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Doug Ford’s Ontario: Hard Right Turn

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‘‘Ford’s ‘government for the people’ thus pivots, like Trump’s regime in the U.S., around ideological appeals to a hard-right provincialism, patriarchal family values set against a hostile world of crime and terrorism, mobilization of ethnic and racial chauvinisms, and mystical market solutions for every ill.’’
A decade after the global financial crisis, few of the initial political calculations on the trajectory of world capitalism remain intact. The assessments made by liberals and social democrats alike on the end of neoliberalism and a revival of Keynesian state intervention seem now like a bad joke. And the reading from many on the radical Left that the economic slump would be met by a wave of social resistance and an opening for political rupture have fared no better in either economic analysis or political guidance. Indeed, neoliberalism has regained its preeminence in economic policy through re-financialization and austerity despite its ideological discredit and the endless multiplications of its contradictions.

It is more than a little alarming that it is right-wing political forces that have gained more and more political space in the wake of the crisis. The range of forms of this insurgent right defies a single classification: electoral victories opening political space for a hyper-nationalist alt-right (U.S. and Germany); incorporation of neo-fascist forces into “formal” liberal democratic states (Italy, Hungary, Poland, the Philippines, Austria, Poland, and others); exceptional judicial-political coups (Brazil, Honduras); authoritarian constitutional regimes (Russia, China, India, Turkey); military coups (Egypt, Thailand); and still others.

It is often claimed, in the simple-mindedness that passes for political analysis in Canada, that our inclusionary polity has been innocent of these developments (although Canada is, perhaps, the most orthodox adherent to neoliberal policy precepts in the world). But with the far right gaining political space inside and outside the Conservative Party — as in the long years of the Stephen Harper governments, and now with the United Conservative Party in Alberta, the People’s Alliance in New Brunswick, and the Saskatchewan Party and Coalition Avenir Québec governments — this claim bears no scrutiny.

The election of the Doug Ford-led Conservative Party to a majority government in Ontario, Canada’s largest province by output and population, should leave little doubt that an authoritarian phase of neoliberalism is sinking deep roots in Canada. Ford’s election platform, A Plan for the People, played to the “Ford Nation” built by his brother Rob as mayor of Toronto in its themes of social conservatism, law and order, unwanted “illegal” migrants, and market populism. Ford adopted much of the inflammatory rhetoric of Trump, and a parallel narrative of “making Ontario great again” after years of “criminal” Liberal spending (with the same chants of “lock her up” for then-premier Kathleen Wynne as targeted Hillary Clinton) and domination by cultural “elites” in Toronto. In this, Ford fused a suburban, multiracial bloc of voters with traditional conservative support — many with longstanding hard-right leanings — among rural and wealthy voters. In turn, Ford empowered even more militant — some fascistic and openly racist — elements of the far right to come out from their sewers (as with ex-Rebel Media figure Faith Goldy placing third in a run for Toronto mayor).

There is no policy handbook that guides these emergent authoritarian regimes as they blend nationalism with neoliberalism. Still, features of the Ontario government policy matrix under Ford that fit this pattern can be discerned.

First, the Conservatives are committed to further “liberalisation” of the economy — with “open for business” signs symbolically installed at each border crossing. These policies will be layered into a growth model that is as “extensive” (larger market) as it is “intensive” (higher productivity), and sustains Ontario as a low-cost, low-tax regional production system. Some of Ford’s first moves were to scrap the carbon trading system, while simultaneously cutting the gas tax, 750 renewable energy projects, and the Green Ontario Fund (shamefully leaving Ontario without a climate change policy). Shortly after, Ford tabled legislation to roll back modest labour reforms addressing some of the problems of low-paid workers and to freeze a planned increase of the minimum wage to $15 per hour, while also cutting back workplace inspections. New spaces for accumulation are, as well, to be pushed in the “ring of fire” in northern Ontario for mining, opening up “green spaces” for exurban development sprawl, and cannabis privatization.

Second, Ontario fiscal policy has been constrained for decades by targeted maximum fiscal deficits (normed, more or less, to move toward balanced budgets, with total debt kept in a range of 30–35 percent of provincial GDP). This has meant a budgetary practice under the Liberals of keeping program spending below the combined rates of inflation and growth to reduce steadily the size of government as a portion of the economy (with Ontario now having the lowest per-capita program spending in Canada). For the election, the Liberals allowed a modest deficit to fund a range of programs. Ford, in turn, ginned up charges of reckless Liberal spending and appointed a Financial Commission of Inquiry and an Ernst & Young Canada audit of the books to produce a $15 billion deficit (with some dispute over accounting procedures, in the same range as the Liberal projections). The Conservatives, however, promised during the election to increase spending on public transit, housing, childcare, and long-term care beds, with no cuts to services and public employees, and gas, income, small business, and corporate tax cuts. This is all to be funded, Ford argued, by $6 billion in savings through unnamed efficiencies.

This is, to say the least, a confused and incoherent fiscal policy that cannot hold. Indeed, it is austerity that has already been rolled out: a public-sector spending and hiring freeze; axing of a pharmacare program for young people; cuts to a school-repair program, cycling infrastructure, and mental-health funding; and appointment of a Task Force on Healthcare Reform led by a two-tier advocate. The precise mix of spending cuts, user fees, and monetization and privatization of assets will be sorted out in the coming economic statement and budget.

Third, the neoliberal deepening of economic institutions works in conjunction with measures that promote “social discipline” as the hard right sees it. The Conservatives have, for example, moved quickly to turf a modernization of the sex-ed curriculum, as well as materials to deal with reconciliation with First Nations; to legislate CUPE back to work at York University; to cut a basic-income pilot program and social-assistance rate increases (on the road, it seems, to revising some form of workfare); to withdraw from provincial obligations to settle and house refugee claimants; to block new oversight laws on the police; and to re-establish specialized policing units (the “guns and gangs” forces associated with extensive carding of racialized groups) in high-priority neighbourhoods. This is only a partial inventory of the ideological and economic mechanisms to instill the culture of fear and market discipline that Ford is deploying.

Finally, the Ford regime has been unhesitating in reinforcing the anti-democratic and authoritarian tendencies that have been integral to neoliberalism. Indeed, Ford’s most dramatic initial move was a unilateral cut to the size of Toronto’s city council in the midst of an election (as well as eliminating the elections of several regional government chairs). Ford was so keen to reduce the space for electing, as he put it, “lefties” in Toronto, he belligerently invoked the constitutional notwithstanding clause to limit judicial oversight. The personalization and concentration of power around Ford is notable: the hypercentralization of executive power in the Premier’s Office; the ending of public ministerial mandate letters; the centralization of control over ministerial staff appointments and media contacts; the naming of special advisors and commissions to the Premier’s Office; the demotion of the ministerial status of First Nations issues; and the altering of parliamentary rules to limit the capacity to oppose government bills.

In sum, Fordism in Ontario is an extraordinarily contradictory — and dangerous — agenda. The antistate, market populism used to sustain the rate of accumulation at any cost exists alongside — indeed, depends upon — an increasingly interventionist and authoritarian state mobilizing its resources and reordering its administrative apparatuses to buttress this process. Ford’s “government for the people” thus pivots, like Trump’s regime in the U.S., around ideological appeals to a hard-right provincialism, patriarchal family values set against a hostile world of crime and terrorism, mobilization of ethnic and racial chauvinisms, and mystical market solutions for every ill.

Ontario under Ford has not mutated into an exceptional regime existing, as it does, within the faint veneer of liberal democracy. But Ford operates with ever fewer constraints — a nascent Bonapartism? — over his exercise of power. Both Ford’s core populist instincts and political calculations authorize and sanction the hard-right sections of his caucus, party, and extra-party militants; and his economic strategy hinges on ever more speculative, politicized, and extreme forms of accumulation. It would be utter folly to predict where this will end (no less in other regions of Canada). It is clear, moreover, that the Liberals are indicted in these very same processes; and the NDP has proven more inept than capable of developing an alternative to neoliberalism, as these policies have also made their claims on its vision and platform. Political fronts, a fighting and transformed union movement, ambitious socialist organizing, and alternatives have seldom been more urgent to confront the challenges of these uncertain and grave times.

Greg Albo teaches political economy at the Department of Political Science, York University, Toronto. He is currently co-editor of the Socialist Register. He is also on the editorial boards of Studies in Political Economy, Relay, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, Canadian Dimension, The Bullet and Historical Materialism (England). Co-editor of A Different Kind of State: Popular Power and Democratic Administration and author of numerous articles in journals such as Studies in Political Economy, Socialist Register, Canadian Dimension, and Monthly Review.

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COUP-IN-PROGRESS: White Collar Mafiosos Fauci, Pelosi, Cuomo & Cuomo Conspire to Topple Trump

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Let’s put THE GREAT SCAMDEMIC aside for a moment.

And let’s jump ahead to Election Day — November 3, 2020.

Three things are certain based on Deep State’s no-holds-barred MO.

First, the DEMs will steal the Senate just like they stole the House during the 2018 midterms.

Second, the DEMs will increase their majority in the House with even more election fraud and theft.

Third, the DEMs will either politically incapacitate Trump between now and Nov. 3…
or, they will outright steal the POTUS election now that the electoral process has been thrown into chaos and confusion…
or, they will let Trump win so that they can impeach and convict him in 2021 with their solid majorities.

Now let’s take a close look at THE GREAT SCAMDEMIC, and especially how it will be used to manipulate the 2020 election outcome.

This thing — THE GREAT SCAMDEMIC — goes way beyond the Democrats and Deep State.  It goes way beyond CROWNgate and Pedogate.  It goes way beyond the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers. It even goes beyond the Cahilla and the Khazarian Mafia … as well as the Black Nobility and the International Banking Cartel & Crime Syndicate.

THE GREAT SCAMDEMIC is so HUGE and has so many objectives that you know it’s the end … the final end … … … as in the “End-times” !

But that’s not the point here.

What happens between now and Election Day will determine the fate of the American Republic.  The future of the American people hangs in the balance with the 2020 outcome like no other election in U.S. history.

The election outcome (and process) will also dictate the inevitable consequences for the Democrat Party, as well the destiny of Deep State.  The Patriot Movement also stands to gain or lose a LOT!

This is why TPTB have strategically positioned so many Deep State Democrats all over the place.

We’re talking about white-collar mafiosos like Fauci, Pelosi, Cuomo & Cuomo.

The liberal power elite have installed a top hitman in every position that counts.

It’s like JFK driving through Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963 surrounded by the 8 C.I.A. sniper nests (yes, there really were at least eight sniper’s nests).[1]

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FALSE FLAG ALERT: Obama Foundation tweeted about George Floyd on May 17th, a week before his supposed murder – UPDATE

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(Natural News) We have now confirmed that the Obama Foundation was tweeting about George Floyd on May 17th, more than a week before the day Floyd was reportedly killed by police in an act of violence that sparked the worldwide riots we’re all witnessing.

George Floyd was killed on May 25th. So what was the Obama Foundation doing tweeting about Floyd on May 17th, when nobody knew who he was?

UPDATE: Some people are saying that Twitter retroactively alters images from the history of your timeline when the source URL changes its image. However, what investigators have already confirmed is that the Twitter URL validator was used by the Obama Foundation to validate this image on May 17th, in advance of releasing it publicly. Thus, the image was VALIDATED more than a week before Floyd’s claimed death. This, combined with the new video analysis that claims George Floyd’s death was faked using crisis actors, raise serious questions about the authenticity of this event, which appears to have been planned and carried out for political purposes, right in time for the 2020 election. The Obama Foundation Twitter picture is only a tiny fragment in the larger picture that is now emerging of a pre-planned false flag event.

The answer, of course, is that the whole thing was planned in advance. Just like on 9/11 when the media was reporting that the WTC 7 building had collapsed even while it was still standing in the frame directly behind them, it looks like the Obama Foundation got its wires crossed and accidentally started tweeting about George Floyd a week in advance.

Once the first tweet accidentally went out, they couldn’t delete it without raising suspicion about it, so they just left it up and are relying on Big Tech’s censorship to make sure nobody learns the truth that this was all planned in advanced and rigged as public theater.

In fact, there is growing evidence that George Floyd isn’t even dead. We’ll cover more on that later. We’ve already documented the fact that actors are now posing as cops as part of a rioting psyop (psychological operation) that’s being used to brainwash more people into supporting the communist uprising.

YouTube is now banning all videos that discuss the Obama Foundation tweet about George Floyd on May 17th, and Facebook has made sure that no one can share any link from NaturalNews.com as a further suppression of truthful, independent reporting.

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COVID: The squeeze play on the population

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It’s a con as old as the hills. The ancient chieftain of a little territory looks out across his domain and says to his top aide, “You know, we have these clusters of people worshiping different gods. That’s not good for business. Our business is CONTROL, so we need UNITY. Make up the name of some god, and go out there and sell it. Take down those little shrines and tell all the people they have to believe in the new deity. Use force and censorship when necessary. Later on, I may decide I’M really the name you chose for the new god. We’ll see. If you have any trouble right away, call me on my cell. I’ll be out sunning by the pool.”

Unity of thought. That’s what controllers are after.

In the case of this fake epidemic, the population must view WHAT IT IS in the way public officials and the press are describing it. Dissenting analysis must be pushed into the background.

Here is a 4/9 Bloomberg News headline: “5G Conspiracy Theory Fueled by Coordinated Effort.” [1] A sub-headline states, “Researchers identify disinformation campaign but not source.” The article begins: “A conspiracy theory linking 5G technology to the outbreak of the coronavirus is quickly gaining momentum…”

Obviously, such wayward thinking has to be stopped. And down further in the Bloomberg article, we have chilling news: “Some social media companies have taken action to limit the spread of coronavirus conspiracy theories on their platforms. On Tuesday, Google’s YouTube said that it would ban all videos linking 5G technology to coronavirus, saying that ‘any content that disputes the existence or transmission of Covid-19’ would now be in violation of YouTube policies.”

“In the U.K., a parliamentary committee on Monday called on the British government to do more to ‘stamp out’ coronavirus conspiracy theories, and said it was planning to hold a hearing later this year at which representatives from U.S. technology giants will be asked about how they have handled the spread of disinformation on their platforms.”

Independent analysis of the “epidemic” hangs in the balance. The masters of control want to maintain an information monopoly.

It goes without saying that, in order to achieve this monopoly, detailed surveillance of Internet content is necessary.

Another type of surveillance is also part of the squeeze play. Apple.com has the story (press release, 4/10) [2]:

“Across the world, governments and health authorities are working together to find solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect people… Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. A number of leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs around the world have been doing important work to develop opt-in contact tracing technology.”

“To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing. Given the urgent need, the plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy.”

Read more…

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