Ten anti-union resolutions were passed at the Conservative convention in Calgary. They are aimed at making Canada a "right to work" nation. It's wise, therefore, to examine what has happened in the nation which pioneered right to work legislation. Right to work is the brain child of the Republican Party -- the source of inspiration for Harper Conservatives.
On Friday, in The New York Times, Paul Krugman wrote that Republicans have declared war on the poor:
Republicans in leadership positions try to modulate their language a bit, but it’s a matter more of tone than substance. They’re still clearly passionate about making sure that the poor and unlucky get as little help as possible, that — as Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, put it — the safety net is becoming “a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency.” And Mr. Ryan’s budget proposals involve savage cuts in safety-net programs such as food stamps and Medicaid.All of this hostility to the poor has culminated in the truly astonishing refusal of many states to participate in the Medicaid expansion. Bear in mind that the federal government would pay for this expansion, and that the money thus spent would benefit hospitals and the local economy as well as the direct recipients. But a majority of Republican-controlled state governments are, it turns out, willing to pay a large economic and fiscal price in order to ensure that aid doesn’t reach the poor.
Modern conservatives have come to view poverty as a moral failure -- a sin which must be punished. And market ideology provides the rationale for their insanity:
So what’s this all about? One reason, the sociologist Daniel Little suggested in a recent essay, is market ideology: If the market is always right, then people who end up poor must deserve to be poor. I’d add that some leading Republicans are, in their minds, acting out adolescent libertarian fantasies. “It’s as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now,” declared Paul Ryan in 2009.
Mr. Harper said that the next election should not be about choosing among candidates for Canadian Idol. But, of course, everything he says is laced with unintended irony. It's obvious that the Conservative Party of Canada sees itself as a contestant on American Idol.
And, like their Republican mentors, they stand firmly by the wealthy.