Forget the soapbox

It’s pretty much what politics is. Someone getting up on a soapbox to speak their mind through a megaphone and convince others that they’re right. Some soapboxes are bigger and better funded than others and some megaphones are louder than others but it all comes down to the same thing.

Political soapbox: The art of the possible

Sometimes what someone says through the megaphone doesn’t match what they agreed to behind closed doors. That’s usually when someone else gets on their own soapbox, picks up their own megaphone and lets people know about it or at least that’s what we hope happens.

So welcome to The Soapbox, a new column here on Forget The Box. It won’t all be metaphor, though. In fact, most of it will be very specific and real-world. This column is about politics in all its facets.

I plan to talk quite a bit about local matters but also comment on national and international stories. Pretty much anything in the realm of news and current events with political implications is fare game for this column.

Since what’s written here will be quite opinionated, it’s only fair that you get to know the author a bit. I’m not a politician, at least not professionally. Maybe I am in the way that we all are, but enough metaphors for one day already. You’d usually find me on the protest end of politics because generally we get the types of people in office who make policies that deserve to be protested. Fortunately, we’ve got a few people in office lately that do stand for something other than their own wallets, but they’re far from the norm.

By US (and even some parts of Ontario) standards, I’d be considered radical left. By some people I know in Montreal, I’m pretty moderate. By my own standards, I’m the norm or at least what I think the norm should be.

I’m for revolution (not the bloody kind) but can be satisfied with progress if it is truly progressive. I’m against the capitalist system and the idea that using money is in any way logical, but practically speaking, I realize that it’s the system we have for now, so people have to make it work for themselves until it changes, as long as they try and avoid using it to the detriment of others.

While I do vote and have even worked on political campaigns, I sometimes find myself siding with the anarchists. Where the system is oppressive, it needs to be destroyed. If the system can be fixed or remade completely, though, then it should be.

I also have an interest in the theatricality of politics, as I have mentioned a few times before on this site. Speaking of theatre, if you like Sunday Theatrics, don’t worry, this column doesn’t mean the old one is being replaced. We will still cover theatre on Forget The Box, but from the point of view of various writers, not just one.

So with that in mind, welcome. And remember, I’m not asking you to vote for me, just to read what I have to say. That’s my soapbox.

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AGAINST THE BUDGET AGAIN: As we reported earlier this month, around 10 000 people came out to protest the Charest government’s 2010 budget (or “more than a thousand” in Gazette-speak). It seems like this isn’t an issue that’s going to just go away…and for good reason. There’s another protest today (Thursday) from 12:45pm until 2pm in front of the Montreal Chamber of Commerce (2200 Mansfield, Peel Metro) where Charest will be speaking.

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