Articles

  • U.S. Elections

    Aristotle defined an oligarchy as a polity in which the few elect the rulers to govern over the many. That formula fits exactly the description of U.S. primaries and general elections. In New York state, where only 15 per cent of the party members voted in the recent Democratic primaries, Kerry won with eight per cent of registered Democrats. In the general elections in November, 25 million voters (out of 50 million) can decide who will rule over 280 million citizens. The great majority of blacks, Hispanics and poor workers will not vote, because they perceive that neither the Republican Bush nor the Democrat Kerry speak to the problems that most affect their lives.

  • The Americanization of CN

    It is day 16 of the strike at Symington Yard, the Canadian National Railway’s main hump yard in Winnipeg. The workers have been on strike since February 20. Since a deal has by now been reached, the question is why CN rail workers from Winnipeg to Montréal felt it was time to send a message to CN’s corporate headquarters.

  • The Political Economy of the “War on Fat”

    Fat is slowly becoming Public Health Enemy Number One, replacing cigarettes and Big Tobacco on the hit lists of leading-edge public-health advocates in Canada–and for good reason! Obesity now surpasses smoking as a cause of chronic illness and health-care costs, and it appears to be on the rise in every country in the world.

  • Old endings, new beginnings: Realignment on the socialist left

    The old Communist and social-democratic projects have run their course. The consequence for socialists is a certain opening to structural and ideological creativity emerging in the space vacated by the traditional Left.

  • Road Bloc or Building Bloc?

    The Bloc Québécois is on a roll. For the last year, polling has predicted a major setback for the BQ in the coming elections owing to Paul Martin’s popularity and the Parti Québécois’ defeat in the April, 2003 provincial election. Yet, the sponsorship scandals have given the BQ a bounce by adding the injury of self-serving corruption to the insult of the sponsorship program, which believed national grievances could be overcome by papering Québec with the Canada logo. While it is too soon to predict the election outcome, the Bloc should more or less match its 2000 electoral results.

  • Iraq: the resistance resists

    The resistance resists; every block, every house, every store rings out with gunfire; the resistance is everywhere. Every house takes hits–the resistance fights on. Hundreds of Iraqis have been killed, thousands have been injured and many more will die, but after each funeral tens of thousands more–the peaceful, apolitical, “wait-and-see” ones–have taken up the gun.

  • B.C. Court Ignores Aboriginal Women’s Plea

    According to the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission (AJIC) report of 1999, “Aboriginal women are the victims of racism, of sexism, and of unconscionable levels of domestic violence. The justice system has done little to protect them from any of these assaults.” Nearly five years on, events in Watson Lake, Yukon, lead many to wonder what, if anything, has changed.

  • One Year of Charest

    A year after its election, the ultra-conservative government of Jean Charest is facing a level of unpopularity proportionate to the arrogance and insensitivity it has demonstrated through its dismantling of the Québécois state. In an effort to spruce up its image, the Charest government is undergoing a vast cosmetic operation to explain its policies to people through regional forums. Faced with such a masquerade, general mobilization in the streets remains the most appropriate way for people to make themselves heard. Why go and sit in front of Charest’s ministers, who will only pretend to listen to us?

  • Drawing the Line on Anti-Semitism

    Remember Tolstoy’s “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”? Genocides and war are like that, too. They are each incomparable. As you surely know, millions of Jewish people like me (together with a substantial contingent of homosexuals, Communists, Roma and others) were cattle-carred to Nazi concentration camps, subjected to horrific medical experiments, labour to death, gassing and other inhuman ways to live and die.

  • Public Sector Struggles Continue

    here is something almost magical about the power of spontaneous worker solidarity. Across the country, the images of steel workers and bus drivers and municipal workers joining the British Columbia hospital workers on the picket lines struck a chord in the very base of our collective unconsciousness.

    It’s enough to make your heart skip a beat. It doesn’t happen often. When it does, foundations begin to tremble. This is worth remembering.

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