of the Above
the Canadian federal election fast approaching, I find myself
ruminating on thoughts of refusal.
The idea of renouncing of the political process comes very hard to me. My grandparents were founding members of the Manitoba CCF, friends with J.S. Woodsworth himself. My mother has been involved in every federal and Ontario provincial campaign since 1962 either as campaign staff or as an NDP candidate. My parents have counted Tommy Douglas, David and Stephen Lewis, Ed Broadbent and Alexa McDonough — much of the pantheon of Canadian socialism — among their personal friends. I have knocked on doors, scrutineered and done campaign photography for the NDP since my teenage years in the late '60s. My vote can have no other possible home than the NDP. My blood is orange.
I've recently come to understand, however, that at their core the NDP is just as culpable for supporting an unsustainable industrial civilization as the bluest of Tories. They each accept the same fundamental economic paradigms, and are equally committed to placid social order and the sterilizing mediation of experience. In fact, to me the hypocrisy of the NDP is even more egregious than the banal but transparent evil of the Harperite Conservatives. The Tories make very little pretense of where they stand, while the NDP obscures their equivalently bourgeois support of the existing order with a (self-)deceptive veneer of altruism, solidarity and professed sympathy for the underdog.
Under all their fine humane rhetoric, even the NDP believe just as zealously as all the rest in economic and industrial growth (so long as the work force is safely unionized, of course), and can never campaign for the things that just might save our civilization: drastic population reduction, zero-growth economies and voluntary material impoverishment. Their place at the table of the guardian institution of politics, like that of every other party on the Canadian political scene today, is guaranteed by their cultivated inability to recognize, let alone proclaim, the obvious — that civilization is headed down a dead end path, if not over a cliff, and any force like politics that keeps us meekly shuffling along is part of the problem.
I cannot vote for the Harperites or the Dionysians, and I've come to the conclusion that it's not the parties that are the problem, but rather the building the parties are being thrown in -- the edifice of politics itself.
○ Bloc Quebecois
● None of the above
September 23, 2008
© Copyright 2008, Paul ChefurkaThis article may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purpose of research, education or other fair use, provided the nature and character of the work is maintained and credit is given to the author by the inclusion in the reproduction of his name and/or an electronic link to the article on the author's web site. The right of commercial reproduction is reserved.