Well, Canada, what now?

So, the Liberals stood up Canadian women for a pink party at Stornoway.  The NDP has a turncoat who needs to be removed from the party.  And the anti-choice crowd is partying like they have not partied since before the Morgentaler decision of 1988.  Me, I don’t feel too festive.

I am angry.  I am angry with Parliament, for all the stupidity they’ve engaged in over the past 2+ years, but exceedingly so for this latest attack on women.  It could send a woman into a tailspin.  Fortunately, I’m stronger than that and have bounced back quickly and with more gusto than before.  I am angry with myself, too, for not taking seriously this attack by the anti-choicers, for not catching the pattern of Harper’s attacks.  Never underestimate Steve Harper is the lesson I have learned here.  He is as mean and scary as they come.

So, peeps, what’s next?  How do we take back what is being taken from us?  How do we take back our democracy?

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Enemies of Women’s Rights

This is for Stephen Harper, Stephane Dion, and Peter Stoffer, the three obvious enemies of women’s right to reproductive freedom, as indicated by their vote — or the lack thereof — on Bill C-484 in Parliament today.

Middle Finger for Dion

Who was it who said, Polite women seldom make history?

Updated to add Stoffer, an NDP MP, to the list.  Here’s hoping he’s disciplined…

Why Canada Needs the NDP

First, the comments that follow are focused on the federal wing of the New Democratic Party.  The federal and provincial wings are two very different kettles of fish!

Second, I’ve tried to stay out of the flak going on in the blogosphere and in the media about the NDP.  The party, like all organizations of human beings, has issues.  And, truth be told, I have serious concerns about the strategies, communications policy and messaging of the NDP since before the last election.  It’s as though the inner circle has lost touch with the grassroots — not the Party’s grassroots, but the grassroots from which Leader Jack Layton comes.  The sense I get is that rude children are running the show and that’s not good for the Leader, for the Party or for Canada.  I would urge Jack to ground into his roots as an activist and lead from there.

Third, in light of all this, The Jurist over at Accidental Deliberations has invited responses to Why Canada needs the NDP?  And it’s a good question, one I’ve pondered all day.  My answer for me is simple. Canada needs the NDP because it is the only federal political party that recognizes a woman’s fundamental right to reproductive choice.  Not only that, it will insist that all New Democratic Members of Parliament toe the line when the issue is addressed by the House of Commons.

Suffice it to say that Canada needs the NDP because Canadian women can count on the NDP to stand up and be counted when it matters.

“Feel the Heat”

Well, well, well, it’s interesting times for environmentalists in Saskatchewan.  It seems our NDP government, the same one that opposed the Kyoto Protocol in its early stages, and the same one that is promoting increased uranium activities in the province is the same one that may actually have to look at the economic effects of climate change.

The Saskatchewan NDP will hold their 70th annual sacred convention in Saskatoon in a couple of weeks. The theme is Saskatchewan: Feel the Energy which, according to organizer Cathy Duncan, “refers to some of the positive developments in the areas of health, youth and economic development.”  The event could probably be renamed Feel the Heat, to more aptly reflect what the SK NDP are up against.
Environmentalists are fed up with the NDP government, calling it anti-green.  SK has had an 62% increase in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990, the worst of any province in Canada.  The crown corporation, SaskPower, is the 3rd largest emitter of CO2 in the country.  Few people believe the government’s line, “We have a plan.”  Given his recent cuddling-up to the business lobby, most green-thinkers here expect similarities to Harper’s Clean Air Act.

Another big piece of the problem for the NDP is its active promotion of the uranium agenda in the province.  They conveniently ignore the fact that SK’s uranium is killing people in the Middle East and will continue to do so for generations to come.  They’ve participated in creating a demand for jobs, as well as a public call and a national sales pitch for uranium as part of their neoconservative agenda.  Minister of Industry and Resources, Eric Cline, displays amazingly flawed logic and provides a racist argument when he says,

“We know that the world is going to continue to use nuclear power and therefore uranium is going to be used. Even if all the uranium mines in Saskatchewan were shut down, this would continue to happen. Saskatchewan has the best occupational, health and safety standards in terms of uranium mining in the world, the best system of decommissioning mines in the world, and the mining sector pays amongst the highest wages in Saskatchewan and has significant Aboriginal involvement. So, if uranium is to be mined, where should it be refined? Right here in Saskatchewan where we know it will be done right.”

Pretty much everyone in SK knows that the likelihood of the NDP soaring to victory in the next provincial election runs anywhere from slim to nil. The election will be the right wing Sask Party’s to lose. The only hope for Saskatchewan progressives are

a) Brad Wall and the Sask Party pull a major blunder; or

b) Lorne Calvert resigns and the NDP returns to its roots with a leader like Nettie Wiebe; or
c) the Green Party of Saskatchewan makes a major breakthrough and grabs votes away from the Saskatchewan Party; or

d) the Liberal Party of Saskatchewan is born again.

The first or second would be preferable, the third is plausible and the fourth is highly unlikely.

Come the next federal election…

No one I know wants to see another Harper-led New Government of Canada.  But I hang out with people who didn’t vote for him in the first place.  What I need to hear are suggestions as to how we, as progressives, counterspin, break through the fear,  convince the electorate to stay the hell away from the Harpercrits when marking their Xs come the next federal election.

Over at Peace, order and good government, eh? Tim has posted an excellent, dead-on piece referencing a Toronto Star story about PMS’s attempt to market an alternative universe in Canada.  (Read the comments, too, and take a boo at Scotian’s blog, as well.)  As Tim says, PMS is our very own Little Republican and he is aiming to use Republican tactics in the next federal election:

– Give crappy legislation a positive name, then curse out your opponents for opposing it.
– Use fear to mobilize your base and intimidate the opposition.
– Use the military to boost your patriotic bona fides (at no risk to yourself), while simultaneously labelling your cirtics [sic] anti-military.
– Surround the prime minister (or president) in a bubble of sycophancy to prevent actual facts from seeping into a decision making process entirely ruled by ideology.

So, how are we going to defeat our very own Bushite, folks?