Thursday, December 29, 2016

New column day

Here, on the need for progressive leaders and activists alike to build connections beyond borders and party lines to combat a reactionary movement which spans the globe.

For further reading...
- Sam Kriss discusses how the systematic stifling of the left has given rise to the toxic politics of the right.
- Demi Lee points out why the environmental movement has every reason to fear the new pipeline alliance of Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump.
- Rowena Mason and Peter Walker report on Barack Obama's potshots at Jeremy Corbyn, together with Corbyn's response.
- Andrew Prokop examines the contest between Keith Ellison and Tom Perez for chair of the Democratic National Committee - and notes that it largely stands to exacerbate the divide between primary supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
- Julia Rampen highlights some of the connections between Trump, Nigel Farage and the rest of the right-wing echo chamber spanning both sides of the Atlantic.
- Finally, in pointing out the importance of working collectively toward common goals, I'll also note the danger of letting outside voices create splits where none exist - and Gillian Steward's attempt to paint disagreement on a single policy as an irreparable faultline within the NDP fits into that category. 

1 comment:

  1. Sub-Boreal4:21 p.m.

    Well, I read the Steward piece that you linked to, and it strikes me that you're thinking wishfully by dismissing it as an example of "outside voices creat[ing] splits where none exist". Sure, given the publication venue and the past work of that writer, I have no doubt that some element of mischief could be at work.

    But there is a genuine disagreement within and between provincial NDP sections, as well as regionally within the federal party, over fossil fuel infrastructure and how that jives with climate policies. Pretending that it doesn't exist is a serious error. And to dismiss this as "disagreement on a single policy" is a profound misjudgement of how central the climate / energy nexus is to early 21st-Century societies - and the moral test that it presents to those who would govern.

    However much it pains us, lots of party members, as well as major elements of our supporter base, and not just here in BC, see Rachel Notley as being on wrong side of history on this.

    And it really does pain me. I lived in AB for a total of 4 years in the '70s and '80s, and I left, passing up some good employment opportunities, to escape its stifling, monolithic political culture. So it certainly was wondrously amazing that Notley won in 2015, and I celebrated along with everyone else in the party.

    But it was a lucky fluke, and all that will save her - perhaps - is continued infighting on the AB right. For this 4 year term, some useful modernizations will happen, and her government will take the edge off some of the inbred nastiness of AB governance. And if I still lived there, I'd be glad. But however ambitious the current AB climate and energy policies are in the provincial context, they're merely catching up to the low bar set by the federal Liberals.

    Despite some hiccups and wobbling since 2013, the BC NDP now firmly opposes the Kinder-Morgan expansion, and this will be one of the ballot questions next May. Which means that Rachel Notley has to hope that her BC counterparts lose that election, if her own prospects are going improve from, say, sheer fantasy, to merely an unlikely long-shot.

    So it wouldn't surprise me in the least if, sometime before May, AB and BC conclude a power purchase agreement, which will save Clark's ill-conceived Site C generating project, which currently lacks any sound rationale. This would give Clark a boost and kneecap the BC NDP, perhaps fatally, because, again after some wobbling, they've sort of come out against the project. I'd like to be wrong about this, but this scenario seems perfectly plausible.