Neo-Canadianism, Embodied by Bold Leadership
It’s been a while and that’s because life has been as frinetic and busy as ever. Aside from getting my POV Magazine article in on time (it’s currently on the newsstands for those curious), organizing DOC brunches and websites, writing scholarship applications for SSHRC and for the Trudeau Foundatioin ($105,000 and $150,000 respectively – fingers crossed), and oh yes, getting married last Saturday, things are relatively normal! The Underground Wedding Party, as we dubbed it (it was held in the catacombs of the Bunker – the Loaded Pictures production space) went swimmingly and our friends pitched in enormously to make it a fantastic, beautiful evening full of drinking, dancing, bread-breaking, music, and of course political debate. I will post pictures on this here site once I get them, so stay tuned for that entry. In the mean time, why not a short rant on Canadia politics?I would like to suggest the formation of a new Foundation – Send Harper to the Afghanistan Frontlines Today, or SHAFT. Stephen Harper is quietly destroying this country, and it was broken to begin with, so one can only where we’ll end up when he and his Conservatives are finished. Just off the top of my head, I can list some of this imperialist’s accomplishments:
- No support for the world’s aboriginal peoples: United Nations Council in Geneva, Canada joins only Russia as the two nations out of 47 to vote against the adoption of a declaration of the rights of aboriginal peoples. Canada had been one of the original drafters of this proposal at the UN, and disgracefully, under Harper’s regime, ended up trying to derail the vote by unsuccessfully convincing other states not to support the declaration. Read the Georgia Straight article about it.
- The attack on women, literacy and First Nations peoples: Haper’s Tories have slashed funding to the Status of Women, Canada’s adult literacy program, and Aboriginal Health programs including the anti-smoking campaign directed at Canada’s fastest growing tobacco users, aboriginal youth. Women? Reading and Writing? The health of First Nations peoples? Bah, who needs it? We’ve got oil companies to bail out and helicopters to buy with our $13 BILLION BUDGET SURPLUS. Read about the attack on women at The Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) site.
- More Cuts: Further cuts to Medicinal Marijauna program and Museums assistance funding. Again, health? Art? Culture? Who needs it?
- Our international role and responsibility as Imperialist power: Harper has embraced Canada’s role in Afghanistan, where troops are in a political quagmire that is being mishandled and misdirected by the American imperialists: as Canadians are killed and injured, we remain an occupying force that is serving to strengthen the Taliban, increase state instability and fuel the heroin trafficking industry. Read about it here.
- Anti-gay: The Tories are a good bunch of white, heterosexual males, so the idea of gay people actually having rights in Canada makes them quite squirmy to say the least. And while they’ve stayed away from this hot button (along with abortion) to appear centrist, deep in that bigoted Conservative heart, there lies a homophobe ready to exact anti-gay legislation. Read a 2005 article about the tories and this issue.
- Best friends with Bush: Harper loves the semi-literate oil man, and the two have enjoyed love-ins on imperial maneuvering abroad, drug enforcement, border control, increased free trade, corporate welfare and rights protection, and the menace of those bearded men who hide in caves and threated our Christian democracy with Islam and explosives. It is a Christian match made in heaven, and with Harper at the Canadian helm, the relationship will only grow. As the Washington Post said on December 2, 2005: “Why does President Bush hope Christmas comes a little late this year? Because on Jan. 23, Canada may elect the most pro-American leader in the Western world. Free-market economist Stephen Harper, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, is pro-free trade, pro-Iraq war, anti-Kyoto, and socially conservative.” Too bad we did elect him. Now how do we get rid of him?
- Pro-Israel, Anti-Palestine: Not only has Canada under Harper followed the lead of our US neighbours in ending financail support to the Palestinian people, a move that has had tremendous reprucussions for the already beleaguered occupied Palestinians, but Harper has consistently supported Bush in America’s unflinching and uncritical support of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, the construciton of the apartheid wall, not to mention support for the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. An early article here.
Harper is a war-mongering, free market bigot who is slashing the arts and funding for women, first nations and the marginalized in general. He has arrogantly taken Canada in a new international direction: say what you want about our imperial dreams pre-Harper, but now they are manifest in the complete solidarity positioning of Canada in the “Anglo-Axis” of Canada-Australia-USA-Britain. Sadly, we are no longer known as the level-headed peacekeepers (despite how white washed that sentiment was), but as world aggressors. Then again, perhaps it is time we stopped kidding ourselves: in a country where we have committed genocide against the First Nation people, and continue to build a “multicultural society” benchmarked by the heteronormativity of whiteness, maybe it’s time our foreign policy was exposed as imperialist and oppressive. Would this get us talking about our domestic situation?
The sad thing is people voted for this lunatic. Now we have to undo the mistake and get him out. So, who to vote for?