Tom Walkom writes this morning that, when times get tough, people look for scapegoats:
In Germany after World War I, the scapegoats were Jews. In Canada during the slump of 1919-20, popular anger was taken out on Polish, Finnish, Russian and Ukrainian immigrants believed to be Bolshevik agitators. Many were rounded up and jailed without trial at the Kapuskasing internment camp in Northern Ontario.
But the Harper government isn't quite so openly xenophobic. Those it seeks to blame for our current economic malaise are unions:
This is the significance of its extraordinary intervention in two Air Canada labour disputes.
While it is common for governments to beat up on their own workers, it is most unusual for them to take sides in private sector disputes, particularly in a competitive area like air travel.
The government’s stated reason for intervention in the Air Canada disputes — that it was protecting the economy — was laughable. This was particularly true in its first intervention, against striking ticket agents.That strike, which did not involve air crew, would not have stopped Air Canada from
It's a tactic which has been tried recently in Wisconsin and Ohio -- although it's interesting to note that, in Ohio, Governor John Kasich's attempt to destroy the state's public service unions is up for recall. And, according to Talking Points Memo, the tide is running heavily against Kasich:
The Quinnipiac poll showed that 56% of Ohioans think that SB 5, the new anti-union law passed by the Ohio Legislature and signed by Kasich, should be repealed, with 32% saying it should be kept. Independent voters favor repeal 52% to 33%, and even a little more than a third of Republicans want it scrapped. State residents may have that chance this November, as pro-union forces delivered more than five times the needed amount of signatures to force a ballot referendum.
All of this is immaterial to the Conservatives, of course. As Texans suggest that Harper's plan to build more prisons is fiscal folly, the government -- like the Titanic -- speeds ahead towards the iceberg. If it were really paying attention, the government might take a good look at Ohio -- because what goes around, comes around.