Sunday, May 28, 2023

To The Right

Judy Rebick writes that things are shifting to the right in Canada. In Alberta, it's beginning to look like Danielle Smith will squeak through with a victory this week:

No less of a conservative than Globe and Mail columnist Andrew Coyne has written:

“It would be easy to dismiss the many odd things that come out of Danielle Smith’s mouth as the product of a disordered mind. Easy, and accurate.

“The past week alone has provided several examples. Equating the vaccine-compliant majority with Hitler’s followers; suggesting police officers who enforced public-health orders should face criminal charges; calling for doctors to be removed from decision-making roles in the next pandemic, in favour of the military. ”

A friend who was active in the pro-choice struggle back in the 80’s in Alberta tells me Smith was the most ferocious anti-abortion person in the province. Smith, like most Tories who want to win, keeps her views on abortion hidden but she recently admitted that she looks to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem as role models for Alberta.

In Ontario, the Ford juggernaut continues:

In Ontario despite massive opposition, the corrupt Doug Ford government is privatizing health care as fast as they can. Bill 60 cuts core services including surgeries and diagnostics out of public hospitals into private for-profit hospitals and clinics. This at the same time as public hospitals are starving for funds and staff.

According to the Ontario Health Coalition this will create two-tier health care in Ontario in which patients will be faced with an increasing array of user charges and extra-billing for care when they are sick, elderly, in need and least able to pay.

To drive back the privatization, the Ontario Health Coalition is organizing a massive citizen run referendum on privatizing health care. The voting takes place all over the province on May 25 and 26, as well as online. It’s a unique strategy that may or may not push the government back.

The Ontario Federation of Labour is organizing a cross province day of action on June 3 that includes opposition to privatization. The combination of both actions may force Ford to take a step back and just as importantly spark some energy in progressive social movements that has been sorely lacking.

There is one bright spot in Ontario:

We seem to be seeing a bit of a shift in Toronto where left-wing Olivia Chow is far ahead in the polls. After 15 years of right-wing leadership at City Hall, and a visible deterioration of living standards for most, people are looking for an alternative. The Toronto Labour Council just released an Environics poll of 1,001 eligible voters in the city. Fifty-five percent say the city should invest in better services even if it means a tax increase. This included the supporters of right-wing candidates.

The trend line is clear. That's why progressives need to work hard to counter the trend:

Canada has never been as moderate as we pretend. Because of massive opposition to free trade, we implemented neo-liberalism later than many other countries but just as ferociously. We need a huge rise in progressive social movements to fight further cutbacks, privatization and increased power to the billionaires who are increasingly running our lives.

Will they? Stay tuned.



Northern PoV said...

The Alberta saga is so depressing.
A diversion ...

There seems to be lots of songs that mention the province/girls-name.
Here is one with some good apropos comment:

MoS said...

This from today's Guardian.

Owen Gray said...

Fools, Mound. Damned fools.

Owen Gray said...

Her beauty is burning away, PoV.

zoombats said...

Until this country gets someone on the "Left" that has an idea of the life of the majority of citizens who are working class stiffs we are doomed to the bullshit between those right and those a little left of right(moderates). When I heard Crosbie last week mention the libs going left drove voters to the Ford Nation I wanted to throw up. She wouldn't know leftism if it jumped up and bit her in her silk clad ass. Don't even get me started on Singh, he hasn't had a leftist thought since Jesus was a boy. Just another millionaire lawyer who hasn't gone shopping for milk or cheese lately.

Owen Gray said...

Progressives have not been making much progress, zoombats.

lungta said...

My soul hurts

e.a.f. said...

If people are Progressive Conservatives then they most likely don't agree with what Smith has said and done. Ditto for Ontario and Ford. Smith and Ford are both similiar to the maga crowd, just the Canadian version.

If people vote for Ford and they run themselves into great debt trying to pay for their health care, then its their own fault. On the other hand, there are children involved and they don't vote but if their parents can't afford their health care they won't have much of a chance at life and that really isn't fair.

If smith is elected tomorrow, then Albertans can kiss their health care and enviornment good bye. She will not stop. Don't be surprised if she tries to restrict abortion either. At times smith reminds me of Desantos light

Some in the NDP believe to be elected they need to appear moderate, hence the positions they take. This isn't the party of Tommy Douglas and Dave Barrett. But such is life.

Becoming a politician is easy and you don't need to know much or be that smart, just smile a lot and tell people what they want to hear. The staff does the rest. If we don't like the politicians we have, we can always run ourselves, if we are not too old.

Owen Gray said...

We live in hope, lungta.

Owen Gray said...

As long as our politicians are like Smith and Ford, e.a.f, we'll be in for a rough ride.

Northern PoV said...

Condolences to both Canada and Alberta .. both big losers in yesterday's election ...

Owen Gray said...

The election was not good news, PoV.