Her Majesty’s Disloyal Opposition

A response to law professor Peter Sankoff‘s Twitter thread led me to an article about the Alberta legal case MEAD V. MEAD. It describes reasoning of the sort employed by freedumb protesters of 2022, a collection of individuals who support exercises of authority only if those uphold preferred dogmas.

The article was AFTER THE HAMMER: SIX YEARS OF MEADS V. MEADS by legal scholar Donald J. Netolitzky, published in the Alberta Law Review:

Associate Chief Justice Rooke of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench issued Meads v. Meads, a very unusual, and arguably unprecedented, 736-paragraph decision. [It] responded to a collection of unorthodox documents and arguments advanced by the husband, Dennis Larry Meads. He purported to name the case management justice his fiduciary, unilaterally imposed a scheme of fines on anyone who would interact with him or use his name, and detailed a contract between himself and himself… Needless to say, this was all nonsense.

Nevertheless, this was not unique nonsense, and so the Court responded to Mr. Meads with a decision that compiled over a decade of Canadian jurisprudence, American academic research, and the Court’s own encounters with persons who held beliefs parallel to those of Meads. Meads described and refuted a collection of concepts grouped under a novel label: “Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Arguments” (OPCA).

These ideas are pseudolaw, a collection of motifs that sound like law and often involve legal terminology, but which lead to legally incorrect results. Most pseudolaw is designed to defeat or bypass state, police, court, and institutional authority.

…Meads is that most exotic of creatures — a court judgment read by the public for educational and informational purposes. Maclean’s magazine described Meads as a “Court decision with a cult following.” 6 Any Internet search will identify Meads referenced in a diverse range of online forums. This decision has become a principal reference for academics, and is also cited as a restatement for broader principles of law...

Mead v. Mead will be cited again as arrested blockaders defend themselves in court against a variety of charges. But Postmedia newspapers will be more sympathetic to Meads’ nonsense than they were seven years ago:

Politicians devoid of principles exacerbate the stupidity seen on Canadian streets. Many Conservatives support protesters so they share responsibility for ugly acts. I wonder if demonstrators spitting at news people were encouraged by RCMP officers who arrested journalists improperly, ripped off face masks so pepper spray could be directed onto uncovered faces of victims, and then lied about the actions.

Alison Creekside’s list had me wondering if demonstrators blockaded White Rock’s Marine Drive, established occupation camps on the waterfront promenade and blocked trains full of American thermal coal headed for export through BC ports, would Conservative Kerry-Lynne Findlay be there to the applaud the exercise of freedom?

No, right-wing support for civil unrest is not about citizen rights to free expression. It is about the hope of gaining political advantage and, more importantly, political power. In the aftermath of World War I, a small group of Germans had similar ideas. They fostered instability and encouraged fears and frustrations.

Anti-democratic moves ultimately led to economic destruction, genocide that killed vast numbers, and six years of intense warfare that eliminated directly and indirectly about three percent of the world’s population, up to eight-five million souls.

It is sad that in 2022, Canada’s second largest political party has stopped believing in community responsibilities and cooperation, mutual respect between individuals, the rule of law, and democracy itself.

Categories: Justice

4 replies »

  1. As the the NDP and Liberal parties are toxic to the voter, the Conservatives have become radioactive!

    As national terrorism continues by a small band of useful idiots, one can only think who is playing this grand game of Convoy Chess?

    Is it the extremely undemocratic (some would say autocratic) Trumpian GOP? Or is it China, who wants to embarrass Canada more on the world stage? Or, is it Russia, to keep peoples minds off their land grab in Ukraine.

    In the modern world, Canada has no friends and many want to see this country devolve into chaos.

    Spineless politicians compounded by a grossly ignorant electorate rant on about getting a jab to prevent the spread of a deadly lil virus have created a spectacle of national embarrassment.

    Thank god these Covidiots were not around in the 50’s with the Salk vaccine!


  2. A person who was greatly harmed by a too-cozy relationship between business interests and their government friends sees this article as inappropriate support for Justin Trudeau and his opportunistic followers.

    My response to that person:

    I’ve spent the last dozen years arguing about government failures but I’m not about to support a self-appointed rabble that decides it is empowered to “negotiate” with elected officials about laws and public health requirements. I’ve watched these people spit upon and scream at news gatherers, assault nurses and others going to work in healthcare facilities, threaten children wearing masks attending schools, prevent people of downtown Ottawa from enjoying peace in their homes, stop businesses from doing business, etc.

    If we give in to mob rule, voting and political dialogue will be replaced by coercion, violence and intimidation.

    I agree with the words of Winston Churchill:

    “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”

    You and I have not been successful in encouraging fairness and better treatment for all, but in the past 150 years, movement toward those goals has been slow and steady.


  3. The term is hypocrisy. Some of these people believe that they have the right not have a vaccination because it’s their body. Fair enough, I get it, but be ready to accept the consequences of your beliefs. At the same time, some “Convoy” Sympathizers believe that women shouldn’t have the same privilege but would deny them from having an abortion. These right-wing wingnuts are becoming a cult and some of our elected political Conservatives are are leading the march (but from the sidelines).


  4. Noticing increasing reports online of unmasked people deliberately looking to intimidate ordinary folks just going about their daily activities.

    Here’s one just posted on Twitter by CBC’s Andrew Kurjata out of Prince George.

    “Wife just got home from grocery store. Four people in store as group — two had clothes on with clothing stating white supremacist slogans (ie white is the master race). Not shopping. Unmasked.

    Many of the people who work at the store are non-white.


    The time has long past when Conservative politicians can deny their shameful cheerleading of cowards like those protesting at Pacific Border Crossing are not emboldening this behaviour.


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