This was a long day, and the kind of day I’ve needed. This morning I was on a Jamaican radio program called ‘The Breakfast Club’ – discussing Canadian politics, more or less debating a University of Toronto professor called Nelson Wiseman. Wiseman provided a ‘mainstream Canadian politics 101’ for the Jamaican audience, and I tried to raise some broader issues (the coup and occupation and mass murder in Haiti, the Conservative agenda, the Liberal agenda being nearly identical to the Conservative agenda, etc.). The program itself was a kind of debate format, with a ‘left-wing’ host named Trevor Munroe, a trade unionist and professor, and a ‘right-wing’ host named Anthony Abrahams who had been tourism minister for Jamaica. Later tonight I had a conversation with some other activists who were quite impressed with Jack Layton’s budget move. I think it was good too, but we all agreed/lamented the absence of strong social movements at this stage who were capable of intervening and pushing support for a budget that is, symbolically, a sort of a big deal in that it is a reversal of the major fiscal policy thrust of the past few decades. In a sense it proves what David Orchard was saying to me in our interview months back: he said Martin isn’t afraid of thousands of people on the streets. He’s afraid of 3 seats in Parliament. And so with a few seats in Parliament did the NDP achieve this major reverse. Now if movements were capable of intervening, they could push to actually make the reverse real and expand it.
I will have much more to say about Canadian politics in the coming days, since we might be in for another Fear and Loathing election. Canadians who want the report to have a different brand are welcome to suggest them.