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Tearing Down Democracy: One Union Card at a Time

August 23rd, 2006

Gerry Nicholls of the National Citizens Coalition has an article in today’s Globe and Mail pointing out an interesting policy paper that the CAW has produced. The paper, entitled Eye Of The Storm: The CAW and the Remaking of Canadian politics (pdf document).

It’s a stunning paper, paid for by yours truly and his partners in car making, and represents a complete derailment of Buzz Hargrove’s reality train. In it, they call for a complete tearing down of our democracy, although that’s not what they say directly. The meat of this thing is at the bottom of page 23:

We want a society in which working people can have true hope, security and equality; a society with full economic and political democracy. To accomplish this, we need to be able to thoroughly regulate private business; manage employment, investment and trade; expand public ownership and non-profit enterprise; and run the economy in the interests of the working people. If we succeed, we will have fundamentally transformed our economy and society, replacing capitalism with socialism.

The document reads like a manifesto, and should be mandatory reading for any soft leftists, who thinks it’s about making things a bit fairer. It is about taking away your choices: The choice of where you work (“manage employment”); the choice of what you can do with your money (manage investment, replacing capitalism); the choice to start and run your own business (regulate private business, expand public ownership and non-profit enterprise, run the economy in the interests of the working people). And that’s only one paragraph in a 24 page document.

I am stewing over this incredible piece of work right now, but I will be coming back to this well in the next few days. For now, read the manifesto and see what these guys are really thinking.


  1. Ron
    August 24th, 2006 at 10:08 | #1

    In 2002, did the CAW’s Task Force on Working Class Politics actually check your political pulse? Or did they assume by your acceptance of their contract bargaining work that you supported the leadership’s political actions as well?

  2. Brian
    August 24th, 2006 at 20:04 | #2

    I have no recollection, but in fairness I throw a lot of crap out from the union.

  3. Joanne (True Blue)
    August 27th, 2006 at 14:55 | #3

    Wow! Just catching up on all this. I’ll keep an eye on your blog for further developments.

  4. Brian
    August 27th, 2006 at 15:03 | #4

    I’m still reading the report over, and over. It’s truly stunning.

    But yes, I’ll be back to it.

  5. Mac
    August 27th, 2006 at 23:28 | #5

    Silly me! I thought the role of an union was to negotiate on behalf of workers and intercede on their behalf in disciplinary matters. I didn’t realize unions were supposed to be agencies of social engineering and change!!

    Thanks for this, Brian!!

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