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The founding father of the Canadian province of Manitoba was later hanged as a traitor to Canada.  Today we celebrate him!  (This diary was fist published on Louis Riel day, 2011).

Today the Canadian province of Manitoba is celebrating its newest statutory holiday: Louis Riel Day.  The holiday was created in February of 2007 during a particularly long and brutal cold snap.  A popular morning radio DJ began a listener petition and sparked what soon became a province-wide outcry for a February statutory holiday.  The government considered the objections of the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce for as long as it takes for piss to freeze in February about 2 seconds before warmly embracing the will of the people.  Now that's democratic government in action.

Follow me after the fold for the strange and tragic story of Louis Riel and his much contested legacy.

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Today the Canadian province of Manitoba is celebrating its newest statutory holiday: Louis Riel Day.  The holiday was created in February of 2007 during a particularly long and brutal cold snap.  A popular morning radio DJ began a listener petition and sparked what soon became a province-wide outcry for a February statutory holiday.  The government considered the objections of the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce for about 2 seconds as long as it takes for piss to freeze in February before warmly embracing the will of the people.  Now that's democratic government in action.

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It has just been reported that in the next few days Stephane Dion will be replaced as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.  This follows calls for his immediate departure over the last two days from the two leading contenders to replace him, as well as prominent figures within the Liberal Party.

It appears that Michael Ignatieff will take his place after a caucus vote on Wednesday.

It is unclear what this means for the prospect of a NDP-Liberal coalition taking over the government in late January.  Dion was a very unpopular and inept leader and replacing him as the head of any proposed coalition would be a good thing.  Unfortunately Ignatieff seems somewhat  ambivalent over the whole idea, and likely has plans of his own.

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Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 05:52 PM PDT

A pragmatist's response on FISA

by RageKage

For all the talk about the 4th Amendment, and protecting the Constitution, for me the FISA fight is not primarily about that.  It's about something even more important: the rule of law itself.

NCrissieB has an excellent Diary explaining why the current FISA revisions will do little to damage the 4th Amendment.  Along with providing a useful history of the FISA regime, NCrissieBS compellingly argues that the 4th Amendment was effectively eviscerated by the USA PATRIOT Act, and the the current revisions are therefore of little consequence.  But this does not mean that the fight over FISA is any less important.

If the rule of law is not secure none of our rights are safe, whether they are written in the Constitution, in statutes, or in the common law.  If the law is not upheld, they are all just words on a page.  Upholding the rule of law is, in its own right, more important than nearly everything else.

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