Monday, January 04, 2016

On countermovements

Alison is right to highlight the latest right-wing astroturf group in Canada. But we shouldn't assume that mere exposure will meaningfully affect the growth of corporate-owned politics alone.

As is typically the case, Canadian politics tend to be influenced strongly by U.S. trends due to the overlap in culture and media. And there, privately-owned political structures are beginning to exceed the reach of political parties.

That makes for a serious problem to the extent the model is adopted on a similar scale in Canada - as a fairly modest amount of money by business standards could drown out nearly all other political voices between elections without any legal restraints.

But it also signals that citizens' movements can likewise work across and beyond party lines with relative freedom (at least for the moment). And so while we call out the astroturf in our midst, we should also recognize the opportunity to sow real seeds of change for the better.

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