Are Canadians more conservative?

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Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture
Are Canadians more conservative?

No.

...but I can't help but wonder whether the opposite result wouldn't have been plastered on the front page above the fold.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

But we are more polarized...

I found this poll fascinating. Virtually no one sees Harper as traditionally small-c conservative ("a steady hand"), he is understood to be the right-wing revolutionary by almost all. Also, no one sees Harper as ineffective ("bungling the job").

Instead, we have 3 groups, two entirely polarized, and one in the centre with their heads in the sand, saying "don't worry, be happy". Interestingly, these three groups are almost perfectly evenly distributed (32% - 29% - 32%).

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Regardless of what any polls say, I think Canadians are more conservative - talking to people all these years I find them hammered by economic blows, unemployment, social upheaval, and so on - and they're a bit scared of the future, and consequently have turned pretty small-c conservative - not neoconservative, just afraid to be more progressive. I'd like to see, however, polling in the universities to see where their political views are, and just how optimistic they are for the future.

Roscoe

Quote:
Well, and except for the fact that this news is based on sciency-truthy stuff, you know, that stuff that right-wing nut jobs are impervious to.

 
http://scathinglywrongrightwingnutz.blogspot.com/2011/02/some-good-news.html
I googled for the Focus Canada survey but no luck. This blog came up. Some interesting comments.

Machjo

I think what's benefiting the Conservatives right now is the split between social corporatists (most likely to be found in the Green Party, with maybe a few members on the right frindges of the NDP), labour socialists (mostly to be found in the NDP), sovereignists and decentralists (to be found mostly in the Bloc with maybe some in the Green party), centralists (mostly in the NDP and Liberal Parties most likely), el al.

The Conservative Party does have the benefit of having united the right somewhat. Sure it may be a smaller tent than the previous Progressive Conservatvie Party, but it's also a bigger tent that the parties that had followed after it. So for the most part, it's adopted a big enough tent to at least ensure a significant representation in Parliament.

 

Then the question becomes how the left could counter that with a big-tent party of their own which could include, let's say, everyone as far to teh right as social corporatist all the way to as fat to the left as let's say social democrats.

Lens Solution

Unfortunately I think we've seen that Canadians are definitely not a far-left country.  The presence of the Conservative government and the solid 30% who continue to support them is proof of that.  On top of that is the fact that no more than 20% of Canadians ever support the NDP.

We are not as progressive a country as we like to think sometimes.

Fidel

And America, the last bastion of right wing conservatism in the world, is not all that conservative either. Without a phony majority machine and big money propping them up next door, they'd be just another large minority special interest party. In Canada and the USA, it's said we vote so as not to election a bunch of right wing conservatives. We vote out of fear, and that's not real democracy.

Machjo

I think another thing that doesn't help the left is the belief, right or wrong, that it is not fiscally conservative enough, that it would not clamp down sufficiently on the debt, inflation and the Bank of Canada rate.

 

Now granted the current government is now deficit spending.

One solution is for the left to not shy away from talking taxes in elections, but embrace it by emphasizing that it is not afraid to raise taxes if necessary to balance the budget, something the current government appears to have an irrational phobia about.

On the other hand, we also know that inasmuch as many want the budget balanced, many taxpayers are not willing to pay for a balanced budget. One possible solution is to link this quite legitimately to patriotism. In other words, if you love your country, you are wiling to make the sacrifice to support it too, and not just in word.

As for education, yes we need to increase spending in that area, but again, perhaps the left can emphasize that it will raise taxes first and increase spending on education only incrementally as revenue allows, incresing taxes further if needs be. This would help to put the left in stark contrast to the right that seems to have an irrational phobia about raising taxes to blaance budgets.

Machjo

Fidel wrote:

And America, the last bastion of right wing conservatism in the world, is not all that conservative either. Without a phony majority machine and big money propping them up next door, they'd be just another large minority special interest party. In Canada and the USA, it's said we vote so as not to election a bunch of right wing conservatives. We vote out of fear, and that's not real democracy.

You bring up a good point here. Last election I'd come across at least one guy who thought the local Conservative Candidate was nothing more than a Conservative Party bobble head, yet voted for him anyway since in his mind he was voting not for the best candidate, but rather for the candidate wearing what in his mind were the right party colours. I think removing party names from ballots could be a step to reduce this kind of tendency. With party position being weakened, who knows, maybe he would have voted Green instead, which in some respects could be said to be a replacement of the old Red Tory of the past. It would still have been an improvement.

Also, simply removing party names from ballots is not too radical, and so even those opposing PR might go for that, which would still be an improvement in the meantime.

Machjo

And htis just reminded: among all the divisions that exist on the left, that between those who want to move towards non-partisan democracy and those in favour of PR (both at totally opposite ends of the party-power spectrum) also constitute another division on the left.

takeitslowly

The left would need to come up with a way to prove that multiculturalism and immigration is good for all of us, because many people including immigrants agree with Rob Ford that if we have trouble with lack of employment now, we should not take in more immigrants. I have to say there is a lot of appeals for this simplistic argument.Its not enough to simply say that's a racist assertion. People want jobs. We cant have a race to the bottom economy, it would only create more tension and hostilities

among the poor.

Fidel

takeitslowly wrote:

The left would need to come up with a way to prove that multiculturalism and immigration is good for all of us, because many people including immigrants agree with Rob Ford that if we have trouble with lack of employment now, we should not take in more immigrants. I have to say there is a lot of appeals for this simplistic argument.Its not enough to simply say that's a racist assertion. People want jobs.

Conservatives prefer higher rates of unemployment as a subsidy to their corporate friends in general.  And their corporate friends prefer to have a situation where there are ten people for every available job in driving down wages and labour power.

And their corporate friends and corporate banking friends have different needs. Their bankster and Bay Street friends prefer a high dollar and tight money whereas their regular corporate friends would prefer the opposite.

It's a tough balancing act for conservatives when catering to both groups of elitist friends,  big banks and big business friends of the government. So they try to trick immigrants into coming to Canada and often succeed. Well educated and skilled immigrants find out that they've been lied to after agreeing to settle in our conservative nanny state where banking and corporate interests are more important than regular Canadians.

Machjo

takeitslowly wrote:

The left would need to come up with a way to prove that multiculturalism and immigration is good for all of us, because many people including immigrants agree with Rob Ford that if we have trouble with lack of employment now, we should not take in more immigrants. I have to say there is a lot of appeals for this simplistic argument.Its not enough to simply say that's a racist assertion. People want jobs.

I fully agree that if anything increasing immigration could even benefit the economy.

As for multiculturalism, there are more complications there than meet the eye. Just to take some examples of various policies on this front taken to an extreme:

Moderate Anglo-French Catholico-protestant multiculturalism with some acknowledgement of the First peoples: I'd say this is eseentially what we have right now. Mostly Eurocentric stemming from our two official languages, with a nod to the Catholic Faith in our BNA with regards to the separate school system, with an indirect acknowledgement of the Anlican Faith in our monarchy, with some insufficient acknowledgement of the First Nations and their cultures (after all, with all the money going to French, English, the Catholci school system and monarch, there really isn't much money left for much else), and then a slight token acknowledgement of multiculturalism as long as Anglo-French Catholico-Protestant supremacy is not threatened as part of a god photo op to gain some brownie points.

Pure Multiculturalism: We don't have anything close to this, and quite honestly we probably wouldn't want it. While the above certainly gives certain groups a special privilege above others, at least it narrows down the number of languages and religions needing special government funding somewhat. Pure multiculturalism would require officializing every language and funding every religious school in the country. You think what we have now is unwieldy? Just try true multiculturalism.

(Relative) Aculturalism: For lack of a better name, I'll call this idea aculturalism. Since all organizations must adopt some kind of cultural norm though, pure aculturalism would be impossible. An alternative might be what we'd call relative aculturalism, whereby the government would not recognize any official language or relgion in any constitution or law, meaning that most likely local federal government offices would merely adapt to local circumstances. For instance, a government office in Kugaaruk could function totally in Kugaaruk if let's say that is the dominant local language, thus allowing locals to take these federal government jobs rather than bilingual English-French-speakers from down South. Likewise it would mean let's say a Vancouverite who knows English and Chinese, or English and Salish, etc. could just as easily get the job as an English_French-speaeker from Ottawa or Montreal (or maybe not, with the English-Chinese speaker being granted priority for obvious pragmatic reasons of efficiency, which would make perfect logical sense, but it would still be fair seeing that the English-French speaker woudl have the advantage in Montreal). Also, eitehr all religious schools or not religious school would get funding. While such a system would not be perfect, it would have the advantage of giving locals a natural edge over those fro other parts of the country in finding work in teh Federal Government. After all, why should a local resident of Kugaaruk be penalized for not knowing Canada's European languages when applying for a Federal Government job?

There may be other solutions too, but it would seem to me that a policy of relative acuturalism may be a solution.

Maysie Maysie's picture

I wonder if anyone aside from me and LTJ actually read the link in the OP.

There's a fascinating break between what we can call general values of Canadians, and what the Harper government's priorities are. The two are not in tuned. 

Quote:
 Focus Canada’s survey finds Canadians’ top spending priorities to be education, health care, elderly programs, the environment and reducing child poverty. At the bottom are foreign aid, justice, defence, domestic security and arts and culture. The ordering of these priorities hasn’t changed much in two decades, except that support for defence spending – which soared with the Afghan engagement – has returned to the low levels of the 1990s.

Conservative-minded types don’t much like talking about income inequalities, but Canadians think they exist and are widening. A staggering 88 per cent believe the gap between rich and poor has widened in the past decade, and 81 per cent believe the government should reduce the gap.

By 55 per cent to 41 per cent, Canadians believe the tax system is “unfair” to ordinary Canadians, but they are overwhelmingly willing to think taxes are a public good to provide a good quality of life. By an astonishing 90 per cent to 4 per cent, Canadians believe they have a better quality of life than Americans.

 

And I have to say, questions like the thread title trigger my old-school sociologist.

"Are Canadians more conservative?"

More conservative than what? Than who? Than Canadians used to be? Than Americans? Argh!!

This is sloppy and imprecise writing that makes my inner social scientist cringe. To be fair, the thread title is taken from the article itself. I also need to acknowledge that the article was written by well-known pinko commie Jeffery Simpson in the G & M.

Please read the link in the OP. 

Machjo

Having read the link in the OP in the beginning, I can say that it's quite irrelevant. Whether Canadians are more 'right wing' or 'left wing' doesn't change the current composition of our Parliament.

Maysie Maysie's picture

An but that's the topic of this thread and I would say not irrelevant at all.

There are a gajillion threads on the Harper Conservatives and how they don't, parliamentarily, represent Canadians.

Machjo

But in practical terms, how do we solve this in the short term? Right now the left is very scattered, so as long as that continues, the current government will likely remain in place. So how do we surmount that obstacle? Temporary coalition? Other solution?

Maysie Maysie's picture

Most Canadians presently and historically lean center-leftwards on social issues, economic issues, health care issues, justice issues, defense issues and foreign policy. This is something that the official and unofficial Canadian left has failed to capitalize on, presently and historically.

It's not rocket science.

This is a new era of how to mobilize. I say it's time for the old guard to step down and let the youth take over. They're coming anyways.

George Victor

They just have to be enticed out at election time.  Perhaps a better beer?

As Boomer said in #2: "I'd like to see, however, polling in the universities to see where their political views are, and just how optimistic they are for the future."

 

And perhaps those in the EI (UI) waiting lines as well.

 

 

Lens Solution

There are also some other questions Canadians need to ask themselves:

Why has there still not been an elected woman Prime Minister of Canada?  Why are the Priemers almost all men, year after year, except for a handful of exceptions?

Why have so few racial minorities become Premiers or cabinet ministers?

Despite the fact that the U.S. is more socially conservative than Canada in some areas (eg. gay rights, gay marriage etc.), the U.S. has far more gender and racial diversity than Canada.  There are many women Governors, even in conservative states, and many black, latino and asian members of Congress.

Machjo

Maysie wrote:

Most Canadians presently and historically lean center-leftwards on social issues, economic issues, health care issues, justice issues, defense issues and foreign policy. This is something that the official and unofficial Canadian left has failed to capitalize on, presently and historically.

It's not rocket science.

This is a new era of how to mobilize. I say it's time for the old guard to step down and let the youth take over. They're coming anyways.

So what are you saying? That the parties of the left should unite and run under a left-of-centre coalition?

George Victor

Lens Solution wrote:

There are also some other questions Canadians need to ask themselves:

Why has there still not been an elected woman Prime Minister of Canada?  Why are the Priemers almost all men, year after year, except for a handful of exceptions?

Why have so few racial minorities become Premiers or cabinet ministers?

Despite the fact that the U.S. is more socially conservative than Canada in some areas (eg. gay rights, gay marriage etc.), the U.S. has far more gender and racial diversity than Canada.  There are many women Governors, even in conservative states, and many black, latino and asian members of Congress.

Would it have something to do with general subscription to a "melting pot" theory of citizenship, less dependence on growth of numbers in ethnic ridings in a "multicultural" state?  Given the rise of some people to positions of prominence with the backing of Tea Party funding, it can't be an intellectual phenom.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Machjo wrote:
 So what are you saying? That the parties of the left should unite and run under a left-of-centre coalition?

Nope. Not even close.

Kanada2America

Canadians are more polarized, more conservative and have simpler opinions. It is a myth that having a centrist liberal democracy is the way to go. I find America much more workable as a nation compared to Canada. I have heard more extreme opinions in my day-to-day life in Canada, as a non-white male, than I would ever hear in my time in the States.

Conservative opinion in Canada is still being developed. It is there. It just doesn't get the air time that it does in the USA. We don't have many choices here. CBC vs Global... or soon to be: Sun tv.

Canada is about extremes. Canadians just have a lot of hidden opinions and believe you me... there is a LOT of racist gibberish there.Canadians like to pretend that they are more liberal and less conservative. Not so. In the US there is a spectrum of opinion. What do we have in Canada? Roy Green? Ezra Levant? No centrist radio or tv voices at all.

Americans will just tell you up front what is on their mind and their MSM reflects that vs our propaganda at the CBC or CTV. Sun media is now a reflection of this growing movement of idiots.

Kanada2America

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Maysie wrote:

This is a new era of how to mobilize. I say it's time for the old guard to step down and let the youth take over. 

Smile

JKR

Machjo wrote:

And htis just reminded: among all the divisions that exist on the left, that between those who want to move towards non-partisan democracy and those in favour of PR (both at totally opposite ends of the party-power spectrum) also constitute another division on the left.

I don't see these two as being mutually exclusive. PR can be established at the electoral level while non-partisan democracy can be strengthened at the parliamentary level. Limiting the use of or even getting rid of confidence votes altogether is the most obvious way to strengthen non-partisan democracy. Setting aside a day every week in parliament exclusively for private members legislation is another possibility. Making it easier to pass private member bill would further non-partisan democracy. Another thing that might help is having all backbenchers sit together without regard to their party affiliation.

Taking party affiliation off ballots is undemocratic as voters can only make good choices if they are supplied with pertinent information. Taking party affiiation off ballots is a non-starter as our political system is based on party affiliation. For democracy to work people have to have a good idea of the policies that politicians will implement if elected.  Parties play a vital role in our system as they allow people to work collectively for change.

JKR

Machjo wrote:

But in practical terms, how do we solve this in the short term? Right now the left is very scattered, so as long as that continues, the current government will likely remain in place. So how do we surmount that obstacle? Temporary coalition? Other solution?

It is possible the current right-wing government can be removed under the status quo. If the Conservatives fail to win a majority in the next election, people on the centre-left in Canada will expect the NDP and Liberals, with help from the BQ, to form a coalition or at the very least form some kind of political cooperative arrangement that will keep the Conservatives out of power. Implementing PR/fair voting during this period of cooperation should be the number 1 priority as this would end the problem of vote splitting and end the possibility of the left having to establish an undemocratic merger of the NDP, Liberals and Greens in order to take power from the Conservatives under FPTP.

If we go another decade with the Conservatives maintaining power through vote splitting on the left, a merger will likely become inevitable.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

JKR wrote:
If we go another decade with the Conservatives maintaining power through vote splitting on the left, a merger will likely become inevitable.

Vote splitting of the Opposition, you mean.  There's only one party on the left.

JKR

Boom Boom wrote:

JKR wrote:
If we go another decade with the Conservatives maintaining power through vote splitting on the left, a merger will likely become inevitable.

Vote splitting of the Opposition, you mean.  There's only one party on the left.

Ok. I'll reiterate.

Vote splitting of the major parties to the left of the Conservatives.

(The NDP being the most leftward, the BQ being closer to the centre, and the Greens and Liberals being closest to the right leaning Conservatives.)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

JKR wrote:

Ok. I'll reiterate.

Vote splitting of the major parties to the left of the Conservatives.

(The NDP being the most leftward, the BQ being closer to the centre, and the Greens and Liberals being closest to the right leaning Conservatives.)

Why not just "vote splitting of the Opposition"? Simple, easy to type, and accurate. Smile

KenS

 

Maysie wrote:

Most Canadians presently and historically lean center-leftwards on social issues, economic issues, health care issues, justice issues, defense issues and foreign policy. This is something that the official and unofficial Canadian left has failed to capitalize on, presently and historically.

It's not rocket science.

What to do about is obviously not so simple. Witness how people shuffle away from the basic observation to talking about a merged non-Conservative party as the solution.

Sad.

On the practical level... If we had a merged Other Party, we would still be facing the same problem unsolved. Canadians lean centre-leftwards. Pay attention to that word 'leans'. They lean center-leftwards on social issues, etc... meaning that is their preference. That does not mean they will vote that way.

Narrow down the options to two parties and the Conservatives will still be playing that middle.

Not to mention that as long as the Bloc is around and reasonably strong, majority governments are unlikely even if there was only 2 parties running in the ROC.

Merger, or however you want to fix it, is just not the answer.

But that practical look skips over what should come first: pay attention to the observation about where Canadians still stand. And dont rush to conclusions about what that must be required to capitalize on that. Least of all rush to stale amswers.

Maysie wrote:

This is a new era of how to mobilize. I say it's time for the old guard to step down and let the youth take over. They're coming anyways.

'How to mobilize' also presupposes an answer about how to capitalize on where Canadians are.

'Mobilize' is what the left does. And has been doing for decades and decades now. To such great results.

Reach Out is the label I would offer for what we have to do better.

Do I know what that means in practical terms? I have my ideas, but the short answer is that no I do not know what that means we should be doing, especially should be doing different.

But I know that reconfiguring the political parties and 'mobilize' are two worn out ruts.

As to the old guard stepping down... I've been at this freaking 45 years now, and I'm ready for the takeover. Unfortunately, I think its much less a problem of the old guard hanging on, and more the cadre whatever their age having more than notions of what to do different.

George Victor

KenS wrote:

For what it is worth, we are now 40 years from the peak of the mass movements that began in the 1960s.

And at the time, very few individuals of the leadership were over 30. And virtually non past early 30s. Young as we were, we had considerable experience at what we were doing.

No old guard in our way.

And mobilization at its best. With only the means and ease of communication changing since.

The Chicago School and Neoconservativism have run rampant across North America and the world since the 1960s.

I'm afraid that loss of memory on those events lead to inability to beat back reaction today.

KenS

We are now 40 years from the peak of the mass movements that began in the 1960s.

And at the time, very few individuals of the leadership were over 30. And virtually none past early 30s. Young as we were, we had considerable experience at what we were doing.

No old guard in our way.

And mobilization at its best. With only the means and ease of communication changing since.

KenS

Neoconservatism runs rampant in North America, but Canadians remain pretty constant in their anchor at centre-leftt values on most issues.

Interesting.

George Victor

You would have to look at the expectation of the "average masses"in Canada  - P.E.T. noted the "rising expectations" early in his reign - and see the degree to which they became dependent on the stock market for pensions in their old age (and the degree to which, recently, that hope has been dashed, among those still employed in something more than low-paying service industries.

We have been experiencing a "pretty constant" revolution in the economics of old Milton F. , ffs. These folk are now straining to maintain the social welfare system that is straining at the seams in Canada...and the "lower taxes" mantra of neoconservatism may yet break it down completely.

If that isn't bringing too much of a materialist perspective to an evaluation of "values"...whatever they are in non-conservative terms.

KenS

Your analysis is only 'materialist' in the most reductionist way the term is meant.

 

KenS wrote:

Canadians lean centre-leftwards. Pay attention to that word 'leans'. They lean center-leftwards on social issues, etc... meaning that is their preference. That does not mean they will vote that way.

Narrow down the options to two parties and the Conservatives will still be playing that middle.

Actual voter choices is no different than any other kind of decision real people make: the decision process is dynamic and real time.

It is therefore not easy to capture all the factors that are going to play into a real time decision and get at it with questions absracted from the real time process.

So if you only ask people what their preferences are on issues, you will only get part of the answer you need for predicting outcomes. In this case- how people will vote.

The 'playing the middle' that the Conservatives do, is to play on peoples' concerns for their personal security. Which is what George is talking about, albeit in his highly dogmatic and reductionist way. So that a great many people who ascribe largely and generally to those centr-left values vote Conservative. [And before Harper and the Conservatove Party- voted for the Liberals and Paul Martin's kickoff of the fiscal dismantling of the capacity for public goods.]

People making decisions where they trump their values with concerns for security is not immutable. [Least of all is it fossilized by the actual material 'asset stake' they have in the system. People with no pension or retirment saving whatsoever are every bit as prone to influence by politicians and the media droning on about what has to be done for 'the economy'.]

One big thing is that concern for security is itself an interpretation, and is not immutable.

Who knows what would happen if the left started paying some attention to the interplay between values about issues and personal concern for security.

 

[And does anyone know where mobilizing better might fit into that?]

George Victor

The Liberals became serious fiscal conservatives in eradicating the Mulroney debt...chased there by the fiscal and social conservative set riding out of the West. Much the same thing has been happening throughout the western world, and the recent near-collapse of the world economy has resulted - ironically - in the Conseervatives having even more grist for their mill.

None of this is evidence of "dogma" or "reductionism", as Ken would have it.  Simply a recitation of recent historical facts.

But carry on with the idea that "only the means and ease of communication (have been) changing since".... 1970.In the 1960s conservatives appeared on the social science scene using "values" for evaluators. Seems they succeeded brilliantly in removing history and economics to their separate niches, safely separated from politics.

 

 

KenS

Talk about out of context George. The last quote from me is a very specific point about what mobilizing was like and has been like. How does that relate to the point you are making?

Ditto to calling your use of 'materialist' dogmatic and reductionist. You have made the point, for the umpteenth time, that people are driven by their stakes in the system via their pensions. You do not referr to, or show any interest in the findings described in the article of the OP. Saying that your analysis is the materialist one is not criticism.

And by the way George- did you pay attention to the fact that there is a point buried in your reductionism?

George Victor

All that I have said is an objective description of the battlefield...which has resulted in the average masses demanding a more accountable economic handle on affairs.  They began watching "business news" after 6 o'clock.

Nothing has changed but the means of communication, Ken?  Hasn't it been just a teensy bit more difficult to mobilize the troops?Energize youth. keep oldtimers on board?  Find funding with labour now an independent entity...if not another enemy? That's doing a pretty impressive impersonation of Rip Van Winkle.

KenS

The point was that mobilization reached its peak in the early 1970's. And that we have had mobilization down- done it well for decades now. [Secondary point: that the only thing that has changed is the means of communication used among the mobilized and mobilizing.]

I dont think the problem is in mobilizing. We do that fine. And doing it better means we might get back up to the numbers engaged 40 years ago. Which would get us what?

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Influence.

40 years ago, minority Liberal governments had to steal from NDP platforms in order to avoid defeat.

KenS

Returning to a central point:

Maysie wrote:

Most Canadians presently and historically lean center-leftwards on social issues, economic issues, health care issues, justice issues, defense issues and foreign policy. This is something that the official and unofficial Canadian left has failed to capitalize on, presently and historically.

George Victor

The key, how to "capitalize" on the general popularity of those central issues - without sticking it out there and presenting an easy target for a wealthy Conservative machine.  Ah, that key would be a golden one. Got a map locating its burial site? We could only watch the Libs steal it in the past, as LTJ has said. And you've already seen the Cons nibbling away at what their polls said would be good...for them.  i.e. a few more bucks in the GIS for the old folks dining on catfood.

Maysie Maysie's picture

First of all there are models for present day mobilization, we don't have to invent anything.

And George, you CANNOT refer to people as "average masses". Stop. 

"Status quo", "mainstream", "most people" all fine.

Just stop.

KenS

I agree that there are plenty of models for mobilization.

My point was that while mobilization could be better, I am waiting for the explanation/argument- the 'how'- that mobilization is the key to capitalizing.

Maysie Maysie's picture

KenS look at Egypt, look at Tunisia, look at Venezuela.

In Canada look at other movements directed by young people. No One Is Illegal, others.

My take is that it's time to allow other forms of leadership on the left, in the broadest sense of the words "leadership" and "left". And I ain't no young person, so I'm not talking about me.

And if such forms are not "allowed" then they will happen anyways, as time goes by.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Maysie wrote:

My take is that it's time to allow other forms of leadership on the left, in the broadest sense of the words "leadership" and "left". And I ain't no young person, so I'm not talking about me.

And if such forms are not "allowed" then they will happen anyways, as time goes by.

When I was a youth it was, "Never Trust Anyone Over Thirty."  I think that slogan is all about youth being able to see what their parents have lost sight of in our ride on the merry go round of life.  In Canada we do not have the same dynamics of someplace like Egypt with two thirds of its population under thirty.  Those dynamics are very true for many FN's communities and some prairie cities but generally we don't have the same critical mass of youth.  We also still manage to feed our poor even if we now make them line up in shame to receive the charity of their betters.  

However at a municipal level I believe the use of the youth media was instrumental in the Mayor's race.  I agree with you Maysie. I see great potential but its not my place to do anything but offer encouragement to young people to organize themselves.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

While I appreciate the article's point that Canadians' worldview are increasingly less in step with the governments they elect, and I share Maysie's frustration with the missing second clause (more conservative than whom?) I wonder if the answer to the first problem can be found in the ambiguity of the second.

That is, how can the answer, as Simpson claims, be "No," when at the same time, he asserts:

Quote:
Focus Canada has been around for more than three decades and, as such, provides excellent insight into whether Canadian attitudes have changed. Some of its questions go back three decades, others only a decade. What’s stunning is how stable Canadian public opinion has been. [my emphasis]

Um. Isn't that the definition of conservative? Personally, I find Canada (in general) to be extremely conservative: there's a reason why Tim Horton's (replete with terrible coffee, identical beige interior design and frozen donuts) is one of the first nationalist signifiers Canadians turn to for self-definition. There's a reason why Canadians are happy to be led by our native ruling party, the Liberals, only to turn to their slightly more radical cousins when they forget to send us a card on our birthdays.

For example, there is no way Canada would elect a politician like Dennis Kucinic or or Cynthia McKinney. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, by the way. I live in Canada's hippie state (BC) and I'm embarrassed when I visit Washington and Oregon and see their political activism and social practices.

That's not to say such radicalism doesn't exist in Canada--of course it does, as Maysie points out--but it doesn't have nearly the same uptake as it does in the United States. Of course, we also don't have the same kind of right-wing, crypto-fascism dominating infecting our politics in the same way either. Not that these two phenomena are connected, but it's worth pointing out.

Oh, and I don't care how old Maysie is. I'd vote her for Mayor of Canada as many times as she paid me to.

Doug

Canada is now less deferential and trusting than it was. That can play into conservative hands but it doesn't have to.

Who are you

I do not know if Canadians are more conservative.  I believe Canadians are becoming less tolerant of those that abuse the system.  Legal. justice, welfare, immigrancy etc.  They work all day to have what they have and they see others abusing the tax roll in any form for their own gain without having to earn it.

Most people I know are more than willing to help those in need through their taxes, but when they see the excesses and manipulation of others to get things that they have to work hard for to get; that drives them nuts. 

The liberal progressive phylosophy is starting to backfire.  People are tired of the bullshit of those that take advantage of the system.

George Victor

Yeah, that won Mike Harris a couple of turns at the helm.  The province is still recovering from the ignorant, selfish, bigotted bastards that had their day in the sun back then.

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