Over the past few months, rabble’s discussion forum, babble, has seen some vivid, sometimes controversial discussions. From Idle No More to the Babble Book Club, contributing opinions have sparked lively discussion and debate.
Curated by rabble’s own Kaitlyn McNabb, the Babble Book Club has hosted such distinguished Canadian authors as Lynn Coady and Farzana Doctor, and discussed such titles as Food Inc., People Park and Cool Water. The Babble Book Club continues to be an excellent forum for the promotion of Canadian literature and writers.
In December of 2012, well before the mainstream media decided to pay attention to the movement, the Idle No More discussion thread was opened. In the three months since its inception, the Idle No More topic has accumulated well over 600 posts. Though the mainstream media has since moved on to other important topics (like Kim Kardashian’s “vampire facial”), it’s clear that the Idle No More movement is still front and centre with babble contributors.
Another well-populated thread is the NDP (now in its 15th incarnation). Since last June it has accumulated over 650 posts, representing pretty much the whole spectrum of progressive opinion on Canada’s Official Opposition. Love 'em or hate 'em, the NDP never fail to provoke discussion.
babble always pays attention to Canadian politics, elections in particular. Last year’s federal NDP leadership race was a hot topic. By “hot” I mean, tempers flared and people got steamed. Many babblers were very passionate about which leadership candidate they preferred and discussions could and did go over the top in terms of heated debate. We were also fortunate enough to have real-time town hall discussions with all but one of the leadership candidates, and we really appreciate the time those candidates took to answer questions from our babble contributors.
Current political threads include: the federal Liberal leadership race, the Saskatchewan NDP leadership race and the B.C. provincial election. We’re all looking forward to seeing the results of those events and the discussions they provoke.
International news events and politics are also consistently the topics of discussion on babble. The death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez sparked a great deal of activity and there was much discussion -- and some outrage -- over certain depictions of the man. It seems some out there need reminding that Chavez was democratically elected, and not a dictator.
And while babble is not always kind to religious institutions, contributors were all over the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Those who love to hate all things papal, Benedict in particular, were highly irreverent, posting humourous cartoons, jokes, and generally poking fun at the outgoing pontiff. Not an overly dignified discussion, but highly entertaining.
As always, babble discussions run the gambit of topics and opinions, and the past several months have been no exception. We look forward, as always, to seeing what new topics pop up on babble's Active Topics page.