Obama and Harper: Two bookends of a broken democracy

On Saturday,  January 23  at 1 pm in more than 60 cities and towns, Canadians will hit the street to demand a real democracy in this country.  What started as a protest against the prorogation of Parliament is starting to look like a democracy movement.

Voters in both the United States and Canada are reacting to a broken system.  In the US by voting down the Democratic candidate for Senate in the most Democratic state of Massachusetts and in Canada by this unprecendented uprising.

Evo Morales to be inaugurated spiritual and political leader of Bolivia this week

With the horror in Haiti, we could all use some good news that we will not hear about from the mainstream media.  On Thursday January 21, Aymara elders and Indigenous people from across Bolivia and the Americas will gather at the inauguration of  Evo Morales as leader of Abya Yala, the Indigenous name meaning Our America.  On the following day, he will be inaugurated as President of Bolivia for the second time.   Up until Evo's regime, Bolivia was the second poorest country in the Americas after Haiti. 

A powerful grassroots movement for democracy is building in Canada

Am I the only one who saw Stephen Harper's nose grow on the National last night?  As he responded to Peter Mansbridge's question about how he had changed, he said that partisanship was now really the terrain of the Opposition.  Perhaps he hadn't consulted with his old pal Tom Flanigan who explained in today's Globe in a piece called Polarization, Ad Hoc Alliances and Fear of Election how completely partisan Harper's strategy is. Harper is in perpetual campaign mode, says Flanigan.  Maybe this time, Harper has outsmarted himself.

Hope for Humanity: Evo Morales and the Indigenous movement triumph in Bolivian election.

In all the midst of the tremendous and welcome attention to  the climate change conference in Copenhagen little attention has been given to a miraculous development in the Global South.   Not only has Evo Morales won an overwhelming majority as President of Bolivia but his party, the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) has won 2/3 of the Senate and a strong majority in the House basically destroying the strength of the right-wing parties.

New Review of Transforming Power

The Journal of the Society for Socialist Studies has recently published a review of Transforming Power. Please click on the link below to read the review in PDF format.


Twenty years later remember the women slaughtered in Montreal and then organize.

 Like almost every woman and many men I know, December 6 1989 was a day I will never forget. I heard the news on the radio in my car.   I guess I was driving home from work. It was that time of day.

We are trying dear George but our government is not listening.

Today famed British journalist and environmentalist George Monbiot wrote an open letter to the people of Canada pleading with us to clean up our act on the environment.  In his usual incisive prose he wrote:

Canada's tactics have caused shock and revulsion everywhere. They are dragging your good name through the mud. Stephen Harper and Jim Prentice threaten to do as much damage to your international standing as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney did to that of the United States."

We are trying George but our government doesn't listen to the people of this country, only to the oil companies.

Gil Levine: The ultimate Mensch

 Last week I received an e mail from Gil Levine, a legendary union leader, founding member of CUPE  and a wonderful man. He was writing to say that he was fatally ill. He died a few days later on December 16 at the age of 85, still vigorous and politically active. He said “This is probably the hardest email I’ve ever sent, as I need to let you know that I am gravely ill.” Still he wrote that e mail, so like Gil to think of his legions and friends and comrades even as he and his family were struggling with this terrible news. 

Bolivia re-invents democratic socialism

On December 6, Bolivia will hold a general election where Evo Morales, the first Indigenous President in the Americas will no doubt be re-elected.  His party the MAS has recently released an election programme that Susan Harvie has kindly summarized and translated.  Bolivia is reinventing democractic socialism.  They are in the process of creating a plurinational state with equal rights for all nations and people, redistributing land, free health and education for everyone, what they call a pluri-economy that includes public, private, co-operative and communitarian.  In four years of power they have eliminated illiteracy, reduced extreme poverty by 6%, insituted a senior's pension for the first time, nationalized hydrocarbons and achieved a 6.5% economic growth.  They are showing at a government that acts in the interests of the majority really can succeed and that an alternative is truly possible.  The full list of achievements and election platform for the next four years is below:

Tell Ignatieff, Layton and your MP you want them to vote against gutting the gun registry

Like many others, I am sick with some kind of flu but this is an emergency so I am posting the fact sheet from the Coalition for Gun Control.  On Wednesday November 4 just one month short of the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre when a single gun man slaughtered 14 women shouting, "you are all a bunch of feminists" the Conservatives are hoping to pass a private member's bill that will gut the gun registry, What's worse is that the NDP and Liberals could defeat it if they would impose party discipline on their members, but they won't.  You can make sure they do by flooding Layton and Ignatieff with emails and phone calls between now and then.  Here are the facts: