When elitism comes to Canada

The great gaping cavern of discordant gibberish that is the Mouth of John Baird has once again gotten him some attention, because what he said was not calculated to win friends or even influence people, especially among the “elites”:


Government House Leader John Baird is blaming “Toronto elites” for the certain death of a bill to abolish the Federal long-gun registry.

The Ottawa West-Nepean MPP admits the Federal Government’s latest attempt to abolish the registry will likely fail next week, saying it’s Toronto party leaders and elites for being behind the movement to defeat the bill.

The NDP says it will have enough votes in the House of Commons next week to defeat the Conservative private member’s bill to abolish the registry.

Baird warns MPs who “face pressure from Toronto elites” and change their votes will be held accountable at the polls.

Baird, who is generally wrong and dumb about almost everything else, actually has it right this time.   When people who don’t own guns and know less than zero about them can force their weapons-grade gun stupidity onto those of us who do know something about them, that’s practically the textbook definition of elitism:

That those who dwell in the select and favoured Toronto-Montreal-Ottawa axis  believe they have not only good reason but some God-given right to continually prevail over the rest of us on this issue is certainly elitist.  For them to make criminals of those who don’t comply with their goofy rules, give the police access to our personal information without even Probable Cause, as well as alarmingly expanded search and seizure powers, is something a lot more sinister.

When fascism comes to Canada, it will be sipping a mocha latte, wearing a smiley face button, blithering in high-speed wild-eyed hysterics about how a list can “keep us safe”, and without a hint of irony, tsk-tsking about “authoritarian thugs” at the G20.

23 Responses to “When elitism comes to Canada”

  1. 1 Brian Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Hey JJ. I read something very disturbing that this touches on. I would really like you to read it, and tell me what you think of it.

    I really don’t want to get into one of the fire-fights that I so often find myself in here.

    How can this be done? I mean, I know you have me email address…that’s one possibility.

    “weapons-grade gun stupidity” That’s priceless. I simply have to enter that into my snideness repertoire. I laughed pretty good at it. Thanks again for another great turn of phrase.

  2. 2 Bleatmop Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Great post JJ. Too bad it will fall on too many deaf ears.

  3. 3 Torontonian Friday, September 17, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Let’s take away his car and driver, his expense account and travel privileges and give him a bag lunch, $5 pocket money and two bus tickets. That would make him more like us.

    He’s about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

  4. 4 PeterC Friday, September 17, 2010 at 4:32 am


    JJ, srsly, the TO-Montreal-Ottawa elite?

    People against the gun registry don’t know anything about guns?

    Goofy rules? You mean laws?

    Generalize much?

    And Brian agrees with you?


  5. 5 AlisonS Friday, September 17, 2010 at 5:02 am

    I do know something about guns, in fact I am a pretty good shot. I have no problem with registering long guns, it is no different than registering a car. In my view it is the people who are hysterical about registration who are the problem.

  6. 6 JJ Friday, September 17, 2010 at 5:31 am

    AlisonS – I’m sure you’re a great shot, but your view with regard to this registry is not representative of most long gun owners.

    Look, I’m not one of those people who thinks I should be able to carry an AK47 while I go shopping. I have no problem with gun licenses etc., just the long gun registry which seems redundant and unnecessarily intrusive. Since it will probably survive, maybe the fascist aspects of it can be removed and with a little more consultation with the people who are actually affected by it, produce something more amenable to all sides.

    That is my hope, anyway.

  7. 7 JJ Friday, September 17, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Peter C

    JJ, srsly, the TO-Montreal-Ottawa elite?

    Yes yes, some of my turns of phrase are a little over the top, something you never see from the pro-registry side 🙄 It’s something I generally try to avoid, but after all the hysteria for the last few months, in some cases from both sides (see Garry Breitkreuz), it just slipped out. Call it “defensive hyperbole”.

    But the hyperbole has some truth to it: among the general population (not including the police chiefs, who have their own agenda), most of the support for the registry is from urbanites who know little about guns except that they cause mayhem in the city. It would have been productive to include the input of rural long gun owners in the making of this legislation, but then that would have kept it from being the wedge issue it was intended to be.

    And Brian agrees with you?

    In spite of holding liberal views on about 99% of the issues, I have never kept it a secret that I have a couple of views that might be considered “conservative”, and this is one of them. So it’s not surprising that Brian agrees with me, since he’s a conservative (and an American, where, unlike us, they actually have a Constitutional right to bear arms).

  8. 8 JJ Friday, September 17, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Torontonian – Yeah, pot-kettle etc. Nobody said Baird and his cronies weren’t similarly elitist: the entire ruling class is by definition elitist. But what I think Baird was talking about is the *elitist* “we know better” attitude that so often characterizes this debate.

  9. 9 JJ Friday, September 17, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Bleatmop – Meh. I probably shouldn’t have, but I thought there was some truth to what Baird was saying. However, I think he was probably stupid to say it: it will just get people all fired up all over again. (But then, that was probably why he said it.)

    Ugh, this whole debate is so incredibly toxic.

  10. 10 JJ Friday, September 17, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Brian – If you want to talk to me away from here just email me at unrepentantoldhippie at yahoo dot ca.

  11. 11 Cornelius T. Zen Friday, September 17, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Good morrow, all!
    Harpoon keeps the Gay Rottweiler around for the same reason that George Bush I kept Dan Quayle: Baird makes Harpoon look astute. Everytime Harpoon wants to misdirect the public’s attention, he puts on his Jeff Dunham hat and brings out “Walter.” (although there are times when Baird more closely resembles Achmed the Dead Terrorist)
    The long gun registry does NOTHING to stop the flow and usage of handguns and automatic weapons. Ask anybody here in the Drive-By Capital. Bad guys don’t use clumsy hunting rifles to take out their targets. They need, and can easily obtain, weapons that are easily carried and concealed.
    Might as well kill the registry. All it does is keep some swivel serpents employed.
    Lock and load – CTZen

  12. 12 Brian Friday, September 17, 2010 at 7:07 am

    PeterC said:

    And Brian agrees with you?   Wow.

    Actually, I didn’t say anything one way or the other about what JJ said.  I only said that I thought the phrase “Weapons-grade stupidity” was terrific.

    There is nothing in what I said that would allow you to see my position on this thread.

  13. 13 JJ Friday, September 17, 2010 at 7:59 am

    CTZen – It will likely survive, then we’ll probably go right into an election either this winter or next spring with everyone all fired up on both sides. Mission accomplished! Then the registry will fall off the front page of public consciousness… til the next time whatever government is in place wants to get everyone all fired up.

    I always thought abortion was the most toxic debate around, but clearly it’s not. I’ve never seen an issue as crazy-making as this one 😯

  14. 14 JJ Friday, September 17, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Brian – Right, I hadn’t even read your comment at that point — I was working my way up through the comments, not down 😛

  15. 16 fhg1893 Friday, September 17, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I’d just like to to dispel the idea that registering guns is somehow equivalent to registering cars.

    If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may continue to claim that registering guns is like registering cars. If however, you answer no to all questions, then continuing to make the comparison makes you into a damned liar.

    1 – When you applied for your drivers license, were you required to provide the names, addresses and phone numbers of all previous sexual partners that lived in your home?

    2 – When you applied for your drivers license, were you required to provide the names, addresses and phone numbers of two character references that have known you for more than three years?

    3 – When you applied for your drivers license, was your current sexual partner required to sign and date the application form?

    4 – When you applied for your drivers license, were you required to answer questions about your mental health, financial status, and conjugal status?

    5 – When you park your vehicle, does the law require that you keep your vehicle in a locked garage and drain the fuel-tank, or alternatively does the law require that you lock your vehicle doors, drain the fuel tank, and remove the spark-plugs?

    6 – If you drive a two-door coupe, convertible, or motorcycle, does the law require that you obtain special authorization from the ministry to take your vehicle out of your garage? Further, does the law require that you only drive your two-door coupe, convertible, or motorcycle on a government approved track and nowhere else?

    7 – If your vehicle is stolen, is it a criminal offense not to report the theft?

    8 – If your vehicle is capable of traveling at more than 120 Km/h, are you required to install a governor that will prevent your vehicle from exceeding 120 Km/H?

    9 – When your driver’s license, or registration expire, does the local law-enforcement authority dispatch the high-threat response team, the emergency response team, or the SWAT team to immediately seize your vehicle?

    10 – Because everybody knows that motorcycle gangs don’t drive wood-paneled station-wagons, have several political parties either officially adopted, or mused about the possibility of a ban on all motorcycles, two-door coupes, and convertibles?

    11 – Are you required to show your driver’s license when purchasing gasoline, or having any service, including an oil change, preformed on your vehicle?

  16. 17 JJ Friday, September 17, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Well, that pretty much buries that goofy little meme. Well done.

  17. 18 croghan27 Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 7:46 am

    “That those who dwell in the select and favoured Toronto-Montreal-Ottawa axis believe they have not only good reason but some God-given right to continually prevail over the rest of us on this issue is certainly elitist.”

    Somebody has been listening to Sarah Palin. The only real ‘Americans’ are those that live in small towns and villages …. those (majority) that live in cities, do not really count, they are elites.

    Not elites in Canada, but the politics of division is raising its’ ugly head. There may be arguments against the long gun registrary but this has nothing to do with.

    Ain’t democracy a bitch.

  18. 19 JJ Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 8:31 am


    Somebody has been listening to Sarah Palin.

    With all due respect, that’s what we pickup truck drivers would call “a load” 😉 😛 I don’t listen to that dingbat or anyone else for that matter.

    I’ve never said that the only “real Canadians” are in small towns — that would be a little rich coming from someone who was born and raised and lived their first 30 years in Toronto.

    I’m questioning why it seems that urban Canada always prevails over rural Canada on an issue that clearly affects the latter so much more than the former. I’m saying that the Elitist Wingnut John Baird might have a point, however dumbly it was made (and FTR I think it was kind of a STUPID thing for him to say, “Toronto Elites”, but the cons are obviously pushing the divisiveness of this issue to the hilt).

  19. 20 Brian Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 8:35 am


    You’re portraying a Caricature.

    There truly is a “class” (for want of a better word) that believes it is specially qualified to arrange & organize the lives of others, to rule over them.   I’ll call then the “ruling class.”   In contrast to them are those who believe they should rule their own lives.   I’ll call then the “country class,” because the ruling class believes & projects (in media interviews, in speeches from the floors of congresses, etc.) that those who disagree about the qualifications of the ruling class to rule are nothing but unsophisticated country bumpkins.

    An example of a ruling class member showing his disdain for the country class, verbalized because they were opposing him, was Obama saying of people in “… small towns in Pennsylvania and, … a lot of small towns in the Midwest …” (in other words, country bumpkins), “[I]t’s not surprising … they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”   He’s actually trying to show empathy for those about whom he’s speaking, but he’s talking as if he is far above them, and they can’t help themselves.   Because of that, it is only right that he, being so much more erudite, should rule over these country-class individuals.   “There, there now.   Who can blame you for feeling that way?   You just don’t know any better…”

    This paradigm was also manifested when Bill Clinton was president.   There was a sum of tax money that was seen as a surplus, and some people (some legislators, some pundits & part of the populace) thought that that money should be returned to the people who had paid it to the government, and others (Clinton included) thought the government ought to treat it as a windfall.   At that time, Clinton (foolishly) said, “we could return it, but how do we know that people will spend it on the right things?”   That was foolish, because it gave away a clue as to his view of things that people were really not prepared to receive well. But it illuminates this situation, where some feel it is their proper role to rule over others who simply are not equipped to rule over themselves.

    That mentality of those in government toward the governed is an elitist paradigm.   It is categorically not a minority/majority, democracy-sucks type of thing, though the ruling class wants to portray things that way to the country class, or to those who really aren’t in either one of the classes — yet (the “independents” that politicians woo).

    Your sneer, “The only real ‘Americans’ are those that live in small towns & villages… [T]hose ([the] majority) that live in cities, do not really count, they are elites,” is exactly the terms the ruling class wants you to see things in.   Anyone with that attitude is most certainly going to strive to be among, and/or to be seen as being among, the class labeled as “the majority,” because this model casts those who are not “in the majority” as rubes, country bumpkins, unsophisticated, possibly inbred.   This model counts on people’s vanity to make them go along with the actions of the ruling class.   After all, who would want to face being seen as a rube?


    There’s an interesting adaptation of this model in the Blade series of movies.   In the world of those movies, the vampires see it as their proper role to rule over humans, whom they disdain.   To them, humans are nothing but food.

    The vampires have “familiars” who revere the vampires, and who look down their nose at the humans who are not familiars.

    The familiars associate themselves with the vampires, because they hope to one day be turned into a vampire, and thus one day join the ruling class.   But the vampires never intend to add a familiar to their ranks.   The vampires despise the familiars as less than worms.

  20. 21 Bleatmop Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    You know, a thought just came to me. If we were living in England, we could very well be having this debate about the mass array of cameras monitoring every persons lives. I’m certain the cops would be saying how they need them because it helps them save lives and solve crimes. I’m sure there would be (and are) liberty bent people who say they are an abomination and that there are people who tsk tsk those people and so on. Not a direct comparison, but I think the fundamentals are the same.

  21. 22 JJ Monday, September 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Bleatmop – Bingo. Of course the cops would claim that ubiquitous surveillance would help them, they’d tell us that knowing how many squares of toilet paper we use (and whether it’s one or two-ply) would help them.

    Having more information is just the nature of cops. They will NEVER turn down more information, no matter how useless it is.

    Just try calling them about something. A couple of years ago, I called the cops because there was a bear strolling around the neighbourhood and I wanted him safely relocated before one of the neighbours blew him away. They spent about 15 minutes interrogating me on every aspect of my existence, then told me to call the spca (who I had already called and told me to call the cops. D’oh!).

  22. 23 Brian Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 8:26 am

    And that’s the bear truth!

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