Sunday, April 24, 2016

That's No Accident

Despite what happened in Edmonton two weeks ago, progressivism is finding new life across the country. Ed Broadbent, Michal Hay and Emilie Nicolas point to a string of issues which are now front and centre in Canada:

Across the country, the fight for a $15-an-hour minimum wage is picking up steam. In Toronto and Montreal, Black Lives Matter and Montréal Noir are successfully pushing for public consultations and independent inquests in recent police shootings and are raising awareness about persistent systemic anti-black racism. Meanwhile, Indigenous rights activists have followed suit with widespread actions to draw attention to chronic underfunding and injustice.
The Alberta provincial budget’s determination to reject austerity and instead protect core public services, invest in new infrastructure and enact new climate protection measures is being widely applauded. The Supreme Court of Canada has rendered two historic verdicts, one dismembering the Harper government’s dubious criminal justice legacy, the other extending important new rights to Métis people.
Roiled by Liberal fundraising scandals, the Ontario and Quebec governments are in full-on damage control mode to rid politics of corporate and union contributions – a long-standing progressive demand. Finally, the federal government’s announcement of a process to reform our voting system is imminent, opening the door for Canada to join the majority of democracies with more effective electoral systems based on the principle of proportionality.

And the Right -- as underscored by last week's verdict at the Duffy trial -- is in retreat:

What’s not on the public policy agenda? Well, with few exceptions across the country, the hoary canards of the political Right: government retrenchment, “tough on crime” legislation, restrictions on civil liberties, and old-tyme climate change denial, are rarer than Canadian hockey teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In fact, both the Ontario and Manitoba Progressive Conservative parties have recently come out in favour of carbon pricing.

What are the causes? Well, the Great Recession has caused people around the world to re-evaluate the smug certitude of Conservatism -- Canadian or otherwise:

Why is this leftward tilt in our political discourse and public debate happening? One reason is certainly that in the wake of the recession, and with rising inequality, environmental degradation and flagging employment impossible to deny, the political Left has momentum around the world and Canada is part of this tide.
This increasing progressivism takes different forms in different countries. In Europe anti-austerity parties like Spain’s Podemos are gaining ground powered by record engagement of young people. In the United States, the unlikely candidacy of Bernie Sanders has captured the imagination both of aging hippies and tech-savvy millennials.

How it will all shake out is still uncertain. But you'll notice that Stephen Harper is nowhere to be seen. That's no accident.



ron wilton said...

Is it also 'no accident' that a province with a population and economy roughly equivalent to Alberta, larger than the Maritime provinces combined and has a governing party that has received over $60 million in corporate 'sponsorship' since 2005 and is in the process of vandalising and destroying the very fabric of it's existence is once again completely ignored by the rest of Canada in the media at least?

We have a premier who like the former prime minister indulges exclusively in lying, pretense, deceit and even surpasses him in self-deceit because she has become such a fine actor that she really has in her own mind become what she pretends to be.

Where harper knew he was full of shit and up to no good she actually 'believes' she is doing good instead of irreparable harm for generations to come and all for the benefit of a few shadowy corporate dregs and the rest of Canada, including our present federal government seem totally and completely oblivious to our plight.

Is that 'no accident'?

Owen Gray said...

As Mr. Shakespeare wrote, ron, "Oh, what a tangled web we weave//when first we practice to deceive." After awhile, it becomes easy to deceive ourselves.

The Mound of Sound said...

Broadbent's appeal, Owen, reminds me of the situation where the cops show up to haul the parents to jail and the grandparents have to swoop in to collect the kids. I'm sure Ed is well intentioned but he's of another time and he apparently believes his party hasn't drifted far to the right of the progressive left. The NDP is a house divided with many wanting to pursue the path to power at the expense of principle. Until they coalesce, find unity of purpose, the NDP can't return as a force of progressivism.

Owen Gray said...

I'm not sure that the NDP is the place for progressives anymore, Mound. But the issues are there. The question is: Do the folks directing the parties know that, among ordinary folks, neo-liberalism is losing its appeal? That's something Mulcair didn't understand.