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Rethinking political parties: part II

A useful framework for deepening our critique and highlighting the importance of the new methodologies implicit in many of the social movements of recent years is provided by critical realism. This is a philosophical school that was itself a product of the political and cultural struggles of the 1960s and 1970s and provides a necessary alternative to both the limitations of structuralism and the dead ends of postmodernism.

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Rethinking political parties

The need for radical social change is pressing and the desire for it widespread. Traditionally, political parties have been the means of giving shape, leadership and coherence to such desires. But in present circumstances they are simply not up to the task. There's never been a golden age for parties of the left but there have been periods âe" the 1920s until the late 1960s âe" when the majority of people desiring change in a broadly socialist direction would be members or supporters of mass socialist or communist parties.

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It's time to take action on global emergency

While governments and industry focus on the economic costs of dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they act as though there are no economic costs associated with hurricanes and tornadoes, massive flooding, or entire populations rendered unproductive by heat waves that leave them gasping to survive.

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Electricity quotas: an idea whose time has come?

In a 2006 survey by the Dominion Institute, 72% of Canadians said they believe that, by 2020, global warming will have become the greatest crisis facing humankind. While the cause of global warming is still being debated in a few dusty corners, the scientific mainstream believes that global warming is caused by our continued and expanding use of fossil fuels. This crisis seems exacerbated by the apparent lack of political will, in Canada and the US to address the cause of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), the combustion of fossil fuels to produce energy.

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O Michaëlle Jean, I want to lick your boots

Your Excellency the Right Honorable Mme. Michaëlle Jean: I just want to say that it is so cool to have you as our Governor-General!

Like John Ibbitson in The Globe and Mail, Andrew Coyne in the National Postand countless other gushers of purple prose in the media punditry, I am sogoddamn proud that when it comes to choosing a local stand-in for ourdynastic monarch, we only go for the best.

You are such an inspiration to all us colonial plebs, Your Excellency. Justlooking at you, it's so obvious why you were chosen.

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Memo to Bush: The case for invading Canada

MEMO
TO: The President of the United States
FROM: Steven Laffoley

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Martha's away and Henry will play

(Editor's note: Martha and Henry — Ralph Klein's imaginary Albertans — have changed roles this month. The Alberta government has suddenly made a change to the Employment Standards that will now allow 12- and 13-year-old Albertans to work in restaurants. Now children can go from working at their elementary school's School Patrol straight into working at their local McDonald's.

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Dr. D. — on the SpongeBob case!

It's hard to keep up with everything, especially as you get older. There just seems to be so much going on, all around us. So, when I began hearing about SpongeBob SquarePants from these little ones during my stint as Santa Claus in the month before Christmas, I had to find out what in heaven's name they were talking about. About every third youngster wanted Santa to bring them something to do with this cartoon character.

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El Salvador to Iraq: Death squads come in waves

Remember the heady, idealistic days of early 2005? You know, like, January 1st through to, say, the 7th or 8th? After the 366-day bloodbath that was 2004, and once the Are-the-Tourists-Okay? angle of the Tsunami story was driven into the ground — because apparently middle-aged sex tourists are still a more compelling image of Thai suffering than orphaned locals — it really seemed as though, this year, mourning brown-skinned folks as though they were real people would be en vogue.

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Scott's predictions for 2005

Here they are:

  • The parliamentary vote to legalize same-sex marriage will pass by a comfortable margin. Opponents of the measure will subsequently express surprise when the world does not end.
  • Alberta Premier Ralph Klein will finally explain the reason for his staunch opposition to same-sex marriage.
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