Blog Archives

  • Review: Science Fiction and Empire

    A review of Patricia Kerslake’s Science Fiction and Empire, a postcolonial examination of science fiction.

  • Expect more from your government

    Something is happening in Canada that seems, in the context of a majority Harper government, counter-intuitive. Harper continues implementing his right-wing revolution by fiat, and Preston Manning’s “democracy” institute says Canadians actually want “less” government and more individual responsibility. Yet a flurry of polls in the past few weeks and months suggest two dramatic counterpoints to this self-serving narrative.

  • Review: Bodies and Pleasures

    My review of Ladelle McWhorter’s book Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization.

  • Mourning Mulcair’s Win

    There will be lots of soul searching and head scratching going on this week about what happened with the NDP leadership race. The mechanics of the convention, the interesting lack of deal-making, and how the balloting progressed are all fodder for those who enjoy going through the entrails of leadership conventions. Others will be analyzing the various campaigns of the frontrunners, looking for weaknesses to explain how they could collectively have let Thomas Mulcair, the right-wing Liberal, pro-Israel, political bully become head of their party.

  • Mulcair’s victory: A new direction for the NDP?

    There is a lot of speculation going the rounds about whether or to what degree Thomas Mulcair will change the direction of the federal New Democratic Party. Mulcair, as everyone who pays attention to Canadian politics knows by now, emerged the winner in the NDP’s contest to replace deceased leader Jack Layton. In the fourth and final vote at the March 24 convention in Toronto, Mulcair scored 57% against runner-up Brian Topp’s 43 percent. The election of the party’s most prominent Quebec MP was no big surprise, especially in Quebec where it was widely considered the logical outcome to the NDP’s upset gains in last year’s federal election when the party won 59 of the province’s 75 MPs — 60% of the NDP’s parliamentary caucus, making the party the Official Opposition and thus a credible contender for government for the first time in its history. But what does the election of this former Liberal mean for the future of the NDP? The answer is not entirely clear, although clues abound.

  • Understanding the Victory of Thomas Mulcair

    Most of the mainstream media, with the help of the Mulcair and Topp campaigns, constructed the leadership battle at the NDP convention as a battle between those who wanted to move to the centre to win government and those who wanted to win maintaining the “traditional” social democratic values of the NDP.

  • Tom Mulcair: For Sure

    This weekend, the challenge is clear. The NDP needs to embrace Quebec as Quebec has embraced the NDP by choosing Tom Mulcair.

  • Nathan Cullen would get my vote

    There are so many factors that NDP members have to look at when choosing who to vote for in their leadership race that I don’t envy them (I am not a member). How do you weigh the various elements: policies, philosophy, engaging personality, ability to take on Stephen Harper in the House, co-operation with the Liberals, and support for proportional representation?

  • An extraordinary day in the life of Occupy Toronto

    It’s hard to create a community based on love and compassion in the middle of a society based on greed and fear. The hippies tried it without much success even in the backwoods. We tried it in the women’s movement but even in all-women groups, the training we received in a patriarchal society restricted our ability to achieve it. The Occupy camps are the closest I’ve seen to that beloved community that has so escaped our grasp.

  • Canada supports the dark side of international finance

    You can say one thing for the powers that be in the banking industry. They’ve got a lot of nerve.

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