Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Contest. Spot the Progressive!

I'll bet you've got inside yourself some sense of progress, progressive, progressivism.  Even bad people have a little.

The question today is whether progressivism remains a real construct in Canadian politics.  Have our political parties become so neoliberal as to eradicate progressivism?

Let's take a look at some of the major problems of the day.  You think of how a progressive would respond.  Then compare that of any of the three main parties seeking power today.

What about an easy one, Palestine?  How would a progressive respond to that volatile and worsening problem?  How would Harper, Trudeau and Mulcair respond?  Short of condemning Israel for its half century of enslavement of a people, how would a progressive respond?

See what I'm getting at?  Take a problem.  Here's a partial list:  climate change, health care, education, inequality, bitumen trafficking, Arctic Canada, democratic deficit, free and fair elections, freedom of information, press freedom, corporatism... you could easily spend half a day tacking items onto this list.  Just pick a couple or a few and try to envision what would be a progressive approach to them.  Then "contrast and compare" that with the thin gruel being offered up by our major political parties.

Who knows, maybe you'll be able to Spot the Progressive.  Somehow I doubt it.


Gyor said...

That's easy, Tom Mulcair is the progressive.

Troy Thomas said...

Palestine issue:
Progressive: Sanction Israel. End apartheid.
Mulcair: Support Israel. Sanction Libby Davis.
Trudeau: Support Israel. 2 state solution.
Harper: Support Israel. In everything it does.

They both start with 's', so that counts, right?

Climate change:
Progressive: Transition to green economy, and fast.
Mulcair: Transition to hybrid economy, but slowly.
Trudeau: Business as usual, but with limits
Harper: Business as usual, and drill baby drill!

I suppose I trust Mulcair, somewhat, on the environment, but Canada can't do anything half-ass. Yes, to cap and trade, but Canada needs to get out of the fossil fuel business, altogether. Fast track investment into green technology, and get it working for Canada. Force fossil fuel tech into obsolescence.

Health care:
Progressive: Train more health professionals, and hire more health professionals.
Mulcair: Restore funding to pre-Harper levels.
Trudeau: Discussion with the provinces.
Harper: Slash and burn.

The NDP position is bad, and from there, with the Liberals and Conservatives, it gets worse. Considering prior to Harper, Canada's health care was already becoming overburdened by decreasing numbers of health care professionals, then there's a serious fundamental problem that needs serious fixing. No one's said it, that we need to double or triple health care spending pre-Harper. We need to raise the graduation rate of universities, especially, raise the artificial cap.

Progressive: Open public post-secondary schools across the nation with free tuition.
Mulcair: Increase funding for education.
Trudeau: "Support Canadians' efforts to continue their education throughout their lives".
Harper: Education not a priority.

Again, none of these positions really answer any of the problems facing Canada's future. Trudeau's is basically 'business as usual' but with nicer trimmings, and Harper probably prefers for the electorate to remain stupid. Mulcair's just doesn't go far enough. I'd like for Canada to follow Germany's example. Free education. Take the profit out of education, because it should be society that profits from an educated workforce. But still, yanno, Trudeau's a former teacher! How does any progressive beat that?

And so on and so on. I guess I can respect Mulcair and Harper. You know where they come from, and what they'll do when in power. As for Trudeau, he's not really put out much of his policy. He's ventured platitudes and promised nothing much. I guess he probably won't change nothing much, either. Business as usual. That's my takeaway.

The Mound of Sound said...

Well done, Troy. It's a bit discouraging but accurate.


Steve said...

@Troy you are correct but your argument is exactly what the Republicans want to disemminate. We are all the same so why bother voting. The differances are around the margins. At the very least one can expect Trudeau will colour within the lines.

His best practices approach to Pot is a good sign.