with virginity tests for female protesters?Â
Much of the commentariat are inclined to give Miss DePape a pass, or applaud her "passion" and "commitment". She is said to have had several job offers, doubtless from bodies largely funded by Canadian taxpayers. For those of us in what remains of the private sector, I can think of few people I'd be less likely to hire than a pampered beneficiary of a leisurely navel-gazing pseudo-education too stupid and self-absorbed at the age of 21 to be able to tell the difference between Mubarak's Cairo and Harper's Ottawa. Miss DePape is a student at the University of Ottawa, a seat of "learning" where those with dissenting views are prevented from speaking by mobs of "Conflict Studies Majors" approaching early middle-age egged on by aÂ cowardly and illiterate faculty. It never seems to occur to the western world's elderly "youth" to ask: What's holding the joint up? How many small, dull, bigoted people going off to dreary, boring jobs every morning do there have to be to fund me and my fellow solipsistic ninnies sitting around all day into my mid-twenties chanting pap slogans that haven't been edgy or iconoclastic for four decades?
The west is facing not an Arab spring but a long bleak winter of post-prosperity discontent. I don't think the likes of Brigette DePape will adapt very well – and I would wager their disenchantment with responsible government will grow.Â As forÂ the Muslim Brotherhood so forÂ stunted morons like Miss DePape: The democratic process is legitimate only if you vote for the approved side.