Monday, December 18, 2006

Tommy Douglas, Enemy of the State

The news that CCF/NDP leader Tommy Douglas was a target of RCMP spying for 30 years doesn't really come as a shock to me. The RCMP, then and now, has its own idea of what makes someone a good citizen and what makes someone dangerous. And those ideas aren't necessarily under the control of the government, or the courts, or the general public. If Douglas were alive today, he and Maher Arar would have a lot to talk about.

As someone who was raised by a Saskatchewan-born, farm-raised NDP supporter, I'm always going to have a certain affection for Tommy Douglas. Universal health care is probably the best thing a government can do for people. The fact that Douglas's programs were seen by the police of the day as essentially a communist plot looks pretty strange from a modern perspective.

The other question this brings up is, who are the RCMP watching today? We know that activists like Jaggi Singh have been under intense scrutiny at times, (Singh has been practically kidnapped by cops to keep him from attending protests) but what other public figures are the target of spying?

If you've ever said anything weird on a blog, there might be a file on you.

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