In order to reaffirm that there’s a world of politics beyond whatever zaniness that comes out of the Twitter feed of the President of the United States, this week’s Open Sources Guelph is proudly Trump-Free. So what will we talk about instead? Well, there are two federal leadership races in progress here in Canada, and the left-wing one has finally decided to make it an actual election by having more than one guy throw his hat into the ring. Then, in the back half of the show, we’ll look at the growing trend of hate here in Canada, one form that the government’s getting blowback for trying to do something about, and another that the government is considering taking action on.
This Thursday, March 9, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:
1) Feel the Other Bern. Apparently unwilling to cede the crackpot caucus to either Kevin O’Leary and Kellie Leitch, libertarian and Quebecois rep to the Conservative leadership race Maxime Bernier posted to Twitter a meme from The Matrix about “taking the red pill.” On it’s own, that’s a dated and boring reference, but here’s the thing: “the red pill” has become a co-opted term for the mens rights movement. Probably not the message you want to send in this charged climate (see later in the show). In the meantime, Brad Trost has come up with a great idea to thin the herd: offer refunds! Will anyone take him up on it? It’s about as likely as a Trost victory. We’ll update the race.
2) In the Niki of Time. And speaking of races, the NDP finally have one. Manitoba MP Niki Ashton became the fourth person to join the NDP leadership race after Peter Julian, as well as Charlie Angus and Guy Caron, who both just recently joined the race themselves. Ashton has vowed to fight austerity and injustice, Caron is talking about establishing a basic income, and Angus is going to “fight like hell” to take the progressive wing back from the Liberals. Observers are saying its about dang time for the NDP to put some skin in the game, but can any among the “fantastic four” reclaim the momentum of the party and take it to government status?
3) Wavin’ (Ironic) Flags. So you’re at a rally against a non-binding motion for the federal government to condemn Islamophobia, and what do you do? How about you sing a song popularized by a Somali immigrant to Canada that just so happens to be a Muslim? The outrage against M-103 continued to boil in protests in Toronto and Montreal on the weekend, and though the official line is that people are concerned about losing free speech rights, what the protestors seem to be more concerned about is encroaching Sharia Law and other paranoia about radical Islam taking over the world. Are we seeing the rise of Canada’s alt-right, and is the way to combat this rise to actually combat it? Like physically?
4) Box the Trolls? Ask any number of female politicians what it’s like to stand for something in the era of social media, and they will tell you it’s not good. Sandra Jansen ran for the leadership of the Alberta PCs but was more or less harassed out of the race. Cathy Bennett, Newfoundland and Labrador’s finance minister, was told to do the world a favour and kill herself. Conservative MP Michelle Rempel was sent a creepy anonymous note about her attire. So what are these politicians to do? Well, the federal Liberals are looking at ways to help MPs and their staff deal with all kinds of misogynist, racist and otherwise offending treatment, but can you legislate this kind of thing, and what is the cause of all this hatred?
Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.