Sunday, August 02, 2020

On preemptive action

Others have rightly pointed out Norlaine Thomas' thread about the threat Stephen Harper and his acolytes pose to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But I'll take the opportunity to expand on the prospect of stopping that crusade in its tracks in Saskatchewan's provincial election (which, to be clear, is scheduled for October 26).

First, there's more than just an outside chance of a vote for change.

While the Saskatchewan Party has generally remained ahead in the polls (other than after the 2017 budget which resulted in Brad Wall fleeing the scene), this fall's election will feature new leaders on all sides, as well as a vote being conducted under unprecedented circumstances. And that's without going into the strengths of Ryan Meili and the NDP's team of candidates - who I'd argue offer the strongest prospect for change in the public interest seen in Saskatchewan in half a century.

Second, there's no reason for Canadians to be fatalistic about the outcome rather than taking an active role.

As I've mentioned before, Saskatchewan's lax electoral financing laws allow people (and corporations) outside the province to make donations. And so far, the result has mostly been a pipeline of corporate money helping the Saskatchewan Party to run attack ads.

But people who recognize that the provincial election has constitutional ramifications for the whole country can do something about it. 
Anybody preferring to contribute their time can volunteer to help in a campaign where phone and social media contact matter more than ever. And people able to pitch in financially can donate to the Saskatchewan NDP and its candidates - to make sure the election is decided based on what's best for people, rather than what serves the provincial interests of corporate contributors, and the destructive national plans of Harper and his heirs. 


  1. Sub-Boreal9:58 a.m.

    I'd have more enthusiasm for this appeal if the Sask NDP hadn't gone down the path of Albertification in supporting continued fossil fuel development, including imposition of the Transmountain pipeline expansion on my province. The NDP in general hasn't really advanced much beyond Trudeau's brand of gestural tokenism on climate policy.

    Sure, the other guys are worse, and Meili is having to mouth what falls within the acceptable window of mainstream opinion for your province. But that's not going to inspire me to open my wallet.

    1. By all means the party's position on fossil fuels is the most disappointing part of its current messaging. But the core philosophy of building a healthy society by addressing the root causes of social ills should lead to the right answers on that point.

    2. Sub-Boreal2:20 p.m.

      I used to think that too.

      But there's a fundamental weakness common to many varieties of social justice advocacy on the Left: the assumption of human primacy which implicitly treats Earth as a stage-set for our history, not as a life-support system with limits and a carrying capacity.

      I'm used to seeing this blindness in activists and theorists whose background is in the humanities and "social sciences"; but it's particularly disappointing to see it in one of the rare political leaders who actually has scientific training.