Sunday, March 30, 2014

Next On His Hit List

Stephen Harper does not believe in creating a big tent. His political success has been based on wedges. He drives them between people and reassembles the pieces that fit his agenda. And so, Tasha Kheiriddin writes, he will use labour unions as a wedge in the next election:

Last fall, at its national convention, the federal Conservatives debated a slew of resolutions designed to curb union power, including that of federal public service unions. Six of the resolutions passed — including some supporting the government bringing public sector benefits “in line with those of the private sector” — and others on broader issues, such as ending mandatory union dues and membership.

Harper calculates that labour will swing behind the NDP and split the vote for the Liberals:

Riling the labour movement will help the Conservatives if unions step up support for their natural political ally: the NDP. Stopping the bleed of NDP votes to the Liberals would help deny the Liberals seats, particularly in Quebec, where the NDP gained the bulk of its caucus, and the 905, where vote splits helped several Conservative candidates sidle up the middle to victory.

But, Kheiriddin warns, the plan could backfire

if unions, particularly those representing the public sector, decide to help the Liberals on the assumption that they are more likely to be their new bosses in Ottawa. That relationship would require an expression interest on the part of the Liberal party, however, and there’s no major indication of that — yet.

With this prime minister, it's all politics all the time. And it's always about gaining the upper hand. You may have noticed that -- lately -- that strategy has been failing.

Nonetheless, unions are next on Harper's hit list.


Lorne said...

Owen, Machiavellian does not seem an adequate descriptor of the Harper agenda, does it? I long for the day our country can be made whole, but that will never happen until we have an electorate not only sufficiently engaged to oust this pernicious regime, but also prepared to do the hard work of carefully monitoring its successors.

Owen Gray said...

Harper treats us with contempt, Lorne. And we have dull and lazy enough to let him treat us contemptuously.

Rural said...

The man pictured above is not the only one to first come to power via a democratic process only to then become a dictator. Need I say more?

Owen Gray said...

Precisely, Rural. It's so much easier to establish a dictatorship if you can manage to get yourself elected the first time round.

Dana said...

This is Harper's third government, Owen.

We are already proven fools.

Owen Gray said...

Could it be that we're slow learners, Dana?

Anonymous said...

What are people to do when, a leader lies, deceives, thieves, is corrupt and cheats to win? Harper reneged on everything he said. Harper a Conservative? The hell he is. He even lied about that.

Should Canadians form a posse, march to Ottawa and bodily throw Harper right off the planet? I'm game.

Canadians have to change their mind sets. We must never expect the best from Harper, we must learn to expect the worst because, worst is all we are going to get, from that evil fascist monster.

How do people think Hitler gained power? Harper idolizes Hitler and his Third Reich. Harper wants Canada as, his Fourth Reich.

We all know just who, donated to Harper's Alliance in 2002. However, good luck trying to wake Canadians up. And, Harper depends on our stupidity. Just as Hitler and Goebbels did.

Owen Gray said...

Harper does, indeed, depend on our stupidity, Anon.

The solution, then, is for Canadians to stop acting stupidly.

Anonymous said...

Harper is CRAP (Conservative Reform Alliance Party) I do not remember any of those previous incarnations being fixated on Union busting. These are obviously marching orders from the top the 1%. As only the 1% benefit when labor is short changed to allow more profit.

Here in BC the Unions had an anti Bill Bennett our MLA campaign before the last provincial election. I was surprised it didn't work as provincial liberal Bill toes the federal provincial line that we need to import lots of cheap and or red labor. The miners who now earn top wages for this area in the East Kootenays will be sorry when the federal cons and provincial libs replace their high paying union jobs with temporary foreign workers. It will be too late when they line up for EI benefits and find out there is none.

Brining in the temp workers is a big union busting move as well as it under mines the domestic labor market, which in turn affects wages and benefits of domestic workers.



Anonymous said...

Mr. Gray,

I can't find that Hitler speech.

Apocryphal or do you have a source?

Not to say he was a union lover . . .

Owen Gray said...

It has long been Conservative policy to lower wage costs, Mogs. This is another step toward achieving that goal.

Mr. Harper isn't working for labour. He's firmly on the side of capital.

Owen Gray said...

Some claim the quote is apocryphal, Anon. Nonetheless, he did ban labour unions on May 2, 1933.

He set out his vision in a speech in support of "The Enabling Act" in March of 1933. You can read the speech at: