Category Archives: Warren Kinsella

Just in: Liberal Unwittingly Tells Truth of Liberal Ideology

While most of the time Warren Kinsella is a scheming, puerile, self-aggrandizing hypocrite (the list of examples is far too long but suffice it to bring up his recent outrage at Mulcair’s questioning of the impact of the Petro dollar on the rest of Canada when his man, Dalton McGuinty has previously done the exact same thing while Kinsella sat idly by) today he unwittingly revealed the truth of Liberal ideology.

You see historically Liberals have defended themselves against the charge of arrogance, entitlement, opportunism by arguing that the Liberal big tent, I mean crawl space, is a non-ideological, pragmatic, centrist space where dissent is welcome and the best of the left and of the right come together.

Of course, anyone who has studied the concept of “ideology’ knows that the reason why ideology is often associated with extremism is because the centre is the most chauvinistically protected and ideologically invested political position. Can there be a better illustration of this than Kinsella’s words today?

So, Dipper folk, we are therefore enemies. As with Conservatives, I will do my level best to step on your throat. I will hit you, over and over. I will rip your face off, if you give me half a chance.

Next time a Liberal tries to convince you into thinking the LPC is a progressive, centrist, non-ideological party, remember that applies only as long as you share his arrogant, self-entitled right to govern at all costs and without any principles.

Otherwise he will do his level best to step on your throat and rip your face off.

Kinsella, classy to the end. I particularly liked when he publicly posted my full email address on his blog comments section because he didn’t like what I had to say.

Warren Kinsella Jumped the Shark Roughly at the Same Time as the Phrase "Jump the Shark" Jumped the Shark.

As the rhetoric, games, and spin ramp up in the lead up to this fall’s provincial election, am I the only one noticing that Kinsella, who’s purportedly running the McGuinty war room, carries that same stench of dead man walking that McGuinty has for the past year or so?

His blog has become a desperate, futile, sophomoric and, most of all, an utterly underwhelming attempt to smear his opponents. Indeed, what strikes me most deeply is how unaffected I am by his disingenuousness and puerile attempts to make political hay. In the past such intellectual dishonesty and such stupid attacks would have led me to respond, but now the most I can muster is “meh” and “whatever”.

All to say, TiGuy I owe you an apology. You were entirely right. Kinsella has indeed been irrelevant and ineffective within the Liberal party for quite some time and my attacks on him were totally misplaced. I should have targeted someone who continued to be germane and relevant in the Liberal world.

Perhaps he should pass on the torch of cynical, dishonest, and gutter politics to Cherniak and his ilk. Cherniak may not be very intelligent, but he could crawl under people’s skin.

Cherniak is like the petulant and overindulged child who kicks and screams when he doesn’t get his way, but is so annoying that usually someone panders to him.

Kinsella has become the petulant and overindulged child who’s flailing away at his opponents but can’t get past their outstretched arms keeping him at bay. Sad! No more posts about Kinsella on here.

Hard to believe Kinsella once had a high school crush on Ignatieff, or progressives just let the Liberals implode

Clearly there are still old deep fault lines in the LPC ranks, and the Big Red tent of brokerage ideological politics of “pragmatically” offering to be everything to everyone is being evacuated from both the left and right doors. And not too surprising. The LPC, with Ignatieff at the helm has moved so far to the right as to make itself a redundant choice within the Canadian political landscape. On the other side, small “l” liberals, lefty liberals, progressives are finally waking up to the fact that the LPC only campaigns from the Left (it is not of the Left) and there is a viable alternative: the NDP, a party which is actually progressive.


The LPC is redundant to as it moves to its the right and an impostor as it moves to its Left.  To paraphrase Michael Ignatieff: “There is a side Left door and there is a side Right door. Liberals choose your exit, but no one enters.”


Warren Kinsella is not too happy but also only too willing to rub it in Ignatieff’s face. From his blog today:

“I was tossed on the political barbecue pit by Michael Ignatieff and his Super-Smart Senior Staff (4S, for short) for having the temerity to suggest, out loud, that Messrs. Chretien, Broadbent and Romanow were right.“I have no relationship with Warren Kinsella,” sniffed [Ignatieff] the fellow for whom I’d busted my hump for a couple years, and that was that. 

My sin? Agreeing with, you know, the most successful Liberal leader in history: suggesting that those of us who opposed Conservatives clearly needed to get together if we were ever to defeat Conservatives.  And, more broadly, that Canada – like other democracies around the world – seemed to be heading towards a binary political universe, whether the political classes approved or not.

What now? Well, that’s a really good question.  If the NDP make history, and carry their current popularity past the weekend and into next week, they could very well form the Official Opposition.  The instant that happens, as I told this PostMedia reporter yesterday in a long chat, the aforementioned Ignatieff and 4S are gone.  They’ll all have to resign on election night if they are to escape the enraged, pitchfork-wielding grassroots Grits. Even in 1984′s rout we held onto Opposition status.  With that gone – and the staff, and budget and influence that brings – it will be a long, hard slog back.”

I think Warren Kinsella has defriended Michael Ignatieff, or at least updated his relationship status

Memories…



Remember when Warren Kinsella would fawn over the Liberal leader, whom often he referred to only as “Michael” (mysteriously above photo and other related posts have been purged from Kinsella’s blog -incidentally so have the many posts where he gushes over Rocco Rossi) ?

This was then…

So was this…

This is now:

“Why isn’t anyone asking for Michael Ignatieff’s resignation? 

I mean, it’s not like they wouldn’t have just cause. In federal Grit land, things continue to go from bad to worse.
The Liberal Party’s fundraising is a shadow of its former self, with the Conservatives routinely raking in $5 for every two received by the Grits. Many rank-and-file Libs despair of their party’s policies –this year, with Ignatieff outflanking the Harper government on the right on Afghanistan, or informing his followers the oilsands are an instrument of national unity.
And there are the polls. The most recent batch reminded despairing federal Libs that their hated adversary, Stephen Harper, is perilously close to a Parliamentary majority. While Liberal support dips below 25% -something even Stephane Dion managed to avoid.”

In Defence of DiNovo, or why I’ve been looking for a new Socialist home (Updated)

Having followed the cannibalistic feeding frenzy by a small segment of fundamentalist Leftists on one of the its strongest advocates in public life has been nothing short of incredulous. On the whole, this could be just another day on the Left and could be dismissed as a rather benign episode of “pajama people”* and /or rabblerousers responding with unhinged disproportion at a perceived betrayal of their pure, fundamentalist politics. Such derangement, however, has been possible only on the back of a totally disingenuous interpretation of DiNovo’s actions and words, and has led to an unusual escalation culminating allegedly in threats of violence directed at DiNovo herself.

So what has DiNovo done that is so awful? To begin with, in babblean fundamentalist circles her first mistake was to treat a fellow MPP as a fellow parliamentarian and to show him anything other than contempt and disdain. DiNovo may have even used parliamentary and conciliatory language in dealing with Shurman. Shame indeed! In the rarefied world of pure antagonism of these fundamentalists, there is no nuance, there is no reverence, respect for alterity, and there is no forgiveness (a hospitable openness gifted in advance). In fact, in such a pure world, the enemy of one’s enemy becomes one’s friend, the friend of one’s enemy becomes one’s enemy, and ends justify means, regardless of how insidious those means.

Nonetheless, in order to entirely conflate DiNovo’s remarks and position on the IAW resolution with that of Peter Shurman’s requires nothing less than malicious and wilful misreading (something I used to call “pullin’ a Cherniak”, but now for nuance sake in Leftists circles I call it “pullin’ a Unionist”), as well as a flagrant decontextualization of the two speakers.

To begin, DiNovo clearly speaks from a radically different place than Shurman. She speaks as a woman, a feminist, a theologian, queer rights activist, and social justice activist (her track record of standing up for oppressed groups -Muslims, Tibetans, Ukrainians who suffered Holodomor etc… is unmistakable)** Next, although in her remarks, DiNovo, I believe rightly, agrees with Shurman on the need to call into question the term “apartheid”, she does so out of a desire for peace rather than a desire to absolve the State of Israel. And yes, peace means justice, and justice for everyone. Taking her cue from many Muslims themselves she spoke with, many of whom are not vested in the term apartheid, DiNovo pushes the need to talk about ending the occupation, to talk about the wall and for a two state solution. She in essence reiterates NDP federal policy, which even the National Post saw as her digression from Shurman’s resolution and the conservative position. And the National Post’s ability to deal with nuance is about as impaired as fundamentalist Leftists.

Then, there’s the issue of whether speaking in agreement to one part of a motion constitutes agreement with the entire resolution, and whether in fact the ONDP did give its voiced support for the resolution in the legislature.

All to say, Leftist derangement that led to its pillorying of DiNovo hinges on the preposterous establishment of equivalences between Shurman and DiNovo. Since the rabid Left exhibits the nuance of a two year old (I think here of the psychoanalytic term “ambivalence” that characterizes among other things excessive narcissism and I think “fundamentalism”) this led to deranged claptrap, assaults on her character, and, in my view, ultimately erodes the legitimacy of IAW.

When DiNovo’s egregious actions weren’t being met with derangement, they were met with a soft, “kind” patronizing admonishment that was in my view even more insulting. I’m thinking here of a letter circulated, by “academics”, I believe, in which they gave DiNovo an out by patting her on the head and saying “dear dear, you just don’t know all the facts, and just how bad it is over there. It’s not your fault you didn’t know how wrong you are.”

Give me a f*cking break. Given DiNovo’s education, her multi-faith background and her links to the Muslim community, not to mention to the Leftist/activist community, my sense is that she’s not in need of any lessons about the suffering and human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territory, especially not when those lessons issue from overprivileged, overeducated white boys whose acquaintance with deprivation is running out of Chardonnay at the Conference reception. I only resort here to hyperbole, because predictably also heard around rabble were comments like DiNovo deserves to experience first hand the deprivation in Gaza and so what if she’s receiving death threats, her actions in the legislature help perpetuate bloodshed in Gaza.

And then, there were attempts to extract a retraction and an apology from DiNovo and demand that she throw herself at the mercy of good willed progressives. This coming from babble, the epicentre of derangement, and from “Unionist” no less!! Yes, the same “Unionist” who initiates a discussion to extort an apology from DiNovo, and subsequently in that thread writes “And by the way, Sineed, while it’s not my place to ask her to apologize (as I mentioned from the outset), I have every right to condemn the shameful words she pronounced in public.” Hello! If it’s not your place to ask her to apologize, why start of discussion topic on it? This also the same Unionist who in that same topic grudgingly acquiesces that sending DiNovo death threats might be a wee bit over the top, but not nearly as egregious as her not having called the police. I wonder if her being out of the country has something to do with it.

Now onto the other big issue: the assault on free speech. This incidentally was the tac taken by reasonable Leftists with legitimate disagreement, but also by Leftists and NDP’ers who wanted to attack DiNovo (i.e. appease the dozen rabid Leftists and the three intimidating Islamists who complained vociferously), but had the decency not to use “the friend of my enemy must be my enemy” argument outlined above. You see, since DiNovo did not actually deviate from NDP policy on the Middle East, she could not be condemned for that (I’ve never heard Jack Layton refer to “Israeli apartheid”, have you?) Nonetheless, it is claimed that in her denunciation of the term apartheid, she attacked free speech. My short reply is no! She exercised her right to free speech and denounced speech designed to foreclose free speech. She correctly, in my opinion, condemned needlessly inflammatory and incendiary language in order to keep speech open not to close it down.

I suspect critics who see this as an assault on academic freedom and/ or free speech see this as egregious owing to the fact that this was uttered from a place of power and privilege and “suasion”. I agree that the position from which discourse issues is highly relevant. I suspect too that these critics would not view a similar condemnation of the term apartheid issued, for instance in an email or on the radio, as other than an expression of disagreement. While I’m sympathetic to the need to be vigilantly protective of our right to speak freely and openly, and I am sympathetic to the slippery slope argument, I don’t believe the DiNovo’s condemnation was wrong, nor do I fear that it could lead to labelling the term “Israeli apartheid” as hate speech.

While the resolution passed in the Ontario legislature does emanate not from an ordinary place, but a place of power, we do need to be careful. However, the resolution has at best “moral” suasion, and has no legal and authoritative power. These resolutions are brought forward all the time (e.g. I don’t recall an outcry when parliament guided public opinion and resolved to commemorate Holodomor), so the issue obviously isn’t one of parliamentarians exercising moral suasion. It was a toothless motion and given the current levels of respect for our political leaders and representatives, I’m thinking this resolution has little moral suasion. To call this censorship and McCarthyism is virtually to water down these terms to meaning disagreement. And if you censor disagreement, how will you know when the “real” censorship arrives.

That IAW would proceed as planned was never in doubt. There was never a call to silence or shut down IAW, rather a calling into question the deployment of a term, which even if descriptively accurate, is itself designed to preempt fair and open dialogue, is needlessly incendiary, and ultimately not at all useful if the objective is peace and justice for all. I recall speaking with a woman who is with Students for a Free Tibet who was perplexed at the thought of achieving peace by first slapping your enemy in the face. Tibetans, she argued, wish to speak with the Chinese, not insult them. By the way, here already lies an early warning to Palestinians that IAW is not really about them. IAW is not about peace and justice for Palestinians and Israelis, it is about a larger revolutionary project of resisting American power and dominance.

Nonetheless, I do agree that we must be careful each step of the way. I have no doubt that political groups will attempt to use this resolution to promote their political agendas.

With respect to this particular case, my problem with the deployment of the term “apartheid” in IAW is only as it pertains to the attempt to pass off IAW as an unbiased, free and open dialogue going on across university campuses. For in my view, and I have attended IAW events in the past, it is precisely on university campuses that this kind of monologic debate needs not to be shut down but at least and always challenged and called into question. “Israeli apartheid”, assuming apartheid is even an appropriate descriptor, does little other than to circumscribe the discussion within very narrow and highly volatile limits, to preempt disagreement, and to promote hostility, all of which in my view are anathema to university discourse.

As a rallying cry, as propaganda, as rhetoric for a social movement I have no objection to the deployment of the term Israeli apartheid. At least not in terms of its usefulness. It serves for the extreme Left a way to sharply demarcate its enemies and its allies. It serves to cleanly demarcate oppressors from victims. It serves to moralize the troops and fill them with information, as well as, far too often with hatred. While I believe in speaking truth to power, I believe the truth must be spoken out of love and forgiveness, not from a place of hate. And if the goal of this social movement is to broaden its base, I believe it needs to begin from a place of ethics, love, and justice, not antagonism and hatred.

This leads to a real objection I have with the term apartheid. There is a reason why the Left has prioritized the Palestinian struggle against its Israeli oppressors above many other geopolitical conflicts and injustices, and that’s because the Left sees this as a crucial battle in the war against neoliberal capitalist expansion and American hegemony. Fair enough, a noble war indeed! However, to the extent that capitalism is reducible to pure desire, as desire always for more, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality etc., I find it highly ironic then, that the Left would vest so much in a term which is so laden with ethnic/racial identification, when in fact it’s not all about the Palestinian people per se, its about the fact that they stand locked and opposed to Israel. I’m not saying that IAW is anti-semitic, I’m saying it is anti-Israel to the extent that Israel is strategically critical to US empire building.

At the same time, this also goes along way to understanding why the event can’t be called Palestinian Liberation Week or any such combination of terms which might glorify and empower Palestinians. I hope I’m wrong, and excuse me for being harsh, the way I see it, what is critical for the Left is not who the Palestinians are in themselves but their relational status to the State of Israel.

While I certainly agree that victims shouldn’t have to be perfect in order to earn our solidarity, I also don’t think victims should be exalted to a place of almost divine abjecthood, of sublime object cause of our ideology, and the Left has a strong track record of doing so, starting with that most glorious and morally untouchable object: the Proletariat. But here I get stuck, I don’t really know where to go next. Is it possible to simultaneously be in solidarity with and to call into question, a victim? I get economic forces of oppression, I get the need to resist blaming the victim, and I understand the need to adopt a culturally relative approach. But I’m still troubled by the often appalling treatment of women and the ghastly treatment of “queers”, not to mention our reluctance to speak up against those abuses because of a group’s victimhood. It seems the only way to justify not speaking up is either intimidation or by entirely blaming an oppressor and thereby denying agency. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

* a handful of overeducated, overprivileged mostly geeky white males who have nothing better to do than troll the web all day in their pajamas from their hovels in Parkdale, provided they’ve managed to move out of their parents’ basements.

** it would be interesting to compare the Palestinian struggle not only with South African liberation movement, but also with the Tibetan struggle to return home
______________
Update:

I did forget to mention that Warren Kinsella needs to be graced with a Cherniak Award for his hypocrisy over this. A Cherniak award is given to a Liberal who displays exceptional degree of
malicious misreading, of willful distortion, of wanton decontextualization, of utter disingenuousness, and/ or basic intellectual dishonesty. When Warren pounced all over DiNovo for “losing it”, I’m left to wonder why he found it so objectionable, understanding that for Kinsella flagrant hypocrisy doesn’t apply to people who have handed him his ass in an election.

Regardless what could have been so objectionable from Kinsella’s point of view?
1. That she was being labelled a Zionist (something Kinsella all too readily admits). 2. That she lashed out at someone insulting her online (Kinsella’s online behaviour has not exactly been exemplary; he not only retaliates, he’s been known to commission online “lynchings” and outings of people through his blog, he’s made numerous sexist and racist gaucherie in public)
I also would think that Kinsella might have shown a little more sensitivity for someone who’s been receiving violent threats, since I’m sure he’s not unfamiliar with that territory.

Needless to say, my comment was not approved, but other interesting comments were. And one, by the very same Cherniak for whom the award is named, who chimed in to pile on DiNovo only to be questioned why he would object to DiNovo’s “zionism”. After all, it doesn’t get more rabidly zionist than Cherniak. At the same time, it does seem that Kinsella has had a change of heart and that the State of Israel may not be beyond reproach after all, since he’s quite content to allow a comment arguing in favour of Israeli apartheid.

Translating Kinsella #4

What’s the difference between a Tory and Liberal?

Easy. The Tory stabs you in the front. The Liberal stabs you in the back. Yet, a knife by any other name would still be a neoliberal procapitalist swine nose deep in the pockets of big business and more concerned with votes than with people.

Anyway onto the word du jour: APOLOGY.

When Kinsella or any Liberal make an apology it means neither an apologia (to speak [rationally] in one’s defense) nor the more contemporary “apology” (an expression of sincere regret for harmful action). Indeed, in the Liberal world an apology actually means the very opposite: a fleeting admission of wrongdoing followed by a rambling disavowal or rationalization in the desperate hope of not having an unethical action cost too many votes nor linger belatedly in the public’s mind.

We’ve seen Kinsella apologize publicly for his public stupidity (i.e. his blog) several times (his sexist portrayal of Lisa Macleod, his racist insensitive remarks), so one would think he’s learned a thing or two about contrition, reparation, apology. So how did he respond to the latest Liberal fiasco (an utterly tasteless photoshopped version of the famous photograph of Ruby shooting Oswald in the stomach in which Oswald’s face is replaced by Stephen Harper’s)???

Kinsella’s response was remarkable only in its predictability. First, take the high road. Admit it was stupid and as he says “full stop“. Oh, if only that were the case! “Full stop” for Kinsella means two things. First, look at me, I’m an honourable man who could threaten to equivocate but instead I’ll assume the full brunt of my unethical actions. In reality, it’s a pause of breath in order to buy time to equivocate and rationalize. Note the line immediately following “full stop”. The lesson is not that being an asshole is wrong, but simply be more careful next time with the crap you post. Although, based on Kinsella’s public blundering, I’m not sure he’s the best person to hand out that advice.

Next, comes the equivocation and rationalization that undermines wholly an attempted apology. What we did was stupid BUT you haven’t heard the rationatization yet.

1. Conservatives did the same with Dion.

2. At least we disciplined the idiot responsible (I wonder if Kinsella reprimanded himself after his cock ups)

3. We “apologized” (which we immediately disavowed through all this rationalization)

Of course nothing resembling a real apology was ever forthcoming. There is no ownership of the offence, no regret, no contrition. Only disavowal, beautifully embodied in the image captioned “Liberals apologize for photo”. Rather than holding up the offending material in an act of contrition, Kinsella is holding up an image of Dion, which he hopes will rationalize the behaviour of Liberals and exonerate them in the eyes of the public.

One last thing. What to make of Liberals when they behave unethically yet refuse even to “apologize”, even in the Liberal sense of the term?? I’m thinking here of their desperate smear of my MPP, in which Kinsella was a seminal participant. Does it get much worse than attempting to besmirch a person’s long earned character with something they did 40 years ago as a teenager while living on the streets of Toronto? Does it get much worse than attempting to label someone as a friend of pedophiliacs and “axe murderers” by willfully misreading passages in an award winning theological treatise and in her past sermons? Does it get much worse than translating scurrilous libel into Polish and targeting the Polish/ Catholic households in the hopes of raising their wrath against an upstart United Church minister? Yet, never an apology by any of them. Is that because their pangs of conscience prevented them from issuing their typical hollow apology? Or are they just assholes? Something tells me the former is less of an option!

Harper scares me, but no more than a Liberal. After all, a knife by any other name …

Any intelligent Liberals out there?

Perhaps I should be posting on craigslist or tweeting this, but would someone kindly point me in the direction of an intelligent Liberal blog? It’s as if pursuing the centre of the political spectrum necessarily requires limited or middling intelligence. The problem with middling intelligence (shared by the likes of Kinsella and his Sancho Panzas (Cherniak, Bowie, et al) is that it’s just enough intelligence to embolden them, but sadly not quite enough to allow them to know better.

I mean, the right wing of the blogosphere may have plenty of drivel, but one can also find there the very intelligent and clever offerings of Edward Michael George or Ghost of a Flea, for instance. I may often disagree vehemently with them, but I can’t but respect their writing. Sadly, I have yet to encounter a Liberal blogger whose intelligence I feel compelled to respect.
Anyway, I may soon have to start a Kinsella counterspin/ translation blog. For the last number of months, the spin has been so wanton and irresponsible that it begs to be countered. For example, when the Ontario Liberals retained one of their safest seats anywhere in yesterday’s by-election (since being established in 1999, the Liberals have always taken the seat with over 50% of the vote), Kinsella interprets that as being up “against formidable odds”.
For now, I’m just glad Kinsella has stopped referring to Ignatieff as “Michael” and followed that up by removing that creepy photo of Ignatieff (you remember, that one in which Ignatieff looks about 35 years old, has windswept hair, is wearing what I believe is a football jersey (gag!) and looks like a college student in search of a keg party). I’m guessing the purpose was to make Ignatieff more down to earth and accessible (remember Dion’s problem shedding the image of the “professorial” aloof politician?). Whatever it was, the choice to use that photo appeared a little freaky. Check out Kinsella’s posts around January or February of this year and you’ll see what I mean. He continually gushes over “Michael” like a teenage girl. But hey, if that’s the face that launches you into dreamland, so be it. I’m not here to judge.
_______
Update: I’ve added hyperlink above to said photo for the benefit of those who asked.

Kinsella’s Disasters

Ever notice a structural similarity amongst Kinsella’s disasters:

1. Stupid, insulting, puerile slur (usually in the course of trying to impress his sophomoric friends)
2. Disavow (damage control, delete posts, even alter cached google pages to make himself look clever). 
4. Because Kinsella has never shown any contrition or genuine concern for those whom he scurrilously attacks, the same generosity and forgiveness is shown to him. Shitstorm.
5. Threaten to equivocate. Equivocate, anyway by trivialization or deflection
6. Standard apology. “I have tirelessly exposed and fought sexism, racism etc, I’m really not a sexist, and racist. I’m sorry. Especially sorry that Michael’s not too happy with me right now. All I wanted to do was be cool forever and help Liberals win elections”. (btw don’t you love the hastily constructed scene of contrition complete with “I’m sorry” sign printed in Chinese characters?) 

I wrote the following during his cock-up with Lisa MacLeod. Substitute “sexist” with “racist” and nothing has really changed:

I don’t think Warren Kinsella is a sexist. He’s certainly no knuckle dragging Conservative, but I also don’t think he’s ideologically committed to ending sexism and other injustices. This was a sexist act and all the more dangerous for its innocence and banality. Because the moment we really need to worry about is when people start turning a blind eye to this type of thing. That’s my whole point. As a Liberal ideologue, his arrogant commitment to personal gain and winning, even unscrupulously, is simply deeper than any commitment to progressive politics, to the disenfranchised and marginalized, to the poor, to a more just and equitable society. I’m struck that in his apology what he seems most contrite about is not his offending Lisa Macleod and women everywhere, but that the cartoon was tactically a stupid move that backfired. It cost the Liberals points in the race for re-election and made Kinsella look bad.

More here, and here.

p.s. wouldn’t one expect that someone who tirelessly works on behalf of human rights everywhere would be more sensitive to the subtleties of racism and thereby even more culpable when found offending?

Peggy Nash must be doing something right…

Of course she is. Her constituents in Parkdale-High Park well know this.  Her reputation in the House of Commons also speaks for itself.  But the most encouraging sign is that Warren Kinsella has decided to take a swipe at Peggy Nash.  I suspect this arrogant dismissal is only the beginning.  Perhaps to be followed up with a photoshopped photo of Peggy Nash with a thought bubble implying something to the effect that politics is man’s work and that Ms Nash, or whatever her name is, would feel far more in her element were she to be baking cookies in her kitchen. Oh wait,  Kinsella’s tried that one before. Didn’t work so well.

Fact is, Gerard “there’s no shame in a rich private school boy not finishing his BA” Kennedy is not himself underestimating Peggy Nash. And for good reason; he is in for the political fight of his life. A lot of the Kennedy sheen has worn off since he abandoned PHP.  Many don’t remember or know who Gerard Kennedy is, and for those who do remember Kennedy, it might not necessarily work to his benefit.  Educators and parents of children in the riding’s schools are not too thrilled with Kennedy’s return. Kennedy’s advocacy for the poor and marginalized is as disingenuous as Sylvia Watson’s was. And we saw how well that worked against Cheri DiNovo. Peggy Nash is becoming more entrenched in this riding with each passing day. She and DiNovo are indeed a formidable team.
For Kinsella to not even dignify the incumbent by mentioning her by name is crass and arrogant. Yet this is precisely the most heartening sign for Peggy Nash supporters. For as recent history has shown those who’ve been the target of Kinsella’s smears have fared quite well at the ballot box. I’m thinking here of Cheri DiNovo, Lisa Macleod, and even Randy Hillier. All elected, the first two resoundingly so.

Post election wrap up:Brokerage politics at its best

Congratulations to the Ontario Liberals for proving once again that winning an election is more important than pursuing the common good or adhering to ideological principles. Brokerage politics at its best. Congratulations too to The Toronto Star, without whom the Liberals may have had actually to campaign and defend their dismal record. Further congratulations to The Star for helping manufacture an ethos of apathy, indifference and ignorance that resulted in the lowest voter turnout in Ontario’s history. That faith based school funding became the ballot issue is a complete farce.  The Toronto Star is at best incompetent for falling into the  Liberal trap or at worst complicit for colluding with the Liberals in making the ballot issue what it was. At a time when this province is on the precipice of having to make some of the most important decisions in its history, we hold an election in which all debate and discussion of the issues was stifled and preempted by a non-issue (according to an environics poll last week, faith based funding, while highly divisive, was THE decisive issue for only 3% of Ontarians). 

Meanwhile, our province is today faced with considerable and grave decisions about our short and long term futures.  Our environment desperately needs attention. Our way of living is not sustainable.  Our manufacturing sector is being decimated in a global economy and there are warnings that a recession is around the corner.  Our health care and education systems are still broken. Child poverty is at alarmingly high levels.  Working families are a paycheck away from poverty. And seniors, many more of whom we’ll soon have to take care of,  are being treated in an appallingly undignified way. 

And what have we done? Not only have we stifled public debate on the direction Ontarians may have chosen to go on these critical issues, but also we’ve handed a recklessly arrogant and smug government, with an abysmal record, absolute power in dealing with these issues. Actually when I say we, I really mean 22% of all eligible voters (lowest turnout in history and an overwhelming majority granted by 22% of voters and tell me we don’t desperately need electoral reform).  And that about sums it all up.
So when Warren Kinsella argues that the election was a validation of the Ontario Liberal motto, “change that’s working”, perhaps he should have finished the clause. Change that’s working to blunt affect and breed more cynicism in the electorate. Change that’s working to produce the lowest voter turnout in history. Change that’s working  to redefine what it means to vote for change. Change that’s working to redefine what the electorate considers acceptable governance. The real motto of this election was: vote for us, we’re not horribly bad government.  And even on this Ontarians were utterly beguiled, for this government was in truth nefarious.
But not all was bad news. In my riding of Parkdale High Park, unquestionably one of the most intelligent, engaged, and progressive ridings in the entire province, voters saw fit to vote in their best interest and resoundingly re-elected Cheri DiNovo with 45% of the vote. It was, if I’m not mistaken, the largest gains made by the NDP from 2003 (increase of 30%), but more astoundingly, represents a turnaround of 103%. Liberals won the riding in 2003 with 58% and the NDP claimed it in 2007 with 45%.