In his piece titled A Big Messy Essay on... Occupy Wall and Bay Streets, Joshua Hind tries to explain why taking the streets and protesting may look foolish when one considers the status of Canada's banks and its banking regulations.
Taking the Canadian system at face value, there's little point to an Occupy Bay Street movement. Canadian banks were heavily regulated in 1991 and the result of that legislation was a banking industry that couldn't rely on speculation in the way their southern cousins could. Regulation also prevented the predatory issuing of mortgages to people who obviously couldn't pay them as well as the debt swapping that followed the housing boom in the US. Our housing market hasn't yet collapsed and doesn't look prone to doing so and finally, while we do have a degree of income disparity in Canada, our aged but relatively robust social safety net does catch many who fall through the cracks. People, who in the American system, would plummet.
If you take the Canadian system at face value, we have major problems, but they're not irreparable. Our most pressing matter is a political one, attributable to our antiquating electoral system. Despite the impression we might get at election time, I don't think Canadians as a whole are shifting to the right. Quite the contrary, if there was a Conservative shift within the electorate, the results of the recent provincial elections have shown it to be the briefest of flirtations. Most provinces have seen big gains by the NDP, a trend I think will continue over the next 4 years.
Canada is certainly in desperate need of electoral reform, but I think that reform is achievable within the established system.
The problem is our US brothers and sisters, who are fucked up in a way we can't possible imagine.
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