Sunday, January 9, 2011

Once more into the breach...

For whatever it is worth, I am a member of a political party again. I just rejoined the NDP, Canada's social democratic party.

On Facebook I described my politics as "Apple. Red, Green and Crunchy".
For the last twenty years or so I have been sitting on the fence between being Green or NDP.  I wish I could be both at once, but it doesn't work that way. The NDP has a decent environmental record and there is a provincial leadership race coming up. Bad timing, but these things happen. Becoming a member allows one to vote directly for the leadership of the party.

Several factors nudged me back in this direction.

*Spending time with progressive friends South of the border makes me deeply grateful for Canada's social safety net. It is not perfect, but it sure beats what we see in the USA.
The difference is largely due to the influence, even out of office, of the NDP.
*The increasing gap between haves and have-nots. Not quite as bad here but growing, especially in B.C.
*With the latest developments in give-aways to the rich, a bit of class awareness might not be such a bad idea. There was Bernie Sanders speech, and the article below on Union bashing.  Sure, some unions can become hide-bound bastions of self interest. But the ability to form and maintain labour unions remains one of the most important indications of a truly free democracy. Dictators always target Union organizers for intimidation or outright assassination.
*Meeting the local MLA at a home potluck gathering and hearing about the chance for renewal through a leadership convention. Having the chance to participate directly through voting for a new leader.

I do not expect any government to deliver perfect solutions on a platter. Anyone coming into power now will have one hell of a mess on their hands. I do expect more honesty and less give-away of the common resources. Gordon Campbell won't be happy till he has privatized the air.

Anyway, it will be interesting.

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