Nevada, South Carolina, Prairies vs Rest of Canada, Communist Manifesto and Great Canadian boom of the 1850s

Feb 21st, 2016 | By | Category: In Brief

Moonlight in Vermont ... where Bernie Sanders is coming from!

GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20 / SUNDAY FEBRUARY 21, 2016 : Watching MSNBC on US TV, from the northwest shore of Lake Ontario, you can almost feel various more rational and realistic strands of Democracy in America breathing easier after Hillary Clinton’s strong enough edging of Bernie Sanders (53%–47% finally?) in the Nevada Democratic Caucus.

(But you might also think, especially with the crowd-pleasing Republican insanity at the same time in South Carolina — Trump, Rubio, Cruz, etc —  the progressive cause in America this year would be a lot duller without the “Moonlight in Vermont” agrarian socialist romance. And then in some wild and crazy moment, quickly abandoned, you can’t help wondering : is Bernie actually working for Hillary?)

Our European branch ... sort of ... well, maybe ... or as the Beach Boys used to say, Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

Meanwhile, back here in the northern woods, a Forum Research poll has “found that 49% of Canadians would vote Liberal if an election were held today … the Conservatives, under interim leader Rona Ambrose … have the backing of a solid core of 32% of Canadians …  the NDP … has plummeted to 10% per cent.” (Guess where its vote has gone?) Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are “dominant in every area of the country except … the Prairies” (ie Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). For now, at any rate …

Finally, to commemorate the relative prosperity of the grand old cause of progress in northern North America at the moment, our stringer at The Oval Lounge in the old imperial metropolis offshore just emailed, to remind us that Sunday, February 21, 2016 marks the 168th birthday of the first publication of The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. What is arguably still the modern world’s most famous political pamphlet began its life, in German, in London, England, on February 21, 1848.

Tourists today visit grave of Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery, London, England, at £4 each. What would the author of The Communist Manifesto have thought of that?

All this finally reminds us as well that our esteemed colleague Randall White has at long last completed the next chapter of his current work in progress, Children of the Global Village — Canada in the 21st Century : Tales about the history that matters.

If you go to our Long Journey to a Canadian Republic page, on the bar above (or just CLICK HERE), you will find a short introduction to the project, along with the “Prologue : too much geography.” This is followed by links to the currently completed six chapters in Part I, and the first two chapters in Part II. Setting the stage for the founding moment of the present Canadian confederation in 1867, you will now find as well a link to Part II, Chapter 3 : “The Canadian boom of the 1850s and the road to Confederation, 1848–1864.”

“Pontiac in Council” — from a 19th century wood engraving now credited to Granger, NYC.

Once again we were fortunate enough to catch Dr. White at the Tim Horton’s across from Kew Gardens in Toronto, where he was discussing his struggles with Children of the Global Village with some younger female colleagues.

(Well with one at any rate, but she was in her prime and quietly young at heart.)

He confessed he has not been making as much progress with his current work in progress as initially envisioned. He has been swamped by urgent other work lately, and unable to give his account of the growth of Canada’s modern democracy the attention it deserves.

Yet here as elsewhere sunny days have now returned. Dr. White hopes to complete the book by the end of 2016 or, at worst, early in 2017. With Part II, Chapter 3 : “The Canadian boom of the 1850s and the road to Confederation, 1848–1864” — a challenging assignment in several senses — he has almost turned the corner that will have definitively arrived with the soon-to-be-completed Part II, Chapter 4 : “The American Civil War and the British North America Act, 1867.” And then it’s on to Part III, 1867–1963, and finally Part IV, 1963–??????!

From Édouard Manet’s Portrait of Stéphane Mallarmé, 1876. Currently at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

Meanwhile the new chapter posted here, on the great boom of the 1850s and so forth, begins by noting that the year in which  “responsible government” (aka early parliamentary democracy) first arrived in the old British North America also saw “The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, first published in London, England, in German, on February 21, 1848.”

(While back at the Tim Horton’s across from Kew Gardens in Toronto, Dr. White’s companion, in honour of her mother from Lévis, Quebec, and the French and English heritage of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, recited the first verse of the remarkable Stéphane Mallarmé poem, “M’introduire dans ton histoire” — or as a girl from Southwestern Ontario might say, “Put me in your story”!)

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