While I know there are bigger stories going on, I think the media really missed the boat last week.
One story which hasn’t made much of a ripple is the act of civil disobedience by Senate page Brigette DePape, and I am not sure why.
DePape was working within government for the past two years, but was fed up.
She was tired of feeling powerless as her country went in a direction she didn’t like, in a direction she felt did not reflect the true feelings and intentions of Canadians.
“As a page, I witnessed one irresponsible bill after another pass through the Senate, and wanted to scream ‘Stop.'” said DePape in the Toronto Star.
So what did she do about it?
She interrupted the throne speech to tell the country what she really thought.
She held up a sign saying “STOP Harper” and she verbally thrashed the Prime Minister.
Now, whether or not she was right, whether or not you agree with what she believes about the current government and specifically Stephen Harper, I think this young woman should be applauded.
DePape is showing a passion for our government and for the future of our country, and she was willing to give up her job to do it.
Also in the Toronto Star newspaper, DePape explained her actions, saying “One person alone cannot accomplish much, but they must at least do what they can.”
Now, perhaps what she did will amount to nothing.
Perhaps her efforts will be dismissed as pointless and empty, but I think this young woman deserves recognition for her efforts.
In a generation being scorned for their lack of engagement, being made to feel powerless before those in power, and staying away from the ballot boxes in droves, one young woman chose to take a stand.
She gave it all up for the chance to make a statement, and to potentially engage people with the issues of the day.
Now we should give her the credit she is due and perhaps other young folks will again be inspired to engage in the political system and feel like their voices can be heard.
DePape herself was inspired by the words of a young Egyptian woman, Asmaa Mahfouz, whose YouTube call to the people of Egypt helped propel people to Tahrir Square, where a revolution was born.
I think DePape’s own words sum it up best: “We need a reminder that we have both the capacity to create change, and an obligation to.”
This is one Canadian youth who will not become an armchair critic, but instead will take her love for her country and transform it into action.