Sunday, June 10, 2012

A tale of two* Liberals

1. Dalton McGuinty, the Liberal premier of Ontario who oversaw the invocation of a secret law and defended the arbitary arrest, detention, and beatings of more than a thousand people in their own city.

2. Jean Charest, the Liberal premier of Quebec who is now turning Quebec into a police state at war with its own children because they refuse to accept his government's plans for their education costs.

There is nothing liberal about these two. They have now moved beyond that peculiar Canadian liberal paradox of simultaneously embracing both private capital and rights and democracy to actively reject  the latter in favour of authoritarian violence. It's very hard to make the Harper Con look weak on that front, but that they have. The title of this book is actually starting to make sense. Those still carrying a membership card in this party who haven't burnt it in disgust either condone these actions or are cognitively dissonant to the point of a pathology.

*I may eventually have to add Christy Clark in BC with what she might do to crush local resistance to Harper's tar plan should she survive that long.


RodlenJack said...

Eventually? As in, not already?

The BC Liberals ceased to be liberals quite some time ago.

Steve said...

Hi Elizabeth,

I am so grateful you are both in a position and willing to sacrifice your sleep and health to stop Harper and his mad crusade to destroy Canada as we know it. I live near Fort Erie
No single government is to blame, but collectively they have taken a silk purse and turned it into a sows ear. I will not bore you with all the natural advantages this area has, but somehow ruled mostly by Conservatives for generations it has become Canada’s Cleveland. I don’t know if you have visited any lakes or similar natural wonders in Europe, Niagara Falls should be embarrassed at how they have failed to be good stewards of a natural wonder. Looking to the future the Great Lakes should be turned into gigantic self-sustaining (natural) fish farms. Its clear in the future enjoyable healthy food is going to sell at a huge premium. However successive governments have paid lip service but taken very small actions to repair this biosphere.

IMHO Singapore is the best governed city/country in the world. Of course the culture that was created there is not for everyone. However even in this rich country the government protects its local business from cheaper competition from Malaysia. For example you cannot leave Singapore with less than ¾ tank of gas. The Harper government has gone out of its way to encourage cross border shopping. Not only have they loosened levy to bring back goods, they have doubled the plaza at the Peace Bridge so it is even more convenient to shop.

Anyway fight the good fight, and if US fighter pilots are issued amphetamines to defend freedom, maybe you should go to your physician and stock up for your fight. I relish the view of army of Conservative warriors unable to defeat a single woman in a battle of stamina.

Best of luck, and I believe all of Canada for this brief moment of time will support sleep deprivation as a method of torturing Conservatives.


Mogs said...


You need to do more research on Christy, she intended to pass a law that would make it illegal to publicize any out breaks of disease in animals. The law was meant to end public debate on the horrors that fish farms in the fiords of BC create in the wild salmon.

I think its a tale of liberals period.

Cheers do your homework!

Boris said...

Mogs and RodlenJack,

In this post I am specifically referring to the use of state violence to crush opposition, which is about as starkly non-liberal as one can get and impossible to ignore. There are a great many illiberal things that Liberal parties do and have done but I am not going to recount them all in a short blogpost about a specific topic. I included the line about paradox as a nod to these things.

kootcoot said...

I must confess that I am constantly confused by the terms neo-liberal and neo-con - to me they both seem like fascist greedbag entities with no concern for the common good or social justice.

The way things are going maybe I'll try to get some rest and try to sleep until the shooting wakes me up! My bullets are mostly pre-labelled......

Beijing York said...

I'm with kootcoot. The only thing that seems to distinguish the two is some fig leaf type language that suggests that one is more concerned about 'justice' than the other. I look at Soros as being the poster boy of neo-liberalism.

liberal supporter said...

I'm not having any luck finding examples of governments not defending their own hides using the state apparatus. Liberal or not, it seems being government will sooner or later do whatever it feels it needs to do to protect itself.

Will you sneer derisively at me for pointing out the lack of, you know, dead bodies, in the examples of liberal evil you cite? We're sadistic that way, we like our opponents to survive to continue to harass us so we can continue to mock them making fools of themselves, or find common ground when they are not fanatical ideologues. We like to think it keeps us a little more honest by having to put up with them. Is that an important difference from some of the others? I would think so.

You might also note some semblance of due process, with the search for the guilty among the G20 cops. If you are sufficiently glazed over by the CPC blatant disregard for due process or fairness, you might have missed that. There will be comeuppances in Quebec soon enough too.

I wouldn't even attempt to classify Canadian Liberalism as neo or not. It is the political centre, the place where we try to be free of ideology and have to put up with being labeled inconsistent and flaky by rigid ideologues on all sides.

Purple library guy said...

Neoliberalism as near as I can make out is not particularly identified with the Liberal party or even with American "small l" liberalism. It's an economic doctrine strongly held by the Conservatives, generally held by the Liberals and generally given lip service to by most "electable" parties throughout the Anglosphere and these days much of Europe.

Basically, it's the free-trade, free-markets, privatization, "government is the problem not the solution" ideology. Conservatives tend to take that and combine it with religious nutbarishness, Liberals and "liberals" tend to take that and combine it with soft cultural equality ideas of being not racist, not antigay, not antifeminist, not anti-arts. But they're more or less in agreement on the neoliberal economic ideology.