Big Rock Candy Mountain

The official voice of the Deseret Liberation Organization

America is surrounded by idiots

America and Israel are very similar. According to people who claim not to be antisemitic, they are both controlled by sinister Zionist fiends. Both are democracies whose foreign policies are highly criticized by third-world kleptocracies. Now, these two great allies are both surrounded by crazy people. On our North:

Canada has become ungovernable, entering a period of Italian-style instability. The beginnings of the recent parliamentary crisis were innocuous enough. The Conservative minority government, elected in October, put out a fiscal statement which proposed ending the subsidy to political parties as a cost-cutting measure. The response from the Liberal Party was unprecedented. They proposed forming a coalition with the New Democrats, a smaller socialist party. The Conservative response to the proposed coalition was equally unprecedented. They asked the Queen to prorogue parliament, something that had only ever been done in times of national emergency. Michaëlle Jean, the Queen’s unelected representative in Canada, decided what constituted the people’s will at the beginning of December and allowed the Prime Minister to suspend parliament–until today.

If Quebec leaves, it will set a dangerous precedent and could have major effects on the world economy. The South looks even worse, but not as bad as you might think:

1.The narcogangs still seem to be largely focused on fighting each other, not on bringing down the Mexican state. They have stepped up attacks on Mexican officials, police, and the army, but more out of necessity because Calderon has taken the war to them. As yet, there is no alliance unifying all of the narcogangs into one force that seeks to challenge and topple the Mexican state. Now, this could still happen, and even if it didn’t Mexico could still be fatally compromised, but thus far the gangs are still mostly killing each other.

2. The gangs have no political agenda; their main goal remains selling dope. They are not providing basic services to Mexico’s citizens, nor are they trying to create a parallel system of political order to rival the Mexican state and erode its legitimacy in the eyes of the people. In fact, even if most Mexicans think the gangs are winning, they by all accounts still hate them and what they are doing to the country. In that sense, Mexico’s gangs are not a true insurgency. There are signs — literally, in this sense — that the gangs are beginning to compete for the allegiances of the Mexican people and wage a strategic communications battle against Calderon. This is a troubling development. But for now, these campaigns are not focused on advancing rival forms of gang-led governance; their goal is simply to brand their cartel opponents as illegitimate in the eyes of the Mexican people.

3. Calderon’s government is fighting for its life, but it hasn’t lost (yet). In fact, there is still a chance that the worsening trend of the past few years actually reflects a problem getting worse before it gets better. Calderon may yet break the backs of the gangs, and the recent surge in violence may reflect the increasingly desperate actions of cartels that, for the first time in Mexican history, are now up against an adversary that is not content merely to look the other way, but is instead willing to do what is necessary to reclaim his country. Even if he succeeds, for his troubles, Calderon will likely spend the rest of his life after government in exile from his own country out of fear for his life.

So basically, Mexico is horribly unstable but still tolerable, while something interesting is happening in Canada for some reason.

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Filed under: Politics

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