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Vote with a Brick

Author: Steve & Tim

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A podcast about Canadian politics hosted by two thirty-something white men from Ontario (yeah -- we know).
19 Episodes
This week we're taking another look at Canada's foreign policy, through the framing of Ed Burmila's "Naught by NATO" -- an article we've referenced before. Since the last time we tried to talk about this was frankly a bit embarrassing, we brought in a ringer to help us stumble through. Kaliene Jackson has studied the rhetoric and impacts (and the gap between them) of Canada's Feminist Foreign Aid program and helps us envision what a truly leftist foreign policy would look like. 
We've been taking a little summer break and this week we're bringing you an episode we recorded in the midst of the Ontario election. As a bulwark against the ongoing trudge into barbarism and cynicism, we've dreamt up some grounded, realistic "demands" to immediately make worker's lives materially better. Steve takes a quick look at improvements that could immediately improve housing affordability, desirability and walkability. And continues to gind his axe about landlords.Tim (of course) wanted to talk about trains.H-hey guys? We really should fix that enviornment, eh? And: Is $15 "Fair"? Is $20 "Plenty?" We're well overdue a raise -- and a union. Some stuff we mentioned: The Trains that Subsidize Suburbia - GO Transit Commuter Rail"How Are You Going to Pay for That? Smart Answers to the Dumbest Question in Politics" by Ryan Cooper Sixth's Assessment and Fairness Bourgeois, TikTokker Loves Trains
Ep. 16 - Oh... Canada 🤦

Ep. 16 - Oh... Canada 🤦


This week, Tim and a very congested Steve are joined by indigenous activist and labour organizer Carissa Taylor. A recent transplant to the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations -- also known as Vancouver -- Carissa shares how she's navigated her work with indigenous peoples on the Western Coast and how she understands Canada Day through the lens of her own identity as a settler-passing Métis woman and an anti-colonial activist. TL;DR: fuck the flag; they can have it. Stavros Halkias "Canada is Stupid" (RE: Land Acklowledgements) Blue Jays Logo: Jets Logo:"The Dawn of Everything" Graeber and Rengrow:
Well, it's a month late and an (Australian) dollar short, but we are finally releasing a fascinating conversation with labour organizer (and Shadowfist player) Cameron Watson. From ranked ballot voting to whacky independents and democracray sausages, there's a lot to envy about Australia's political landscape. At the very least, you can't say it's boring (which is a lot more than we can say about Ontario's now-thankfully-over provincial election. How the Australian Senate Works:'re welcome:
This week, Tim (all by himself) brings you a fascinating conversation about populism with political scientist Simon Black. Tim and Simon discuss how the rhetoric and "thin" political strategy of appealing to working people as a class has been so effective on the political right and what the left can do in response.Find Simon on Twitter:'s The Matter With Kansas? by Thomas Frank of the American Dream by Mike Davis Great Moving Right Show, an essay, by Stuart Hall Hard Road to Renewal by Stuart Hall Moscrop, Fighting Populism by Understanding Perceptions Jackson, What The Left Can Learn From the "Freedom Convoy" by Emma Jackson a Left Populism by Chantal Mouffe
Thank god it's over. The election has come and gone and 33% of Ontarians have spoken: we apparently forgot what the last two years have been like and decided we want more of the same -- plus a new highway, I guess. Steve and Tim do their best to recap the final day of the election and talk about what the left can do now. 
This week we tried to come up with things to say about this dismal, boring election, which seems like it's heading directly into the PC's pockets. In brighter news, the NDP is set to elect more landlords than unionists and the Liberals are accusing them of hating women. It's been a great week. 
This week we took a little listen to the leaders' debates. Steve tries to highlight some better moments and, in typical academic tradition, Tim discusses the futility of debates in general. We discuss some late campaign promises from the NDP and Liberals and lament the fact that we are stuck with the leaders (and parties) we have, not the ones we wish we had. 
We're back at it with another campaign update. This week we discuss the northern Ontario leader's debate, some new campaign promises, including the various ways that the platforms overlap (especially the NDP and Liberals). We try our best to make sense of so-called strategic voters and Tim confonts Steve with the polls -- lest we get too excited about the future of our province, god forbid. 
The race to the premier's office has begun and we're here to pretend we understand what is going on. This is the first of our four-part weekly election coverage. In this episode, we talk about the major party platforms; the lack of ambition and enthusiasm from the supposedly left-leaning NDP; and the Liberals' half-measures that seem to only help suburban homeowners. We also fret about the popularity of Doug Ford and the polls that seem to indicate we're in for another PC majority. Oh goodie. 
It's a long one this week! Tim brought in one of his longtime colleagues and friends, political scientist Blayne Haggart, to explain how Canadian federal budgets work and how this one, specifically, helps (or tries to help) Canadians with housing, affordability, the enviornment and healthcare. He also spends a surprising amount of time extolling the virtues of heat pumps. The 2022 Federal Budget - Mazzucato's "The Value of Everything" -
After a technical snafu, we were forced to improvise this week and thought: what better way to gear up for election season than to detail the many times Doug Ford let Ontarians down?  CBC: 'I regret going': Protester says he spent life savings to support Freedom ConvoyCBC: Ontario's 6th wave of COVID-19: How bad will it get?CTV: Ontario likely seeing 100K to 120K new COVID-19 cases each day, head of science table saysCBC (Analysis): How the war in Ukraine showed that Canada is ill-equipped to fight a modern armyCP24: Hot poles: Antarctica, Arctic 40 and 30 degrees Celsius above normalCBC: Police association stands by decision to defy commission order to remove thin blue line patch"The Barricade" by Lowest of the Low, © Beer, Graffiti Songs, used with permission
This episode we talk with Ayeza, one of the founders of LiberAsian London, about organizing against hate, organizing on the left in general, and what we can learn from revolutionary optimism.LiberAsian London on Instagram: Shakur's Autobiography:"The Barricade" by Lowest of the Low, © Beer, Graffiti Songs, used with permission
If you're like us, you woke up on Tuesday morning to the breaking news that the NDP and Liberals have entered into a "Supply and Confidence Agreement" that will (hopefully) prevent another election until 2025. In this special bonus episode of the podcast, Tim and Steve will do their darndest to help you understand what that means. Spoiler alert: it's not bad -- in fact, it's quite good -- but not nearly enough. Delivering for Canadians Now, A Supply and Confidence AgreementCTV News: Liberals' deal with NDP will keep Trudeau minority in power for 3 more years
This was a tough one. Tim and Steve try their best to summarize several decades of Ukrainian struggles for independence and autonomy. We grapple with the reality that there are no easy answers, no good outcomes and very little we can do to help.Donate to the Ukrainian Red Cross CTV: CRA to send out new round of letters checking eligibility from CERB recipientsCBC: Private ski club runs big surplus, buys new snow-making gear, largely thanks to federal COVID reliefCBC: Exclusive golf course books $1 million surplus, aided by federal COVID-19 reliefUkraine Live Map: Far-right extremists in Ukrainian military bragged about Canadian training, report saysThe Conversation: Economic sanctions will hurt Russians long before they stop Putin’s war in Ukraine"The Barricade" by Lowest of the Low, © Beer, Graffiti Songs, used with permission
We'll be back March 11thDonate to the Red Cross:
In this episode, Tim takes us  through a short history of the NDP, from it's beginnings as the CCF (Co-operative Commonwealth Federation), through it's various dalliances with centrism and arriving where we are today. Steve tries desperately to contextualize this within the frame of US politics amidst his limited knowledge of history. Regina Manifesto: Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey:"The Barricade" by Lowest of the Low, © Beer, Graffiti Songs, used with permission
"The difficult second episode" kicks off with our new theme song and a discussion of the new name of the show, based on said theme song. Special thanks to Ron Hawkins and the Lowest of the Low for the inspiration. This week we spent far too much time trying to convince each other that the so-called "Freedom" Convoy of mostly-not-truckers that descended on Ottawa was anything but a complete clusterfuck. A fascist coup? A threat to democracy? An indictment of the police and rule of law? All of the above, clearly. Steve tries to polish the turd as a best he can -- the organizers were able to galvanize support by co-opting  pro-working class rhetoric, after all. Tim bristles as this -- which is his wont. "The Barricade" by Lowest of the Low, © Beer, Graffiti Songs, used with permission
After nearly two years of constant arm-twisting, Steve was able to convince Tim to record a podcast. In this first episode, we discuss the current state of COVID-19 in Canada -- namely, that we all need to "get used to it" now, apparently. We skirt around talking about the "freedom" convoy and Tim educates Steve on the late NDP leader, Alexa McDonough.