Sunday, February 01, 2015
Why Progressives Must Unite to Fight the Harper Dictatorship
When I see what terrible danger our country is in, caught up in the death-like vortex of the now crazed Stephen Harper.
When I read polls like this one.
Whatever they are worth.
I can't help but think how all of this could be avoided if progressives were united.
So I'm glad to see Gerald Caplan urging them to do just that to prevent the unthinkable.
If either the Liberals or NDP end up with a majority government, that party would of course govern. But if any of the other outcomes prevail, a new era in Canadian history must begin. Some kind of long-term rapprochement between the NDP and Liberals must be pursued.
Because the fact that it comes from an old partisan like Caplan makes that message even stronger.
Don’t think, after a lifetime of deep attachment to the NDP, it doesn’t kill me to write these words. But anything else is a recipe for continued Conservative rule, a fate that Canadian progressives must not inflict on our country in the name of party loyalty.
If we take seriously the assertion that the Conservatives have already undermined the values that we and most Canadians hold dear, and that another term will entrench their work and make it irreversible, we have no choice but to place Canada before party.
And if we love this country it's one we can't ignore. Allowing Stephen Harper to win WOULD be unthinkable...
When the damage he could do is so great, and our differences are so petty in comparison with the values we share.
Some in both parties will scream blue murder about such an arrangement. I quite understand because I share a good deal of that reaction. It won’t be an easy negotiation. But the truth is, as Dr. Freud might have said, much of the antagonism between the two parties reflects the narcissism of small differences.
You know, I love my partisan friends.
But when I watch them argue I sometimes can't help thinking of the night when I was a young teenager and found myself in the Protestant enclave of Sandy Row in Belfast, the night before the Orange Parade.
The place was teeming with boozed up kids, who were building a giant bonfire, like hundreds all over the city, to turn the sky orange and intimidate the Catholics. Which also intimidated me, because although I was a Protestant, I strongly supported the Catholics who were fighting for their civil rights.
And I'll never forget when one of the most dangerous looking drunks staggered over to me, and informed me how he'd like to kill what he called the Taegs, while firing away with an imaginary gun.
Claiming that he could line up six naked Protestants against a wall, and six naked Catholics, and be able to tell the difference between them.
Which for one horrible moment made me wonder whether those Protestants were circumcised. And whether, considering my personal situation, it might be too dangerous to take a leak in the street, like so many in that scary mob were doing.
Because it was that ridiculous and that crazy.
And I basically feel the same way about the differences that divide my NDP, Liberal, and Green friends.
Because whatever petty differences they may have, with their clothes on or not, I can't tell the difference between them. I know they have them, and some of them are worth debating.
But the reason I love them all is because they ALL share my Canadian values. The ones Stephen Harper and his foul Cons are trying to destroy.
And the truth that cannot be denied is that as long as we are divided the Cons will always have an advantage and our Canada will always be in danger of being destroyed. And repeating the same mistake over and over again is the definition of insanity.
Which makes us look like a small people, a petit peuple as we say in Quebec, who can't think or dream as big as this country. Or who would make Canada look old and tired when it is still young and still capable of reinventing itself. And founding a new party is not an act of destruction but one of creation.
Like Caplan I realize that we will not unite before the next election, and I'm patient. I have to be because I'm outnumbered.
But we should start seriously thinking about it, because I know we eventually will. And that's one of the reasons I want us to build a giant Stop Harper movement so it can eventually push our parties to do the right thing.
Like this massive crowd from the Spanish Podemos (We can) movement was doing this weekend in Madrid...
Chanting "tick tock tick tock" to let the old parties know that their day is almost over.
Because I too dream of something bigger and better and live for the day when we are finally united.
And it's not like I haven't had a glimpse of the power of a united progressive movement.
For I also remember the bleak time five years ago when Harper prorogued Parliament, and I saw thousands of Liberals, NDPers, and Greens take to the streets.
And I made this little video to reflect how I was feeling then, and how amazing was the sight of all those progressives working together, and how it inspired me to dream about how we can get our country back...
For we must get our country back.
And the day we finally unite will be a glorious day.
The day I'll be building a bonfire.
And the day we will DESTROY them...
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