Pie: the creamy bastion of democracy

The pie has an important place in Canadian society. Pies are delicious, nutritious and, as has been made evident in recent years, they are a wonderful tool for political activism. But members of the political establishment are seemingly opposed to using a pie for protest purposes.

Last month, federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea was the recipient of a delicious pie to her face, a message of opposition to the seal hunt delivered by an American PETA activist. Liberal MP Gerry Byrne declared that the attack was akin to terrorism, tacitly encouraging Shea to press charges against her attacker. The proper course of action, of course, is to decriminalize the pie.

Throughout recent memory, a keen observer can find many instances of prominent Canadians getting pied. Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien took a pastry in the face during a visit to Prince Edward Island back in 2000. Former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein was pied during the 2003 Calgary Stampede. Former Human Resources Minister Pierre Pettigrew got a pie in the face during a press conference back in 1999. The irony is that it wasn’t the first time Pettigrew had stuff thrown at him by protesters — an animal rights activist threw red paint at him, explaining after his arrest that it was representative of the blood on his hands due to Canada’s involvement in Haiti. The pie’s message was much more succinct and effective — writing on the pie said “On behalf of the unemployed.” Unfortunately, many of these dispersions of creamy justice have resulted in criminal charges.

The solution is simple: provide every Canadian citizen with one pie to dispense at their discretion. No criminal proceedings can occur as a result of the movements of these approved pies. Citizens retain the right to transfer their pie to another individual for their use, but everyone is allocated a single pie. These pies are an important part of the democratic process, but they’re also a strong social regulator. The prime minister prorogues Parliament? Bam! Pie to the face. Your next-door neighbour has a loud party? Bam! Pie to the face. Your roommate forgets to buy milk on the way home? Bam! Pie to the face.

Creating this kind of limited legal indemnity for pies to the face will create new incentives to live in Canada: a more robust democracy, a strong economy through the secondary sale of pies and giving many individuals a delicious treat as well as a much-needed humbling. Marie Antoinette may have coined the phrase “Let them eat cake,” but Canadians should advocate a modified version: “Let them pie each other in the face.”

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