‘New’ Labour Party a fig leaf?

“Why haven’t any of the NDP leadership candidates embraced the ‘third way’ of Anthony Gidden’s and Tony Blair’s ‘New’ Labour Party?” ask Leo Panitch, York’s CRC in comparative political economy, and co-writer Colin Leys, professor emeritus of political studies at Queen’s University, in a Jan.22 Globe & Mail column. “After all,” they continue, “until now, social democracy in Canada has always followed the example of the British Labour Party…. If not one of the NDP leadership candidates wants to do so, it is because they see that, far from representing a profound ‘rethinking’ of social democracy, the ‘third way’ theory is little more than an inadequate fig leaf behind which the ‘New Labour’ tries to conceal its naked embrace of the capitalist economy.”

Canada, the census and immigrants

“Canada does a better job of integrating immigrants than any other country,” says Prof. Valerie Preston, Graduate Geography Program director, Faculty of Arts, during a discussion on the Jan. 21 CTV “News & Current Affairs” program. The program topic was the 2001 census, the distribution of new immigrants in Canada and the increase in visible minorities in the country. “To be a visible minority in Canada is to bear a penalty in the labour market for reasons we don’t yet understand,” Preston continues. “We cannot account for the fact that visible minorities have lower incomes.”

Super ad for Super Bowl

A small Toronto ad agency, Downtown Partners DDB, is the first Canadian ad firm to land a spot on the US telecast of Sunday’s Super Bowl XXXVII game, according to the Jan. 22 Toronto Star. “This business is so much hype, but I think this is actually quite an accomplishment,” says marketing professor and former ad executive Alan Middleton. “Its very unusual for agencies in general in Canada to get anybody in the States to accept their ads. It’s relatively common that Canadian ads will be picked up for use in other places in the world. But it’s unusual in the States, and unique for such a high-profile event as this one.”

Two new solitudes

In a Jan. 21 CBC “News & Current Affairs” program, guests were commenting on the new census figures and the pattern revealed about immigrants. One guest said a picture emerges of a country with two new solitudes – urban multicultural versus rural unicultural. “So there’s a possibility for intolerance, misunderstanding, racism [and] tensions to emerge between a kind of urban Canada and rural Canada,” remarks Daniel Drache, director of York’s Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies. “That’s a very big concern.”