Canada at the crossroads. July 19, 2007 Update: July 29


A Globe and Mail article in today’s online edition is entitled, “Harper failing to sway the country“. It should read that Harper is failing to browbeat us into some neo-conservative fantasy world.

_done_harpershake500big.jpgPrime Minister Stephen Harper is greeted by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet as he arrives at the Presidential Palace in Santiago, Chile Tuesday.” (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Canada is in a political stalemate, possibly a crisis. We have timid leaders who cannot or will not look beyond the polling numbers for guidance. Therefore, they are all locked into an elbow-in-the-ribs, shin-kicking fight for urban, middle-class voters who themselves are fearful of losing what they have. It’s an endless fight for the puck in the corner as the fans file out in disgust. It is a truly ugly and appalling state of affairs.

Harper is the consummate plutocratic tactician. He can no more lead this country than can George Bush admit defeat. He is simply playing Prime Minister while waiting out the polls till they give him the magic number for a majority.

“Discomfort with Stephen Harper’s Conservatives is deepening among women, francophones and wealthier Canadians, according to a new poll that puts the government in a dead heat with the Liberals in popular support. The survey, conducted for The Globe and Mail/CTV News, finds that both parties enjoy the backing of 31 per cent of the electorate, a drop of three points for the Tories from last month, but not a change for the Liberals. The NDP is supported by 17 per cent and the Greens by 10 per cent.

Compared with one year ago, when they were at 37-per-cent support, the Tories find themselves less popular among women, French-speaking Canadians and voters who earn more than $100,000 a year.”(Brian Laghi, Globe and Mail, July, 19, 2007)

 

One can be forgiven for being discouraged. We often lament the loss of a leader and perhaps this lull should give us pause to consider this: we are our own saviours. No one likes to talk about class issues because class issues have been smudged over by easy credit and cheap, imported goods. It’s pretty hard to consider yourself a member of an oppressed class when you have the latest lawn mower and yard items from Canadian Tire. If you are lucky, and have overtime coming in, you may get that stuff paid off before it’s time for Christmas shopping.

Make no mistake. This is the lull before the storm. Global events will wash over this country and many won’t know what the hell hit them. As long as there is no effective opposition in this country, Harper DOES have a majority. He just doesn’t have the guts to do what he wants yet – Mike Harris style. He has the team – Flaherty, Day, MacKay, General Hillier, and the new head of the RCMP, William Elliot – a man tied to the Conservative party. Harper has the team to wreak the same kind of damage on Canada as a whole as Harris did to Ontario. This is fine if you already have portable wealth. If you are a wage earner and a low or no income person, then you are in serious trouble with a Harper majority.

The over $100,000 club is just upset Harper isn’t moving faster, Franco-phones don’t support the Afghan mess and women have always had their doubts about Harper. These examples from the Globe article are merely demographic indicators, not the nexus of a movement for change.

New Democratic Party leader, Jack Layton could do much to spur some action. If he and the party could put their losing strategy aside (looking like liberals. Hello – look at the Green Party poll numbers!) He could embark on a nation-wide Tour of Outrage, and try to convince middle-class voters to put aside narrow self-interest, and WARN others of their imminent peril. And now you know why they call me naive.

For now, Harper will take the slow road, playing Prime Minister and keeping everyone guessing. Meanwhile, the corporate sell-off of Canadian assets continues on the road to Deep-Integration. The real choice for Canadians – if we would just wake up – lies in solidarity with all those in the world struggling for economic and political freedom. From Latin and South America, to Africa and the Middle East. We live in a world where hyper-capitalism is destroying the very means of our survival – land, water, food, and intellectual honesty. The Canadian working-class is simply being bought off with it’s own money.

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Here is a version of the above article submitted to the Northern Life Community Newspaper:

A Globe and Mail article in today’s online edition (July 19) is entitled, “Harper failing to sway the country“. It should read that Harper is failing to browbeat us into some neo-conservative fantasy world.

Canada is in a political stalemate. We have timid leaders who will not look beyond the polling numbers for guidance. Therefore, they are all locked into an elbow-in-the-ribs, shin-kicking fight for urban, middle-class voters who themselves are fearful of losing what they have, while many have less than they need. Canadian politics has devolved into an endless fight for the puck in the corner as the fans file out in disgust. It is a truly ugly and appalling state of affairs.

Harper is the consummate plutocratic tactician. He can no more lead this country than can George Bush admit defeat. He is simply playing Prime Minister while waiting out the polls.

The survey, conducted for The Globe and Mail/CTV News, finds that both parties [liberals and conservative] enjoy the backing of 31 per cent of the electorate, a drop of three points for the Tories from last month, but not a change for the Liberals. The NDP is supported by 17 per cent and the Greens by 10 per cent. Compared with one year ago, when they were at 37-per-cent support, the Tories find themselves less popular among women, French-speaking Canadians and voters who earn more than $100,000 a year.”(Brian Laghi, Globe and Mail, July, 19, 2007)

The over $100,000 club is just upset Harper isn’t moving faster, Francophones, in general, don’t support the Afghan mess, and women have always had their doubts about Harper. These examples from the Globe article are merely demographic indicators, not the nexus of a movement for change.

No one likes to talk about class issues because the term “class” has been smudged over with easy credit, cheap, imported goods, and a declining base of well-paying jobs. It’s pretty hard to consider yourself a member of an oppressed class when you have the latest lawn mower and yard items from Canadian Tire. If you are lucky, and have overtime coming in, you may get that stuff paid off before it’s time for Christmas shopping.

The biggest contemporary lie of all is the idea that the working-class IS the middle-class. The gap has widened so much that we are becoming a society of rich and poor. So, with no effective opposition in this country, Harper DOES have a majority. He has the team – Flaherty, Day, MacKay, General Hillier, and the new head of the RCMP, William Elliot – a man tied to the Conservative party. This team is poised to wreak the same kind of damage on Canada as a whole, as Harris did in Ontario. The only question for Harper is how and when. If you are a wage earner, an Aboriginal person, a single parent, and a low or no income person, then you are in serious trouble with a Harper majority.

New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton could do much to create a nexus of social change. If he and the party put their losing strategy of looking like liberals aside (Hello – look at the Green Party poll numbers!), he could embark on a nation-wide “Tour of Outrage” and try to convince working-class voters to put aside narrow self-interest, and WARN others of their imminent peril.

Instead, many watch as Harper takes the slow road, playing Prime Minister and keeping many guessing or yawning. Meanwhile, the corporate sell-off of Canadian assets continues on the road to continental integration. The real choice for Canadians – if we would just wake up – lies in solidarity with all those in the world struggling for economic and political freedom. From Latin and South America, to Africa and the Middle East, the Canadian working-class will find their equals already challenging the Harpers of their countries. We live in a world where hyper-capitalism is destroying the very means of our survival – land, water, air and intellectual honesty. The Canadian working-class is simply being bought off with its own money, to not care.

Read the heavily edited version that appeared in the paper here.

3 Comments

Filed under Brian Laghi, Canada-US-Mexico, Canada-USA Integration, Canadian Politics, Deep Integration, Economics and Society, Global Capitalism, Globe and Mail, New Democratic Party of Canada, North American Competitiveness Council, Socialism

3 responses to “Canada at the crossroads. July 19, 2007 Update: July 29

  1. Hey Paul…I agree completely that this is the lull before the storm…or a kind-of-lull before the preexisting storm of Liberal-implemented neoliberalism gets worse…or something. Whatever the metaphor, I agree that there is no indication that class warfare from above is set to ease off or reverse itself either globally or in Canada in the next little while, and there is distressingly little sign of life in social movements in this country.

    Good to see you posting again, by the way!

  2. Yeah, as you can see the right wing has no real answers to the problems we face worldwide, so now we are seeing the bitter fruit of this move to the right over the last 30 years. It is time to put the right out of all our governments worldwide. They have not been able to effectively govern anywhere they have been in power. The movement is for the minds of people. Just getting one of your own acquaintances who lean right to move away from the idiots will be a movement as that acquaintance does the same and passes it along. Personal direct action, on a personal level is where we beat the right!

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

  3. law

    clapso you are an idiot! Europe is moving rightward to save itself from going down the drain. Look at france! The reason why it seems that right wing leaders can’t lead is because of the idiotic left wing propaganda that you fall for, in fact both sides have propaganda, wherein the other side is made out to be completely inept.

    Canada is dependent on the US economy, which means that if there is a large energy crisis brought on by global oil peakage and terrorism, Canada might find it’s economy cut off completely from the USA, and then the famine sets in as canadians die of hunger. Perhaps it would be wise to integrate deeply such that an economic cutoff cannot happen.

    If you canadians think the USA is so evil then think about this, complete integration will allow you to swing the US vote and effect politics and the USA will stop sending armies around the world and destroying every nation in its path. How much of the world has the USA destroyed so far, like 50%, that’s what it seems like it would be by the way you brain-freeze idiots talk. I guess the cold kills brain cells, ehhhhhhh.

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