James Bow caught something in Tony Clement's comments about elites and "chattering classes" that I'd not noticed. Here's Clement:
"I know [Harper's use of prorogation] is a big issue with the Ottawa media elite and some of the elites in our country, but I got to tell you if reaction in my constituency is any indication, I've had maybe three dozen emails. It may not be what the chattering classes want, but we're not here to govern on behalf of the chattering classes."
Consider these numbers:
- 42 percent of Canadians are members of Facebook.
- 75 percent of Canadians were eligible to vote on October 2008.
- 207,000 people are members of the Facebook group Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament.
- Approximately 156,000 members of CAPP are eligible voters.
- 156,000 distributes 506 voters to each of the 308 federal ridings.
I don't have the numbers but I suspect that, in the last few elections, several ridings were decided by less than 500 votes.
Tony Clement supposes that the people against Harper's ill use of prorogation are members of the elite and chattering classes. The Facebook numbers are indicators only of the extent of Canadians' anger against the erosion of our democracy and our Parliamentary system. If our system can be abused in this way, something is terribly wrong.
Despite the numbers above, Clement states that his government isn't "here to govern on behalf of the chattering classes" - of which he deems anyone who is against prorogation to be a member. Which means Clement doesn't think that a MINIMUM 506 voters in each of 308 federal ridings are anything to worry about. Silly man!
More numbers to think about.
[Cross-posted at Challenging the Commonplace.]