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On Blue Collar Populism, Barbershop Cocktails & Taxing Empty Houses


by Sean Orr | I took a week off but I still could’t get away from Trump: Former B.C. NDP strategist says party can learn from Trump campaign. “The NDP, both federally and provincially, have to look at this and, get away from the sexist and the racist and offensive language … and realize that this was a working class campaign…”

The fact that former NDP strategist Bill Tieleman has to say this in the first place is infuriating. His NDP won because the right was split. It wasn’t on account of blue collar populism. And besides, you just know that Christy will do the same thing, only much, much better.

Also, can you really untangle Trump’s populism from his racism?

This kind of populist rage just won’t happen here short of the boomers losing everything in a housing collapse (then all bets are off) And yet, as I said last week, Trump didn’t gain working class voters, it’s just that the Clinton campaign lost them. Michael Den Tandt in the National Post (of all places) gets it: Could President Donald Trump be the lifeline Canada’s New Democrats have been waiting for? “Post-election data confirms the Trumpquake was less a GOP advance than it was a Democratic collapse”.

Forget Donald Trump, could Justin Trudeau be the lifeline Canada’s New Democrats have been waiting for? Canada’s unions call anti-pension bill C-27 a betrayal. “A charismatic unqualified narcissist who owes everything to his father and promises impossible things then caves to the establishment immediately after getting elected … I think we already have our Trump…” writes Nicholas Ellan.

To wit, Trudeau connects Trump win to concerns about the middle class: ‘People want a shot at success’. Oh, you mean the middle class people that dine at the 21 Club?

It’s rigged (because you rigged it). Liberals accused of trying to skew results of electoral reform consultations. Oh, great! So now it’s going to go to a referendum where so-called “low-information” voters will be manipulated and lied to again. Referendumb is more like it (sorry).

Trudeau certainly has the whole skewed logic thing going for him. Trudeau says pipelines will pay for Canada’s transition to a green economy. It doesn’t work like that, Justin. In what kind of bizzaro universe do you live in?

Probably the same one that awards Christy Clark a prize for apparently saving the Great Bear Rainforest.

That’s because it’s same universe where the sister of the author of The Corporation gives a 20 year old 15 months probation for assault because he was filming Kinder Morgan employees: Pipeline protester sentenced to probation for assaults on Burnaby Mountain. “If there was no physical contact, then what is there to be sorry about,” he said, suggesting what he had done was not violent. “It’s kind of hypocritical of the system since this Canadian democracy was founded upon literal genocide…” I like this kid.

And it’s still the same universe where North America is flooded in warmth but our elected representatives are arguing over the word “fart”: ‘Fart’ comment by Conservative MP doesn’t blow over well with Green Party leader. “Why does this government treat Alberta like a fart in the room that nobody wants to talk about or acknowledge?” Maybe because it stinks? Like bitumen.

Meanwhile just down the street, this is happening: Ottawa woman wakes to find anti-Semitic graffiti spray-painted on her home. Is Trudeau’s quick embrace of Trump a tacit condoning of this kind of hate? Does it go all the way back to John A. Macdonald? Did you know you could turn a swastika into the Windows95 logo?

Flyer suggesting racism circulating in Richmond. Suggesting? Call a spade a spade you weakling, and stop calling it the alt-right.

Canada’s Supreme Court hands the BCTF a huge win. So why am I still angry? I don’t know. Personally, I’m always angry, so I can’t help you out there, bud.

It wouldn’t be a TATS without at least some housing news: Vancouver slaps $10,000 a year tax on empty homes. Lie about it and it’s $10,000 a day. Once again, Nicholas Ellan:

It’s pretty bizarre this draft legislation requires landowners to have a tenancy agreement to exempt themselves from the vacancy tax. Raise your hand if you lived in a shithole and rented month-to-month in cash with no formal lease in the last few years. This policy as drafted is going to fuck over precarious renters depending on dodgy landlords for their shelter.

Related: Money-laundering watchdog cites ‘significant’ deficiencies at 100-plus B.C. real estate firms.

Ironic that herd mentality prevents herd immunity: Vaccination rates too low for ‘herd immunity’ in most Vancouver-area schools, study finds. “Private, non-religious schools had vaccination rates about 10 per cent lower than public schools…” Is this one more thing we can blame on rich, entitled boomers?

‘I have no idea what’s going on’ of the day: Rape culture, CanLit, and You.

Bummer: Vancouver Aquarium’s resident beluga whale Qila dies.

About time: Putting the bar in the barber shop? Province opens up liquor licencing to all businesses.

Now just fix the stupid Cider House Rules: B.C. cider producers thirsty for regulatory changes.

Headline of the year: VR porn event forced to shut down after too many came early.

On Ken Sim’s So-Called “Swagger” and ABC’S Class War

Sean Orr is back from his hiatus with a rundown of the local headlines that have been running on a ticker tape through his mind over the past six months...

On Post-Election Recuperation, Platform Paradoxes and Refund Communities

In his latest read of the local news headlines, Sean Orr finds irony in "safety, affordability, and sustainability", and shouts out a bunch of amazing local organizations working on the frontlines.

On Running for City Council, Playing Whack-a-Mole with Homelessness, and the Public Washroom Deficit

In his latest read of the local news headlines, Sean Orr finds a park ranger with a grudge, a gross misuse of air quotes and Tripadvisor slander.

On Living in a City Preoccupied with Street Cleaning, Chandeliers, and Campaigns Against the Homeless

In his latest read of the local news headlines, Sean Orr hones in on the recent Langley shootings, and the ongoing criminalizing and dehumanizing of the homeless population.