Turning of the Tide (Opinion)

By David Josephy

When we look back at 2020, we will see not only the tragedy and turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic, but also the turning of the tide against the wave of reactionary right-wing politics that started with the “Brexit” vote of 2016. The evidence has poured in from around the world. In the U.K., opinion polls show that support for Boris Johnson’s Conservatives has plummeted; Keir Starmer’s Labour Party now leads.  In Bolivia, and now also in Peru, right-wing coups have been reversed by the people, marching in the streets and voting at the ballot box.  Chile has voted overwhelmingly to replace the right-wing constitution imposed by the fascist Pinochet dictatorship in the 1970s; the new constitution will be drafted by a constituent assembly with gender parity. In Brazil, politicians aligned with the neo-fascist President Bolsonaro went down to heavy defeats in the Nov. 15 local elections. The results are being called “the Bolsonarista breakdown” and the Rio de Janeiro paper O Globo said, “The left rejuvenated on Sunday.”

In New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party was re-elected with massive support, winning the first majority ever achieved under their mixed-member proportional-representation voting system.  Here in Canada, John Horgan and the NDP swept to a resounding majority win, crushing the conservative “BC Liberals” and winning ridings that had never before voted NDP. In the USA, to our great relief, we can look forward to a Biden administration that will take action on the climate crisis, healthcare, and controlling the pandemic. Effective COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and will be available soon. We can look forward to the new year with optimism!