Canadians On Facebook Lash Out Against Parliament For Winter Olympic Break

Canadians are trying to stand up against the Canadian Prime Minister’s decision to prorogue (suspend) parliament until after the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Close to 45,000 Canadians have joined a group protesting the prorogue, with close to 20,000 joining in the past 8 hours. Interestingly enough, there are more people who are against the prorogue than there are fans of Stephen Harper, Canada’s Prime Minister.

I have to be honest. I didn’t know what the word “prorogue” meant before reading about it, but it highlights how Facebook continues to be used as a platform for political expression, something I highlighted in our annual year in Facebook recap. The group encourages Canadian citizens to reach out to their representatives (“Members of Parliament”) to encourage them to report to work, as its what they are getting paid for.

While I know absolutely nothing about the political landscape in Canada, the group’s administrator, Christopher White, is definitely going about this in the right way. Will the group be effective at getting the Members of Parliament to return to work? I would hope so if I were a citizen, but from the domestic articles I’ve read on the issue, it doesn’t seem very likely. If the U.S. Congress decided to take off a couple months to host the Olympics, I can guarantee you citizens would be furious.

It will be interesting to see if this group amounts to something more substantial. In a country with a population of 33 million citizens, attracting 1 million people would be a phenomenal accomplishment. In terms of percentage of the population, it would be the equivalent of a U.S. protest group gaining 10 million supporters.

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