Monday, December 28, 2015

Racist Memes, Andrew Coyne, the NDP's Disaster & more! -- The Top Ten Posts and the year on The Left Chapter in review

The Left Chapter was launched as a blog at the beginning of February of this year. I wanted to start an eclectic space that presented views, analysis and opinions from a leftist perspective but that also featured recipes, art, fiction and poetry, little bits of whimsy and whatever else it seemed fun or appropriate to feature!

The first year has been a success far beyond expectations in no small part due to the contributions  of several different writers and the feedback of readers and friends.

We have had political blogs about ISIS, the mythology around Naheed Nenshi, the LCBO, the uprising in Baltimore, a call for non-violence, an open letter to Tom Mulcair and an analysis of the the strategy of the peace movement in Canada among many other topics.

There were 323 posts of various types in total!

Today we are going to look at the top ten political posts of the year in terms of hits. (Watch for the top food posts of the year before New Year's Day!)

I want to thank everyone who contributed to the blog and to our readership for such a great launch and I look forward to what 2016 brings.

1) Stop sharing the false -- and racist -- Ontario niqab driver's licence meme

Have you seen this meme circulating around Facebook and the internet the last few days?

It purports to show a woman on an Ontario driver's licence  wearing the niqab -- a religious headdress a very small number of Islamic women in Canada wear and that is being shamefully used by some politicians as a dog-whistle in the current federal election.

Read More! 

2) Reinforcing male privilege -- The Trudeau cabinet, Andrew Coyne and the mythology of "merit"

You really have to love it when the beneficiaries of the greatest social assistance program in the history of Western Civilization and Canada -- the one that did and has rewarded white men for having been born white men since the day the country was founded -- talk about "merit" to bemoan newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision to make his cabinet have an equal number of men and women, thereby reflecting the actual gender composition of the country.

Read More! 

3) Delusion continues to rule the day in Mulcair NDP

By Fraser Needham

In the 2015 Canadian federal election campaign that wrapped up earlier this week, the Justin Trudeau led Liberals won a smashing 184-seat majority government.

Perhaps what is most amazing about the Liberal victory is that the party started in third place in terms of both number of seats and in the polls when the campaign began in early August.

Read More!

4) Catastrophe: The NDP lost because it deserved to

It is, ultimately, astounding how facile and false political narratives come back to haunt those who insist on their veracity.

And so it has happened with the "government-in-waiting" liberal led NDP.

Read More!

5) BC NDP posts a meme about "foreign" workers -- Xenophobes show up in approval

There is a wing of the left -- and especially within the mainstream "social democratic" party, the NDP -- that thinks that the path to power is in part paved by pandering to what are traditionally right-wing populist narratives.

Read More!

6) NDP campaign enters panic mode

By Fraser Needham

If in politics a week can be a lifetime, a month can be an eternity – especially in an election campaign.

Just put yourself in the shoes of NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s top strategists to see how much things can change over the course of four weeks. On a late August afternoon when members of the Mulcair team looked out on a bright and sunny day from the confines of the NDP war room, they must have been feeling pretty confident about themselves.

Read More!

7) Doubling down on disaster

In the wake of the catastrophic election result for the NDP -- an election that saw the party squander its position as official opposition and "government-in-waiting" and what seemed its first real shot at power -- comes news that the leader who "led" the party there, Tom Mulcair, intends to stay at the helm.

Read More!

8) The NDP's phony “credit card” analogy: a neoliberal conception of the public household

By Matt Fodor

In an attempt to shore up the NDP’s fiscal credibility, Tom Mulcair recruited Andrew Thomson, the fiscally conservative finance minister that served in the NDP provincial government of Lorne Calvert in Saskatchewan.

Read More!

9) Mulcair's NDP ran a great campaign! We know this because they say they did.

By Fraser Needham

It has now been almost three weeks since the NDP suffered a devastating loss in the 2015 federal election and the party remains shell shocked as to what exactly went wrong.

The Liberals are forging ahead on their mandate after winning the party’s first majority government in 15 years. Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named his first cabinet this week with gender parity and significant minority representation. If early signs are any indication, it appears clear the Liberals intend to run a much more open and accessible government than their predecessors.

Read More!

10) Unintended consequences: Attacking Leadnow and "strategic voting"

As I have noted before, partisan political narratives often die very hard -- even when these narratives have begun to do far more harm than good to those who continue to espouse them.

One of these, increasingly, is the fixation by many New Democrat partisans on insisting that they are the only "real" "progressives" (while all the other parliamentary parties are supposedly the "same") as well as on attacking their old nemesis among progressive voters -- the Liberal Party.

Read More!

Thanks again for a great first year. See you in 2016.

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