sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
Jagmeet Singh orange-crushed the NDP leadership race. So, congratulations to him!

Now, it's not a secret that he wasn't my first choice, but I've also mainly stayed out of the leadership discussion, a) because I'm not actually that invested, since I preferred all four candidates to Mulcair, and b) because the NDP would basically have to run a Cthuloid abomination before I'd vote for either of the other two mainstream parties. (And even then, soul-devouring vs. Bill C-51? Just how many tentacles are we talking?)

And some things about him are quite cool, including that he is the first person of colour to be elected as the leader of a major federal party in Canada. I'm not going to downplay how significant that is.

Whether or not he was one's first choice, when the world is going to shit and the alternatives are a born-to-rule Stepford Smiler and an underbaked theocrat, charm and electability—which Jagmeet has in droves—are crucial qualities. As for policy specifics, it's important for Canadians to remember that we have a parliamentary, not a presidential system, your local MP matters, and it's incumbent on party members (of which I am now, awkwardly, one) to guide the party to the left.

So, yes. I wish him the best, and hope that we can all work towards a country that doesn't spend $110K in legal fees preventing a First Nations child from getting a $6000 dental procedure while taking Orange Shirt Day selfies and selling arms to Saudi Arabia. Forward, etc.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (raccoons of the resistance)
Want to write a long analysis post and such but I just got up after supervising prom all night, so you're not going to get that right now. I expected a lot worse and am experiencing some schadenfreude over a) Theresa May having an exceptionally bad night, and b) Corbyn not looking so unelectable now, amirite?

Hope feels kind of weird. I mean, you still have a shitty government in power, but it's a shitty government without a sweeping mandate, and for the UK, that's saying a lot. It's too soon to say that the tide is starting to turn against global reaction, but it's something.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
 There's so much I want to write about and link to lately, but of course it's June and I'm a schoolteacher, so I've just been reblogging things on Facebook. And that's no way to live. Here are some highlights of the week.

The story gripping the city is of the Toronto Life story about a pair of self-involved, clueless rich kids who bought a Parkdale rooming house, sight unseen, and were shocked that people still lived there and also that you can't hire a contractor based on the fact that he's cycling by. This is all in the context of violent purging of the poor in the Parkdale neighbourhood, most notably an asshole landlord attempting to murder a tenant for striking against deplorable conditions. Quite a lot of pixels have been spilled over this issue, but the best response was my friend Todd's GoFundMe page (you can still donate), and the Metro interview with him that followed. Great stuff, and perfect timing—the Parkdale Rent Strike has the potential to be the most successful political action since BLM-TO forced Pride to ban uniformed, armed cops from getting paid to march in a parade that celebrated the very folks they like to beat up.

The Tories have a new Head Asshole, Andrew Scheer. No one has heard of this guy, and he conveniently had a lot of his more disgusting positions wiped from the intertubes. However, the Streisand Effect is still in play, so you can totally go and read what he's about. Spoiler: It ain't good. Fortunately, he has all the charisma of a mysteriously damp toilet paper roll, so I don't think he has much of a chance against Prince Justin or whoever the NDP nominates.

Do I have a clear preference for an NDP leader? I am shocked to say that no, I do not. I actually like multiple candidates. This is weird. I would be happy if Charlie Angus, Jagmeet Singh (with some reservations), or Niki Ashton won. I tend not to put a lot of hope in electoral politics but I do like having someone I can vote for and campaign for happily rather than someone who's the lesser of three evils.

Speaking of Niki, she's preggers. Yay Niki! She announced it on Twitter, because we live in the darkest possible timeline, and minor douchecanoe Brian Lilley got upset because she did not specify that she was pregnant with a human fetus. What else might she be pregnant with? Speculation abounded. Was it an alien? A tank-human hybrid? A dinosaur? No one knew until she clarified, kinda.

The coolest thing to happen around these parts is that the Ontario Liberals—who I don't even tend to like—announced that the minimum wage would rise to $15 by 2019, along with several other good labour reforms. This is great news, though in Toronto, where the cost of living is stupidly high compared to the rest of the province, it doesn't go far enough for my liking. Almost everyone is in favour, except for this whiny fuckhead, who is such an incompetent businessman that he can't afford to pay people to work for him. He was shocked and appalled to find himself the target of a boycott, and put up an even whinier sign that was immediately mocked for obvious reasons.

I try not to ever think about Barbara Kay, but a hero at Canadaland read that pro-genocide book that she recommended so that you don't have to.

Speaking of genocide against the First Nations, guess how much Trudeau's government spent fighting against indigenous rights in court? #sunnyways #colonialismbutfromtheheartoutwards

In international news, though I hate to go there:

Ivanka Trump makes her shoes in a Chinese sweatshop (no surprise there) and three activists have been disappeared for looking into it.

Laurie Penny continues to be my internet girlfriend. Here's a scathing editorial about freezed peach.

Finally, it is extremely important that we know about whether Melania is getting, and I quote, "federally-funded side peen." Yeah, you're welcome.
sabotabby: (sabokitty)
So I wrote my MP and he wrote back. I'm posting it here 'cause tbh, while I will never vote for or support the Liberals, I thought his response was pretty decent and I'll give credit where credit is due:

if you are interested )ETA: I ain't naïve and I know Trudeau won't actually do anything
sabotabby: (doom doom doom)
Well, that was something.

Despite my awesome powers of prognostication, I did not expect Cheeto Benito's Alt Reich to act as quickly or decisively as they did. My entire experience with authoritarian far-right governments in North America has been that of a slow-burn, frog-in-boiling-water type situation where most of the bad shit goes down in ways far too complex for the average citizen to understand. But this is different. This is a week, and we're all in such turmoil that it is impossible to keep track of all of the horrible shit happening at once.

This is by design, of course. You are meant to be confused and overwhelmed. The point is chaos and disruption. Much of Trump's moves won't stick, can't stick, but the intention is to screw fast and hard, to leave any opposition or resistance bewildered and under-resourced.

One of the reasons why I no longer identify as an anarchist (though I still have many anarchist sympathies) is that I actually believe that a big, lumbering bureaucracy is a healthy thing. It stops, for example, one psychopathic manchild elected by a deluded fraction of the populace from acting on every single chubby he gets when he's sitting on his gold toilet. I may not be that familiar with the US political system, but there are supposed to be checks and balances to prevent this kind of thing. Trump has decided to cut through all that, and because the US government is not typically accustomed to a sole petty tyrant doing whatever the fuck he wants, it is not in a position to respond immediately. And this is what cause the massive clusterfucks at the airports.

This is the age of immediate gratification, and the US now has a Führer who acts only based on immediate gratification. The system may respond, but it's a few hours behind, and those few hours can mean a lot if the bad guy's only plan is to smash and destroy as much as possible, as quickly as possible.

There are a number of avenues for resistance, as many are currently circulating. To be honest, I'm mainly concerned with the ones I can help with as a Canadian. I'm super-pissed, by the way, in the way you can only be when you have a full, normal life going on and you need to halt it because every action that is not directed towards removing Trump from office seems like a wasted action*. In the next few months and years, I may be a stop along an underground railroad, but it can't just be action on an individual or even small group basis.

So here are a few things:

Trump is a Nazi, and anyone who supports him is a Nazi. This is how you need to view things from now on. No compromise, no quarter, no platform. Do not allow representatives of the American state to enter your country. Cut ties with your Trump-supporting relatives. Picture them all in Stormtrooper helmets or SS badges if it makes it easier. They have voluntarily given up their right to be considered humans.

Any company that supports Trumpism is the enemy—more so than regular capitalists. Delete the Uber app. You shouldn't have it in the first place—I never have, because I look at them and I see the last chance for a peaceful social democracy in which workers are able to earn a living wage yanked from under us. Punching Nazis in the face is good, but punching them in the wallet is just as effective.

Donate to the ACLU. They are the first line of defence, as we saw this weekend. I just donated and you should too.

Write, call, email, tweet your MP or whatever elected representative you have. Any government that does business or maintains ties with the US is practicing appeasement, and ought to be treated with the respect due to Neville Chamberlain or Vichy France. We should all be withdrawing our ambassadors, shuttering our embassies, and threatening to cut business ties. I don't even care if the latter is realistic right now—these are not realistic times.

Trudeau's tweets are not enough. It is public grandstanding, not actual policy. The quota was capped at 1000 and is now closed again.

Fight fascism wherever you are, in any way you can, be it with your words or fists or finances. The discourse is changing. Nick Kouvalis, officially the Worst Person In Canadian Politics**, gets away with calling people "cucks" on Twitter now. Fight them. Fight them all. We are at war.

* Incidentally, though, in the future, can we please allow the entire world to vote for US presidents, not just Americans? If your actions are going to affect everyone, we ought to get a say.
** Campaign manager for Rob Ford and now Kellie Leich.
sabotabby: (doom doom doom)
 [ profile] resonant  put me in mind of an important point, which is how closely the Cheeto Benito parallels our own Honourable Wifebeater, Rob Ford. Which had me thinking about timelines. There is a fundamental difference between a competent reactionary and a wildly out-of-control narcissist, and I really believe that the Tangerine Rapeclown falls into the latter category.

So here is my projected timeline for the major phases of the Trump Administration, written here with all of the scientific rigour and accuracy of a Nate Silver poll.

Year One: Trump is allowed to rampage unmolested*. He sells off what is left of America's public assets to the lowest bidder—well, maybe the highest, depending on how closely he is related to them. The media cannot respond, because they have no framework for this. Any genuinely populist moves are blocked by the party apparatus, whereas reactionary legislation, particularly if it targets women, people of colour, trans people, or poor people, gets rubber-stamped. Towards the end of the first year, rumours of a scandal—a really serious one, more serious than Russia or golden showers or raping teenagers—is uncovered, mainly by the non-serious press.**

Year Two: The Year of the Breakdown. Trump's further actions are stalled by a hostile party establishment, and Mike Pence takes over as the de facto president. Expect at least one hospitalization or arrest, though charges are not laid. You will almost certainly see Trump's dick by the end of the year, either via still photography or, more likely, video.

🍆 you're 🍆 welcome 🍆 sweet 🍆 dreams 🍆

Year Three: I expect that he will die. Not, I should note, as the result of foul play or revolution, but these big loud guys tend to not live very long. Heart failure, exacerbated by the stresses of the job and the staggering quantities of Colombia's finest going up his nose. Pence is sworn in as president. Tearful eulogies, in which his good points are stressed at the expense of all actual reality.

Year Four, and thereafter: Get ready for the era of Trumpism Without Trump. Understand that the sole purpose of allowing a creature like this to be elected is to allow the next guy, who looks less like a clown and has policy objectives, to look reasonable by comparison. You will not get your country back. You never had your country.

Sorry about this but I'm probably right.

* Unlike all the women in his life, amirite?
** Think Buzzfeed or, before Peter Thiel showed his commitment to FREEZED PEACH, Gawker
sabotabby: (doom doom doom)
 The only thing worse than fascism is amateur fascism. Sloppy fascism. This isn't Leni Riefenstahl, neoclassical architecture—let alone Futurism—or Hugo Boss*. This is fumbling, belching, red-cheeked and unshaven, unsophisticated fascism. This isn't even skinheads with swastika tattoos; at least they have an aesthetic, good taste in boots. This should be repulsive to anyone with sense. I don't get it. Why does your nation aspire to this? What makes it appealing?

I have a certain affection for the noblesse oblige brand of conservatism, old money and all that. It may be hideous but it gilds opera seats and knows how to spot a well-fitted suit. Of course, they're all secretly pigfuckers, but they do it behind closed doors. Before these next four years are up, I promise you that you will see Trump's cock hanging out in all its glory, or lack thereof. 

This isn't even urban versus rural—the tangerine Nazi rapeclown** is as New York as it gets, and there's something a little dignified in broken-down trailers and opioid overdoses. This is tacky. Your fascism is tacky. It makes me want to puke.

There's my political analysis. Vomit. We need to bring back the concept of shame and squick to politics, and yesterday isn't soon enough.

* Yes, I know, I know. Not all Nazi uniforms.
** Thanks 5ever to Hal Duncan for this
sabotabby: (doom doom doom)
Today isn't the day that a fascist, racist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic rapist becomes the Pissmonger In Chief.

Today is the day that a moderate does. A centrist. Yesterday's extremist, hard-right views are now, as of 11:30 today, the mainstream.

I'm listening to the radio—the publicly funded, reality-based, Canadian radio–present this story as if there are two equally correct opinions, as if there is a fucking chance in hell that Trump may not be that bad. I'm listening to people on the radio say that he is not that fascist actually.

Debating whether the media has it in for him, as if the media didn't create him in the first place. This is the new balanced. This is where the Overton Window has settled. 

Good luck to all of you.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (racist!)
Spotted in my neighbourhood.

If I read one more thinkpiece about the poor neglected American white working class men I swear to fuck I'll scream.

Their lives suck, sure. Hillbilly heroin and outsourcing. Their lives suck because of decisions made by rich maggots like Cheeto Hitler. Boo-fucking-oo. Their lives will continue to suck under Trump, in exactly the same way, except worse without Medicare and the ACA or whatever else half-assed government programs y'all have down there.

I ask you: Where were these guys when we were in the streets protesting NAFTA in the 90s? Voting for Bush, calling us terrorists and anarchists for holding up traffic, that's where. Yelling at us to get jobs.

But you know who else's lives suck? Black working class men and women. Trans working class men and women. Latino working class men and women. Muslims and Jews. Immigrants. Disabled people. None of whom are rich, coastal elites. And their lives are going to get worse in the same way that white working class men's lives will get worse, only exponentially more because their government has now declared open warfare on them. Losing your job is shit, trust me, I know; losing your job and then getting beaten to death by some brownshirt wannabe fuckhead is apparently something most whites can't empathize with, so why should they get empathy in return?

To the extent that any working class people actually voted for this bargain basement Mussolini, they have rendered themselves undeserving of your sympathy and understanding.

P.S. Same with white American women, though I see less pity pieces about them.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (she)
The silver lining to having an anxiety disorder is that you always predict, and plan for, the worst possible outcome. You may be occasionally pleasantly surprised, but you'll never be disappointed.

cut for those coping in less morbid ways )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (doomsday)
My sincerest condolences to my American friends, and even more so to the many around the world who will feel the consequences of Americans' decisions and didn't even get a say.

I have a lot of worries, too many to name. Stay safe, y'all, and stay fighting.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (death is coming)
So a funny thing happened in Toronto.

Our sensible, centrist mayor, committed to balancing the budget and reducing traffic congestion and being oh-so-different from his crack-smoking predecessor, declared that all city agencies and departments shall cutteth exactly 2.6% from their budget, regardless of how cash-strapped and desperate they are or how much people rely on their service. This is all part and parcel of the magical thinking of the Austerity Acolytes, wherein politicians and their media lapdogs expect public services to wave some kind of wand and miraculously find "efficiencies," just lying around to be cut. As if the cuts aren't into the human flesh and bone of the city's most vulnerable.

(Don't blame me, I voted for Chow.)

Among these agencies is, of course, the TTC, which already sucks. Most of the time when I took the subway this summer, it was shut down between where I was and where I needed to go. Almost every subway car on the east-west line is without air conditioning, and I quickly learned the lifehack of getting on the first or last car, which tend to be air-conditioning. Inside the cars, it could hit 40°C. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of rides I took without some sort of ridiculous delay. And it's not like our archaic subway system, already suffering the Death of a Thousand Cuts under the Honourable Wife-Beater, was all that great to begin with.

Still. 2.6%. Find efficiencies.

Amidst all of this, a local heroine named Bianca Spence challenged Mr. Tory to a subway ride across the Bloor-Danforth line in an air conditioning-free car. On Wednesday, he did it. He arrived late for work, sweaty, and dishevelled, and described "considerable discomfort."

Poor baby. That must be so hard. As one of my friends pointed out elsewhere, the lack of professional consequences he received for showing up late and rumpled are radically different from those faced by you or I. Weirdly, he has still managed to stay employed, and is still demanding that the TTC cut its budget, although he's not sure if he's going to actually make them. As the article linked suggests, this may be showmanship to prove that nothing more can be cut, but even if it is, it's acting like the various bureaucrats and bean-counters at the TTC have nothing better to do than to indulge his whims to make a political point. The budget needs to be increased.

By complete coincidence, the Toronto Police budget is $1 billion despite dropping crime rates, so maybe their $260 million in efficiencies can be used to fix up the TTC a bit.

Also, WTF is happening with the Scarborough Stubway? That still on? Remember when we had a fully funded LRT plan that Ford scrapped on his first day in office and Tory refused to revive? Don't worry, me neither. Toronto's memory is just an election cycle.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (candle salad)
I'm sure this story shouldn't make me as happy as it's making me right now.

"Hey kids, allow me to demonstrate what I did to the teachers' unions!"

Note that this "free tuition" thing isn't so free and to be honest makes little sense when our K-12 schools are literally crumbling and the economy is such that an undergrad degree is useless in the job market anyway. The Libs have just jacked up the cost of prescription meds for seniors. Oh, and Bill 115, the completely illegal contract they forced on us a few years back, is still before the courts.

So while this is an occasion for me to remark on what's the greatest photo op since David Cameron visited that farm, I should also take this moment to mention to my American friends the dangers of supporting a slightly lesser evil because you believe they're more electable.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Mistgeburt)
I've seen a number of images and video on the theme of last night's election, but there's only one image—though it has failed to gain the traction that shirtless!Trudeau has managed—that can adequately sum up how I feel about the results.


That's from the cyberpunk masterpiece Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis, and if you haven't read it, what are you doing reading my blog? This comic is so much better, and astonishingly prescient. In my favourite arc, the current President, known only as The Beast (even to his children) is challenged by a telegenic, liberal-seeming politician nicknamed The Smiler. At first, Spider Jerusalem, our cynical journalist hero who is in no way Hunter S. Thompson, grudgingly admires him—insofar as he can admire any politician—until he discovers that while The Beast, who is in no way Richard Nixon, is an authoritarian monster, the Smiler, who is in no way Tony Blair, is hiding something much worse.

I don't need to tell you what happens next. You've read a dystopian book or two.

I swear, if I see one more "congratulations Canada!" post, I am going to fucking hurl. It's bad from Americans, as you guys don't really understand our political system or major parties, but it's worse from Canadians, who don't understand our political system or major parties. While I'm as happy as anyone to not have to use this icon anymore—

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 4.20.05 PM
(You get to see it one more time though. Sorry.)

—there is no cause for celebration. And here's why.

Justin Trudeau is indistinguishable from Harper on most things that count, except scarier because no one seems to understand this.

I would ask all Canadians who "voted strategically"* or caught themselves saying "anyone but Harper" to ask themselves why they hate Harper.

Is it because his economic policies favour the rich at the expense of the poor? From a friend's post (since I'm too exhausted to dig up more authoritative sources, but trust me, this is the Liberal fiscal plan):

1) A tax increase on the rich 1%, in order to give the upper 50% a tax cut. People making over 100k, but less than 200k will be looking at a tax cut amounting to $600. Those who make 50k a year will get $80 dollars, those below $45k get nothing.
2) GST cuts for land developers who build "for profit" rental housing -- make a profit, get a tax cut plan. Mike Harris tried, and failed to promote affordable housing using "tax incentives", and the Liberal plan will also fail.
3) Cuts to EI payroll tax, further reducing available funds available for unemployed workers. In the 70s, 70% of the unemployed were serviced through EI (UIC), today only 30%. The Liberal plan continues this trajectory.
4) Expansion of the "baby-bonus" system instituted in 2006 by Harper in place of a daycare plan. Extremely wasteful use of government money.

Okay, math is hard. How about the environment? Trudeau's not quite so bad there, but he supports the Keystone XL pipeline and I'll bet you anything he flips on the other two.

Do you like jobs? Freedom of speech and privacy on the intertubes? Transparency when it comes to trade deals with other countries? Well, Harper negotiated that stuff away in secret with the TPP, but fortunately there's Wikileaks and come on people, if it were a good deal for Canada, they'd have told us what was in it. Instead, the Conservatives held out spilling details before the election, so everyone who doesn't keep up with trade deal acronyms was left in the dark as to how hard we'd get reamed.**

Trudeau doesn't know what's in it. But he's for it.

Most important to me personally, though, is the Harper government's attacks on our civil liberties. That would be Bill C-24, which takes the unprecedented step of allowing the government to strip the citizenship of any Canadian who is eligible for dual citizenship. This includes me, if you were wondering. If someone decides I'm a terrorist (more on that in a sec), I can be deported to Israel. Imagine. The Liberals supported the bill.

Even worse is Bill C-51, which is a mass surveillance, thought crime, and arbitrary arrest bill, loosely defining terrorism as "whatever we don't like," the sort of thing that they used to write dystopian literature about before dystopian literature became a manual for policy writing. The Liberals voted for that one, too. Except Trudeau; he didn't think the skullfucking of our most basic human rights was worth showing up to vote on.

Now, the one nice thing I can say about Liberals is that I appreciate their ideology. They have none. They crave power, and only power; their sole political aim is to get elected and stay there. This is kind of cool because it means that they're by and large not bigots. One voter-unit is the same as the next, and they don't care what your gender or sexual orientation or ethnicity is. So things, in the short-term, might suck slightly less for the Muslims who are getting assaulted on our streets by Harper brownshirts.

Oh, but shit, yo, Trudeau also voted for Bill S-7, the—I'm not fucking making this up—"Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act," which makes things that were already illegal more illegal if you do them while brown. So while I don't think the Liberals are racist for ideological reasons the way the Tories are, they'll be racist if it'll make them popular. And as the whole niqab debacle and the aforementioned brownshirts illustrate, Canadians are pretty fucking racist.

So tell me why I should be happy today. Other than that my inevitable "Prince Justin is a Twat" icon is going to be nicer to look at than my Harper "Fuck the People" icon. Seriously.

The other bad news is that the Liberals' gains come mostly at the expense, not of the Tories, but of the NDP, who while far from being proper socialists, at least voted against all of the shitty things I just mentioned. We lost a bunch of really great MPs to strategic voting. Just to give one example, Dan Harris in Scarborough Southwest, a hardworking progressive who is just a wonderful guy, lost to Bill Blair, former Chief Pig, who supports carding despite the fact that it's racist and doesn't work, and who presided over the vicious police state that Toronto became during the G20. Or awesome Olivia Chow losing to career sleazebag Adam Vaughan. Or punk-rock-as-fuck Andrew Cash losing to "who the fuck is she?" Julie Dzerowicz. (Seriously, what does "held senior leadership roles in the private and public sector" mean?) Or, in the campaign I worked on, Matthew Kellway, who lost to some guy who no one knows anything about except that the name "Trudeau" was on his sign. (Note to my countrymen—we vote for MPs, not the fucking president; learn what your MP stands for and don't just vote based on the party leader.)

Now, I don't even say this as an NDP ideologue, because I'm not one. I only joined the NDP very briefly, to try to keep Mulcair from winning the leadership after Layton's death, and left when they took the word "socialism" out of the party platform. I volunteered with Kellway's campaign out of outrage over Bill C-51 and support for the only political party that had convictions and a commitment to democracy. I'm glad I did, exhausting and depressing as it was. I'm hoping that this defeat leads to a reexamination of the NDP's Blairite direction, perhaps even an exodus of the rightward elements like we've seen in the UK. One hopes the correct lessons have been learned.

In any event, I was despairing last night, as Canada swapped a kitten-eating robot for a born-to-rule pretty boy with more or less the same political leanings but better hair, and backslapped and rejoiced and called it "change." I felt a little less despairing when I woke up and remembered:

1) This is basically the political configuration of my youth, with a Liberal majority, a Tory opposition, and the NDP snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. (The Orange Crush in the last election was an aberration based on Quebec's weirdness and Layton's charisma; the NDP should never have expected to build on Quebec as a base.)

2) Electoral politics has never been the main thing that I do; among other reasons, I'm far to the left of anyone electable.

3) As someone who writes a lot of dystopian fiction, I would be at a loss for inspiration if I ever actually liked the government in power.

4) Having canvassed once or twice a week, every week, for almost three months, my ass is looking really fine.

Sadly, though, Canadian media has no one like Spider Jerusalem to expose the truth, and those of us who value silly little things like freedom and democracy are left to muddle through as best we can. I hope we can rebuild from this, but it's easier to take rights away than it is to gain them, and there's more work to do with a populace that thinks it's free than one that knows it isn't. We must be at once—and I hope the NDP understands this, because historically it hasn't—both principled and ruthless.

Good riddance, Beast, and welcome Smiler, and the rest of you can hold your fucking congratulations until you see what he has in store.

* Note, remember next time that anyone who tells you to "vote strategically" is telling you to support the Liberals. The NDP were winning at the outset.

** I'd say they deserved it for not educating themselves, but I have to live with the results of their ignorance.

ETA: The Beaverton, as usual, has the best coverage: Nation groggily wakes up next to Justin Trudeau:

“Really, the C-51 guy? The guy who’s friends with Bill Blair?” said New Zealand, over Snapchat. “Tell me he at least doesn’t have a douchey native-inspired tattoo.”
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
Every candidate running for election gets a copy of Elections Canada's registered voter's list, regardless of whether they belong to a party or not. This list has names and addresses on it.

James Sears, a.k.a. Dimitri the Lover, serial sex offender and literal Nazi, is running in my riding. I, and countless other women, are on that list.

I'm pretty creeped out. Gonna not answer the door for the next little while.

In other news, canvassing during a Jays game is the least fun. I so wanted to snark in people's faces.

"Why would you knock on doors during a Jays game?"

"Sorry, I thought it might be important to preserve democracy in this country. But I realize now I have my priorities wrong. Fuckity bye!"

(Obviously I didn't say it, but do people not realize that watching a sportsball game does not affect the outcome of the sportsball game? You have less control over the outcome of a sportsball game than you have over the secret negotiation of trade agreements that will censor your internet and steal your jorbs.)
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (eat your ballot)
I've decided to make canvassing bingo cards, based on recent experience. So far I've got:

- Anyone but Harper!
- Which election is this one?
- I'm putting the little one down for a nap.
- In the middle of dinner.
- Watching the Jays' game.
- It's a secret ballot; I don't need to tell you!
- Naked guy answers the door.

Guess which one of these I got tonight? And another canvasser also got. Lucky us!
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (harper = evil)
If, a decade ago, you would have said to me, "the British Prime Minister will be publicly accused of having fucked a dead pig's head," I would assume this sentence would be followed up by, "and he resigned in a cloud of scandal the following day."

(Certainly, my favourite comedy of all time, once praised for its accuracy in depicting Whitehall politics, seems adorably quaint, with ministers being forced to resign over all sorts of lesser scandals that do not involve porcine fellatio. Though, in fairness, that was a Labour government, even if it was the worst possible Labour government, so maybe it is still accurate and it's just times that have changed.)

Then again, if you'd said, "the mayor of Toronto will have been proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to have smoked crack, driven drunk, and beaten his wife, and he will not lose his job or even put much of a dent in his political career over this," I wouldn't have believed you either.

Or, "the Prime Minister of Canada can turn a blind eye to Senate expense scandals, trash the economy, impose such ridiculous policies that scientists and librarians rise up in protest, and shrug his shoulders at the tragic drowning death of a 3-year-old boy and still ride high in the polls," I'd have accused you of a cynicism even I don't possess.

And yet.

The way to deal with scandal, these days, is to just shrug your shoulders and say, "so?" It's like they've realized that they're not accountable—it doesn't matter how many people think they're scum. They don't need the majority of the populace on their side—just a very committed minority of bigots who vote. That's it. Whereas the left falls apart at the slightest verbal fumble. It's mindboggling.

Don't get me wrong; I still derive an immense amount of pleasure knowing that David Cameron's sausage slid between the mandibles of a dead pig. And I enjoy, perhaps even more, his cronies and supporters tripping over themselves excusing said behaviour as normal teenage shenanigans. I've even come, in these past few days, to enjoy Twitter, which was invented for situations like this.

But I bristle at impunity. I don't want to live in a world where someone gets away with doing a thing that, were an ordinary person to do it, that person would have to hide their face in shame for all eternity. It's chutzpah to say, "So?" and walk on, and yet I keep seeing it.

And it terrifies me, because we have an election coming up. And we have one guy who is okay with drowning children, and one guy who thinks it's okay for the government to spy on you, and one guy who pretends to have a conscience but doesn't really but is still less bad than the other two. I want to think people are not okay with the child-drowner saying, "Eh, so?" and winning a fucking majority, but one has never gone broke underestimating the bigotry, cowardice, and selfishness of the Canadian people. Or at least the fraction of the Canadian people who bother to vote.

Harper could fuck a pig and get away with it, I'm sure. I'd guess that he has but I don't know that robots are capable of such acts.

The ability to laugh in the face of power is strong, but not as strong as the ability of the powerful to shrug it off.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (monocleyay)
David Cameron, metaphorical pigfucker, is also apparently a literal pigfucker. (Bless the British press—you won't often hear me say that—for immediately supplying the internet with lots of pictures of Cameron holding pigs.)

[An alleged eyewitness] even claimed another member of the group has photographic evidence of the alleged act.

But the individual who is said to own the picture did not respond to approaches by the authors.

Oh hey, fortunately there's video! NSFW, obviously.

Hats off to you, Britain. Your Prime Minister fucked a dead pig. You beat our crack-smoking mayor and Peegate. I now feel secure in the knowledge that nothing that happens in Canadian politics will ever live up to how fucking insane that is.

Meanwhile, lovely Corbyn, alas, is set for a reenactment of one of my other favourite British political dramas. Although apparently he's a vegetarian and so if he doesn't win the next election with the slogan, "at least we don't fuck pigs," he needs better advisors.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (eat your ballot)
I did my first night out canvassing (for the NDP, if anyone's wondering—my local incumbent MP who's been pretty decent). Always an interesting experience going door-to-door.

I met mostly nice people, including the other volunteers. As you might guess, the party grassroots are a lot more progressive than the top brass.

I met a rabid Thatcherite who wanted to, quote, "crush the unions and send them back to hell where they came from." She was scary. She slammed the door on us and I thought she might spit.

I met a scary guy who looked like Walter White from Breaking Bad but with more piercings and tattoos. Which was pretty funny actually.

I got all the volunteers talking about the purge of pro-Palestinian candidates. I was the most knowledgable about the issue, so it was good that I was there when it came up—surprisingly—at the door. But since no one seemed to know much about it, I sent along some information and I think I got people thinking and debating at least. This, along with the community policing policy and a rightward turn on economic issues is my main beef with the party at the moment, but I truly believe that the perfect is the enemy of the good, and if we have a chance to defeat Harper, we need to jump on it.

Going out again next Tuesday. I think my riding is pretty safe, but to be honest, the current regime is so terrifying that if we get another Tory government I won't be able to look my kids in the eye if I don't do everything in my power to prevent it.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (squee!)
Let's talk about Alberta, shall we?

flaily puppy


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