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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
Yesterday I did something I rarely do. I participated in an academic seminar. It was to mark the 40th anniversity of The Waffle, a radical youth movement inside the NDP. Hardly anyone under 50 knows what The Waffle was, unless you have ever tried to organize an opposition in the NDP where it remains a scary ghost. But it was a significant and almost unique formation of the 1960's in Canada. Apparently scholarship on the 1960's is the hottest thing in academe these days. Who knew?
Today is Blog Action Day on Climate Change. Bloggers around the world are writing to promote Global Action. I hope lots of us in Canada are participating since our government is about the worse climate criminal around. Shaming the Harper Tories to do better or even do anything on climate change is not going to work but you can sign the petition and show that the people of Canada are not behind the government on this one.
The P2P Foundation, which highlights books that recognize how technology reflects a change of consciousness towards participation and in turn strengthens it, has just announced that "Transfroming Power" is its current Book of the Week.
To read the Foundation's review of the book, click here.