Younger Canadians more left-wing, could shift political landscape: study

Canadians under 35 are more left-wing than the rest of Canada and could transform the political landscape if only they voted, according to a new study.

The study, set to be released Friday, found evidence of an emerging generational divide in Canadian politics. Younger Canadians are consistently more favourable to the idea of government intervention in the economy, ensuring a decent standard of living for all, increasing health-care spending and protecting the environment, the study says. And the difference between those over and under 35 on many policy questions was often in the range of 10 percentage points.

“The lesson political parties can take from this is that Canadians are broadly progressive politically on most issues. There is some generational divide in key areas,” said David McGrane, the author of the report and a professor of political science at the University of Saskatchewan. The study, based on data from the Canadian Provincial Election Project and published by the left-leaning Broadbent Institute, asks whether a progressive platform could capture Canada’s youth vote.

Continue Reading.

Academics and social movements must reclaim the university and transform it into a public space.

No matter what you think about “higher” education, and I am highly critical though engaged, Giroux’s argument is valuable and recommended reading. I like his insistence on a pedagogy of disruption. Giroux’s argument is adapted from a speech he gave to educators as a keynote speaker at a recent conference. So, he’s tailored the argument for the NEA and AFT crowd. 

     Missing from neoliberal market societies are those public spheres - from public and higher education to the mainstream media and digital screen culture - where people can develop what might be called the civic imagination. Tied largely to instrumental ideologies and measurable paradigms, many institutions of higher education are now committed almost exclusively to economic goals, such as preparing students for the workforce - all done as part of an appeal to rationality, one that eschews matters of inequality, power, public values and the ethical grammars of suffering. (6) Many universities have not only strayed from their democratic mission, but also they seem immune to the plight of students who face a harsh new world of high unemployment, the prospect of downward mobility and debilitating debt.
     The question of what kind of education is needed for students to be informed and active citizens in a world that increasingly ignores their needs, if not their future, is rarely asked. (7) In the absence of a democratic vision of schooling, it is not surprising that some colleges and universities are increasingly opening their classrooms to corporate interests, standardizing the curriculum, instituting top-down governing structures that mimic corporate culture and generating courses that promote entrepreneurial values unfettered by social concerns or ethical consequences.
     Central to this view of higher education in the United States is a market-driven paradigm that seeks to eliminate tenure, turn the humanities into a job preparation service and transform most faculty members into an army of temporary subaltern labor. For instance, in the United States out of 1.5 million faculty members, 1 million are “adjuncts who are earning, on average, $20K a year gross, with no benefits or healthcare, and no unemployment insurance when they are out of work.” (8) The indentured service status of such faculty is put on full display as some colleges have resorted to using “temporary service agencies to do their formal hiring.” (9) A record number of adjuncts are now on food stamps and receive some form of public assistance. Given how little they are paid this should not come as a surprise, though that does not make it any less shameful. (10) As Noam Chomsky has argued, this reduction of faculty to the status of subaltern labor is “part of a corporate business model designed to reduce labor costs and to increase labor servility.” (11)
     While it has been clearly recognized that the ideal of shared governance between faculty and administrators has broken down, what has not been analyzed is how the Walmart model of power and labor relations - in both the university and the larger society - is connected to the massive inequality in wealth and income that now corrupts every aspect of US politics and society. No democracy can survive the kind of inequality in which “the 400 richest people … have as much wealth as 154 million Americans combined, that’s 50 percent of the entire country [while] the top economic 1 percent of the U.S. population now has a record 40 percent of all wealth and more wealth than 90 percent of the population combined.” (12) On a global scale, anti-poverty charity Oxfam reports that it expects “the wealthiest 1% to own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016.” (13)

ewgetoffofme asked:

Sorry to bother you but i am from england and dont quite understand what is happening in frankfurt, could you please explain if it isnt too much bother?

The Blockupy protest in Frankfurt coincided with the official opening of the new building of the European Central Bank. The ECB is pretty much everything that’s wrong with the EU. It’s an enormously powerful, unelected and undemocratic group of bankers and ex-wall street people that sets much of the policy in the European Union. They are the driving force behind the terrible austerity policies in much of Europe that favour paying back loans to financial institutions to keeping a functioning, social society. In this time of Austerity, where they have been actively destroying people’s lives (in Greece for example following the austerity measures the number of suicides rose by almost 40%) the ECB has built a new head-office, costing 1.3 billion Euros.

So that’s what the protests are about. They are against capitalism, against the violence that is austerity and poverty and against the stranglehold of the financial institutions over what should be a democratic system.

The Signs As Forms Of Government

Aries- Anarchy
Taurus- Kleptocracy
Gemini- Anarchism
Cancer- Minarchy
Leo- Monarchy
Virgo- Noocracy
Libra- Communist State
Scorpio- Kakistocracy
Sagittarius- Demarchy
Capricorn- Plutocracy
Aquarius- Democracy
Pisces- Kritarchy

It’s about time for ranked ballots, and John Tory agrees

Imagine an election without any references to “strategic voting.” Imagine casting a ballot without fear of “splitting the vote.” Imagine fringe candidates with no reason to drop off the ballot, or widely liked mid-level candidates with a real shot of winning right up until the end.

Or better yet, just imagine voting for the candidate you like the most.

It sounds like a democratic fantasy-land. In this city, every election in recent memory has been a mathematical exercise in interpreting polls to theorize about your neighbours’ intentions, so you can vote for someone viable you dislike the least, in order to avoid electing someone you hate the most.

You’ll recall recent questions around here about whether a vote for David Soknacki or Olivia Chow would wind up electing Doug Ford, and about whether a vote for Ari Goldkind or Morgan Baskin was equivalent to a spoiled ballot.

That game-theory democracy should be coming to an end. Ranked ballots should be coming to Toronto elections, pretty much immediately.

Continue Reading.

youtube

They dug up a Malcolm X speech that predicted so much of what’s going on today.

For all that’s changed, somehow this hasn’t.

#C51 is a bill that could seriously endanger our right to protest peacefully, to stand up against a government or an infrastructure or an economic policy. Mr Harper has never been able to give a single example of why this bill is necessary.
— 

New Democratic party leader Thomas Mulcair.

Bill C-51 Protests Held Across Canada

"I’m really worried about democracy, this country is going in a really bad direction," said Toronto protester Stuart Basden.

“Freedom to speak out against the government is probably at jeopardy … Even if you’re just posting stuff online you could be targeted, so it’s a really terrifying bill.