June 22, 2011
This article was prepared by The Spark editorial board and first appeared in the June 2011 issue of The Spark.
The most recent Statistics New Zealand figures show slight upward trends in terms of employment, income, and labour force participation. By no means can we equate this to a beginning of the end of the recession, as these are very minimal increases outside of and below the scale required to show recovery. One thing certain from the gendered statistics contained in the March 2011 quarter Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) and the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) is that women are still coming off worse under capitalism and are in fact being disproportionately impacted by the recession. Read the rest of this entry »
June 22, 2011
This article by Roger Annis, a long-time socialist and retired aerospace worker in Vancouver BC, was first published in Green Left Weekly but was also written with publication in The Spark in mind. It was published by Green Left Weekly on May 23 and also in the June issue of The Spark.
The incumbent Conservative Party sailed to victory in Canada’s federal election on May 2 with the first majority government in the federal Parliament since the 2000 election. There was celebration in the boardrooms of the country. The victory caps a decades-long drive by much of Canada’s business elite to fashion a strong national government on a hard-right agenda.
The result is a deep disappointment for progressive-minded people in Canada. The Conservatives led by Stephen Harper will form the most right-wing government in modern Canadian history, extending the regressive path of their two minority governments won in the 2006 and 2008 elections.
But there is much in the election outcome from which to take encouragement. The Conservative vote rose only by a modest two percentage points (to forty percent), notwithstanding the huge sums the party spent on its campaign and the support it received from nearly every daily newspaper in the country. In Quebec, its electoral fortunes continue to decline, down 25 percent from 2008 and 33 percent from 2006. Read the rest of this entry »