Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Lessons of '93: Social movements, party politics, and the last time the Conservatives got booted

Earlier this year, I was involved in a special issue of a print magazine called The Dominion, which is the flagship publication of The Media Co-op network. The theme of the issue was "4 More Years of Austerity?". It was originally pitched as an intervention into conversations in the lead-up to the federal election. I'm not sure why -- I was involved in the editorial collective for the issue for a few months, but had to put a firm endpoint on that for various personal reasons, so I don't know what went down after that point -- but my copy only arrived in the mail yesterday, and I have seen no signs of any of the content online. However, a lot of it is entirely relevant to the present context.

In particular, see below for the article that I wrote, "Lessons of '93: Social movements, party politics, and the last time the Conservatives got booted," which contains cautions that seem to me to be very relevant to the current Trudeau honeymoon period. In it, I interview three long-time activists -- Judy Rebick, Jean Swanson, and Gary Kinsman, who together have a combined 120+ years of involvement in social movements in Canada -- about their reflections on the last time Liberals displaced a hated Conservative regime at the federal level.

Check it out...click on the image and then view it at full size to read the article:


Anonymous said...

As regards your article in the Dominion: I agree.

Just read the Wikipedia article on Canada Steamship Lines. Martin was a stooge for Power Corporation and the Desmarais lot, who continue to hobnob with all the other elite to extract money from the common folk. The scheme works for poor people sucked into the $300 for $20 payday gambit, ridiculous interest rates for the most impecunious in our society buying used cars, and so on.

The only sophistication is/was that the middle class was suckered the same way by Martin, because compared to billionaires, we're dirt poor. Note how Martin hovered around Trudeau during the election, you know just to give a few words of friendly advice and encouragement, hint, hint.

I guess we have to pay up just the same under the Liberals as under the Tories. It's just that the medicine is elderberry plus raspberry flavoured, rather than the menthol blast of Buckleys.

Scott Neigh said...

Well, I'm inclined agree with the quote from Kinsman in the article, that differences between the mainstream parties do still have impacts on people's lives, even as their fundamental commitment to neoliberal capitalism is the same across the board...but I do like the imagery of your last paragraph! :)