Monday, December 31, 2012

Republican Party of Canada?

Should they really be thought of as the Conservative Party of Canada? I don't think so. Let's inject a little bit of honesty into the political arena because it is otherwise so strikingly absent.

What we have here is the Republican Party of Canada.

A few things that make this so...
  • Complete disregard for environmental issues.
  • Secretive and my-way-or-the-highway administration.
  • Antipathy towards First Nations -- otherness, immigrants, etc.
  • Electoral shenanigans involving voter disrespect.
  • Policy lip-lock with US Republican playbook.
  • Despicable shills such as Ezra in the "Rush Limbaugh" role.
  • Media influence and outright funding threats.
As we've seen in the USA lately the conservative movement is getting a little bit off the rails (otherwise known as bat-shit crazy). Something for us to look forward to as this administration continues to season itself with power.

What we need is a system of proportional representation that does not eliminate the concept of local ridings. Seriously, that we have to be lead around by a group with the support of a clear minority of the public is a major flaw.

A democracy is not about minority rule. What we have here is the Republican Party of Canada ruling in an undemocratic environment.

When I think about it I am at a loss for words.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Political War on Words

I think that progressives need to wake up.

You see, the conservatives have been at war with us for decades now. It isn't simply that they prefer slightly different policies than us. They want to dismantle all of the positive work done over the last few generations and put in place a system, a state, that reflects exactly their own beliefs.

Yes, it's true.

The reason the general public doesn't know this is the war on words that is going on. And, sadly, they are winning.

The age old term for this is spin -- but that term doesn't do the incredible effort that is taking place justice.

The word play hides their beliefs and often their intent behind mild sounding phrases that the general public can sleep through.

A few examples? Climate change instead of global warming. Picking winners and losers instead of fiscal policies. Income redistribution instead of having higher earners pay their fair share.
It's time to define an attack. We need to hit them where they live.

To get the ball started here are a few thoughts aimed at the center of their ability to grab the attention of voters and pull them from progressive ideals:
  • Religion and Faith:
    Central to the right is their faith. However, it is clear to see they don't actually adhere to it. To have faith suggests one should trust in God. However, the right does not do so. They don't trust God to punish the sinful, they feel it is necessary for them to do so -- when their own religion admonishes them not to do so (judge not). So, we get laws that reflect their particular morals.
  • Evangelicals:
    This group is very clever about defining their preferred version of the bible as inspired by God. This means it is perfect and absolutely correct, according to them. This is also bullshit. It was written by men. The flaws of men were clearly in operation when it was written and it is clearly open to interpretation.
You may ask why this is important. You may think this is a waste of time. You are wrong.

These two areas taken together provide an apparently unassailable base from which the conservatives have been sallying-forth to kill progressive ideals. The undying belief that the are doing Gods bidding makes it very difficult for anyone else to reach their ears. Reach them we must.

Don't believe me? Where do you think the abortion shenanigans (and the mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasound) come from? Where do you think creationism (and an anti-science viewpoint) comes from? Where do you think marriage laws and denial of gay rights comes from? Where do you think the concept that we are free to rape and plunder the earth comes from (unregulated capitalism)?

This is the wellspring from which all the low-minded actions of the right receive their justification and support. This is the place that is used to wipe away the words of progressives by simply declaring it wrong in God's view -- as if they have any more of a relationship with God than anyone else.

Believe in God or not. Choose not to believe that they are united around a belief system that provides the same strength of conviction that drives fundamentalists of all types and you will underestimate the amount of vitriol driving them and the goals that they have.

We aren't talking about the mainstream person here... but a large, unified, political movement with big funding and low ideals. Wake up or feel the boot of their beliefs on your neck unless you are exactly like them.

Don't see it? Please, take some time, look at what is going on. Then, sit back, and find ways to speak their language -- erode their base's strengths -- or watch all our hard won progress be undone.

They are not doing God's work. They are not good stewards of what has been given to us -- God will be pissed if we destroy the gift we were given (Earth). Just because one is given the keys to the car doesn't mean one should drive it off a cliff.

Finally, if we were created, then we were given brains for a reason. It is just possible that God would intend us to actually use them. Otherwise, why forgive us for eating from the tree of knowledge at all? Unfortunately, for the right, using our brains means ending up with progressive ideals.

Hence the war on science and education (and competent media).

NOTE: I didn't intend to get into so much religious mumbo-jumbo. However, it forms a core base from which the right gathers support and launches their attacks on reality (so to speak).

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Temporary Coalition?

I've been thinking about the state of affairs in Canadian politics. In case you haven't noticed we have a single conservative party winning majorities while getting a minority of the vote. This isn't a good thing for Canada and we need to do something about it.

Ideas that come to mind include some type of proportional representation. However, this will never happen while the conservatives are in power -- as they know they would immediately lose the ability to govern. At the same time we face an inability to enact proportional representation until we kick them out of office.

The solution, a coalition of the left. Now, everyone is scared of this for some reason, as if coalition is a bad word. Of course, it's the same bad word that has been winning the conservatives control of the government.

We need to pool our votes, take office, enact proportional representation, and only then go back to voting for whatever flavor of progressives we prefer. Realistically, this is the fastest and surest path to undoing the damage that the conservatives are doing to our long term prospects.

We can do this. We can do this without having to give up our individual parties that we prefer. We just have to be smart about it. We have to put this action on the agenda, be clear about it, and then follow through when the election gives us back the house of commons.

Who's with me?