The picture on the front page of Lloydminster, Alberta’s only newspaper is of a woman holding a protest sign.
“Trudeau should be hung for treason,” the sign reads, held by a woman identified as Charlie Medlicott.
First off, in Canada, the punishment for treason isn’t death. It’s 14 years (for treason) or life in prison (for high treason). And second, nothing Trudeau has done constitutes treason, high or low.
He hasn’t tried to assassinate the queen, he hasn’t engaged in battle with the Canadian Forces. He hasn’t used force to overthrow… well himself. He hasn’t “without lawful authority” shared military secrets. Or conspired to commit high treason. Maybe he’s not the greatest leader, but that’s not treason.
That’s not to say I know if he is or isn’t. I’m 31, and have been able to vote in a federal election only a handful of times. Has any government really done anything to make my life better? Honestly, it’s been about 31 years of the same.
But consider what would happen if we did hang leaders for making poor decisions. The fight for the leadership would be significantly shorter.
You want to lead the country? Have at ‘er, but remember, we hung the last guy.
What really gets me about the sign and it’s sentiment is that saying we should execute our prime minister, the head of the federal government, is actually treason. I have to assume a public execution of the top guy in government would overthrow the current leadership.
But I’d like to think that Medlicott doesn’t truly want to see the prime minister swing.
Writer and film-maker, Jon Ronson told an interesting story on an episode of Reply All while he was touring for his book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.
I’m not going to get into it here because it’s an article in itself, but the moral of the story is, people forget these public figures are people too, and they’ve got families and friends who love them.
Plus what do any of us know? The majority of Canadians, in my estimation, are only armed with some basic high school education regarding politics. Most people didn’t study political science in college or university.
The weird thing about politics is that most people don’t really understand what’s going on but everyone has an opinion.
As an addendum, I want to note Trudeau isn’t the first politician to get this kind of treatment. Alberta’s current premier, Rachel Notley, was the target of dozens of hateful comments and threats.
As well, I’m out of steam, but doing this is solidarity with France’s yellow-vest protests is absurd. The French are protesting high fuel costs, low minimum wages, and a solidarity tax on wealth, which are all opposite of what people are mad at Trudeau for.