I’m often blessed with the opportunity to forget the way that conversations about the NDP in this country almost inevitably turn out. It’s part of a basic sanity regimen for me, which includes a significant component of not reading the comments left on mainstream news sites or YouTube. But a couple of days ago, I just couldn’t quite help myself and took a glance at the top few comments left on a CBC article about the crashing financial markets. Comments are posted “most recent first” on that site, so what I was seeing were mainly responses to responses (and which also means there’s not much point trying to find them again and link).
Someone had posted a relatively lengthy and fairly well-reasoned socialist viewpoint on what the hell is going wrong with this free market capitalism thing, including some supportive comments on the federal NDP. One of the reasons getting involved in these conversations is so damn sanity-destroying is because one always has to fight the assumption that the NDP is incapable of governing with some commentary about how we can’t know that, they’ve never been in a position to try at the national level, and referencing some of the reasonably successful provincial-level NDP governments of recent years. In this case, our socialist friend specifically said something about how none of the provinces that had seen NDP governments had seen long term detrimental effects from their terrible, terrible socialist ways.
The first direct response s/he received actually said something like “I’m sure China and Cuba have space for you. Please buy your plane ticket now”. Which: okay, seriously? There are people in the world who are not aware of just how much of a caricature this attitude is? Really?
The second just sent my sanity blowing straight out the top of my head, as it said (paraphrasing, obviously) that the good people of Ontario would beg to differ – hadn’t s/he ever heard of ‘Rae Days’?
I’m sorry, we’re talking about the consequences of a global financial crisis of, not to put to fine a point on it, rather enormous proportions that my cat can recognize as directly connected to unregulated free market capitalist policies and that, in a perfect world, should have us all asking some serious questions about the major, major flaws with this system and you’re referencing as a counter point fucking Rae Days? Which were all of fifteen years ago, which certainly can’t be said to have had any lasting negative impact on the lives of anybody in Ontario (except maybe Bob Rae), and which nobody except Wikipedia seems to remember very likely did actually result in nobody losing their goddamn jobs in the middle of an enormous recession.
But apparently, we have to have this conversation. We seriously have to frame the relative success of free market conservativism with its accomopanying fucking global financial disaster against 12 unpaid days off per year for Ontario civil servants in fucking 1993.
I just really hate the world some days.