bus & feet, Quebec v. neocons

.. I've been in Toronto the past few days, DJing @ the FUSE magazine launch party, staying in an artist's loft known as 'The Closet' in Parkdale. I'd forgotten how expensive cities are, and how grey, flat and dirty Toronto is. Montreal has all the jazz, all the pizzazzzz .. hands down. So currently I haven't had a coffee and I'm nursing some kind of oncoming cold. Probably SARS.

Meanwhile, Montreal has a bus strike. The last transpo strike I witnessed was in Vancouver, 2001, and it lasted for something like 5 months. The Provincial Liberals & right-wing municipal Gov't didn't care.. afterall, the elites drive cars .. it fucked up that city for a long time. Luckily, Montreal seems more concerned--the health board, the city, and so on. Also, the strike isn't on behalf of the drivers, but maintenance staff, which has pitted discordance among the unions & made the position of a union-supporter somewhat complicated. Nevertheless, this only looks like the beginning. With provincial Liberals in power here as well, and looking to do all the usual union-breaking (subcontracting union jobs, hiring all union employees part-time as they did to bus drivers in Calgary), it looks like La Belle Province is in for a series of extended strikes. This will prove somewhat decisive in Canada. The political situation in Quebec is such that either you vote provincial Liberal, which is a vote for a federalist nation, but also for some kind of economic stability due to the Liberal desire to appease all sides on the Separatist question (keep it off the table, more like it), or you vote Parti Quebecois, which means a vote in favour of some kind of Quebec independence, but also a somewhat nationalist-Leftist governance (in favour of strong health care, cultural initiatives, unions and so forth). For a Leftist, the choice is difficult (unless one votes Green--but that has yet to catch on here, as Quebecois nationalism overrides a global concern for environmentalism & economics; then there's always the Marxist-Leninists, but that's like voting for '1915' as the most resuscitated heirloom). The PQ takes better care of everyone, but is always trying to separate, and the nationalist PQ rhetoric is silly. The Liberals are bland--but underneath their 'normal government' image they contain the worst of ideologies and agendas: neocon libertarianism. Sure, this is no Arnie and this is not the States. Yet, like everything in Canada, it's all covert: the neocon agenda is quietly slipped into Canadian-Liberal policy to the point where the federal Conservative party starts overhyping Canadian nationalism to apparently save the country from ravaging Free Trade deals championed by the Liberals (too late, I might add: the FTAA just went down in Miami. Welcome to the North American Slavery Zone). In other words, even the Cons are worried about the neocons masquerading as middle-of-the-road Liberals.

Anyways. Point is: if the unions manage to resist & break the Province, as they failed to do in BC, it will signal a turn in Canadian policy. Moreover, if the unions succeed, it will be because of widespread public support (unions here are generally supported). Quebec will either then fall into economic poverty once again, or forge ahead with a vision of North American livin' that is quite different from that to be found in the Factory Zones the rest of the continent is currently being transformed into. Perhaps both. Either way, I hope it stays cheap.

In the meantime, everyone is walking around in my neighbourhood of Cote-des-Neiges. It's nice to see the people out. Wrapped & frozen in the Northern sun, but Out.

Here's the cover of the new FUSE mag. Got an article in there called 'FUCK ART LET'S DANCE'--viva rhythm & AfroFuturism on a tangent that poses some hard questions to Canada Council funding for experimental electronic music. Reminds me of Kodwo Eshun's piece that Abe posted, Abducted by Audio. You have contact for Eshun? You contact me.

posted. Fri - November 21, 2003 @ 08:18 PM           |