Friday, January 02, 2015

In Whose Pocket?


We on the Left like to think that the Harper government is in the pocket of Big Business. But, Jim Stanford writes, recent decisions have caused business to re-evaluate its support for Harper and Co:

More recently, however, the relationship between Ottawa and the corporate sector has become more complicated. Canada’s business leaders might be wondering whether Santa Claus was replaced by the Grinch – because on several issues, the Conservatives have come into direct conflict with business. With a tough election looming, and the government’s actions increasingly dictated by political optics rather than any consistent economic ideology, executives have been negatively surprised by several recent edicts from Ottawa.

Stanford cites the following examples of political opportunism:

A potent symbol of that tension was the legislation introduced at year’s end, requiring companies to “justify” price differentials between Canada and the U.S. The Competition Bureau is authorized to collect confidential corporate financial data to facilitate this comparison. Few believe the Bureau has either the desire or the resources to investigate prices in any meaningful way, and it will have no power to do anything about “unjustified” price gaps in any event. Moreover, the only reason such gaps exist – a substantially overvalued Canadian currency – is disappearing before our eyes. So the legislation is pure theatre.

This silly but unprecedented intervention echoed another simmering confrontation between Ottawa and the telecommunications industry. The Harper government is actively aiding the creation of a fourth national wireless carrier, assuming that consumers would consequently enjoy a sea-change in quality and cost. (International evidence on that score is not encouraging.)

More open conflict was sparked by the Conservatives’ sudden decision to restrict the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program. It was the Harper government that threw this program wide open after 2007, but they soon faced growing (and understandable) popular anger – including from segments of their own base. So they dramatically rolled back the program. Business is still complaining, and loudly. The government was motivated more by polls than principle; they’d still like to expand the supply of low-wage labour through other means. But in the meantime, it’s another major irritant in its relations with business.

When you add the evidence up, it becomes clear the only ideology that guides Stephen Harper is power -- getting it  and keeping it. Organized labour has known that for a long time. More recently, Canada's veterans have also learned that hard lesson. And now business is beginning to understand that -- when push comes to shove -- it'll be thrown under the bus.

So, in the next election, where are the votes for Harper going to come from?


mogs moglio said...

"So, in the next election, where are the votes for Harper going to come from?"

Certainly not from under the bus eh?

Owen Gray said...

They'd have a hard time making it to the polls, Mogs.

the salamander said...

.. regarding that 'next election' .. thinking Indy bloggers, journos, artists need to 'feed' mainstream media. Facts/Concerns (such as yours) Art/Insight such as Franke James, Music/Performance - Neil Young, Satire/Commentary - 22 Minutes etc

I'm seeking minimalist Text/Concepts such as analogies that can travel via blog or twitter & get Canadians thinking.. or curious & more concerned.

Here's a quick sample effort, Owen
also posted to Creekside & Simon


.. Analogies regarding criminal Election Fraud needed
Here's a sample for 'Pollsters' to try out

Across Canada, Trust funds & Savings accounts at 240 bank branches of THE ROYAL CONSERVATIVE BANK are robbed on the same day, via electronic theft using directories, passwords & access codes shared within Head Office of THE ROYAL CONSERVATIVE BANK in Ottawa as well as to the branches. Thousand and thousands lose all their savings and Trust funds

Afterwards.. THE ROYAL CONSERVATIVE BANK spokespersons & lawyers immediately bluster that the robberies did not happen 'Baseless Smears' says one, over and over and over again.. they grudgingly describe the alleged event as isolated to just one branch.. and that all the other banks often allege they have been robbed.. and that people who lose all their money often exaggerate.

Banking agencies and the 'Authorities' slowly show some interest. After a year, THE ROYAL CONSERVATIVE BANK reluctantly states it may allegedly involve more than one branch in Guelph Ontario but if it even happened, it must have been the action of a lone perpetrator - perhaps the bank volunteer who's name they have already leaked to newspapers and TV media. Most all the bank staff from that branch have left the country or soon arrange 'immunity'

The funds are NEVER RECOVERED.. and there is ZERO REFUND for THE ROYAL CONSERVATIVE BANK's thousands and thousands of clients. After several years of investigation the closure rate is left at 1 out of the 240 criminal Fraud cases. The remaining 239 'cold cases' are declared unsolvable by The Banking Authorities & THE ROYAL CONSERVATIVE BANK cites the conviction of a single person as a great victory for Crime & Punishment & THE ROYAL CONSERVATIVE BANK. New banking secrecy laws are passed to make this so.

Now my question for erudite and non partisan Pollsters use is ..

'Are you, or do you know anyone 'Crazy' enough
to keep their money in a branch

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the commentary, salamander. Let's hope there are lots of people who consult alternative sources.

With the exception of the Toronto Star, the Conservatives seem to have the other major journals in their pocket.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

It's interesting Owen that Harper has, for anyone watching,turned off the Canadian majority, groups like Veterans, First Nations, and Unions to name a few.They must know that their doing this. It's almost like they are setting out to insult, exploit or abuse anyone who is not part of their base and now business is part of this hostility.
You ask a good question about where are the votes going to come from? It would be natural for someone to think that with this malevolent behaviour they seem to have an election death wish or maybe they think their non-inclusive plan to get elected in 2015 is sure proof, so it doesn't matter how they treat Canadians who are not part of this plan. My guess is that there caustic,controlling behaviour is so engrained it is now their identity. Being in denial they cannot judge how the Canadian electorate find them offensive. So, your question again. Where are the votes for Harper going to come from?

Owen Gray said...

When you add up the voters they have alienated, Pam, it's hard to see how they can claim a majority government.

Perhaps they're counting on fear and smear to give them a minority.

Rural said...

OR perhaps with their 'fair' Elections Act they have figured a way to disenfranchise and cheat their way to victory. Sorry but I have become so cynical that nothing would surprise me , and of course they now control any 'investigation' into electoral wrongdoing!
Do we need international observers for our next election?

Owen Gray said...

It's always been about making their way to the throne with as few votes as possible, Rural. I suspect they're sticking to that same strategy.

Anonymous said...

Harper's votes are coming from, all of the ethnic votes he has bought up. Harper selling Canada to China with his FIPPA deal, gives him thousands and thousands of ethnic votes. There are the votes from the people of the Ukraine. The Jewish votes and so on.

It is also not beneath Harper's dignity, to cheat to win either.

mogs moglio said...

More bad news for the Harperites;

"The Damage Caused By the Oil Bear Will Spread Far and Wide" from:

"Oil prices continued to fall this week but stock markets shrugged off the disarray this continued to cause in global markets after Janet Yellen whispered soothing words in their ears after the Fed's last meeting of the year on Wednesday. Mrs. Yellen has become a "bull whisperer" – fearful of upsetting the equity market, she cloaks her words in indirection and equivocation in an effort to keep them calm as she prays for an economic lift-off that will take her institution off the hook."

December 21st 2014.

e.a.f. said...

major corporation still won't back Mulcair or the Greens and they aren't too sure about "the kid". They will roll over and do as always, vote for stevie slime. They may not like his leg. regarding the price differences, but what they really ought to be looking at is the invasion of their corporate privacy.

You have some bureaucrat mucking about in your corporate files, who knows what could happen next. The leg. may also simply be window dressing so stevie slime can have the bureaucracy validate the corporate insistence there is a need for the price difference.

I frankly don't care about the price differences. Most of the stuff, we don't need anyhow. So what if a T.V. is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper in the USA. They deal in volume. We do not do volume in this country, we have a small population. If everyone is so concerned about the price difference, don't buy or buy made in Canada.

The "price difference" routine is a bunch of crap. Its cheaper in the U.S.A.. Its cheaper in Hong kong, Its cheaper in a whole lot of other places. Just because we sit north of the U.S.A. doesn't mean prices have to be the same. Get a grip. People complain about that and the government jumps into action. 1,200 murdered/missing women and all stevie slime has to say an inquiry isn't on his radar. Almost no one in Canada complains.

Corporations will take the long view of things and given the gift of trade agreements, they will all vote and support the cons again. They understand the need for stevie slime to "play" to the voters, to be able to continue to grant them all those nice tax breaks. Another government, a lot of those nice tax breaks might go out the window. The impact of what stevie is doing is minimal, in terms of what stevie has already done for corporations.

Owen Gray said...

You may be right e.a.f. Perhaps Harper figures that, when it comes to Corporate Canada, he has an audience with nowhere is go.

Owen Gray said...

It's your last sentence, Anon, that begs particular attention.

Owen Gray said...

It's an old problem, Mogs -- the resource trap. As an economist, you'd think that Harper had heard of it.

Dana said...

Owen, you did it again.

The fat dweeb is NOT AN ECONOMIST.

Please stop perpetuating right wing bullshit.

Owen Gray said...

I intended the reference to be ironic, Dana. The implied meaning is the opposite of the literal meaning.

mogs moglio said...

Dana don't punish Owen for his use of literature we all agree Harper is not an economist. Hell I read it took him six years for a two year course. A bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Calgary. He never wrote any economics papers nor did he practice as an economist. Owen knows this too. Harper is the great pretender to the thrown and now Dana "Steve its time to leave" enjoy this;)

Have a wonderful New Year!!!

mogs moglio said...

Published on Dec 19, 2014

Michael Harris, investigative journalist and author of "Party of One", addressed delegates of Unifor's Ontario Regional Council, sharing some of his startling findings about the Harper government and their conservative agenda.

Michael wake up the slumbering Canadian herd.

Owen Gray said...

Harris solidly documents everything he writes, Mogs. Let's hope Canadians are paying attention to him.

Owen Gray said...

I don't take Dana's comment personally, Mogs. He's just frustrated that so many Canadians continue to believe a line that is so obviously untrue.