Canadian Follies

December 4, 2008 at 3:09 am (Uncategorized)

The Spartacist League (US) leader James Robertson once observed that, “there’s nothing as popular as a popular front.”

Well, sort of.

For the better part of a week, Canadian print and broadcast media have been working overtime covering “the most significant constittuional crisis for 80 years.”  Do tell. 

Canadian Prime minister, Stephen Harper is certainly a smart guy. Perhaps too smart for his own good, though he won’t win any prizes for maturity. Harper resembles nothing so much as the little scholboy who insists no one can play with his ball, if they won’t play his way. Howe else to explain the unnecessary election in October. the only reason it was held was because harper though he could win a majority. The Canadian public, those that bothered to vote, thought otherwise.  

Yet the smartest guy in the room made two significant mistakes last week. First he got his finance Minister Jim Flaherty to forecast a budget surplus next year (I’ve yet to meet a single person who actually believes this, not even my Tory-for-life father), and second in an act of pure partisan spite, Harper threatened to cut the $1.95 per vote subsidy the federal parties receive. therefore crippling the opposition parties. When the opposition reacted with threats and outrage, government minister Peter Mackay crowed, “When they play chicken they end up looking like chickens.” Er, Peter, didn’t anyone tell you it’s not a good idea to play chicken with people contemplating suicide. When the coalition threat was raised, the conservatives quickly backed off, but by then the damage was done.

Now the Liberals, the New Democratic Party, and the Bloc Quebecois have cobbled together a coalition, and the Tories are left blustering about undemocratic practices and raising the spectre of separatists in government.

It might be funny, if the sordid reality weren’t also present.

Hilarious though, is the reaction of the so-called left. I’ve received several emails from leftists and unions calling for support to the Liberal led coalition. The union I belong to, (I certainly won’t write my union) has urged me to go to a rally on Saturday to support the progressive coalition. Funny, isn’t it, the the same Liberals who gutted social programmes to “bring down the deficit” a few years ago. How short. The original email I received by courtesy of the International socialists. Funny, aren’t they supposed to be for the overthrow of capitalism?

As a friend of mine put it when I mentioned this to him, ” Oh THANK YOU!!!! What a GREAT idea! Unite the Left under the wise Leadership of Jean Chretien and Ed Broadbent. Think of all of the time and effort that could have saved! Why did it take so long for someone to come up with this?” 

I honestly hope that the working class stays as far away as possible from this sordid little squabble as possible.


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