Radical thoughts and reflections on the election events last night

25 Sep

Last night there were two events held in KW around the debate that a variety of candidates were invited to, one was about art and culture and the other was held by the Lutheran Seminary about Social Justice issues given that the events overlapped and both issues were important for a variety of reasons we had discussion as to how to approach this and intervene to serve the class interests. The first event was a sort of debate where everyone can talk and the candidates can get up and speak for five minutes or so and the various tables discuss, the other event started with an acknowledgement of the candidates, a short panel, questions and breakout groups.

Given that tent city was going on and most of the residents while being directly affected by both events, are usually excluded from discussion on these I decided to bring some of the youth from tent city to the debate.

The first debate was quite interesting as even though all the political parties and people were allowed to sit at the discussion table and such only the so called major parties were allowed to speak, despite that and the fact that we could only be their for a short period of time the kids from the tent city myself and others engaged in the discussion who has access to art and culture, what does that art and culture reflect and why is art and culture at this point in time inaccessible to those who people who do not control the resources.

After we left we went to the Lutheran Seminary and after an introduction, I was surprised to see the organizer who invited me was none other then my old nemesis John Milloy whom I did not recognise despite shaking hands until he announced his name due to the fact that I left my glasses in montreal. After he acknowledged all the candidates including myself there was a small panel on five issues who gave brief presentation on a variety of topics from Indigenous issues to poverty, given the nature of the presentation as something abstract and superficial I got up and asked why the key causes were not addressed. This was followed by an intervention from a kid from tent city who gave a correct analysis and eloquent speech raising the issue why is the issue of poverty only addressed when people take to the streets and do actions like tent citys. This was followed by breakaway groups were the discussions were further carried.

In both of these discussions it became clear that politics is not something that the major partys have a monopoly on and our role is to only go out and vote every four years but rather politics is about addressing and engaging the polity, and that our contribution to these debates is to bring our experience of engaging in politics and politicizing these debates by taking it from just a issue based thing where we are given a list of promises and our role is to agree and disagree and vote for those that make the nicest list but rather bring it to a higher level by engaging the people in praxis analysis and praxis, in other words bringin the questions up that go to the root of the problem identifying the root cause taking it up for solution with the whole of the sector we are a part of and then implementing the solution. It is quite clear that the political process at this time does not only neglect this but rather is trying to take the polity out of the politics and rule by decree, where we are told what the problems are and what they say the solutions are and our role is to just be voting sheep, so then in terms of arts for example the question they pose is what is your opinion on the cbc as opposed to what is art and culture who has access to it why is it available to some people and not others and whose interests does it reflect, or in terms of indigenous issues the question is do you think residential schools are bad and that we should say nice things at the beginning of meetings acknowledging the lands and all sorts of issues while the key issue of what is our relation to these nations what agreements have we signed on a nation to nation basis and are we as a nation following international protocol on how we relate to other nations or are violating this, and if we are in violation of this how can this be sorted out and what is our obligations and dutys.

All these issues can only be solved when the people themselves become the decision makers and the current political process is blocking this. This is the cause of our current crisis, that the people are not engaging with the political system because the political system is void of politics and plays no role in engaging the polity to sort out their problems, which is the reason why those at tent city who were present at the debates were able top bring politics to the debates because those marginalized whether it be the workers at stelco whose pensions are sold down the river or Indigenous people or street youth engage in politics because they have no choice but to do that to not be organized and engaged is the difference between life and death, rights such as the right to housing or self determination which are inalienable only exist when you assert them and this cant be done by a individual but rather by a community organized and engaging the polity, only that way can the people defeat this block. This can only be done through praxis discussion praxis, not listening to someone reading a list.

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