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Blind Man with a Pistol
Michael Stewart is the blogs coordinator for rabble.ca. BMWAP is a blog about culture and capitalism. Damn right, it's confusing; it's a gas, baby, you dig. Follow him on twitter: @blindmanspistol
A few weeks ago a number of mainstream journalists were calling the Vancouver municipal elections "Ho hum." "This was the most boring, uneventful city election campaign in recent memory," wrote Gary Mason. It's a line we've seen repeated by the CBC's Rick Cluff, among others.
Earlier this week on Twitter, NPA city councillor George Affleck ripped into Gregor Robertson for being good looking. Sadly, the level of political debate in Vancouver doesn't have much more to offer than jibes about good, strong, clean teeth. It's no wonder this city is unlikely to improve upon the disgraceful 35 per cent turnout the last time voters went to the polls.
While much of the Western press has been rallying around the sensational and gruesome videos depicting the murder of two journalists and one international aid worker to justify yet another imperial adventure into the Middle East, very few journalists, politicians or critics seem to be questioning why this might not be such a hot idea. I certainly don't like the idea of beheading journalists (nor do I like the massacre of 150 Syrian soldiers that preceded them) but "It's never turned us wrong before!" is not quite the foreign policy thesis that stands up to the scrutiny of history.
When the results of the Scottish independence referendum started to become clear last night -- a result my head had been expecting but one my heart still held out hope against -- my spirits sank at the latest electoral defeat for left-leaning politics. When, I wondered, do we get to win?
A beaming Stephen Harper announced today that one of the two ships from the long-lost Franklin expedition was "discovered" by scientists and researchers on the largest ever expedition to find the missing shipwrecks.
"I am delighted to announce that this year's Victoria Strait Expedition has solved one of Canada's greatest mysteries," Harper said in a statement.
The Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) attempted to offer an alternative today to the blancmange buffet currently masquerading as Vancouver's muncipal election -- in which two wealthy, pro-developer, white, male candidates vie for the mayoral seat. Former federal NDP candidate Meena Wong announced her intention this morning to run for mayor in order "to create a Vancouver that everyone can afford and enjoy."
Two days after 18-year old Mike Brown was shot eight times by a Ferguson County police officer, comedic actor Robin Williams hanged himself. As a relatively middle-class white person of a certain vintage, I saw my social media feed shift from displaying the odd note about the latest mainstream example that we live in a racist, white supremacist police state (a fact visible at all times to low-income people, persons of colour and colonized peoples) to all Williams, all the time. Even Barack Obama issued a statement a matter of hours after Williams died and didn't release anything about Brown until three days after his murder.
The story of colonialism in Canada and around the world has two strands: on one, the narrative of exploitation, dispossession, genocide, appropriation and erasure; on the other, the temerity and resolve to resist centuries of violence simply by continuing to exist -- by surviving. A declaration of war and oppression met firmly by the insistence that "we are still here."
Yesterday, the vast majority of Vancouverites had never heard of Vision Parks Board candidate Trish Kelly. Even though she garnered more votes, 1162, than any other non-incumbent in Vision's nomination meeting last month, it's safe to forgive the general voting public for not quite cottoning on to Kelly's suitability as Parks commissioner.