- Derrick O'Keefe calls for a mass movement to stop the Harper Cons in their tracks now, rather than waiting for 2015:
Thoughts of ousting Harper in 2015 are well and good, but not nearly sufficient at this perilous moment for democracy and social justice in Canada. Given Bill C-38 and the events of the past few months - think about the "robocalls" scandal and the F-35 cost fiasco, for starters - nothing less than an unprecedented mass movement in the streets will suffice to push back and change the correlation of forces in political life in this country.
The rapid spread of protest actions - both with the Occupy encampments last fall, and the Casseroles in solidarity in Quebec these past weeks - illustrates, I think, a yearning for unity and mobilization amongst everyone opposed to Harper and the corporate agenda. It's been incredibly inspiring to watch, for example, how quickly the idea of 'Casseroles Night in Canada' spread. These moments are signs that there is a hunger for real, substantive change.
The experiences of Occupy and the Casseroles, however, have also revealed the limits of our capacities at present. Mobilizations spread quickly, but participation is fickle and large protests fleeting - this is inevitable without the backing and active support of big organizations, and without widespread politicization in general.
The strength of Quebec's student and social movements has been built up over years of base-building, and exist in the context of a much more developed progressive political culture than the rest of Canada. To admit this is not to give up, but rather to take a longer-term perspective to the task at hand - it's a war of position, not an insurrection.- Meanwhile, Jason Fekete confirms that the Cons' push for resource extraction at all costs bears no resemblance at all to what Canadians want to see. And John Geddes points out that the list of radical environmentalists who expect carbon pricing to play a part in the global economy includes the likes of the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell.
- In the "just behind the curve" department, Chris Selley speculates that a political party might be able to succeed in Quebec while challenging the sacred cow that is the asbestos industry. This surely comes as news to all concerned.
- Finally, Steve V rightly wonders how the influence of corporate advertising dollars may affect media coverage.