Thursday, May 05, 2011

Is the Progressive Blogosphere Getting You Down?

Feeling a little blue? Finding the toxic partisanship in the blogosphere a little hard to take?

Does the sight of progressives eating themselves alive shock you and make you nauseous?

So soon after the catastrophe of a Harper majority.

Don't worry, it's a perfectly natural reaction. It IS the worst thing that ever happened to this country. You can't expect people NOT to be hurt and angry.

And besides you can't spend ten hours a day, for a month, on the internet and not expect to pay a heavy price.

I know I have eh? The other day when I got up from my chair, and noticed the clear imprint of my buttocks in its leathery folds, I knew I had a problem.

But if like me, you STILL can't tear yourself away from your computer, have I ever got the solution.

Pick up two paper plates.

And take a break from the action.

Without even leaving your chair...

Now doesn't that feel better?

Isn't that better than slagging each other?

Pick up your paper plates people.

It's going to be a long four years...

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers


Omar said...

I just don't understand why so many people are buying into this harsh lunacy that is the Conservative party under Stephen Harper's rule. But sometimes I think I do understand it and I find that little revelation even more depressing. The day before yesterday, I copied and pasted the comment ThinkingManNeil left here on your blog and posted it on my FB page. After re-reading it there, I sat there and cried. It's going to be an incredibly long four years.

Scotian said...

If you mean by this that it is partisan to examine how we got here and not apportion responsibility for it, you can count me right out. While yes partisanship sucks, it is in no small degree the partisanship from the Dipper side of the equation which created this result, far more so than from the Lib side. Which party ran more against the other than against Harper yet again? Which side claimed there was no difference between the other and Harper again? Which party was OK with a Harper majority if it allowed them to surpass their traditional electoral rivals?

Simon, the problem with politics is it is something created for and used by human beings to distrubte power without violence being the tool, and expecting them to drop their feelings in such a situation is not realistic. I just finished replying to you in another thread about how I considered this notion of a merger to be a bad idea and that I don't agree that the electorate wants such a thing nor that it would be a healthy thing for the nation, indeed would deprive a significant chunk of the voting electorate a place to place their ballots and would almost certainly work more towards the advantage of the CPC than the NDP.

Keep in mind that you cannot assume that most of the Lib vote would slide to the NDP in such a situation, especially from those who are still hard core Libs because of anyone they will be blaming the NDP the most for what has happened, AND they will have already shown they reject the NDP values/ideology by staying Lib for as long as they have. Given human nature I can far too easily see a spite response if the Lib party dissolves in a merger for a generation which would make the self described progressive majority in this nation suddenly not so much and a minority of the votes cast, not to see this potential is not wise.

Indeed, talking about mergers immediately after the election is in itself a bit of a partisan response baiting whether you are a partisan or not of either party I would suggest. To suddenly decide that there is no need for a centrist party anymore based on this one election result, one which happened not because of a significant realignment of the electorate but because of repeated reworkings of the CPC , the ambitions of Jack Layton, the collapse of the BQ in Quebec to Layton in part because he sounded more favourable to the nationalist cause than any other federalist party leader has, and because of a temporary swing of the voters in the ROC to stop Layton even though it meant having to swallow more Harper (who was supposedly no different than the Libs according to Layton and his NDP after all), well that seems rash, impulsive, and for some I suspect a partisan reading of the results.

to be concluded...

Scotian said...


BTW, in response to something you said in the other thread, I am not noble, I am just not aligned formally, just a centrist Canadian voter of moderate political leanings who sees Harper for what he truly is and the danger he represents to our system of government and core values we have espoused for generations, including when we were governed by the PCPC. I am heartbroken, still finding tears in my eyes days later that this has happened, and yes very angry about what happened, however I am also angry at the way many voices don't want to accept their share of the responsibility for this outcome, and there I find yet again the problem is worse in one side's camp than the other, and it is not the Libs. I don't think this partisanship is going to settle down, I think it is going to get worse, the most I can see is one side deciding to take a break from the online side of things while they rebuild their party, but that is not the same thing as letting it go.

As for me, I am so close to saying fuck it all and leaving politics altogether it is scaring me. For a decade I have warned of this. For a decade I have been branded a hysterical Liberal partisan shill despite everything I have said to the contrary. I have called things as I saw them, been proven right time and again, and for my troubles abused by the so called progressive side of the equation. At least the Cons were my opponents I expected abuse from them, my really painful abuse though came from those who should have been my allies in stopping this horror show, and to be honest Simon, that is not an easy thing to get over and just let go of, especially now that they are dancing in glee over their "victory". Some victory, less power now than in the last three Parliaments, just nicer digs and a title, all for the low low cost of a Harper majority. Forgive me if I don't see the value in that tradeoff.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Simon...

And again!

Simon said...

hi Omar... cheer up brother. It's a dark time, and Neil's words are powerful ones. But here's the good part...real change doesn't happen without pain, but in the end it's worth it.
We may have to endure the almost unendurable, but if we use that to motivate us we shall turn it to our advantage.
The even better news? We need not rush things. We have plenty of time. And it is the beginning of summer. A time to heal, soak up some rays and some sangria, and let the BBQ do the talking. I've got a small bet with Sebastien as to who will first summon up the courage to dive naked into the icy lake. And after the way the election turned out, I simply MUST win... ;)

Simon said...

hi Scotian...well you may not be noble but you are certainly passionate, so that makes up for it. ;)
Seriously though...I think that your passion is blinding you to the larger forces of history that I believe are playing out here.
The polarization of politics in this country is happening whether you or I like it or not. History is like a river making its way to the sea. You can't stop it nor can you step into the same river twice.
And nothing can change the fact that that if the NDP and the Liberals continue to split the vote, the Cons will continue to win until they become the natural governing party of Canada. Which would be far worse than this majority.
This country is a big country and you have to look at all of it and at the forces that are shaping it beyond our control. We have been trapped in rut for too long, we can't look to our past to save us. The future belongs to us, but only if we want it. Now cheer up. :)

Simon said...

hi anonymous...thank you and BTW I understand it's even better if you use real plates... :)

Scotian said...


I know I am coming back to this late, but I ave one thing to say...I have heard that "larger forces of history" claim before, it was from the USSR and many on the hard left in this country thirty years ago on how inevitable it was for the left to dominate and conquer in both this country and the world. Remind me again how that actually happened?

I think you mistake my passion for narrowness of focus, indeed the opposite is the case, and I am by no means as ignorant of larger forces as you appear to think I am, but I have learned from watching "larger forces of history" peter out time and again especially from the progressive/left side of the political spectrum to be more than a little unwilling to rely on it. While it may be a great source for hope, hope doesn't pay the bills, a sad reality that to many people who get caught up in believing in such things forget about until it smacks them in the face.

The amount of cynicism I have regarding such things is as a result of having my own youthful idealism shown to be a dangerous mindset when it came to perceiving reality. These days while I hope for the best I assume the worst and you know what? I am sadly rarely disappointed. As I believe I said before it may be a cold place to live but it also tends to correspond to reality a lot closer than many of the warmer places these days, I will add that I wish it were otherwise, but wishing something to be different and believing it is different tend to be a little too close for many people for my comfort.

One last point about those greater forces you believe in, you said before the election that you believed the youth vote would finally show up too, yet I don't remember seeing a significant youth surge this time either. Look, being optimistic is important Simon, but you need to watch out from letting it blind you to harsh realities, which I fear is something you are doing. Even when I was your age though I was never quite as unaware of the ugly realities inhuman nature and politics as you are starting to seem to me, and while I admire your involvement and willingness to do what you are doing I also have to shake my head in sadness when you let yourself be blinded by your own hopefulness (granted I like people blinded by such much better than those blinded by negative emotions and such, but bluntly put blinded is still blinded no matter what the basis for it still is a problem when it comes to seeing reality).

I have been Cassandra for a long time now Simon, and my predictions have had a depressingly high rate of becoming real, so you will forgive me if I prefer to trust that record over these greater forces of yours, especially when I've heard that before and seen it come to naught in the end. I am not noble, or even so much passionate as I am simply someone that cares, believes in being informed, and bothers to do my own research and critical thinking instead of allowing others to do it for me. That is how I got where I am today, and given that it has shown me to be correct most of the time especially in the political realm I will continue to trust it.