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Pierre Beaudet's Blog

Pierre Beaudet's picture
Pierre Beaudet, active in international solidarity and social movements in Quebec, is founder of Quebec NGO Alternatives, and Editor of the Nouveaux cahiers du socialisme. He blogs on rabble.ca in English and French.

Throw the bums out

| November 30, 2008

As if anyone had thought otherwise, Stephen Harper is still determined to carry out his revolution. With less than 25% of the population who voted for him, Stephen does not care and he is rolling. This ‘management», however bufoonesque it appears, is ‘rational' in the lines of the neoconservative agenda. The current crisis is an ‘opportunity' for Stephen, so he can further demolish what remains of the welfare state.

Certainly, his alignments would mean massive dislocations of the health and education sector through cutbacks in the transfers to the provinces. Major federal administrations would be reduced. Subsidies to failing industries would be minimal and symbolic because, fundamentally, Stephen wants to restructure the economy. In Afghanistan and elsewhere, it's business as usual with more military. On that front, Stephen is confirmed by the current ‘clintonisation' of Obama along the pursuit of the endless war.

Who would be surprised? In any case, the events of this past week had at least the advantage of putting the opposition's backs to the wall. Of course, the onslaught against the financing of political parties is a major point of contention. Stephen aims to ‘Americanize' our already feeble democratic system.

What to do? Liberals and NDPers, with the support of the Bloc, can actually form an alternative government. My information tells me, by the way, that it was some of the left-wingers of the Bloc and the NDP who brought the idea forward in the first place. Now the move has been taken over by the Liberal establishment and we will see if they have the guts to continue. Bear in mind that behind the Liberals are some of the major elites in Canada, like Power Corporation for example. These folks are not exactly hostile to Stephen and certainly not sympathetic to a long lasting NPD-Liberal alliance, not to mention the Bloc, their deadly enemy in Quebec. They might be afraid however of a political meltdown caused by a dislocating ultra conservative agenda.

The Bloc on the other hand are ambivalent. Their left-leaning heart tells them to support the anti-Stephen alliance. Their realpolitik head tells them that Stephen is the best enemy they can have. In the end, however, they understand popular moods; they will come on board. The NDP probably has the most to gain although a similar alliance with the Liberals in the 1970s did not yield an increase in support for them.

Can these politicians have a sense of what is at stake and overthrow the right-wing revolutionaries? It requires that the the Liberal establishment refuses the lousy deal that Stephen will without doubt offer, like scrapping the cutback in party financing. But fundamentally, it requires that citizens wake up and come out and shout, ‘throw the bums out'!

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