Friday, 5 December 2008

What Is to Be Done? Grassroots and Google-age Gimmicks

I spent a couple of hours yesterday at the campaign office of Amir Khadir, the Quebec Solidaire candidate in the neighboring riding of Mercier. The team was pretty impressive--they put me to work on the phones as soon as I arrived but by the middle of the afternoon, they had more people willing to telephone than than telephones free. Then this morning Le Devoir reports that Claude Béland, the former head of the credit union giant Caisses Desjardins, has thrown his support to Khadir and his co-leader Françoise David. That's also good news for people who are concerned about social and economic issues.

The detour by the office lifted my spirits a bit: whatever was Michaëlle Jean thinking when she agreed to the prorogation of Parliament until late January? I am afraid the only thing that can happen is that Harper and his gang will spend a bundle trying to convince us of their take of the world. That view was certainly not that of the 63 per cent of Canadian voters who voted for another party October 14: a Liberal/NDP coalition with support from the back on budget matters for 18 months (the content of the famous agreement, remember) is far more in tune with what the great majority was thinking then.

What will be required is a vast grassroots effort on the part of those who care about progressive issues to counteract the Harper propaganda deluge. That, and some creative thinking on web messages and other tactics. We must do it. The future of democracy in Canada requires it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dion, unfortunately, has really blown it. Everyone in the triumvirate looked smart and decisive at the start, but then Stephane did his video, and meanwhile, Jack Layton was looking a bit like an egomaniac. Harper, I think, could squawk like a rooster at the fox, and get people panicking about the others.

It's a drag, but in the fight for "hearts and minds," it's all about image. Wish our side could have taken a leaf from Obama's book!

Jack R.