Housing Affordability’s Becoming WTF Issue in Canada…Finally

For sometime now, non-profit groups, activists and marginalized folks have been screaming for more affordable housing in Canada, and finally, the issue is gaining mainstream traction. A big reason for that is when these aforementioned people started raising the flag two decades ago, neoliberal machinations were only starting to eff over the middle class.

Yes, here we are in 2016, and what a shocker? Uncontrolled and largely untaxed flows of international capital, haven’t flowed into Canada and left us all with spacious and affordable cribs. Where the neoliberal shit’s really hitting the fan is in Vancouver and Toronto, as house prices are absurd, and most people have abandoned the idea of ever owning a home.  As I alluded to before, the first waves of neoliberal austerity helped foster pockets of poverty and social ills so severe (Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside), the UN tossed a WTF? Canada’s way. Earlier this year, the body did so again.

Of course, indie outlets like the Tyee and Rabble.ca, among others, have been reporting and commenting on the affordability crisis for years. But, now that housing affordability is impacting the lives of many more Canadians, and not just, you know, folks looking for a free lunch… even the corporate media’s chucking out daily stories.

The issue has become a big part of the British Columbia NDP’s platform (thumbs up to Mr. John Horgan). PM Justin Trudeau recently attended meetings about the crisis. How about dem’ Christy Clark led Liberals? BC’s ruling folks? They’re leading the charge on this right? Ah, not so much…

So, while we have yet to see any meaningful action yet, thankfully, and finally, more and more people are questioning how did this happen? Why are people who have contributed and bettered their communities, both financially and socially, being priced out of them?  Why aren’t our ‘leaders’ doing something to remedy this? And if they won’t, who will?

Yes, as we’ve seen in Canada, the U.S. and Europe in recent years,  the masses are realizing that they’ve been given the royal shaft by neoliberal economics. Bright, progressive lights, like the Layton, Sanders and Corbyn campaigns have risen as a result. But we’ve also seen frightening manifestations of this anger on the far right. The winds of change are indeed a blowing, and it’s up to us sensible folks to make sure those winds lead to equitable and sustainable change.

 

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Watch The Undercurrent’s UC007 The Guide to Legal Tax Evasion

The recent release of the “Panama Papers” sparked outrage throughout the enlightened masses, as they’re further evidence of what an effing sham ‘globalization’ (neoliberalism) is. But, as The Undercurrent’s video below outlines, hoarding cash and avoiding taxation, isn’t something corporate interests have to do in the shadows.

U.S. Primaries Show Why NDP is so Effin Vital to Canada’s Left

If you take a quick glance at The Pinko Rag archives, it’s glaringly obvious that we’ve been fixated on the U.S. Primaries, and that we are hee-uge supporters of Mr. Bernie Sanders. As true progressives, unlike affluent, ‘what about me’ liberals, we understand that creating a just and sustainable world will mean making some sacrifices. Yes, even though the neoliberal status-quo has already been kicking the masses for decades.

Thus, this is why we’re feeling the “Bern”, as Sanders and his campaign represents a real challenge to this unjust order. It’s been a beautiful and truly progressive challenge, which few observers, if any, were predicting would come in a presidential campaign.

While we still believe Sanders has a chance of locking up the nomination, and continue to rifle “oh fuck off”s at corporate coverage, Bernie has a rough road ahead. If he doesn’t lock up the nomination, we will be comforted by the fact, he’s demonstrated millions of Americans want to punt establishment economics.

If Sanders doesn’t secure the Democratic nomination, however, you have to wonder how things might have been different, if you know, he was with a party that truly wants to challenge the status-quo. Sure, clearly many Democrats are on board with Sanders’ vision, but it certainly doesn’t seem like the party brass is. After all, this is a party who in recent years, has cuddled and snuggled with corporate interests and Wall Street. Hillary?  Your ears burning?

In Canada, however, we have the New Democratic Party, who until its ill fated, 2015 campaign, has largely held true to its founding, progressive ideals. A view that socioeconomic policy shouldn’t be shaped by special interests and the ruling elite. It’s been the NDP who have forced Canada’s version of the Democratic Party, the Liberals, to enact progressive policies.

Now sure, many left leaning Canadians have agonized over the years, whether casting a vote for the NDP has aided the insufferable Conservatives (by taking votes away from the Liberals). But, as we’re seeing in the U.S. primaries, when your options are limited to two parties, challenging the unjust status-quo is that much harder. Think what the upcoming presidential election might look like, if Bernie was running as the leader of a third, truly progressive party? One that’s not collecting truckloads of cash from special interests?

So, for Canadians who support the NDP, who understand what the party has meant to the nation (been to a doctor lately?), take what’s unfolding in the south as inspiration. Use it to rally behind the party,  and to call for a Tommy Douglas – Jack Layton-esque leader, who truly represents social democratic ideals. Sorry Prime Minister Trudeau, you’re dashing, quick witted and stand for many great things. But this centrist, don’t rock the neoliberal boat stuff, ain’t gonna cut it.

Thank You Thomas Mulcair, But it Was Time…

If you live in the Great White North, or keep apprised of world politics, then you’ve likely heard that Canada’s New Democratic Party has decided to end the leadership run of Thomas Mulcair.

In a development that quickly made headlines throughout Canada, only 48% of NDP delegates wanted to keep Mulcair as the party’s leader. Observers knew that Mulcair was navigating through treacherous waters heading into the convention, but no one really knew if the NDP was going to vote for change…That they did.

Anyone who has read any posts at the Pinko Rag, shouldn’t be surprised to hear that we’ve historically been NDP supporters. After all, this is the party that has represented the working class throughout the decades, and has been the driving force for many of Canada’s most progressive policies. Tommy Douglas – universal healthcare- 1966. I mean, come on…In fact, it’s been the NDP that’s forced the historical ruling party of Canada, the Liberals, to even stay within striking distance of the center on policy.

Now, to be fair, Mulcair took the NDP’s reins at the best of times, but also the worst…He did so after the NDP had risen to historic heights, thanks to the extremely popular and charismatic, Jack Layton. So, while Mulcair became the leader of opposition after Uncle Jack’s tragic passing, he had ridiculously massive shoes to fill.

Look, much has been written about the NDP’s ill fated attempts to outflank the Liberals, and try to be the ‘reasonable’ alternative for the insufferable Conservatives. Justin Trudeau and the Liberals eagerly countered the NDP’s decision to do so, went left, and yadda, yadda, yadda, they have a majority government.

Mulcair was always a strong debater, he always called Harper and the crew on their bullshit, but at the end of the day, his vision for the NDP was off base. The NDP has always represented real change; a return to a world where the ruling interests aren’t skull effing the masses and the environment to go with it. That’s been their appeal, even at times when the majority of Canadians weren’t willing to roll up their sleeves, and throw down with the status-quo.

We’re seeing that in the U.S, however, thanks to Mr. Bernie Sanders, that a huge amount of Americans are looking for this type of change. We also saw it in the U.K. to an extent with Jeremy Corbyn. But Mulcair’s NDP kind of embodied a ‘hey, we’re for change, but if you’re not for really big change, well, we can do that too’. Ultimately, however, that just isn’t going to cut it in these troubling times.

Mr. Mulcair, thank you for everything you’ve done, but it was indeed, time.

We’re Back! Let The Hand Wringing Begin…

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It’s been over three years since The Pinko Rag’s last post…To be precise, it was Labour Day, 2012. Barack Obama was about to win his second term as the United States’ President. Mitt Romney was failing, and very badly, to convince Americans that Obama and the Democrats had not cleaned the bed his party had soiled.

Sensible Canadians, however, were still recovering from the nightmarish decision of their fellow citizens, to hand Stephen ‘All Smiles’ Harper a majority government. It was a time when Alberta was still living high on the hog thanks to fat oil checks, and was still ruled by Conservative ineptitude.

How the times have changed huh?

So why is The Pinko Rag up-and-running again? And ready to verbally throw down with ignorant rednecks, greedy conservatives and neo-fascists once again? Take a look around…

Over the last few years, some fantastic things have happened. No question. The Harper Crew in Canada was punted from office. Jeremy Corbyn took the reigns of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom. Alberta’s Conservative dynasty came to end thanks to Rachel Notley and the NDP. And then there’s been the rise of Bernie Sanders…We are definitely feeling the Bern!

But, we’re also witnessing the ascension of Donald ‘I Know Words’ Trump, and a xenophobic narrative that is jaw droppingly frightening. We have seen little meaningful action taken to battle climate change. We still live in a world that that continues to be skull effed by neoliberal economics and a unjust status quo.

So, it is time to resume the keyboard war. It is time, arguably more than ever, to blast out pinko ideals throughout the internet once more. History has witnessed many powerful forces, but there has been no other more important, more righteous to date, than progressivism. It is time to protect progressive gains, promote progressive values, and entrench a progressive world for future generations.