Sunday, October 14, 2007

Post election wrap up:Brokerage politics at its best

Congratulations to the Ontario Liberals for proving once again that winning an election is more important than pursuing the common good or adhering to ideological principles. Brokerage politics at its best. Congratulations too to The Toronto Star, without whom the Liberals may have had actually to campaign and defend their dismal record. Further congratulations to The Star for helping manufacture an ethos of apathy, indifference and ignorance that resulted in the lowest voter turnout in Ontario's history. That faith based school funding became the ballot issue is a complete farce.  The Toronto Star is at best incompetent for falling into the  Liberal trap or at worst complicit for colluding with the Liberals in making the ballot issue what it was. At a time when this province is on the precipice of having to make some of the most important decisions in its history, we hold an election in which all debate and discussion of the issues was stifled and preempted by a non-issue (according to an environics poll last week, faith based funding, while highly divisive, was THE decisive issue for only 3% of Ontarians). 

Meanwhile, our province is today faced with considerable and grave decisions about our short and long term futures.  Our environment desperately needs attention. Our way of living is not sustainable.  Our manufacturing sector is being decimated in a global economy and there are warnings that a recession is around the corner.  Our health care and education systems are still broken. Child poverty is at alarmingly high levels.  Working families are a paycheck away from poverty. And seniors, many more of whom we'll soon have to take care of,  are being treated in an appallingly undignified way. 

And what have we done? Not only have we stifled public debate on the direction Ontarians may have chosen to go on these critical issues, but also we've handed a recklessly arrogant and smug government, with an abysmal record, absolute power in dealing with these issues. Actually when I say we, I really mean 22% of all eligible voters (lowest turnout in history and an overwhelming majority granted by 22% of voters and tell me we don't desperately need electoral reform).  And that about sums it all up.

So when Warren Kinsella argues that the election was a validation of the Ontario Liberal motto, "change that's working", perhaps he should have finished the clause. Change that's working to blunt affect and breed more cynicism in the electorate. Change that's working to produce the lowest voter turnout in history. Change that's working  to redefine what it means to vote for change. Change that's working to redefine what the electorate considers acceptable governance. The real motto of this election was: vote for us, we're not horribly bad government.  And even on this Ontarians were utterly beguiled, for this government was in truth nefarious.

But not all was bad news. In my riding of Parkdale High Park, unquestionably one of the most intelligent, engaged, and progressive ridings in the entire province, voters saw fit to vote in their best interest and resoundingly re-elected Cheri DiNovo with 45% of the vote. It was, if I'm not mistaken, the largest gains made by the NDP from 2003 (increase of 30%), but more astoundingly, represents a turnaround of 103%. Liberals won the riding in 2003 with 58% and the NDP claimed it in 2007 with 45%. 

6 comments:

Warren said...

Why are you so fixated on me?

Perhaps it is because you are crazy. That is the only rational explanation.

Anyway, keep up the good work. Your party will be subsumed by the Greens soon enough.

Derrida said...

Warren,
Yes, Warren, the only rational explanation as to why someone would consistently disagree with you is that she/he must be crazy. Surprise, surprise, an ad hominem attack from you. Let me return the favour. You have spoken like the true narcissist crippled by delusions of grandeur that you are.

Now if you're upset that I've spent more time calling you on your bullshit than I have on Cherniak, there's a simple reason for that. You are closer to ground zero of that vile stench called Liberal opportunistic/ brokerage politics than he is. And yes, you are a symptom of the decline of modern politics (wanton negative campaigning, superficial critique, puerile ad hominem attacks, sophomoric pranks, win at any cost, etc.).

To be sure, you're not the only one, and as we head towards a federal election (with which you've stated you'll have nothing to do), my attention will undoubtedly turn elsewhere. And if you're wondering why pay attention at all. Not only because it is my social responsibility to do so but the cost of not paying attention leads to 22% of the electorate awarding absolute power to a reckless government. See here.

As I've said to your pal, Raymaker, whom I see you've unmuzzled since the election, "it is enough for you to know that I'll be waiting." You are not my enemy, you are not my friend. You are you.

p.s. if the NDP were to be subsumed by any political party better that it be by the only other party with any principles left. Until then, we persist.

Warren said...

You seem very angry. Good luck to you.

Derrida said...

Angry at the state of politics in this country? Better believe it! But really just doing my duty in a democracy. Governments mitigate the truly revolutionary potential of the people in two basic ways: fear & demoralization. Canada is particularly adept at the latter. Nearly half of the electorate couldn't see a reason to vote in the recent election, let alone to feel engaged and speak out.

Is my anger and vigilance personal? No. The signifier Warren Kinsella is a symptom that I only know through words and tactics.

Interesting that my signature "It is enough for you to know that I will be waiting", has generally been interpreted in one of two opposing ways. As menacing or threatening. Generally narcissists and Conservatives have this reaction. Or as the supreme statement of ethical commitment to another (think of the Four Tops "Reach Out"). Generally progressives and communitarians have this reaction.

Best of luck to you too.

Raymaker said...

Oh. I see. It's the voters' fault.

You are crazier than Marilyn Churley and Peter Kormos put together on a crazy ship sailing to Crazy Island.

Derrida said...

raymaker,
Nice to hear from you. There's always room for your inane little drivel in the blogosphere and in my comments section. But I was right wasn't I? Kinsella did have you on a tight leash during the election. Smart move, you were a bit of an albatross. Anyway, I assume you've kissed and made up. You must feel validated finding yourself back on Warren's blogroll. You're a good little Sancho Panza.

As for the voters' fault bit. What were you doing during the Marx 101 lecture? Cuddling up to your John Locke? Or was it your Ayn Rand? A Marxist never blames the people, and in fact often comes perilously close to overly romanticizing "the people". Even when voters vote against their best interest, Marxists don't blame the voters. You know, the whole hegemony, ideology critique thing.
So, I actually blame all but the voters. Just another example of your disingenuous and perverse readings.