Wednesday, June 1, 2016
NDP "Democracy", Ontario Liberal Injustices, Etobicoke Thrift Shops & more -- April and May on The Left Chapter in review
Overall the numbers were very strong and many of the articles that did not make this round-up's list would have easily made those of a few months or a year ago! Thanks to all our readers and contributors.
Posts ranged from Simon Dougherty's excellent analysis of the underlying dark side of Trudeau and "Elbowgate", to looking at vintage Soviet children's stories and young adult histories, to our first look at vintage streetscape photography of Vancouver.
We launched four new features on The Left Chapter. Toronto writer A.M. wrote a first "Modest Proposal" column calling for the nationalization of Canada's telecom industry, a Toronto bi-weekly municipal politics journal debuted with parts one and two, the first of a series of High Park journeys began as did the first in a series of photographic trips to the amazing waterfront parks of South Etobicoke.
With any further ado, here are the top six posts on The Left Chapter, in terms of hits, for the months of April and May.
1) NDP inhibits internal democracy with steep leadership race entry fee
Excited about the possibilities that the upcoming NDP leadership race might allow?
Wondering if an insurgent campaign might arise and if an outsider or unexpected candidate might lead to something akin to what happened with Corbyn in the Labour Party?
2) Ontario's poverty gap puts the lie to Wynne's 'social justice' pretensions
Back in 2013 when she was running for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party, Kathleen Wynne famously told the Toronto Star that she wanted to be known as "the social justice premier". She also said that when it came to "liberal values", "I believe social justice is what drives us".
Yet, when it comes to social assistance rates and those trying to live on them in Ontario, after 13 years in office this alleged liberal value of social justice is, to say the least, on scant display.
3) 5 Hidden Gem Thrift Shops in South Etobicoke
South Etobicoke, a once suburban lakefront neighbourhood on Toronto's outskirts, is a rapidly growing community that is seeing a new burst of activity with the dramatic expansion of Humber College, an influx of new residents and an emerging restaurant and pub scene.
Nestled among some of the city's most spectacular waterside parks (some of which I have looked at before and more of which we will be featuring as summer approaches) the communities of Mimico, New Toronto and Long Branch are increasingly diverse. They also have often very quirky and old-school commercial strips.
4) 3 silly narratives that have emerged in the wake of Mulcair's defeat
As everyone presumably knows by now, Tom Mulcair has been ousted as leader of the NDP.
In the wake of this defeat, while some are celebrating, others are very angry that Tom got the proverbial boot.
5) There was no NDP Leap
What is going on in Canada's "mainstream" left?
According to many -- including those on both sides of this debate -- it seems that the NDP has taken some great leap to the left by embracing the activist Leap Manifesto backed by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis.
6) At what cost power -- Whither the NDP & Leap?
With its recent rejection of leader Thomas Mulcair, as well as its (decidedly tepid) willingness to at least entertain the idea of debate on the Leap Manifesto, the NDP has shown itself to be more resilient than previously thought. Much to the shock of those of us on the Left, some New Democrats seem to be considering a real political shift. With elected representatives like Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo calling openly for a return to the socialism on which the party was founded - to say nothing of the activists and citizens who have signed the Leap Manifesto - the NDP may yet resurrect the prospect of a socialist Canada. Predictably, this has been met with fierce resistance from the hero-worshiping, and ever-shrinking, cult of NDP partisans. The battle of principles versus power seems to be in full swing.
Although it was published originally on May 1, 2015, the post "5 Great Songs for International Workers' Day! Featuring Paul Robeson, Billy Bragg, The Red Army Choir & more" actually got so many hits this year when reposted on Facebook and Twitter that it would have made the list above had it been a new post. People love great leftist music it seems!
The top food post for the period was "Maurya East Indian Roti in Mimico -- Some of the best Toronto has to offer!".
Do you have a left point-of-view or opinion, a recipe or a story you want to share?
Send them to The Left Chapter via firstname.lastname@example.org!
See also: Bernie Sanders, the Ghomeshi Verdict, the Calgary Police & more - February and March on The Left Chapter in review
See also: Racist refugee myths, NDP delusions, Tom Mulcair & more -- December and January on The Left Chapter in review