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A messy Parliament session, while big decisions await Trudeau government

Photo: flickr/Justin Trudeau

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The Liberal government prepares for the summer parliamentary break in two weeks time with widespread support for its leader Justin Trudeau. Public opinion polls record high public approval for the Liberals, who hold on to new support captured since the 2015 election.

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Columnists

Want democratic reform? Let's start with newspapers.

Photo: Liz/flickr

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Observing the cathartic effect of the end of the Harper regime reveals just how traumatized millions of Canadians were by nearly 10 years of rule by this paranoid and vindictive prime minister. The analogies and metaphors keep coming: like getting out of jail, like waking up from a nightmare, like the end of an occupation. 

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| June 30, 2015
Photo: wikipedia commons
| August 20, 2013
| July 1, 2013
| April 15, 2013
Photo: Chris Fane/Flickr
| February 18, 2013
Columnists

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in solidarity

Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Image: Skara kommun/Flickr

On the cover of its special edition magazine commemorating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712), Le Monde designates him as "the Subversive." True enough, Rousseau was a contestataire, a non-conformist, a rebel, a pre-revolutionary, whose remains were carried to the Pantheon in the aftermath of the French Revolution, to be buried a hero.

Rousseau shall forever be known for championing liberty. Famously, for Rousseau, individuals are born and remain free, and enjoy equal rights. Society corrupted the individual, but all was not lost. Through building a "culture," individuals could transform social life and live in accordance with nature.

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To re-Occupy or not to re-Occupy

Photo: Stephen Collis

That is the question. Or maybe -- how we ought to re-occupy. Though to this point it has been more a question of when, rather than if or how. Once Occupy Vancouver's camp was evicted, First Nations elders reminded us that winter was the time for recuperation, storytelling, planning, and readying for the spring. And indeed, the call for a spring re-occupation has been in circulation almost since the evictions became general, with perhaps the loudest and clearest call coming in the form of the Spanish Indignados and the DRY (Democracia Real Ya) movement's #12m12 call to make the 12th of May 2012 a day of global action: "Let's turn the streets into the biggest loudspeaker on earth."

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Want to win in Canadian politics? Build a movement

Making the social democratic movement operate like a "normal" more centrist political party is the kind of advice the mainstream press has been offering to the NDP since shortly after it was founded in Calgary, as the CCF, in 1932.

NDP members want the party to build upon its newfound status as a national party, and ready itself to take on the role of government. However, to win office, few New Democrats want NDP policies to mirror recent Conservative and Liberal practices, or expect the party to move away from supporting workers, or tone down talk about empowering equality-seeking groups.

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